Christmas Stories from the Qur’an

Christmas Stories from the Qur’an December 9, 2018


Botticelli Nativity
A nativity by Botticelli   (Wikimedia Commons public domain)


The Qur’an on the Annunciation of Christ


Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee chosen thee above the women of all nations. “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down [in prayer] with those who bow down.” This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee [O Messenger!] by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed [the point]. Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of [the company of] those nearest to God; “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be [of the company] of the righteous.” She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is! “And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel, and [appoint him] a messenger to the Children of Israel. (Surat al-Imran 3:42-48).


Relate in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen [to screen herself] from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to [God] Most Gracious: [come not near] if thou dost fear God.” He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, [to announce] to thee the gift of a holy son. She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?” He said: “So [it will be]: Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and [We wish] to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter [so] decreed.” (Maryam 19:16-21)


The Qur’an on the Birth of Christ


So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried [in her anguish]: “Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!” But [a voice] cried to her from beneath the [palm-tree]: “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; and shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. So eat and drink and cool [thine] eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to [God] Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being’” At length she brought the [babe] to her people, carrying him [in her arms]. They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!” But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” He said: “I am indeed a servant of God: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; and He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; so peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life [again]”! (Maryam 19:22-33)


And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs (Al-Mu’minun 23:50).



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