Present Essay tends to look at the difference and similarities in ways Islam and Christianity see “Mary”, one of the significant figures in both sets of beliefs
Gospel mentions Mary less than the Quran, however, both religions have high beliefs of respect, purity, and piousness of her. Both religions believe her as the mother of “Jesus/Eesa”, born in the honorable family of Prophet Abraham’s descendants. Quran has titled three chapters named by Mary and Mary’s father. Al-Maryam, Al-Imran, and …..
“O, Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him; his name will be Messiah-Christ Eesa, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of )the company of) those nearest to God/Allah.”
“Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Both religions believe entirely in the piousness of Mary as she conceived as a virgin by the will of God.
“And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of our spirit, and we made her and her son a sign for all peoples.”
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
The present essay will be working in the light of the Quran and the Gospel to find the differences and similarities in the views of Mary by the two religions. She is a goddess image in Christianity and the sign of the prophecy in Islam. The essay also focuses on the differences in the lineage, the name, and epithets of Mary told in the four Gospels and the Qur’an. The present paper will look at the differences related to Mary and Joseph; holy Mother’s pregnancy, and similar interpretations. Despite the differences in the beliefs and practices in Christianity and Islam, In addition to that, the essay is searching, if Mary and her character have mislaid the place she had in Christianity and Islam. If the answer is yes, then why she was a key figure in both religions? A subsequent question rises what was the role of Mary during the time of the missionary of Jesus and his crucifixion? She carried and completed a mission of giving birth to Prophet Jesus only or she has other aspects that have given her the importance as a key figure in both Islam and Christianity.
Keywords: Mary, Maryam, Gospels and Mary, the Qur’an, Jesus, Hadith.
Name and Epithet of Mary
The name of Mary, `according to Geoffrey Parrinder originally has been from the Hebrew and Aramaic name Maryam. In Qur’an, the name of Mary has exactly been used in Hebrew and Aramaic, and in Ethiopic is Māryām which is a bit different. Al-Baiḍāwi, an Islamic scholar, agrees with this view Parrinder stated.The name took transformation into other languages, for instance, in the Coptic language, Miriam and Maria in Greek from where English derivate it as Mary. In Christianity Mary is having the most common epithet, Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, Queen of Heaven. While Qur’an mentions Mary as Maryam and daughter of ‘Imran and in the Hadiths, she has been referred to as the lady of ladies.
The name and epithets are used to glorify Mary, Parrinder has highlighted that the name of Ibn Maryam, Son of Mary, which came after her mother’s not discredited to Jesus or Mary. Parrinder stated that it was normal for the Semitic world if someone came after her mother. Therefore, the name of Ibn Maryam is not considered an insult either to Jesus or Mary. Also, the term Son of Mary has mentioned in Mark 6:3.
The Lineage of Mary
According to the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), the Lineage of the Mary is not mentioned; the New Testament only paid attention to Joseph rather than Mary. In Mathew 1:16 the descendant of Abraham is Joseph, and there is no direct bloodline to Jesus as he was the son of God. In Apocrypha, the parent of Mary has mentioned Joachim’s father and her mother, Anna.
Contrary to the Gospel, in the Qur’ān, the lineage of Mary came from the family of ‘Imran. According to verse 3.36, Allah has chosen the family of ‘Imran as has chosen Adam, Nuh, the family of Ibrahim, above all mankind. And in verse 3.35 the wife of Imran vowed to Allah that the baby in her womb would be dedicated to worship Allah. This verse indicates that Mary is a daughter of ‘Imran. In verse 66.12 again it is mentioned that Maryam is the daughter of ‘Imran.
Another verse from Quran 19.28 indicates that Mary is the sister of Harun. Here, is noticed a historical conflict as Harun is the brother of Moses who lived a thousand and six hundred years before Mary’s birth. However, Islamic scholars such al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir explained that the sister of Harun does not mean that she was the sister of Moses. According to al-Tabari stated that any righteous man was called Harun and Harun does not imply Moses’ brother.
Ibn Kathir referred to Ali bin Abi Talha and As-Suddi who both said: “Sister of Harun is referred to the brother of Musa because she was of his descendants.” Also, Ibn Kathir added the phrase ‘O sister of Harun’ is similar if someone saying ‘O brother of Tamin’, which means someone belonging to the tribe of Tamim. In addition to that, Ibn Kathir said there was a righteous man who related to Mary called Harun. Therefore she was adequate to his character, in worship and ascetic.
To read the Tafsir Qurtubi, that critics had a problematic argument regarding the phrase ‘sister of Harun’, that all believe the Harun is the brother of Moses and there was a huge difference between both generations. Al-Qurtubi referred to previous evidence which is mentioned by al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir. If the Qur’ān meant Maryam as the sister of Moses, why in the first place did not mention ‘O sister of Moses’ instead O sister of Harun?
The childhood life of Mary
Gospels do not tell much about the early life of Mary, the only focus is on Jesus and his missionary. Even the name of Mary has appeared in Gospel Mark 6.3 which is considered the earliest of the Gospels, and in Gospel John, Mary is only mentioned as the mother of Jesus. Lastly, Mary appeared in Acts 1: 14. Rosemary Radford Ruether stated that the name of Mary is only mentioned in Gospel and Act as a Mother of Jesus, whereas, other books or letters of Saint Paul has not mentioned her name but just referred to her.
However in the Qur’an, verse 3.35 clarified how Mary was born, then her mother dedicated her to serve Allah under the care of Zachariah. Mary stayed devoted to the temple at an earlier age and later contacted people behind the Hijab.
The purity of Mary and Slander against her
In both religions Islam and Christianity the purity of Mary has been affirmed, and the babe of her womb is conceived through God’s wish. There are many certainties in the Gospels to confirm that she was pregnant in command of the Lord. For example, the angel appeared in his dream and said “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 1:19, states that Joseph was about to leave her, after finding out that she was pregnant. That indicates that Joseph was in doubt about the purity of Mary, but after the dream, he cleared his doubt.
In the Gospels, it is very clear that only Joseph and Mary knew about the pregnancy of Mary for that reason there were no slanders against her by her people. However, in the fourth century, a writer Jovinian denied the virginity of Mary, even though he never referred to that she was not a virgin during the pregnancy. His writing caused him to be excommunicated at a synod under St. Ambrose. Therefore, in 390 A.D Pope Siricius declared that Mary was virgin during the pregnancy and the birth of Jesus.
In Qur’ān, verse 3.42, purity is directly asserted to Mary as the Angel (Gabriel) said to Mary that Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world. Mary is sinless as confirmed by Ḥadīth al-Bukhari, and al-Muslim said, “The Satan touches every son of Adam on the day when his mother gives birth to him except Mary and her son.” However, Islam shows the slander against Mary on two occasions: Firstly, the Qur’ān, indicates that the slanders started after the birth of Jesus because she was not in contact with other people, all his communication was through the Hijab. Then, Jesus began to talk from the cradle to purify Mary, as it is confirmed in verse 19:30.
The second source is the Islamic historians. For example, Ibn Athir said that when Joseph noticed the pregnancy of Mary, he was in doubt. He was in a dilemma to accuse her or not: when he accessed her, she was never absent, and if purified then what she is carrying! Then he asked her; Mary does the plant grow without the seeds?
Yes, replied Mary.
Joseph: does the tree plant without rain?
Yes, replied Mary.
Joseph: does a baby born without men?
Mary said, yes, did you not know that Allah planted the plant on the day of creation without the seed? Did you not know that Allah planted the tree without rain? By his almighty power of rain gives life to the tree, while Allah created both alone. Or you will say that Allah is incapable of planting until seeking from the seed and rain?
Joseph: I do not say like that, Allah is capable of doing what He wills.
Mary: did you not know that Allah created Adam and Eve without man and woman?
Then Joseph believed that this is something to do with Allah.
From the source of Ibn Athir is shown that only Joseph was in doubt about the purity of Mary and it was before the engagement.
The Marriage of Mary and Joseph
According to the New Testament, Joseph was the husband of Mary, and it shows that they were engaged before Jesus was born. Matthew 1.18 and the following verse mentioned him as the husband of Mary, also in Luke 1.27, 2.5 suggested that Mary espoused to Joseph. In another word, Joseph had not approached Mary until the birth of Jesus. After the birth of Jesus, they were properly married, and they had four children according to Matthew 13.55 (Judas, James, Joses, and Simon).
Parrinder stated that the name of Joseph had not been mentioned in the Qur’an as he was a Father in Luke 23.3 and Foster-Father in Matthew 1.1. Therefore, there is no indication that Mary was engaged to Joseph or got married after the birth of Jesus. She was born pure and remained like a virgin, called Maryam Betul, meaning the virgin. Qur’an has not mentioned Mary after the birth of Jesus. Therefore, her virginity is no longer highlighted. However, according to Ibn Athir, Joseph was a cousin of Mary, and he is the son of Yaqub ‘Jacob’ son of Mathan Carpenter. And Joseph was a carpenter and a wise man. Then Ibn Athir narrated from Christian sources and said that according to Christianity Joseph married Mary and did not approach her until Jesus was born.
Another source of Islam which is written in the ninth century by Ibn Qutaiba; the book is a mixture of Islamic and Jewish and Christian sources. Regarding Mary and Joseph, he relied on Matthew with a bit of modification and said that when Jesus was born, her mother fled him to Egypt, and there was Joseph who was his fiancé of Mary. He married her as Gospel stated. Joseph was a man of a good deeds. Mary conceived without Joseph having approached her; then he tried to divorce her without touching her. Joseph in his dream saw an angel who told him: Oh Joseph son David, your wife will bear the son named Jesus, he will save his people from their sins.”
The pregnancy of Mary
According to the Gospel, the pregnancy of Mary is mentioned in different ways. For instance, in Matthew 1.20 the Angle came in the dream of Joseph, and told him, Joseph, son of David, your wife Mary will conceive with the Holy Spirit. Thus there is no contact between the angels to Mary. Whereas, Luke 1.26-38 angel came to Mary and blessed her that she would conceive and give birth to a son called Jesus. Mary could talk to the angel directly and tell Him how it would be possible without a man. The Angel said the Holy Spirit should come upon you. Here, it shows that the angel only informed the news and had nothing to do with the pregnancy. Luke 1.2 and John 1.1-6, indicated to the Word which is God and God is Word. It demonstrates that Jesus is the Word, logos.
Qur’an shows different aspects, verse 3.45 which is having similarities with Luke 1.2, and 1.26-38 by visiting the Angel to Mary and telling her that the word of Allah would make her conceive. Although the Islamic scholars neglected the logos of Jesus, they tried to have their own explanation for the Qur’an as the verse indicates that Allah informs you with his “Word”. According to Tafsir Jalayan, the word means that Allah will give you a son. Al-Tabari in a very long explanation of this word interpreted the ‘Word’ such as he said the word means ‘the Message of Allah’, ‘the word of Allah’, and ‘be it but never he indicated the logos. Other scholars like Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi interpreted it in a way different from the meaning of the logo.
According to Ibn Athir, Mary and Joseph devoted the temple, and when each of them ran out of water, they went to the cave to bring the water. One day the water runs out, and Mary went to the cave, then Gabriel came in the form of a human being and told her: Oh Mary Allah sent me to you, and he quoted verse 3.45.
In Qur’an, the angel approached Mary and blessed her to carry the baby revealing the conversation between Mary and the Angel. Even the process of pregnancy has been mentioned in Qur’an.
There are two verses in Qur’an indicating the angel has approached Mary, in these two verses it is revealed that the angel breathed into her. In verse 21.91 and verse 66.12 it is said that she guarded her chastity and “We” breathed into her.
These two verses are contrary to the Christianity that believed firstly; angle never breathed into her. Secondly, the way of breathing according to the language is debatable. Tafsir Jalayin stated that Gabriel opened her garment and breathed into her and conceived Jesus.
Birth of Jesus
There are completely two different versions of the birth of Jesus, told in Christianity and Islam. Luke 2.1:7, expresses that while Joseph and Mary were on the way back from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be taxed in their home, as Caesar Augustus decreed that the entire world should be taxed, and everyone in his city. Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a manger because they have no rooms.
In Matthew 2.1-13, the wise men from the East followed the star and came to Bethlehem to worship him and bring with them a gift, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Mary had the support of her espouse, wise men, and shepherd during the birth of Jesus. Contrary to the Gospels, in Qur’an there is a different version of the story: Firstly, verses 17-22 it is referred to the pregnancy, and the time of birth of Jesus, in concise verses describing the birth of Jesus, Mary went to the trunk of a palm tree. The verses are shown that Mary was alone without any support from her family or people close to her. Instead, the divine voice cried to her below her, and said: “Grieve not, your Lord provided a water stream under you and shook the trunk of the date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you.” Secondly, it is believed the loneliest Mary without support made her devastated and wish to be dead. The verse 19.23 Mary said ‘would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!”
Here, it shows that the two primary sources of Islam and Christianity are telling completely different stories. In Gospel, she was fully supported by her spouse, and also humankind was affirming the prophecy of Jesus, shepherds, and wise men, while in Qur’an she was alone, but the voice of the angel supported her.
Considering other Gospels and comparing them with Qur’an, there is a bit of similarity. For instance, Parrinder referred to the Gospel Pseudo-Matthew and Infancy Gospel. Parrinder said, “The Gospel Pseudo-Matthew, Latin writing perhaps compiled about the eighth century though, including older material, it is said that during their flight to Egypt Mary sat under a palm tree and wished for some of its fruit. Joseph was more worried about the lack of water. Jesus, sitting on Mary’s lap, told the tree to bend down and give his mother some of its fruit, and it obeyed under a sycamore tree.” Geoffrey added another source and said according to Infancy Gospel Jesus spoke in the cradle. The only similarity is Mary was under the palm tree and wished for some fruit, and Jesus spoke in the cradle.
Mary is a Goddess figure in Christianity
Despite the fact that Jesus has affirmed on several occasions in the Gospels,That only God should be worshipped, whereas, the image of Mary has been developed and embodied into the Christianity faith and she was considered a goddess. The image of Mary has been painted in all the churches, and massive sculptures of Mary are laid in museums and churches. Joelle Mellon stated that Mary depicted the second eve in the middle Ages because St. Paul believed that Jesus was a new Adam. And Mellon quoted St. Birgitta of Sweden who scripted the word for Mary and said: “As Adam and Eve sold the world for one apple, so my Son and I have redeemed the world as it were with one heart.” The image of Mary as a goddess has been debatable between two orthodox Christianity, Protestant and Catholic. The Protestant orthodox believe that the goddess of the pagan has embodied in the faith of the Catholic that came from the Isis of Egypt. Adrian Gilbert says, “Mary did indeed inherit the blue mantle of Isis.”
According to Ruether who searched for the root of the embodied goddess image of Mary in the faith of Christianity. She stated the image of Mary had picked the goddess characters and some believe that Mary is the ultimate survivor of the goddess. Ruether said, this description might have been rooted in ancient mythology like Isis was virgin and mother of Hours in Egypt, and Ishtar was a goddess mother in Babylon.”Also, she added, that the image of Mary, a mother and a babe in her lap which is in most churches is borrowed from Christians in Egypt that rooted in the Isis goddess. That image became a favorite image in Christian art. Symbols for the new queen of heaven were borrowed from the earlier queens: the mural crown of Cybele and the stars and moon of Isis. It is noticed that Mary has got many epithets such as Mother of the Virgin, Mother of God, and Queen of heaven. And those titles of the goddess were used by the Pagans.
The concept of the Mother of God who is referred to as Mary has been controversially debatable. Ruether believes that this title was probably first used by Egyptians in the fourth century, whereas Church in Ephesus used the title Mother of Christ. In 431 A.D the Egyptians controlled Nestorius and imposed their views upon them. But when in 451 A.D Rome retook control, Leo 1 the bishop of Rome, suggested that the name of Mother of God is accepted on the ground that Jesus has a divine nature and human nature which are mingled in him.
In 431 A.D, The Mother of God was officially declared by church fathers in Ephesus that Mary is Theotokos (Mother of God). That declaration has influenced the art, architecture, songs, and writing that are seen in all the churches. Therefore, the term Mother of God has been used by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. I believe this influence might cause as the result in Mary’s living with the Apostles John in Ephesus after fleeing from Jerusalem.
Also, the title of Mary “Queen of Heaven” is linked to ascending her body to heaven after his death which is in the term ‘Assumption of Mary’ used. Ruether also stated that Mary took the title of the Mother of God in the fifth century. This title was probably first used by Egyptian theologians in the fourth century.
Also, she stated that this is an assumption believed in the West, and the Middle Ages which is based on the New Testament Apocrypha two different versions of the death of Mary has stated. In the first version, the body of Mary is ascending to heaven with the saints until the resurrection, this version is stated by Evangelist Pseudo-John in ‘The Falling Asleep of Mary. The second version of the story is by Pseudo-Melito in Transitus Mariae, the story stated that Jesus had resurrected the body of Mary after her death. 
Adrian Gilbert has added to that later that the title of Mary became ‘star of the sea’, they meant by sea is sky and star is Sirius. In much ancient religion and mythology, Sirius is considered the goddess. For instance, Sirius was called Spdt by Egyptians and Sothis by Greek. In 1854, the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius IX declared Mary sinless, and in 1951, they reported that she had ascended into heaven, where she was crowned as the “Queen of heaven. “Also, she stated that the name Virgin Mary is not suggested to any superior to her, but the statement is about Jesus. Nevertheless, she did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus, as stated in the Gospels she had other children.  Also, Mary was expressed as being a patron of agricultural fertility. From the fifth century on, the feasts of Mary duplicated the high points of the traditional cycle of the year. The Feasts of sowing, harvesting, and vintage in mid-May (The feast of Mary’s Queenship); mid-August (The Feast of the Assumption), and initially for some December (The feast of Annunciation).
Mary having a Prophecy figure by Muslims
In this section, the focus is an Article written by Loren D. Lybarger, he deeply researched Mary having a prophetic position. The author has highlighted the magnificent points of how God is given the power which is equal to other prophets. First of all, based on verses 3.33-34, the central issue about Maryam is purity and conceived out of wedlock in favor of Allah. Then in verse 3:36, Maryam’s mother sought from Allah to protect her daughter from Satan, then she brought to the temple to devote herself to God.
Lybarger followed by verse 3:37 when Zachariah visited Maryam always the food provided to her and asked her where the food came, she said is from Allah. Which is indicated by the sign of the prophecy and miracles. Lybarger also focused on the differences among scholars regarding the status of Mary. For instance, he referred to Razi, as he did not believe that Maryam was performing any miracle, but also there was no denial of her special status given by God. Although Razi referred to the Ḥadīth from Hasan al-Basri on the authority of al-Qaffal stated that “Mary spoke in infancy as did Christ. She never was nursed at a breast, but her nourishment was sent to her from Paradise.”
Then, Razi based on verse 12:109 and Ḥadīth of Hasan al-Basri came to conclude that Maryam did not perform any miracles but she was bestowed and honored. Lybarger referred to another Mu’tazilī exegete, al-Jubbāī, who believed that prophecy is only for men, and only prophets could perform miracles.
Therefore, Lybarger referred to seven points that were made by M. Waldman who explained the image of the prophets based on the Qur’ān evidence. The seven points are: “First, prophets are set within the context of a chain or community of previous messengers. Although their historical circumstances vary, their messages are essentially the same. Second, they are given divine direction as needed. Third, God elects them and makes them morally pure-a feature that stresses the prophets’ humanity and God’s agency. Fourth, their messages divide communities into believers and rejecters. Fifth, they serve to “bring glad tidings” and to alert communities to immortality. Sixth, their personality exemplifies some ideal features: “patience, unswerving devotion, compassion, trust in God, pure faith opposed to associating (shirk) anything with God.” Seventh, in demanding obedience to their message, they call communities to submit to God, his book, the angels, and the Day of Judgment.”
Therefore, although Maryam did give the message only gave birth to Jesus while the other six points are parallel to Maryam’s roles. Based on, the Qur’ānic verses such as verses 3:33-34, verses 3:45-46, she is pure and chosen by Allah, preferred above all the women of creation, and Allah has given to her glad tidings of a word, which is Jesus.
According to Lybarger the mother of Maryam, Hanna, and Zachariah, both yearned and prayed to God to give them a child, then God blessed them both with Maryam and Yahya respectively. These instances depicted the sign of the prophecy as a result of prayer and human desire.
The story of Maryam is almost parallel to Zakariyyā, in verses 3:40 and verse 19:8 Zakariyyā said to the spirit “ .O my Lord! How shall I have a son, seeing I am very old, and my wife is barren?” 
Also, Lybarger linked two stories based on verses3:30 and verse 3:42, that Spirit has visited both Maryam and Zachariah in “The Sanctuary”. And how the miraculous divine provisioning by providing her food by Allah.
Lybarger referred to Michael Sells who analyzed the Surah al-Qadr, the verse 97:1-5, and he stated that the word ‘ruh’ was interpreted with the Holy Spirit, Jabril, who appeared to the Maryam and Zakaryya to bless them with child, Jesus, and Yahiya. And Jabril casing her the pregnancy in the Night of Power (laylat al-Qadr). And also in verse 97:4, it used ‘fiha’. Therefore, the means it could be, ‘the spirit of her’ or ‘within her. This indicated that the spirit is associated with the story of Maryam. And for the last verse, in which is used the word ‘hiya’ Son stated: “raises the possibility that the Night Metaphorically tied to the figure of Maryam receives the added personification of Prophet. To summarise the view of Lybarger regarding Maryam, she has a prophetic image in the Qur’ān whereas she is not mentioned here as Prophet like others.
The holiness of Mary
The holiness of Mary is especially highlighted by Catholics even they pray to Mary. Mary became the Mediate between them to God. Marina Warner stated that “Mary mediates between Heaven and Earth.” Also, she said, that Mary grants the boons through his son as he is a God, as she has not got any power on her own.Even today Mary has a symbolic figure in Catholic Church, they have Marian day on Saturday and Mary for May, and in addition to that, they have many feasts to honor of Virgin Mary.
In Islam according to the Hadith, Mary has a high-level position, in Sahih al-Bukhari and Jamī at-Tirmidhi Sahih al-Muslim the Prophet said, “The best of the world’s women is Mary (at her lifetime), and the best of the world’s women is Khadija (at her lifetime).”
—-man achieved perfection, but no woman achieved perfection except for Mariam the daughter of ‘Imran, and Asiyah, the wife of Fir ‘awn. And the superiority of ‘Aisha over other women is like the superiority of Third over other foods.”
The holiness in Islamic religions made some Muslims fabricate the Ḥadīth that in Paradise Prophet Muhammed will marry Mary. Al-Qurtubi in Tafsir of verse 66.5, which is the wives of Prophet in Paradise, narrated from al-Kalbi, that the Virgin referred to Maryam, daughter of ‘Imran. Whereas, Ibn Kathir stated those Hadiths which were mentioned by al-Tabarani and Hafiz b. ‘Is–car and another three Hadiths are a week. Therefore, those Ḥadīths are refuted by Ibn Kathir.
The holiness of Mary by Muslims led them to think that Allah has named one chapter of the Qur’an after Mary, Maryam. I believe this view is not parallel to the themes of the Qur’ān, because there are many names of the Qur’ān does not relate to holiness. The only reason this chapter is named after Maryam is that the main character in this chapter is Mary, Zachariah, and Jesus.
Role of Mary in Jesus’ missionary and Christianity
In both religions, there is no role of Mary in the apostle of Jesus. Only in one event that Mary tried to expose the divinity of Jesus to the people. In John 2: 3-5, when Mary and Jesus were invited to the wedding party, the wine ran out. Here, we could see Mary asking Jesus to do something, in other words, to perform the miracle. It is clear that Mary knew that Jesus has almighty power otherwise she would have asked him. Jesus told Mary ‘my time is not yet coming. To read the conversation between Mother and Son, that would be noticed she tried to expose Jesus to people.
It seems after Jesus was crucified the role of Mary with Mary Magdalene started. According to Matthew 28:1-10, Mary accompanied by Mary Magdalene went to see the sepulcher, then the angel appeared to them and said Jesus is risen and told to his disciples. While Mary and Mary Magdalene on their way, Jesus appeared to them and asked them to tell his disciples to go to Galilee and see him there. The role of Mary seems focused only when she was a witness of seen angle and informed her that Jesus is raised, and saw Jesus with her own eyes.
However, in late Christianity by Catholic orthodox, the role of Mary increased in contrast to the Protestant. Mellon, stated that the idea of the humility of Mary by Martin Luther had minimized her theological importance, and her role no more than a housewife. Mellon has added the views of other important reformers of Protestant such as Calvin and Zwingli, which stated Mary was humble and never had claimed that having a role of Intercessor or Co-Redeemer for herself.
By assessing those sources, they lead to the point that the role of Mary during the life of Jesus was only a holy mother, and selected by Lord to birth to Jesus to save the people from sins. Nevertheless, from the last scene describing her death while apostles surrounded her, it will conclude that she was with the apostles and she was part of the missionary. While in the Qur’ān there are no any single verses that indicate any role of Mary in Jesus’ missionary. The given birth to he ends the role of Mary. Although the role of Mary is less than Jesus’ disciples, she became an iconic figure for a reason; she was the one who was chosen by Lord to give birth to God’s son.
Death of Mary
Quran and Gospel both are silent on the end of Mary. However, there is a myth associated with the death of Mary that her body ascended to the heavens. Many paintings are there revealing Mary lying on the bed with folded hands. Also, she was surrounded by Apostles and angels, and Jesus visited her to ascend her to Heaven.
According to Warner, the tale of Mary is derived from many ancient eastern stories. The preceding script is written about her afterlife called ‘Obsequies of the Holy Virgin. Also, Warner referred to this script that is written in Syriac language; and either, was written in the third century according to Catholic Scholar E. Cothenet or a hundred and fifty years later according to W. Wright.
On a conclusive note, the present paper has attempted to sketch the similarities and differences in the portrayal of Mary in two pertinent religions that have a high notion of her. It was found that there is no difference in the representation of Mary as per piousness, purity, and being the mother of Jesus Christ/Eesa. In Christianity, despite the four religious Gospels do not contain much information about Mary and her role in the missionary of Jesus, she is an iconic figure and has a divine motherly statute for her followers, especially for the Catholics. Many religious rituals are named after mother Mary, such as designating Saturday as Marian day month of May. Many feasts and festivals are organized throughout the year to honor mother, Mary. Catholics believe in her as a goddess, second eve, and queen of the heavens after her body ascended to heaven.
Islam has regarded Mary (Maryam) as the lady of ladies. Muslims highly regard her piousness, virgin motherhood, lineage, reverence, and association with Prophet Zachariah (Uncle and Guardian). She is among the chief religious characters in Islam as great as the mothers of Muslims and the wives of the last Prophet Mohammad. Mary, as Maryam, has been mentioned in the Qur’ān and Ḥadīth several times on several occasions. She is one of the most adored and idealized feminine religious characters.
“None are born except that Satan touches them upon their birth, due to which it comes out screaming from its touch, except Mary and her son (Jesus).”
Loren D. Lybarger who wrote an article based on the Quran’s tale of Mary believed that she had a sign of the prophecy. Mary’s sign of the prophecy is based on the evidence from the Quran that she directly spoke to the angel, and that the divine voice guided her through giving birth to Jesus and responding to the slanders by people when she came back to town with child Jesus in her lap.
“And shake towards thyself the trunk of the Palm tree; it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.”
“But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the Palm tree’ Grieve not! For the Lord hath provided a stream /rivulet beneath thee.”
However, after collecting the evidential information from Christianity and Islam, and merging the both, the story of Mary still be semi-completed. The paper presents information from Islamic and Christian sources. The Islamic sources provided knowledge on her earlier life that she served in the temple under the umbrella of Prophet Zachariah and her lineage from the Prophet Abraham. But her tale is not present in both the religious sources about after the crucifixion of Jesus. Gospels have fewer details about the earlier life and line aspects, but after Jesus was crucified, we have merit information. Christian sources describe that when she died all Apostles were present, the angels attended her departure and her body was ascended to Heaven.
The essay demonstrated that though there are differences in information related to Mary and Joseph in the Gospels and Quran and about her conceiving. However, both religions assert the purity and piousness of Mary either through the divine sources, the Gospels and the Qur’an, or later sources such as Hadith and their interpretations by scholars and historians. Therefore, the chastity of Mary is revealed by both religions.
To bring it all together, Mary in both sources has her purity asserted and a significant influence on Christianity and Muslims. The difference in the revelation of lineage, pregnancy, and the birth of Prophet Jesus does not affect her pious statute chief position and sacredness. Mary is considered one of the important feminine figures adored and esteemed in Christianity and Islam. She is an icon of motherhood and chastity is unquestioned and ascertained by both the religions and their followers.
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- Geoffrey Parrinder, Jesus In The Qura’ān, Faber and Faber, (The United Kingdom: London, 1965), 60. ↑
- Available at: https://www.behindthename.com/names/view.php?name=mary (Accessed 01/04/2018) ↑
- Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 22-3. ↑
- Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 64. ↑
- Al-Tabari, see Tafsir verse 19:28. ↑
- Ibn Kathir. See Tafsir verse 19:28. ↑
- In Tafsir al-Qurtubi, referred to critics who argued regarding this issue. ↑
- Marina Warner, Alone Of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, First Vintage Books Edition, 1983, 4,15. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary The Feminine Face of the Church, The Westminster Press Philadelphia, 1977, p.31 ↑
- There was a curtain between Mary and People, and she was not seen by people. ↑
- Luke 1:26-37. ↑
- Matthew, 1: 20. ↑
- Marina Warner, p. 64-5. ↑
- Al-Bukhari, Book 42, Ḥadīth 191. Book 60, Ḥadīth 641 book 65, Ḥadīth 4548, ↑
- Al-Muslim, book 46, Ḥadīth 40, book 46, Ḥadīth 40. Book 43, Ḥadīth 191. Book 43, No. 193. ↑
- Ibn Athir, p237-8. ↑
- Geoffrey Parrinder, p.23. ↑
- Ibn Athir, p 236. ↑
- Abū Muhammad Abd-Allāh ibn Muslim Ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī al-Marwazī, Kitab al-Ma’arif. Book of Knowledge. Edited by Threat ‘Akasha, 1969, 53. ↑
- Jalalyn, verse 3:45. ↑
- Ibn Athir, p 237. ↑
- Jalalyn, verse 21:91 ↑
- Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 77. ↑
- Geoffrey Parrinder, p.78. ↑
- Luke, 4:8; Matthew 4:8; Jone 4:20-21, 24. ↑
- Joelle Mellon, pp20-1. ↑
- Adrian G. Gilbert, The Magi The Quest For A Secret Tradition, Bloomsbury, 1996, 88. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, p.58. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, P. 58. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, pp.59-60. ↑
- Marina Warner, p.65-6. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, p.59. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, p.60. ↑
- Adrian G. Gilbert, p.87-8. ↑
- Adrian G, Gilbert, p. 87. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, p.67. ↑
- Rosemary Radford Ruether, pp.36-36. ↑
- Loren D. Lybarger. Gender and Prophetic Authority in Qura’nic Story of Maryam: A Literary Approach. The Journal of Religion [Internet]. 2000April [cited 2018 March 31]; 89(2):240-270. Available From: http://www.academicroom.com/article/gender-and-prophetic-authority-quranic-story-maryam-literary-approach ↑
- The author followed to another verse which is linked to Abraham, verse 11:71-73, which is similar to the Zakaryya story both their wives were barren. But regarding the link to Maryam in this situation I believe in verse 3:47, Maryam said to Spirit ” O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?…”. Here, it is noticed that both responded to Spirit in the same manner for different themes. ↑
- Marina Warner, p285. ↑
- Ibid. P286. ↑
- Joelle Mellon, p.81. ↑
- Al-Bukhari, book 63, Ḥadīth 41. And book 60, Ḥadīth 103 ↑
- Al-Tirmidhi, book 49, Ḥadīth 4251. ↑
- Ibn Majah, Book 63, Ḥadīth 41. ↑
- Al-Tirmidhi, Book 25, Ḥadīth 50. ↑
- Al-Bukhari, Book 60, Ḥadīth 84. And Book 70, Ḥadīth 46, Book 62, Ḥadīth 116, Book 60 Ḥadīth 104. Also, see Ḥadīth 3878 of Book 46, the Ḥadīth is narrated in a different context. ↑
- Al-Qurtubi, verse 66.5. ↑
- Ibn Kathir, see verse. 66.5 ↑
- Joelle Mellon, pp.25-6. ↑
- Marina Warner, p.81. ↑
- Ibid, 82. ↑