One day as she was praying in her isolated place of worship, suddenly angels appeared addressing her;
“O Mary! Verily Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name shall be the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary held in honour in this world and in the hereafter and will be one of those near to Allah. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.” [3:45-46]The term ‘Word’ in the above ayah refers to the miraculous birth of Jesus by the divine command of “Be” as will be quoted from the Quran.
Nonetheless, the amazing news of having a baby whilst a virgin and having never been touched by any man was overwhelming. She invoked the Almighty and said,
“O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?!” [3:47] Allah revealed to her, “So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only ‘Be’ and it is.” [ibid] The Almighty then revealed to her that her son would be a Messenger of Allah to the Israelites and he will be empowered with the miracles of healing those born blind and the lepers and bringing the dead back to life. At the time of this inspiration, Mary would have assumed that the glad tiding would be a far prophecy and she would be the mother of a Messenger of God after her possible marriage.
Time went by and the fulfilment of the promised glad tiding arrived. As a normal practice she had withdrawn into seclusion from her family to a place facing East for worship where she had also placed a screen to hide herself from people for her private devotion. In absolute privacy and seclusion, whilst immersed in an ocean of adoration, the Almighty sent His angel to Mary thus informing of her conception of Jesus.
“Then We sent to her Our Ruh (angel), and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.” Upon seeing the strange man at her private place, the resemblance of chastity and modesty felt overwhelming. She immediately said to him,
“Verily I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.” The strange man (the angel) responded
“I am only a messenger from your Lord to gift you a righteous son.” Mary then felt at ease, however, she immediately developed another fear as to how she could have a child whilst she was not married. Thus she said to the angel, “How can I have a son when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?” Mary at that stage was thinking of the natural way of conceiving which could be either legitimate or illegitimate. She knew that she would not fall into either of the two categories and at the same time no one had ever heard of a girl conceiving without being touched by a man. The angel of God calmed her down with his response, he said,
“So (it will be), your Lord said ‘That is easy for Me and We wish to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter already decreed (by Allah).’” [19:17-21]
Mary was convinced that this was another miraculous intervention of the Almighty. The same God who had made her barren mother pregnant and has been feeding her with heavenly fruits has now decreed to miraculously make her conceive a baby boy who would be a Messenger of God. Mary had previously experienced communication of the angels with her and thus had no doubt of this divine communication.