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Mary the Mother of Jesus

Mary; the Mother of Jesus not the Mother of God!

Of the twenty-five texts in the Quran where Jesus is mentioned, in sixteen of them he is called ‘the son of Maryam (Mary)’, whereas only one text in the Gospels, has referred to Jesus as ‘son of Mary’ (Mark 6:3).

Quranically the appellation ‘son of Mary’ is added to the name of Jesus to denote the humanity of Jesus on the one hand, and to acknowledge his miraculous birth without a father, on the other.

The biblical text in Mark, however, reports that it was scathingly used by those who rejected his prophet hood.

Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, however, pay a special homage and veneration to Mary. They refer to Mary as ‘the Mother of God’ (Theotokos). They not only believe that she is the mediatrix (a female mediator) of all graces, but they also believe in Mariolatry, a term used since the Reformation to mean the worship of Mary. Thus, recitation of the rosary has been among the most popular expressions of Marian devotion.

The internet encyclopaedia of Encarta explains the history of the divinity of Mary as follows:

“As early as the 2nd century, Christians venerated Mary by calling her Mother of God, a title that primarily stresses the divinity of Jesus. During the controversies of the 4th century concerning the divine and human natures of Jesus, the Greek title theotokos (Mother of God) came to be used for Mary in devotional and theological writing. Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), contested this usage, insisting that Mary was mother of Christ, not of God. In 431, the Council of Ephesus condemned Nestorianism and solemnly affirmed that Mary is to be called theotokos, a title that has been used since that time in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.”

It is nearly impossible to find a Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Church wherein it is not filled with carved or molten images and/or statues of Jesus and Mary. Most of these images and statues are placed in the prominent places of the Prayer Halls of the churches for veneration and worship. The majority of the congregation will kneel, worship, venerate and pray before these images as an inherited tradition. They refer to Jesus as their God and to the Virgin Mary as the ‘Mother of God’!

Many devoted Catholics also have statues of Mary in their homes for her veneration.

The Protestants, however, who separated from the Church of Rome in the 16th century, do not believe in the divinity of Mary.

Almighty Allah in denying the divinity of Jesus and his mother narrates some of the human aspects of their lives, such that “They both used to eat food” [5:75] while God does not eat.

Almighty Allah, also, in a rhetorical question narrates the renunciation of such titles from Prophet Jesus himself. “And when Allah will (on the Day of Judgement) say:

O Jesus; son of Mary! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah? He will say: Glory be to you! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden. Never did I say to them aught except what You did command me to say: Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them; and You are a Witness to all things.” [5:116-117]

As indicated in the above Ayaat, Prophet Jesus begins his answer firstly with the glorification of God as an expression of monotheism and then affirms that never would he countenance such sacrilege - stating that he spoke only that which Allah had commanded; that he, while living with his community would ensure that they did not worship other than the Almighty God. Moreover, even the present Bible quotes from Jesus in his response to the devil: “It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.” [Luke 4:8]

However, some four centuries after his ascension, deviation occurred among his followers.

In general, the Jews and the Christians have all confused the position of the holy Mary in their own peculiar ways. The Jews accused her of committing illegal sexual intercourse. The holy Quran with reference to their horrible accusation states:

“And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Mary a grave false charge.” [4:156]

Whilst among the Christians, the Catholics have exalted her, calling her The Mother of God! They have also pronounced worship of her as an article of faith.

However, she holds no special status for the Protestants other than being the mother of Jesus.

* Article Author : Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

1204 View | 19-01-2012 | 05:41


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