The Birth of Mary
[3:33] GOD has chosen Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Amram (as messengers) to the people.
[3:34] They belong in the same progeny. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
[3:35] The wife of Amram said, “My Lord, I have dedicated (the baby) in my belly to You, totally, so accept from me. You are Hearer, Omniscient.”
[3:36] When she gave birth to her, she said, “My Lord, I have given birth to a girl” – GOD was fully aware of what she bore – “The male is not the same as the female. I have named her Mary, and I invoke Your protection for her and her descendants from the rejected devil.”
[3:37] Her Lord accepted her a gracious acceptance, and brought her up a gracious upbringing, under the guardianship of Zachariah. Whenever Zachariah entered her sanctuary he found provisions with her. He would ask, “Mary, where did you get this from?” She would say, “It is from GOD. GOD provides for whomever He chooses, without limits.”

What does it mean when Mary’s mother dedicated her child to God?
What happened to Mary’s parents?
Who were Mary’s guardians?

According to The Proto Gospel of James when Mary’s mother dedicated Mary to God the inference was that they were going to offer Mary to the Temple of God where she would dedicate her life to worshiping God. When Mary turns three they send Mary to the temple under the guardianship of Zachariah who was the chief priest. When Mary turned twelve she was to live outside of the temple and was put under the guardianship of Joseph.

Most people when they make a promise to God don’t follow through and turn God’s blessing to an idol.

[7:190] But when He gives them a good baby, they turn His gift into an idol that rivals Him. GOD be exalted, far above any partnership.

The provisions that Mary had (3:37) must have been unique, because if it was the same as everyone else then it should not have been surprising.

At such a young age Mary realized that the provisions she received were from God. Most people today don’t recognize that the provisions we receive are from God, since all provisions come from God. This shows the degree of certainty that Mary had.

Interesting that 3:26 mentions that God provides provisions, and in 3:37 Mary receives provisions from God and in 5:112 the disciples of Jesus asked Jesus to provide a feast from the sky.

When Mary said that “the male is not the same as female” was this looked as a negative?

In those days the males were looked at more positively than the females. Males were the bread earners and would fight in war and carried the family lineage. Additionally God selects the males to be messengers and prophets (13:38). We know that according to God male and female we are equal (3:195), and the best among us is the most righteous (49:13).   God selected Mary to be bestowed one of the greatest miracles in human history with the virgin birth of Jesus.

[13:38] We have sent messengers before you (O Rashad), and we made them husbands with wives and children. No messenger can produce a miracle without GOD’s authorization, and in accordance with a specific, predetermined time.

[3:195] Their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female – you are equal to one another. Thus, those who immigrate, and get evicted from their homes, and are persecuted because of Me, and fight and get killed, I will surely remit their sins and admit them into gardens with flowing streams.” Such is the reward from GOD. GOD possesses the ultimate reward.

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant. 

Horizon: Is your Brain Male or Female

Are our souls male or female? And is there going to be a distinction between female and male in the Hereafter?

God tells us that in Heaven we will have pure spouses (2:25, 3:15, 4:57)

God tells us that the descriptions of Heaven and Hell are allegorical

Allegorical Description of Paradise
[2:25] Give good news to those who believe and lead a righteous life that they will have gardens with flowing streams. When provided with a provision of fruits therein, they will say, “This is what was provided for us previously.” Thus, they are given allegorical descriptions. They will have pure spouses therein, and they abide therein forever.

But not all the descriptions of Heaven and Hell in the Quran are allegorical

The Righteous Go Straight to Paradise*
[36:26] (At the time of his death) he was told, “Enter Paradise.” He said, “Oh, I wish my people knew. Footnote
[36:27] “That my Lord has forgiven me, and made me honorable.”
*36:26 The righteous do not really die; they simply move on to the same Paradise where Adam and Eve lived. They join the prophets, saints and martyrs in an active and utopian life (see Appendix 17).

The Dwellers of Heaven Visit the Dwellers of Hell
[37:50] They will come to each other, and confer with one another.
[37:51] One of them will say, “I used to have a friend.
[37:52] “He used to mock: `Do you believe all this?
[37:53] ” `After we die and turn into dust and bones, do we get called to account?’ “
[37:54] He will say, “Just take a look!”
[37:55] When he looks, he will see his friend in the heart of Hell.* 
[37:56] He (will go to him and) say, “By GOD, you almost ruined me.
[37:57] “If it were not for my Lord’s blessing, I would have been with you now.
[37:58] “(Do you still believe) that we die,
[37:59] “only the first death, and we never receive any requital?”
*37:55 People who make it to Heaven will be able to visit their relatives and friends in Hell, without adverse consequences. In the Hereafter, anyone can move downward, but not upward beyond a certain limit. The limit is decided by one’s degree of growth and development (App. 5).

In the discussion some people thought that we would be male and female in heaven others thought that we wouldn’t. God willing we will find out soon enough : )

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