Jesus and Mary (Peace be upon them):
Mary and Jesus embodied the vision of Mary’s mother and Jesus grandmother, the wife of Imran. She stated clearly her vow to Allah to raise the child inside her to be dedicated to a life of perpetual liberation: “O my Lord! I vow to you what is inside my womb to a dedicated life of perpetual freedom.” [3:35]
Mary and Jesus emerged as a solution of a complex social crisis of their time. Quran summarized the crisis in the following verse: “But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts: Soon, then, will they face destruction.” [19:59]
Mary and her son, Jesus, embodied “The Solution.” Mary and Jesus offered a new direction to a society that had lost its sense of direction. The loss manifested itself in missing prayer, i.e. missing the connection with The Lord Who provides the goal and the direction; and lacking the ability to liberate oneself from the subservience to worldly desires and lusts. Such practices are associated with total misguidance and destruction. At this juncture, Mary and Jesus were the most appropriate response to this crisis.
In a society that had become subjugated to materialism in its extreme fashion, Mary would give birth to Jesus by a special sign, without the intervention of the customary physical and material means. It was a moment where civilization in its extreme materialism was confronted with spirituality and refusal of absolute materialism in the extreme. Mary would embody the solution and the salvation of a society in crisis. Why is Mary, the woman, crucial and instrumental for the solution?
Societies in their extreme state of materialism seek pleasure merely for pleasure, and women symbolize and objectify desire. Who then would be better than a woman emerging from a diametrically opposite extreme to lead such a society out of its crisis? A woman like Mary raised and produced within this society becomes the absolute proof for a solution. Why? Because raising a woman like Mary in a materialistic environment seems almost impossible and is not without a great deal of struggle and suffering. But Mary was actualized, and people could see through her the possibility for change and transformation. She spearheaded the undertaking of saving a materialistic society in crisis. Her son Jesus and his disciples after him would succeed in moving the entire Roman Empire in a new direction towards the center, the state of balance, and the golden mean. After 300 years, the Roman empire would adopt and embrace Christianity.
Jesus and Mohammad, like their brothers of Prophets and Messengers, brought the Divine light to humanity. They are like the Sun and the Moon. Comparing them is not fair because each one shines in its own time. “We do not separate between His Messengers.” [2:285]
By Dr Walid Khayr