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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

19. Mary (1 – 26)

A Meccan sura which takes its name from the story of Mary (verses 16–35). It recounts the grace given by God to a number of prophets and tells aspects of their stories. The claim that Jesus is the son of God is firmly denied, as is the assertion of the pagans of Mecca that the angels are God's daughters. From verses 66 to 98 the sura discusses the arrogant assertions of the disbelievers of Mecca. The Prophet is told that God's punishment is coming to them and exhorted not to be impatient for it to arrive or to receive the revelation (verses 64–5).

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1Kaf Ha Ya’Ayn Sad

2This is an account of your Lord's grace towards His servant, Zachariah, 3when he called to his Lord secretly, saying, 4’Lord, my bones have weakened and my hair is ashen grey, but never, Lord, have I ever prayed to You in vain:5I fear [what] my kinsmen [will do] when I am gone, for my wife is barren, so grant me a successor—a gift from You—6to be my heir and the heir of the family of Jacob. Lord, make him well pleasing [to You].’ 7’Zachariah, We bring you good news of a son whose name will be John—We have chosen this name for no one before him.’ 8He said, ‘Lord, how can I have a son when my wife is barren, and I am old and frail?’ 9He said, ‘This is what your Lord has said: “It is easy for Me: I created you, though you were nothing before.” ’

10He said, ‘Give me a sign, Lord.’ He said, ‘Your sign is that you will not [be able to] speak to anyone for three full [days and] nights.’ 11He went out of the sanctuary to his people and signalled to them to praise God morning and evening.

12[We said], ‘John, hold on to the Scripture firmly.’ While he was still a boy, We granted him wisdom, 13tenderness from Us, and purity. He was devout, 14kind to his parents, not domineering or rebellious. 15Peace was on him the day he was born, the day he died, and it will be on him the day he is raised to life again.

16Mention in the Qurʾan the story of Mary. She withdrew from her family to a place to the east 17and secluded herself away; We sent Our Spirit to appear before her in the form of a perfected man.18She said, ‘I seek the Lord of Mercy's protection against you: if you have any fear of Him [do not approach]!’ 19but he said, ‘I am but a Messenger from your Lord, [come] to announce to you the gift of a pure son.’ 20She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me? I have not been unchaste,’21and he said, ‘This is what your Lord said: “It is easy for Me—We shall make him a sign to all people, a blessing from Us.” ‘ 22And so it was ordained: she conceived him. She withdrew to a distant place 23and, when the pains of childbirth drove her to [cling to] the trunk of a palm tree, she exclaimed, ‘I wish I had been dead and forgotten long before all this!’ 24but a voice cried to her from below, ‘Do not worry: your Lord has provided a stream at your feet25and, if you shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you, it will deliver fresh ripe dates for you, 26so eat, drink, be glad, and say to anyone you may see: “I have vowed to the Lord of Mercy to abstaina Sawm can mean ‘abstinence’ from food or from speech. from conversation, and I will not talk to anyone today.” ’

Notes:

a Sawm can mean ‘abstinence’ from food or from speech.

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