AN EXEMPLARY MUSLIM WOMAN
Maryam was an exalted woman, one praised
by Allah and given the responsibility of bringing Prophet 'Isa (as)
into this world: "Maryam, Allah has chosen you and purified you.
He has chosen you over all other women" (Surah Al 'Imran: 42). Allah
made her a role model for all future generations.
Allah also revealed Prophet 'Isa's
(as) closeness to Him: "His name is the Messiah,
'Isa son of Maryam, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter,
and one of those brought near" (Surah Al 'Imran: 45). With
the phrase "he was pleasing to his Lord"
(Surah Maryam: 55), Allah reveals His pleasure with Prophet Isma'il
(as). He praises Prophet Idris (as) and reveals his high status
in His presence: "Mention Idris in the Book.
He was a true man and a Prophet. We raised him up to a high place"
(Surah Maryam: 56-57). Allah mentions Prophet Ibrahim (as), Prophet
Ishaq (as), and Prophet Ya'qub (as) as men of strength, foresight,
and superiority: "In Our eyes, they are among
the best of chosen men" (Surah Sad: 47). Allah also states
that Prophet Isma'il (as), Prophet Al-Yasa' (as) and Prophet Dhu'l-Kifl
(as) were: "among the best of men"
(Surah Sad: 48), and praises Prophet Sulayman (as) for his devotion:
"What an excellent servant! He truly turned
to his Lord" (Surah Sad: 30). And as for Prophet Ibrahim
(as), Allah says: "Allah took Ibrahim as an
intimate friend" (Surat an-Nisa': 125).
Allah reveals that our Prophet Muhammad (saas)
is "truly vast in character," and will
have "a wage that never fails" (Surat
No doubt, the fact that Allah praises
His Prophets and other devout Muslims in this manner clearly reveals
their dignified status. It is a great honor to be told such things
as Allah is pleased with you, that you have been raised to a high
status, that you have been chosen as Allah's close friend, to be
one of the deserving, or that you are a good servant. Every believer
desires to be rewarded with His closeness, friendship, and good
pleasure. In order to realize this desire, however, they must not
consider these gifts as being only for Prophets and must realize
that our Lord's mercy and grace is very great. Allah has revealed
that He will answer all of the prayers made by the sincere believers
who turn to Him. For this reason, both men and women must do their
best to attain the Prophets' high status.
"Those for whom
the Best from Us was preordained will be far away from it"
(Surat al-Anbiya': 101). This verse refers to those to whom our
Lord gave goodness. Allah gives everyone, regardless of gender,
the opportunity to become one of His chosen people. What we must
do to achieve this goal is to bond with Allah through our love for
Him and hold Him dearer than anything else by living according to
what pleases Him. Anyone who lives this genuine faith, Allah willing,
will find the best reward in His presence.