by Fudia Muhammad
“And mention Mary in the Book. When she drew aside from her family to an eastern place; So she screened herself from them. Then We sent to her Our spirit and it appeared to her as a well-made man” (Holy Qur’an 19:16-17).
There are so many intricate facets in the life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus that extensive time really must be taken to study her, by those of us who desire to see a profound change in the lives of our people and all of humanity. The Holy Qur’an confirms that Mary’s exalted status is given to her by God Himself. She was chosen by Allah (God) and purified by Him. The angels told Mary that Allah (God) chose her above the women of the world! (Holy Qur’an 3:41)
If we are reading the scriptures of both the Bible and Holy Qur’an as mere history books, then we are missing their true value and relevance in our present-day lives. According to the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, most of what we read in both Books is not history, but prophecy – it is taking place at this time. This is why the Qur’an describes Mary and her son, Jesus, as “a sign.” The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said this particular sign “is pointing to something bigger than itself.” So Mary and Jesus represent something bigger coming in the future. A sign is also an “event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else.” Signs, particularly divine signs, must be analyzed because they are used “to convey information or instructions.”
If Mary was chosen above the women of the world, this means she was anointed with a rank that was higher than the mother of Abraham, the mother of Moses, and even the mother of Muhammad. There are 66 books in the Bible, only two are named after specific women – the Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther. In the Holy Qur’an there is only one chapter (book) out of 114 named after a specific woman. Since the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), one may think that this honor should go to the mother of Muhammad; but the 19th chapter of the Holy Qur’an is named Maryam, after the Mother of Jesus.
Mary is revered in both Christianity and Islam. She was an exemplary model of virtue and righteousness – prepared by her mother in the womb to live her entire life in a manner that glorified God. The enemy wants us to continue to believe that both Jesus and his mother were Caucasian – though the Bible (Revelation 1:14-15) and historical evidence clearly contradicts this notion. Not only was the historical Mary an Egyptian Black woman, but her impeccable standard serves as a sign for the present-day Black woman, if only we would follow her example. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “Mary had to be one heck of a woman, because she was always found praising Allah (God): ‘…My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour’ (Luke 1:46-47). From this we can see that the very essence of this woman is that she was God-fearing…So, if you want to produce a righteous giant, study Maryam – chapter 19 of the Qur’an is given to her. Study her life. Pattern your life after her life and I guarantee you, we will change the world.”
Mary understood that she belonged to God. The Black woman belongs to God. Allah (God) revealed to Mary in advance that she would give birth to a pure boy. She knew that in order to properly prepare she had to screen herself from her family by drawing aside to an eastern place. Historically that means that she retreated to Bethlehem of Judea (Palestine). Evidently, there was an element within her family and community that may have had a negative influence on her pregnancy and subsequently, her son. He was destined to be pure, which means the environment surrounding her pregnancy and his birth had to be ideal.
We too have been visited by God in Person and from His mouth, He said that He is going to make a new people by first making a new woman. This is why 75% of the mission of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is with the woman. The scriptures do not say that Mary was pure, but that she was purified – implying that one can undergo a process of purification or transformation. It is never too late!
Mary’s decision to “screen” herself is a bigger sign of the need of the Black woman to do the same. A screen on a window or door allows the fresh air and warm sunlight to enter the room, but keeps the insects and pests out. To screen oneself is to “conceal, protect or shelter” oneself from any person, place, thing, or thought that would adversely affect the development of the new life. Sometimes this includes family and friends. It also includes staying away from movies, funerals, the nightclub and other negative elements while pregnant. Like Mary, we can be in the world, but not of it. But what is our eastern place? It is true that the sun rises in the east; all of the prophets of God came from the east; and the holiest cities are in the east – but our eastern place is not physical, it’s spiritual – it’s with God. Mary, a prayerful woman was fiercely protective of her spirit and transferred this to her new baby. Solitude can have its benefits.
Another key prerequisite to be qualified to be chosen above the women of the world, was that Mary had to remain chaste. It is interesting that in order to help her maintain her virtue and grow up living a life pleasing to God, she was put into the charge of a righteous man, Zacharias; not a woman. This is significant to our condition today because it is going to take righteous men who understand and value the sacredness of the female, to stand up and take their rightful place as the spiritual and physical maintainers of women. Men who are protectors and not violators of women and girls. Our men must be like the angels who contended with one another over who would have charge over Mary – that’s how precious she was in the sight of Godly men. Brothers must grow to see the potential for every Black woman to produce a god; and determine to make their communities sanctuaries for women and girls to “grow up a goodly growing.” The Black woman, our present-day Mary, deserves nothing less than a well-made man imbued with the spirit of God. Only then, will we produce a new people and establish the Kingdom of God on Earth!
In his lecture, How to Give Birth to a God (Part 5), the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan quoted words from a Caucasian scholar during a colloquium at Harvard – the scholar said, “I am convinced through our study and research that neither the white man, nor the white woman will save the world. I am convinced that the Asian man, nor the Asian woman will save the world. And I am equally convinced that the Black man will not save the world. But all of my research and scholarship says that if there’s going to be a savior coming, it’ll come from the Black woman.”
(Sister Fudia Muhammad is a member of Muhammad Mosque No. 64 in Austin, Texas. She is married to Student Minister Robert L. Muhammad and they have been blessed with four children. Sister Fudia holds a Master’s degree in Education – she is a writer, an educator and an advocate for God-centered child-rearing.)