As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 3, Âli-‘Imrân or the Family of Imran, verses 42-54. These verses tell the story of Mary, who was chosen by God and exalted above all the women of the world. She gave birth to Prophet Isa or Jesus. It recounts the miracles of Prophet Jesus and asserts that followers of Prophet Jesus are Muslim, which literally means, “one who bows to the will of God”.
Also, a short tafseer concerning the Qur’anic story of Prophet Jesus.
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There came the time when angels said: “O Mary! Surely, Allah has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the worlds. O Mary! Be obedient to your Lord, prostrate and bow down in worship with other worshippers.” O Muhammad, this is the news from the Unseen which We are revealing to you. You were not present with them when priests of the temple cast their pens to decide which of them should be the guardian of Mary; nor were you with them when they argued about it. 3:[42-44]
When the angels said “O Mary! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Al-Maseeh (Messiah), Isa (Jesus Christ), the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah.  He will speak to the people in the cradle and in his maturity and he will be among the righteous.” 3:[45-46]
Hearing this, Mary said, “O my Lord! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” He replied, “Even so, Allah creates however He wants; whenever He decides to do anything, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is! Allah will teach your son the Book, the Wisdom, the Tawrât (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel)  and send him forth as a Messenger to the Children of Israel with this message: ‘I have brought you signs of my appointment from your Lord. I shall make for you the likeness of a bird from clay; I shall breathe into it and, with Allah’s leave, it will become a living bird. I shall heal him who was born blind and the leper, and raise the dead to life, by Allah’s leave. Furthermore, I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. Surely, these are the signs to convince you, if you are believers. I am appointed to confirm that which is before me from the Tawrât (Torah) and to make lawful to you some of the things forbidden to you. I have brought you the signs from your Lord, therefore, fear Allah and obey me. In fact, Allah is my Lord as well as your Lord, therefore, worship Him; this is the Right Way.'” 3:[47-51]
When Isa (Jesus) found out that they (most of the children of Israel) had no faith, he asked: “Who will help me in the cause of Allah?” The Disciples replied: “We will help you in the cause of Allah. We believe in Allah. Be our witness that we are Muslims.” Then they invoked Allah and said: “Our Lord! We believe in what you have revealed and we follow Your Messenger. Please count us with those who bear witness.” 3:[52-53]
The unbelievers plotted to kill Isa and Allah also devised a plan to raise him up, and Allah is the best in planning. 3:
From the noted translator, A. Yusuf Ali, regarding verse 52.
The story of Jesus is told with special application to the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Note the word helpers (Ansar) in this connection and the references to plotters in 3:54. It was the one religion – the religion of Allah, which was in essence the religion of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The argument runs: who do you then now make divisions and reject the living Teacher? Islam is: bowing to the will of Allah. All who have faith should bow to the Will of Allah and [therefore] be Muslims.
This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.
Thank you and be well.