Mary: Islam’s Faithful Example
To better understand the Moslem mind with regard to Mary, the Catholic News agency Zenit: The World Seen From Rome, interviewed Iranian Muslim scholar and theologian Sherazade Hushmand. What follows is their question and answer session which sheds even greater light onto why Muslims venerate and admire Mary:
Question: Of what significance is the figure of Mary to Muslims?
Hushmand: She is very present in the Koran, which presents her, specifically, as Mary Immaculate. In the third sura, beginning with verse 34 and subsequent ones, the Koran speaks about this aspect of Mary, about her total purity. Speaking about Mary, one of the verses talks about freedom. The woman of Hemram, who is Mary’s mother, prays to God saying: "God, I dedicate to you the one I have in the womb, and I dedicate her so that she will be free, absolutely free." This word is used only once in the Koran, and only for Mary. This freedom is an absolute freedom from all what might be seen as sin, evil, failure, weakness. Mary is pure of all this. Then comes God’s affirmation: "I accept her."
Question: Do all followers of Islam believe this?
Hushmand: In Chapter 66, the last verse, 12, the Koran says: "Do you want me to give you a faithful example to follow, valid for all the world’s believers?" Mary is proposed there as the example. This is very strong – because not only is Mary an example and a symbol for Christians to follow, but also in the Koran, Mary becomes a symbol and model for all believers, also for Muslims themselves (Zenit News Service, The World Seen From Rome, Virgin Mary Seen as Model for All Muslims, Online posting: http://www.zenit.org, December 10, 2001).
(From: Jim Tetlow, Queen of All, Chapter Three: Queen of Islam, Eternal Productions, 2006).