Est. May 2008

18 December, 2015


Ever thought there was a connection or a similarity between Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Muhammad?

This woman thinks so:

With another Christmas season upon us and Christmas carols in the air, I am struck anew at how much, within their respective traditions, the Virgin Mary and the prophet Muhammad have in common.


The connection I see between Mary and Muhammad centers on the significance of the Word of God in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Basic to all three religious traditions is the understanding that God, impelled by compassion, reveals to humans the way to salvation.
So, Mary and Muhammad are similar because God 'reveals to humans the way to salvation' through them.

How, you may ask?  Well, first off:
Both are the bearers of a message from God that cannot be delivered to humans on earth without the agency of a human body.
Well, if that's part of the job description, we would be neglectful if we left out people like (short-list): Enoch (probably) and Noah (probably) and Moses and Joshua and (probably) most of the Judges and Samuel and Balaam and Elijah and Elisha and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Daniel and Hosea and Joel and Amos and Obadiah and Jonah and Micah and Nahum and Habakkuk and Zechariah and Haggai and Zephaniah and Nathan and Gad and Agabus and John the Baptist and Hannah and those are just the ones that come to my mind at the moment.

Then, of course, you have the apostles, who received the Word directly from the Word Himself, Jesus Christ.

Her second piece of evidence:
Because Mary and Muhammad in their roles as mediators by definition experienced a direct encounter with the divine, both faiths came to believe that they must have enjoyed an exceptional degree of purity.
Okay, a direct encounter with the divine.  This also includes all the prophets and apostles listed above, as well as men like King David and King Solomon, the parents of Samson and John the Baptist, and, again, others.
As for Muhammad, his purity had nothing to do with sexuality; after all, he married a number of wives, including even some widows. Muhammad’s exceptional purity has to do with knowledge, which initially may seem to be a peculiar form of purity. However, it is an article of faith in Islam that the words of the Qur’an are God’s, not Muhammad’s, and the proof of this among Muslims is the conviction that Muhammad could not read or write; he was, so to speak, a virgin from the point of view of education. (emphasis mine)
I don't know about you, readers, but I could hear the creaking of the joints and tendons and ligaments as she stretched for that one.

Beyond the complexities of theology and belief, surprisingly similar legends—neither story is in the Bible or the Qur’an—arose around Mary and Muhammad stemming from the fact that both had to flee for their lives.
As did Elijah, the one hundred prophets hidden away from Jezebel and Ahab by Obadiah, King David, and the apostles – most famously, Paul, who seemed to be constantly running for his life.  And, of course, there were others.

And the major difference between Muhammad and Mary – that the former only 'gave birth' to a book and the latter gave birth to the Word Incarnate – she doesn't say a whole lot of.

I see little resemblance between Mary and Muhammad.  What about you?

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