An Invitation to Dinner with a Prophet

22352330842_3f1478426a_oLast month’s Dinner with a Prophet focused on the role of Maryam and her mother. Maryam’s mother wanted a boy, so he would serve Jerusalem. When she gave birth to Maryam, she understood the societal impact of giving birth to a girl.

The role of women within society was not as important as the role of men. When Allah explained that men are not like women, He was not referring to the status of women but rather to their status quo within society. At that time, women were under the system of society – God’s divine intervention helped give them power. The divine intervention of God led to a paradigm shift in society, and society started to change within. There was a shift in the way women were addressed. The beginning of religious and political change had begun. We began to change the way we treat women and the value of gender within our community.

Maryam, the one who devotes herself to serving God, symbolized change. “So when she brought forth, she said, My Lord! Surely I have brought forth a female- and Allah knows best what she brought forth- and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Maryam, and I command her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accused Satan” (3:36). Maryam’s mother’s efforts to seek protection for her daughter from external evil shifted the idea that women were the cause of evil. She acknowledged that women are pure and not sinful beings.


Maryam received the angels, and they explained to her that God has protected her from error, purified her from sin and chosen her for big tasks. He chose her from all the women of the world, and this fact shows that she was wanted and important. Imam Hendi explained that since Maryam was sinless, and prophets in Islam are sinless, Maryam can be considered as a prophet as well.

She became the cause of economic and social change within society, and when she gave birth to Jesus (may peace be upon him) she gained a higher status. To be a leader like Maryam is to be the force for change. She was humble, and God graced her with humility. She needed to be a part of the community to make a difference. In return, she impacted the lives of many to come.

Written by Habon Ali, F’18