IS MARYAM, THE MOTHER OF THE MESSIAH (PEACE BE UPON HIM) A “SAINT”?

All praise be to Allah.

The word saint (qiddees) means pure or holy. One of the names of Allah is al-Quddoos( the holiest), and refers to the one who is free of any faults, defects and is pure. In Quran and Sunnah, Maryam is not described as qiddeesah. Rather it is a title given to her by Christians, by way of exaggerated venerations to such an extent that they consider her as equal to God. Exalted is HE above all that they say.

Allah says in his glorified book:

“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say)’”

[al-Maa’idah 5:116].

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

… The Oriental Orthodox Christians wrote a document in which they affirmed their beliefs, in which they said: ‘Verily the saint (or holy) Virgin Mary gave birth to a god, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is like his Father in nature and like people in humanity.’ They affirmed that he had two natures and one entity, and is one person of the Godhead, and they cursed the Nestorians.

End quote from al-Jawaab as-Saheeh li man baddala Deen al-Maseeh, 4/248

Maryam (AS) is described in the book of Allah and sunnah of Messenger of Allah as the Sideeqah and Virgin and not as Qiddessah or the holy one.

Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“The Messiah (‘Eesa (Jesus)), son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother (Maryam (Mary)) was a Siddeeqah (i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books). They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:75].

Ahmad (1742) narrated that the Negus sent for Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them), who had migrated to Abyssinia, to ask them about the Messiah (peace be upon him) and what they said about him.

Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The people met together and said to one another: What will you say about ‘Eesa when he asks you about him? They said: By Allah, we will say about him what Allah said and what our Prophet brought, no matter what the consequences. When they entered upon him, he [the Negus] said: What do you say about ‘Eesa ibn Maryam? Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib said to him: We say about him what our Prophet taught: he is the slave of Allah and His Messenger, a Spirit created by Him and His word that He bestowed upon Maryam the Virgin. The Negus struck his hand on the ground and picked up a stick, then he said: Eesa ibn Maryam is no different than what you said, not even as much as this stick.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh as-Seerah

From this hadith we must learn that we must call Esa (AS) and his mother what Allah has told us to call them i.e. the believers and slaves of Allah. We must not exaggerate their position as Christians did nor must we disrespect them as jews did.

Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (‘Be!’ - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: ‘Three (trinity)!’ Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilaah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs”

[an-Nisa’ 4:171].

And Allah knows best.