Saturday, September 10, 2005

immaculate conception

Sahih Bukhari
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641:
Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab:
Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan"
The connection is interesting to me. While Islam doesn't have a doctrine of Original Sin, there are some provocative statements in Islamic sources which evoke the idea of the Immaculate Conception. For the catechetically-impaired, this is not a reference to the virgin birth of Jesus, which is also found in the Quran, but it specifically refers to the idea that Mary was conceived without the stain of Original Sin. I realize that it (believing in the immaculate conception without believing in original sin in the first place) may sound paradoxical but I plan to explain it in a further entry

So in Roman Catholic theology, Mary and Jesus were born purified from sin, while in Islamic teachings Mary and Jesus were born without "the touch of satan"

This idea is also echoed in the Quran (3:35-36). When Mary's mother was pregnant, she dedicates her unborn offspring to God, thinking that she would be a male priest who would serve in the Temple
When a woman of Imran said: My Lord! surely I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service); accept therefore from me, surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female-- and Allah knew best what she brought forth-- and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Marium, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.

And again, Mary is protected from Satan's influence. I want to follow up on the idea of Original Sin momentarily, but for now I'll just end by saying this sort of similarity is actually not uncommon. Considering that Islam (especially orthodox traditional Islam) and Christianity (especially Catholicism) are two different religions, there are many different points where their features echo one another in intriguing ways.


Elenamary said...

sometimes i feel like you do this just for me (i know you don't). thanks for the post.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Like I said, I just happened to find the Virgen de Guadalupe candle the other day and so I felt like doing a blogging Mary-a-thon. Some of this stuff has been in my head for a while so now seems a convenient opportunity. It also is a way to include a bit more Latino-relevant content. In any case, I'm glad you liked it.