Surah Ali-Imran: Chapter 3 (line 30-40) The Family of Iram

30. On the Day when every soul finds all the good it has done presented. And as for the evil it has done, it will wish there were a great distance between them. God cautions you of Himself. God is Kind towards the servants.

31. Say, “If you love God, then follow me, and God will love you, and will forgive you your sins.” God is Forgiving and Merciful.

32. Say, “Obey God and the Messenger.” But if they turn away-God does not love the faithless.

33. God chose Adam, and Noah, and the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran, over all mankind.

34. Offspring one of the other. God is Hearer and Knower.

35. The wife of Imran said, “My Lord, I have vowed to You what is in my womb, dedicated, so accept from me; You are the Hearer and Knower.”

36. And when she delivered her, she said, “My Lord, I have delivered a female,” and God was well aware of what she has delivered, “and the male is not like the female, and I have named her Mary, and have commended her and her descendants to Your protection, from Satan the outcast.”

37. Her Lord accepted her with a gracious reception, and brought her a beautiful upbringing, and entrusted her to the care of Zechariah. Whenever Zechariah entered upon her in the sanctuary, he found her with provision. He said, “O Mary, where did you get this from?” She said, “It is from God; God provides to whom He wills without reckoning.”

38. Thereupon Zechariah prayed to his Lord; he said, “My Lord, bestow on me good offspring from Your presence; You are the Hearer of Prayers.”

39. Then the angels called out to him, as he stood praying in the sanctuary: “God gives you good news of John; confirming a Word from God, and honorable, and moral, and a prophet; one of the upright.”

40. He said, “My Lord, how will I have a son, when old age has overtaken me, and my wife is barren?” He said, “Even so, God does whatever He wills.”

My Interpretation: 

The faithless will not love God, and in turn will not feel the love of God or from God. It is a simple cause and effect. I do not think God has emotions to decide not to love those who don’t love Him in anger or revenge.But I believe that Gabriel is telling Muhammad this is the Laws of God. To receive the love, you must love.

Muhammad is being told about Mary’s birth, that was soon to be Jesus’s mother in this story. She was created by God to be a special woman who would give birth to the Messiah for humanity. She was pure and an honorable woman who was chosen just as Abraham was chosen to let his people know about God as one. God knows the hearts of the true servants and will bestow a wonderful and great responsibility on those of His choosing.

Zechariah was caring for Mary growing up and whenever he came into her chamber, he would find food given to her. Logically the way I can see this is by God working through others to donate or give to Mary when she could not earn it herself. Mary saw this as a blessing in the kindness of others and it made her faith grow stronger.

Here we are told that Zechariah seeing this faith in Mary then asked God to give him more descendants to honor God. And the Angels called out to him saying John will be a prophet that will help spread the messages of God. Zechariah not believing this, questioned how he could still father a child when his wife is old and barren. The reply is that God can do all things.

It is true there has been even today miracle births when doctors have said a woman will not be able to conceive and then one day she is pregnant, even past her prime. It is not a punishment to not be able to have kids, and it is not a reward to. It is the law of God and works in the divine unfolding of the human storyline. We can not understand it and it is beyond is simply God’s Will.

An artist’s rendition of Zechariah receiving the news of John from an Angel