On the ocassion of Eidul Hajj which is today the 22nd of Dec and Christmas on the 25th, I append herewith an extract from the BOOK of Wisdom the story of the birth of Jesus and the story of Abraham whose sacrifice is being remembered . It has been extracted almost ad-verbatim, to illustrate how simple the Book is, which I hope will motivate more to discover its wisdom , to read it!
This is a recital of the Mercy of God to His servant Zakariya.
Behold! he cried to his Lord in secret, Praying: “O my Lord! infirm indeed are my bones, and the hair of my head glisten with grey: but never am I unblest, O my Lord, in my prayer to Thee!
“Now I fear what my relatives and colleagues will do after me: but my wife is barren: so give me an heir from you. One that will truly represent me, and represent the posterity of Jacob; and make him, O my Lord! one with whom Thou art well-pleased!”
His prayer was answered “O Zakariya! We give thee good news of a son: His name shall be John: on none by that name have We conferred distinction before.”
He said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son, when my wife is barren and I have grown quite decrepit from old age?”
He said: “So it will be , thy Lord said ‘that is easy for Me: I did indeed create thee before, when thou had been nothing!’
Zakariya said: “O my Lord! give me a Sign.”
“Thy Sign,” was the answer, “Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three nights, although thou art not dumb.”
So Zakariya came out to his people from his chamber: He told them by signs to celebrate God’s praises in the morning and in the evening.
To his son came the command: “O John(Yahya)! take hold of the Book with might”: and We gave him Wisdom even as a youth,
And piety for all creatures as from Us, and purity: He was devout, And kind to his parents, and he was not overbearing or rebellious. So Peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life again!
Relate in the Book is the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.
She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
She said: “I seek refuge from thee to God Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah.”
He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.
She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste.
He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’:It is a matter (so) decreed.”
So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): “Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight.But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a spring beneath thee;
“And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.
“So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to the Lord Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being'”
At length she brought the baby to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
“O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”
But she pointed to the baby.
They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
He said: “I am indeed a servant of God. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;
“And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;
“(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
“So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”!
Such was Jesus the son of Mary: it is)a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute.
It is not befitting to the majesty of God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is.
Verily God is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight.
But the sects differ among themselves: and woe to the unbelievers because of the coming Judgment of a Momentous Day!
How plainly will they see and hear, the Day that they will appear before Us! but the unjust today are in error manifest!
But warn them of the Day of Distress, when the matter will be determined: for (behold,) they are negligent and they do not believe!
It is We Who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to Us will they all be returned.
(Also mention in the Book (the story of) Abraham: He was a man of Truth, a prophet.
Behold, he said to his father: “O my father! why worship that which heareth not and seeth not, and can profit thee nothing?
“O my father! to me hath come knowledge which hath not reached thee: so follow me: I will guide thee to a way that is even and straight.
“O my father! serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel against The Most Gracious.
“O my father! I fear lest a Penalty afflict thee from The Most Gracious, so that thou become to Satan a friend.”
The father replied: “Dost thou hate my gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will indeed stone thee: Now get away from me for a good long while!”
Abraham said: “Peace be on thee: I will pray to my Lord for thy forgiveness: for He is to me Most Gracious.
“And I will turn away from you (all) and from those whom ye invoke besides Allah. I will call on my Lord: perhaps, by my prayer to my Lord, I shall be not unblest.”
When he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and each one of them We made a prophet.
And We bestowed of Our Mercy on them, and We granted them lofty honour on the tongue of truth.