How Muslim women try to be like Mary

I’ve been trying to look for that “Spiritual Zone” to write something about the Blessed Virgin following a pilgrimage of Lipa churches, as part of the celebration of the June 8 consecration of the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Little did I know, it would be our Islamic sisters who would give me an idea of how much we should emulate Our Lady.

While attending an inter-religious dialogue meeting last week, a sister of mine in the Focolare Movement asked Prof. Macrina Morados of the University of the Philippines – Islamic Studies Center (UP-ISC): “Ma’am, I am just curious with regard to Muslim women’s wearing of the veil. Why do you wear them and how do you call your veil?” The professor replied: “We wear these hijabs because we do our best to emulate [the] Virgin Mary. As a matter of fact, the Virgin Mary is the only woman mentioned in the Qur’an and she was called, “Isa ibn Mariam” (Jesus, the Son of Mary) –Quran sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayah17. We, Muslim women, wear this for the same reason Catholic nuns wear their veils — to preserve our purity and chastity as women, in the same manner  Mary kept hers for God (Allah.)”

[Photo credit: corbis.com]

[Photo credit: corbis.com]

This brings me back to my impromptu speech over the bus’ speaker during the pilgrimage. I said, “This trip means a lot to me.  While we collectively consecrate ourselves to Mary, do we really emulate her?” I also reflected on the fact that Mary stayed by Jesus’ side, while at that time in my life, I was choosing to face things that are larger than me head-on. I was too self-absorbed to follow Our Mother Mary’s way of being focused on Jesus. I began to ask myself “Who am I?” The universality of her example appeals to everyone who eventually sees, it’s not about what I want, but what God wants — something which I seem to have forgotten.

Yesterday being a national holiday in celebration of Ed’lFitr, it is timely for me to highlight the points of convergence between Christians and Muslims rather than emphasize the diverging view-points of the two religions. It brings to mind what Jesus Christ cried out at the Cross in prayer: “…That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent me.” –Jn. 17:21 (RSV)

To our Muslim brothers, sisters and friends:  Eid Mubarak!

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8 thoughts on “How Muslim women try to be like Mary

    • Nirva Delacruz

      Kaya nga we need to pray for the complete conversion of our Christian brethren. Didn’t a good number of saints say, “If one does not have Mary as their mother, he will not have Jesus as his brother”?

  1. The Quran mentioned more Mother Mary’s name than the Bible. This shows how the Muslim respect Mama Mary and her Son, Isa. The animosity between these two religions actually emanated from greed and deceit.

    First, the first heir of Abraham was Ismael and not Isaac but it was Sarah who thrown out Hagar and Ismael from their household, afraid that Ismael would inherit Abraham’s flocks and slaves.

    Thereafter, Sarah did a trick to get Esau’s birth right in favor of Isaac. But another reason why Abraham was disgusted with Esau was he married a woman from the clan of Ismael

    So if we analyzed it, the Christians and Muslims, in terms of faith, have ascended from Abraham.

    The Muslims also follow the Law of Moses and also believe in Prophet Isaiah and Daniel. If they do not eat pork, you can actually find the rule in Deuteronomy.

    For the sake of global harmony and peace, we need to understand our Muslim brothers and sisters.

  2. First, thanks for reading this post @Daiven & @Ming.

    I was surprised earlier this year when I received a “thank you note” from Ma’am Macrina Morados, the professor whom I quoted on this post. She even told me that it was not just on a single Verse of The Qur’an where Mary was cited… that there is, even more, a whole Book at The Qur’an which speaks solely of Mary.

  3. Guilian Geronimo
    The Reflecting PoGUI March 17, 2014 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Last January, the Islamic Community of UP Diliman saw this post and through a common friend, Ma’am Macrina herself added me as her Facebook friend. In our brief personal message exchange that month, she even reiterated something I missed in this write-up, Prof. Morados told me:

    “More than mentioning Maryam (Mary) as the Mother of Isa (Jesus) in the Holy Qur’an, there is even a Book in the Holy Qur’an dedicated to Maryam (Mary).”

    Also, when Ma’am Macrina posted this on her Facebook wall, she also urged both Christians and Muslims to highlight the converging points between our religions and asked for more people, specially the youth, to engage in looking at our shared history and heritage; an act which will greatly contribute to progress, justice, peace and freedom.

    @Ming: Thank you for your rejoinder and addendum which speaks on the “Abrahamic Religions” (religions that came from the Family of Abraham; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.)

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