Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 9.djvu/43

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ⅩⅨ, 1-12.
the chapter of mary.

The Chapter of Mary.

(ⅩⅨ. Mecca.)

In the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

K. H. Y. ʿH. Z. The mention of thy Lord’s mercy to His servant Zachariah, when he called on his Lord with a secret calling. Said he, ‘ My Lord ! verily, my bones are weak, and my head flares with hoariness ; — and I never was unfortunate in my prayers to Thee, my Lord ! 5 But I fear my heirs after me, and my wife is barren ; then grant me from Thee a successor, to be my heir and the heir of the family of Jacob, and make him, my Lord ! acceptable.’

‘ O Zachariah ! verily, we give thee glad tidings of a son, whose name shall be John. We never made a namesake of his before[1].’

Said he, ‘ My Lord ! how can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached through old age to decrepitude ?’

10 He said, ‘ Thus says thy Lord, It is easy for Me, for I created thee at first when yet thou wast nothing.’

Said he, ‘ O my Lord ! make for me a sign.’ He said, ‘ Thy sign is that thou shalt not speak to men for three nights (though) sound.’

Then he went forth unto his people from the

  1. Cf. Luke ⅰ. 61, where, however, it is said that none of Zachariah’s kindred was ever before called by that name. Some commentators avoid the difficulty by interpreting the word samîyyun to mean ‘ deserving of the name.’