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The Vow

“When a woman of Amran said: My Lord, I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service), so accept (it) from me; surely Thou, only Thou, art the Hearing, the Knowing. So when she brought it forth, she said: My Lord, 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 Mary, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed devil” (Holy Qur’an 3:34-35).

The woman of Amran, in the above verse, is the Mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus. Most of us probably do not generally reflect on any of Jesus’ family members before Mary and Joseph. Although we do not give it much thought, we naturally understand that if Jesus had a mother, then he certainly had a grandmother and many more great forebears in his divine lineage. It is remarkable and certainly worth studying the mindset and the way of life of those who created the environment that would ultimately give birth to one of the greatest men in the annals of history. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (God), allows us access into the mind of Jesus’ grandmother. Using just the two aforementioned verses, we gain so much knowledge, wisdom, and understanding about the two most essential prerequisites to giving birth to a god – desire and prayer.

Jesus’ grandmother, like so many of the women during her time, desired to be the woman that possessed the womb that Allah (God) would bless to produce the Deliverer. Can you imagine having that honor bestowed on you as a mother? It was indeed a coveted position and one of great honor, respect and adoration among the righteous.

As mothers, we get excited and want to celebrate and share every wonderful accomplishment or skill that our children manifest – no matter how insignificant it may seem in the eyes of others; we are Proud! Why? Because deep down we hope that it is an indication that our child is on the right path towards one day making a positive contribution to the world. Jesus’ grandmother did not just want a child that would contribute to the world, she wanted to give birth to that One who would make the most transformative contribution, ever.

Desire: According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, desire means, “to long or hope for: to express a wish for: to request: to invite.” Some synonyms of desire are “to crave, to hanker, to yearn, to covet.” This woman of Amran was so desirous of giving birth to the Deliverer, that she was not taking any chances. As soon as she knew that she was blessed with life in her womb, she went right away to Allah (God) in supplication and prayer – vowing to Him that the child she was carrying would be devoted to the service of God. A vow is a binding, sacred and solemn promise. Vows are not to be given lightly for they are in-fact lawful contracts. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “When you make a vow – that is not only your desire; that is your will combined with your determination. I vow. I’m determined that what I make – what is in my womb – is to be devoted to YOU.”

Evidently, Jesus’ grandmother must have been a righteous and prayerful woman prior to her pregnancy. She had to have experienced having her prayers answered by Allah (God) many times before because when she gave birth and saw that her child was a female, she was surprised and confused. This confusion arose because she prayed during pregnancy and she not only had faith but a profound expectation that her prayer would indeed be answered. This must have been based on the fact that she had been blessed to have had her prayers answered in the past. Her prayers were indeed answered, as she would soon come to understand. But at that moment, she expressed concern (but never disappointment) to Allah (God) that the baby she had so well-prepared in the womb to be devoted to His service and had begged Him to accept from her was not the expected gender.

Allah (God) comforted her and eased her anxiety. Allah (God) is the Best Knower, so He knew in advance exactly what she would produce. “The male is not like the female.” Allah (God) required a special female first; a pure vessel that would then produce the male Deliverer. Understanding this, Jesus’ grandmother – a woman of Amran – then prayed for both her daughter AND her future grandson. She entrusted both Mary and Jesus into Allah’s (God’s) protection from the accursed devil. Powerful!

As Black women, we must understand that in all of this there are signs and lessons for us. We will never produce great children if we do not first and foremost have a profound desire to do so; long before we are pregnant. This desire then feeds our will to clean up our lives spiritually, mentally and physically.

Secondly, the moment that we are aware that life is in our womb, we must pray, pray, pray. Pray to Allah (God) and make our solemn vow. We should devote ourselves to prayer continuously throughout our pregnancy. Our prayer, however; should not stop at the child growing in our womb but should extend to future generations beyond the one that we are presently producing – never having any doubt or thought in our mind that we will not receive the answer to our prayers.

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