was an exalted woman, one praised by Allah and given the responsibility
of bringing Prophet 'Isa (as) into this world: "Maryam, Allah has
chosen you and purified you. He has chosen you over all other women"
(Surah Al 'Imran: 42). Allah made her a role model for all future
Allah also revealed Prophet 'Isa's (as) closeness to
Him: "His name is the Messiah, 'Isa son of
Maryam, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one
of those brought near" (Surah Al 'Imran: 45). With the phrase
"he was pleasing to his Lord" (Surah
Maryam: 55), Allah reveals His pleasure with Prophet Isma'il (as).
He praises Prophet Idris (as) and reveals his high status in His
presence: "Mention Idris in the Book. He was
a true man and a Prophet. We raised him up to a high place"
(Surah Maryam: 56-57). Allah mentions Prophet Ibrahim (as), Prophet
Ishaq (as), and Prophet Ya'qub (as) as men of strength, foresight,
and superiority: "In Our eyes, they are among
the best of chosen men" (Surah Sad: 47). Allah also states
that Prophet Isma'il (as), Prophet Al-Yasa' (as) and Prophet Dhu'l-Kifl
(as) were: "among the best of men"
(Surah Sad: 48), and praises Prophet Sulayman (as) for his devotion:
"What an excellent servant! He truly turned
to his Lord" (Surah Sad: 30). And as for Prophet Ibrahim
(as), Allah says: "Allah took Ibrahim as an
intimate friend" (Surat an-Nisa': 125).
Allah reveals that our Prophet Muhammad (saas) is "truly
vast in character," and will have "a
wage that never fails" (Surat al-Qalam: 3-4).
No doubt, the fact that Allah praises His Prophets
and other devout Muslims in this manner clearly reveals their dignified
status. It is a great honor to be told such things as Allah is pleased
with you, that you have been raised to a high status, that you have
been chosen as Allah's close friend, to be one of the deserving,
or that you are a good servant. Every believer desires to be rewarded
with His closeness, friendship, and good pleasure. In order to realize
this desire, however, they must not consider these gifts as being
only for Prophets and must realize that our Lord's mercy and grace
is very great. Allah has revealed that He will answer all of the
prayers made by the sincere believers who turn to Him. For this
reason, both men and women must do their best to attain the Prophets'
"Those for whom the Best from
Us was preordained will be far away from it" (Surat al-Anbiya':
101). This verse refers to those to whom our Lord gave goodness.
Allah gives everyone, regardless of gender, the opportunity to become
one of His chosen people. What we must do to achieve this goal is
to bond with Allah through our love for Him and hold Him dearer
than anything else by living according to what pleases Him. Anyone
who lives this genuine faith, Allah willing, will find the best
reward in His presence.