Saturday, September 08, 2012

Timeless Woman with Something to Teach

Today is the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. To mark the day, here's Kareem Salama's "Lady Mary":

The song is interesting in part because Salama is Muslim. Due to certain ahadith (stories from oral tradition about the Prophet Mohammad) and to the mentions of her in the Qur'an, Muslims have a very high regard for the Virgin Mary -- Muslim tradition about her is very similar to Catholic and Orthodox tradition. One very notable difference, however, is that the Qur'an does not mention Joseph, nor does any respected hadith. Because of this, it is a very common Muslim view that Mary lived her entire life without marrying. This view is not completely universal, and there are Muslims who accept the Christian tradition that there was a Joseph, but even then almost none of them believe that Joseph was actually husband to Mary (it's far more common to regard him as an older cousin who took care of her), and he has no real importance -- after all, if God did not see fit to reveal to the Prophet, how could he be important for understanding anything about Mary or Jesus or submission to God? So Mary is often thought of as an unwed mother, bearing all the burdens and opprobrium that an unwed mother might, but bearing it nonetheless out of submission to, and love for, God, making her an example for all Muslims. And this comes out indirectly in the song here.

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