In this ayah, there’s a refutation of two false beliefs.
مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ
The Messiah, son of Maryam, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a Siddeeqah.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refutes the claim that Eesa aalyhi salaam is god. He is not god, but a Messenger of Allah like other messengers. His mother is a sadeeqah. Sadeeqah is the one who is truthful and righteous. This refutes the Jewish claim that she is unchaste. She was not unchaste, she was extremely truthful in her words and actions. She never uttered a lie. She testified to the truth.
She was raised by Prophet of Allah that emphasized that her tarbiyah was impeccable. She was a virtuous woman of exemplary conduct. In Surah at-Tahreem ayah 12, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states, “She believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.”
كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الاٌّيَـتِ ثُمَّ انْظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ
They both used to eat food. Look how We make the ayat clear to them; yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).
Why is the eating of the food mentioned here? It is because a God is not like the creation. He is independent of any need. He doesn’t need to eat food to stay alive. Allah Who is Al-Hai, He will die of starvation? This makes no sense. Moreover, eating leads to excretion. Animals and human beings both are designed this way. This attribute doesn’t seem fit for a God. Eating occupies a person with concerns of what to eat, and to toil around the earth in search of food. Does Allah need to toil around in search of food?
Eating show desires as we crave a certain type of food. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is above such desires.
Eesa aalyhi salaam and his mother ate food and occupied themselves with cooking and acquiring provision. Therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says “Look how We make the ayat clear to them yet look how they are deluded.” The signs are obvious to the people that Prophet Eesa and his mother were human beings just like them, yet they were lost in delusion.
– Eesa aalyhi salaam and Maryam aalyhi salaam were both slaves of Allah. They didn’t share divinity. In Surah az-Zukhruf ayah 59, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Eesa was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.”
This ayah refutes the claims of both the Christians and Jews.
– Eesa aalyhi salaam was a messenger of Allah like other messengers. As messengers must die, Eesa aalyhi salaam too will die a natural death.
– Messengers cannot have divine attributes. Today, there are people who attribute divinity to ordinary people. If a messenger of Allah is not entitled to this position then how can ordinary people be called divine?
– Maryam aalyhi salaam was called Sadeeqah in the ayah. We have learned that people of paradise will be the sadeeqeen, sualeheen and shuhuda. Maryam aalyhi salaam has already reached that status. One must strive to reach that status.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala doesn’t require food like human beings. He is independent of any need.
– Look around for the signs of Allah. Do not turn a blind eye to the truth or live your life like a herd of cattle.