|The Sign of the Pregnancy|
Allah, the Exalted, informed about Zakariyya that he said,
﴿قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّى ءَايَةً﴾
(He (Zakariyya) said: "My Lord! Appoint for me a sign.'') "Give me a sign and a proof of the existence of that which You have promised me, so that my soul will be at rest and my heart will be at ease with Your promise.'' Similarly Ibrahim said,
﴿رَبِّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قَالَ بَلَى وَلَـكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِى﴾
(My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead. He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe'' He said: "Yes (I believe), but to put my heart at ease.'')﴿2:260﴾ Then Allah says,
(He said: "Your sign is...'') meaning, "Your sign will be...''
﴿أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَـثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيّاً﴾
(that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect.) Meaning, `your tongue will be prevented from speaking for three nights while you are healthy and fit, without any sickness or illness.' Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Wahb, As-Suddi, Qatadah and others said, "His tongue was arrested without any sickness or illness.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "He used to recite and glorify Allah, but he was not able to speak to his people except by gestures. '' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said,
﴿ثَلَـثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيّاً﴾
(three nights, though having no bodily defect.) "The nights were consecutive.'' However, the first statement that is reported from him and the majority is more correct. This Ayah is similar to what Allah, the Exalted, said in Surah Al `Imran,
﴿قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّى ءَايَةً قَالَ ءَايَتُكَ أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَـثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلاَّ رَمْزًا وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِىِّ وَالإِبْكَـرِ ﴾
(He said: "O my Lord! Make a sign for me.'' (Allah) said "Your sign is that you shall not speak to mankind for three days except with signals. And remember your Lord much, and glorify (Him) in the afternoon and in the morning.)﴿3:41﴾ This is a proof that he did not speak to his people for these three nights and their days as well.
(except with signals.) Meaning, with bodily gestures, this is why Allah says in this noble Ayah,
﴿فَخَرَجَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ﴾
(Then he came out to his people from the Mihrab) referring to the place where he was given the good news of the child.
(he indicated to them by signs) Meaning he made a gesture to them that was subtle and swift.
﴿أَن سَبِّحُواْ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً﴾
(to glorify ﴿Allah﴾ in the morning and in the afternoon.) That they should be agreeable to what he was commanded to do during these three days, to increase in his deeds and gratitude to Allah for what He had given him. Mujahid said,
(he indicated to them by signs) "He made a gesture.'' Wahb and Qatadah said the same.
﴿ييَحْيَى خُذِ الْكِتَـبَ بِقُوَّةٍ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيّاً - وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَوةً وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا - وَبَرًّا بِوَلِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّاراً عَصِيّاً - وَسَلَـمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَياً ﴾
(12. (It was said to his son): "O Yahya! Hold fast to the Scripture.'' And We gave him wisdom while yet a child.) (13. And Hananan from Us, and Zakatan, and he was pious,) (14. And dutiful to his parents, and he was not arrogant or disobedient.) (15. And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!)
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