I heard that Sayidina Zakariyah (عليه السلام) was either the uncle of Sayidina Mariam (رضي الله عنها) by marriage or he was married to the sister of Mariam (رضي الله عنها). My question is if Hanah was making dua for a child then where did the older sister come from? Was that a half sister? Are their two opinions amongst the mufassirīn about how the wife of Sayyidunā Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) is related to Sayyidah Maryam (رضي الله عنها)?

(Abbreviations of salams and duas have been corrected in the question)


Yes both opinions have been mentioned by the mufassirūn.

In explanation of the view that Sayyidunā Zakariyya’s (may the peace of Allah be upon him) wife Sayyidah Iyshā’ (ايشاع ) was the sister of Sayyidah Maryam (may Allāh be pleased with them), Imām al Khafājī mentions on his commentary notes on the Tafsīr of Imām al Baydāwī (may Allah shower them with His Mercy), that they were daughters of Sayyidunā ‘Imrān (may Allāh be pleased with him) but from different mothers.

This opinion of their being sisters is based upon the literal outward of a hadīth related about the Ascension (Mi’rāj) where Prophet Isā and Prophet Yahya (may the peace of Allāh be upon them) are described as cousins (literally. sons of maternal aunts) the literal outward of which would suggest their mothers were sisters.

Those who favoured the opinion that Sayyidah Iyshā’ was the sister of Sayyidah Hannah and thus the maternal aunt of Sayyidah Maryam (may Allah be pleased with them all) have explained that ‘sister’ is sometimes applied in language to the ‘daughter of a sister’ which would mean a metaphorical interpretation of the hadith as opposed to literal.

A point of note:

The ‘ulamā have explained that it is prohibited to abbreviate and write (s.a.w.) (p.bu.h) (r.a) ص صلعم e.t.c These are supplications and just as they cannot be abbreviated verbally they are not to be abbreviated in written form.

Allah Knows Best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

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