Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says:

كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

Translation: Every time he entered Al-Mihrab to her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: “O Maryam (Mary)! From where have you got this?” She said, “This is from Allah. Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without measure.” At that time, Zakariya invoked his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocations.” [Surah Al-e-Imran, verse 37-38]

Maryam (عليها السلام) was chosen by Allah as the best woman amongst all women, and in this ayah we see how Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) provides for His Auliya (close protecting friends) without measure.

Maryam (عليها السلام) was in her “Mihraab” when Zakariyya (عليه السلام) entered upon her. Mihraab means a secluded prayer area. The root is from the Arabic letters haa raa baa or harb. This is also the word used for war. (The connection with Mihraab and war is that in a mihraab, one is in a place where they “fight” against their nafs and shaytan.) Her room was totally secluded from the people and was also high above the people.

Zakariyya (عليه السلام) would enter upon her and he found her with rizq, The Ulema interpreted this as two kinds of provisions:

  • Out-of-season, and out-of-this world fruits, unusual fruits that Zakariyya (عليه السلام) never saw the like of before.
  • Scrolls with knowledge of the deen.

When he asked her where she received this from she said, “It is from Allah and Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without measure.” When Zakariyya (عليه السلام) heard this, immediately, he made dua. “هُنَالِكَ” , the word used in the ayah, means, here and now, right there and then. He didn’t say to himself “I’m deprived,” and pity himself or think negatively because of what he saw what Allah gave Maryam (عليها السلام); instead, he (عليه السلام) had certainty–if Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) can give to Maryam without measure, I’m going to ask Him from His fadl (fadl means bounty that is great in quality and quantity!).

Zakariyya (عليه السلام) was very old, and his wife was barren, but that didn’t stop him from asking Allah for offspring. And he said, “innaka samee’ ad-dua,” which means “indeed, you are the Hearer of supplications,” and shows his conviction in his dua and his hope in Allah (سبحانه وتعالى).

I wanted to share this because, subhanAllah, when many of us see someone with rizq from Allah, we despair in what He has given them–when infact we should be positive and make duaa that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) blesses us as well–because Allah provides to whomever He wills without measure!

To be continued inshaAllah: How Zakariyya (عليه السلام) reacted when he recieved the glad tidings of Yahya (عليه السلام), his son, and the lessons we take from it.

Wa lillahil hamd.