38. Did God have sexual relations with Mary?

No, God did not have sexual relations with Mary. Mary was a virgin. Jesus’ birth was miraculous. How Jesus was born is explained in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1 verse 18 to chapter 2 verse 1. ‘‘This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break off the engagement. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son and you are to name him Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.’ This occurred to fulfil the Lord’s message through his prophet: ‘Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son! And they will call him Immanuel which means God with us.’ When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded, and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.’’ Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Herod. Other miraculous signs that took place at the birth of Jesus were the coming of wise men from the east following a star that travelled ahead of them and stopped over Bethlehem the birth place of Jesus. These wise men brought gifts for a King of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Shepherds tending their flocks at night in the fields saw a heavenly host singing praises to God and announcing the birth of Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke we read that Elizabeth’s baby John the Baptist leapt in the womb when Mary entered their house. Mary the mother of Jesus heard about God’s favour being bestowed on her from a personal visitation from the angel Gabriel. Zechariah the husband of Elizabeth who was a prophet confirmed that Mary’s unborn child was indeed the long awaited Messiah. With all these miraculous events taking place at the time of Jesus’ birth, it is not difficult to believe that Mary’s conception of Jesus was miraculous too.

The Qur’an states that Mary conceived Jesus in a variety of ways:

a) Surah 19 Maryam ayah 19 ‘I am only a messenger from thy Lord, To announce to thee the gift of a holy son.’ She said, ‘How shall I have a son, seeing no man has touched me and I am unchaste?’ He said ‘So it will be, The Lord said ‘That’s easy for me: and we wish to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us, it is a matter decreed.’ So Mary’s conception took place by Divine decree. God did not have sexual relations with Mary. It was a miraculous birth.

b) In ayah 35 it further states: ‘It is not befitting to Allâh (that is to have sexual relations with a woman), that he should beget a son, Glory be to Him! When he determines a matter he only says to it ‘Be’ and it is.’ In Surah 10 ‘Jonah’ ayah 68 They say: Allâh has begotten a son.’ Allâh forbid! Self-sufficient is He. His is all that the heavens and the earth contain. Surely for this you have no sanction. Would you say of Allâh what you do not know? Say: ‘Those who invent falsehoods about Allâh shall not triumph.’ In Surah 2 Al Baqarah (The Cow) ayah 117, it states of Allâh: ‘He saith to it ‘Be’ and it is’ and ayah 116 preceding this ayah states: ‘They say Allâh has begotten a son; Glory be to Him – Nay to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth: everything renders worship to Him.’

In another part of the Qur’an it states these words: Surah 10 Yunus (Jonah) ayah 68, ‘They say, ‘Allâh hath begotten a son – Glory be to him! He is Self-Sufficient. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. No warrant have you for this! Say you about Allâh what you know not? Say: ‘Those who invent a lie against Allâh will never prosper.’ So did Allâh have a son or did he not have a son? The Biblical evidence is a source of clarity. The Qur’an commends Jesus and all he taught and the Gospels or ‘Injeel’ contain that teaching. Read the four gospels and decide for yourself. Muslim scholars teach their students that they must never disagree with the teaching of Jesus Christ. All that he said and taught is true.

The reason some people ask this question is because they mistakenly believe that Christians believe in a Trinity of God the Father, Mary the Mother and Jesus the Son. The people who lived in Medina at the time of Muhammed can be forgiven for thinking this because Maryamites who were banished from Jerusalem for their heretical beliefs had migrated to Medina and set up a colony there. One of those Maryamites was Waraqa, a close friend of Khadija who was a Maryamite herself, and Muhammed’s employer, and confidante, and later his first wife. Muhammed and the Qur’an sought to refute this mistaken belief in Surah 5 Al Ma’idah (The Table) ayat 116-117: ‘And behold! Allâh will say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Did you say to men worship me and my mother as gods in degradation of Allâh?’ he will say: ‘Glory to Thee (Allâh)! Never could I (Jesus) say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, you would have known it. You know what is in my heart though I know not what is in Thine (Allâh). For you (Allâh) know in full all that is hidden.’ The Qur’an affirms that the worship of Mary is forbidden by Jesus. Therefore both in Biblical teaching and the Qur’an, Mary cannot be part of the Trinity.