Maryam, the daughter of Imran (AS) is one of the best women to walk on this earth. She was a devote worshipper and a righteous woman. She is mentioned in the book of Allah and is also in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She has been described as the one possessed of most beautiful characteristics of the people of faith. She also has nothing to do with what people associate with her just as her son Esa (Jesus-Peace be upon him) has nothing to do with them either, and he will declare that disavowal before all witnesses on the Day of Resurrection.
The closeness of the Muslims to her is apparent from the following:
Allah, may He be exalted, says:
“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say)’”
The Christians have taken her and her son as gods and they worship them besides Allah. Muslims worship only Allah and don’t take them as deities. Muslims believe that there is only one Allah and not three gods as Christians believe. Allah says in glorious Quran that it is a very grievous thing to say and whoever says that will be punished in Hell.
“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is no ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God -Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them”
Maryam is considered as a true slave of Allah who was a true worshipper of Allah and humble and obedient. Allah has praised her for being an honest devote and worshipper of Allah. Allah says because she was a very virtuous woman, Allah chose her from the whole world including jinns.
Allah, may He be exalted, says:
“And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinns) (of her lifetime).
‘O Mary! Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allah, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and Irka‘i (bow down etc.) along with Ar-Raki‘oon (those who bow down etc.)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:42, 43].
This is a description of the believers and Muslims, as Allah, may He be exalted says:
“And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and Irka‘ (i.e. bow down or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar-Raki‘oon”
And Allah, may He be exalted, says:
“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.)”
Muslims respect Maryam in every respect and believe whatever is mentioned about her in the Quran. They believe in her purity, innocence and chastity. They believe that she and her son Esa(AS) are an example for mankind and Jinns. They believe that they are not Gods but only obedient slaves of Allah.
Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“(Remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word (“Be!” - and he was! i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)) from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah’”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:45]
“Because of their breaking the covenant, and of their rejecting the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, and of their killing the Prophets unjustly, and of their saying: "Our hearts are wrapped (with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers say)" - nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little.
And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (Mary ) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse)”
[an-Nisa’ 4:155, 156]
“The Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (‘Be!’ - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him”
“The Messiah (‘Eesa (Jesus)), son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother (Maryam (Mary)) was a Siddiqah (i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books). They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat)”
“And We made the son of Maryam (Mary) and his mother as a sign”
Maryam (AS) and her son are the criterion that distinguishes between a believer and a disbeliever. Whoever believes in whatever Quran told us about them i.e. they were obedient slaves of Allah are the people of Faith and whoever claims her and her sons as Gods are the people of Shirk and a characteristic of Christians.
Ahmad (1742) narrated that the Negus sent for Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who had migrated to Ethiopia, asking them about the Messiah (peace be upon him): What did they say about him?
Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The people gathered and said to one another: What will you say about ‘Eesa when he asks you about him? They said: By Allah, we will say about him what Allah says, and what our Prophet brought, come what may.
When they entered upon him (the Negus), he said to them: What do you say about ‘Eesa ibn Maryam? Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib said to him: We say concerning him what our Prophet taught us: he is the slave of Allah and His Messenger, a spirit created by Him and His Word which He bestowed upon Maryam the Virgin.
She (Umm Salamah) said: The Negus put his hand on the ground and picked up a twig, then he said: ‘Eesa ibn Maryam never differed from what you say, not even as much as this twig.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh as-Seerah
In Islam Maryam (AS) is respected as a perfect Muslim Woman, the most virtuous, the most obedient.
Al-Bukhaari (3411) and Muslim (2431) narrated that Abu Moosa (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Many men have attained perfection but no women have attained perfection except Aasiyah the wife of Pharaoh and Maryam bint ‘Imraan...”
And Ahmad (2668) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of the women of Paradise are: Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad, Aasiyah bint Muzaahim the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam the daughter of ‘Imraan.”
Classed as saheeh by the commentators on al-Musnad.
But Christians worship her besides Allah. She and her son never claimed any divinity and believed in everything that Muslims believe in. They worshipped One Allah like Muslims and never asked people to worship them or anyone else. Undoubtedly, they would not have approved of what the people of shirk say concerns about them. Therefore she and her son are closer to the people of Islam than to the people of shirk among the Christians.
On the day of Ressurection when Allah will ask Esa (AS) about the people who worship him, he will reject it. Allah says in Glorious Quran:
“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my innerself though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.
‘Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: Worship Allah, my Lord, and your Lord. And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).
‘If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’
Allah will say: ‘This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) - they shall abide therein forever. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is a great success (Paradise).’
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is Able to do all things”