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  • Yaya J. Fanusie

The Best Servant is a Thinker 3:36

So when she bore her, she said, “My Lord, indeed I bore her, female.” And Allah has much more knowledge of what she gave birth to. And the male is not like the female.

One can not be a good servant to G-d without being a thinker. One can not be a thinker without going into the world, testing out your thinking, encountering obstacles, and becoming stronger due to your engagement with the outside environment. If you don’t go out and engage the world, your thinking will be weak.

The attribute of thinking in Qur’anic Arabic is associated with the word for “male.” However, this is not sexism. Historically, due to the facts of nature around pregnancy and child-rearing, the male would often be the one who would go out and engage the world economically. Thus, the Qur’an references these signs in nature and Islam builds on these signs. This is why the ritual prayer is led by a male. Man means mind.

Allah can bring about the thinkers who will be his best servants, male or female. Mary’s mother was hoping for a male, thinking that males would be best positioned to serve Allah. However, Allah had a different plan and he made a female servant the one who would bring about His word. This message from scripture is for both men and women, who aim to serve G-d and who think.


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