Sura Maryam (Arabic: سورة مريم, Sūratu Maryam, "Mary") is the 19th sura (chapter) of the Qur'an and is a Makkan sura with 98 ayat (English: verses). It is named after Maryām, the actual (Semitic) name for Mary, Mother of Jesus (Isa). The popular variant of the name Maryam, Mary, is a Westernized or Anglicized version. Similarly, the popular, Westernized or Anglicized name Jesus is actually Yeshua.
This sura begins with two narrations of 'miraculous births' of God's Elect: Yahya (John the Baptist) and Isa (Jesus). The two readings (from the Bible and the Qur'an) of this episode are complementary and serve to illuminate deeper spiritual meaning of Yahya's advent and spiritual mission. This is a very important sura in terms of providing a mutual, and supportive, reference to earlier revelations in the monotheist scripture, known as The Book in the Qur'an. A further matter of interest is that this sura numerically matches – i.e., Sura 1 is paired with last Sura 114, 2 with 113, etc. – Sura 96, Al-Alaq, which begins with a short discourse on the 'miracle of life.'
The sura tells the story of the birth of Yahya (John the Baptist) after his father's desperation for having a successor. It goes on to say that God Himself named him and that he was the first to carry this name. This account is immediately followed by the account of the annunciation to the virgin, Mariam (Mary). Jesus (known as Isa in Islam) is much revered by Muslims as a very important prophet of Islam, similar to Adam, Ibrahim, Musa and Muhammad but not as the Son of God as is the belief in Christianity. Islamic belief holds that he was born of a virgin birth but that neither he nor his mother were divine. Actually, in this Sura, God describes those who say that Isa was the Son of God as saying something blasphemous, as God is the omnipotent creator and that all the creatures in earth and in heaven are God's servants. Maryam is venerated as "the Lady of the women of the world" (سيدة نساء العالمين) but not as the mother of God.
Ja'far ibn Abu Talib read this verse to the Abyssinian King during the Migration to Abyssinia.