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Queen of Peace

Commentary by Roger Oakland
www.understandthetimes.org

For printer friendly version, please click here.

A number of articles are beginning to appear on the Internet suggesting that the current Islamic-Pope Benedict controversy may soon be resolved by a coming peace plan that will be initiated by the Roman Catholic Mary – the Queen of Peace. This plan would be mutually agreeable to Rome and Islam.

For example, you can read the following two articles:

Earlier this year, Eternal Productions published a book titled Queen of All: The Marian Apparitions plan to unite all religions Under the Roman Catholic Church by Tetlow, Oakland and Myers.

I am posting chapter three as a commentary. You will find the information contained within this chapter interesting in light of current events. Please read and pass on to someone else.

Chapter Three: Queen of Islam

Think of the regions of our world today that are potential time bombs – powder kegs waiting to be ignited by some religious dispute. Can anyone imagine how religious differences could be resolved in these areas? Who alive on planet earth today could act as a mediator or diplomat that has the ability to bring about a peaceful resolution? Certainly for such an historic event to occur, a supernatural miracle would be required. There are some who are saying that Marian apparitions and her messages provide such a possibility.

     While the title of this chapter may seem strange to the reader, it is appropriate, as we will see. How could the Queen of Heaven have any influence on the millions of Muslims who follow Allah? Those who have studied the Muslim’s holy book, known as the Koran, may be aware of the answer. First, the Koran portrays Jesus Christ as a prophet, unique in His preincarnate nature, miraculous birth, miracles and moral stature. Muslims revere Jesus Christ. As the Koran states:

The angels said to Mary: “[Allah] bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the world to come, and shall be one of those who are favored. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life.”[1]

It is interesting to note that in the Koran, Jesus is almost exclusively referred to as “Jesus son of Mary,” rather than “Son of God.” The Koran vehemently denies that Jesus is the Son of God, yet it holds both Jesus and Mary in high esteem. More important to our context, is the fact that Mary is highly honored in both the Koran and Hadith. Muslims consider Mary the greatest of all women.[2] Furthermore, Muhammad is reported to have said that Mary reached the “level of perfection.”[3]

Muslims, like Catholics, refer to her as Our Lady (Sayyida). She is also venerated as a pure and holy saint in the Islamic world. In fact, in the Koran, Jesus and Mary are considered pure and saintly. In contrast, Muhammad is told to ask forgiveness for his sins (Suras 40:55; 48:1-2).

Mary in the Koran

Mary is mentioned no less than 34 times in the Koran. In addition, the 19th surah (chapter) of the Koran is named after her. Based on these facts alone, it is apparent that “Our Lady” is surely seen as blessed above all women by orthodox Muslims. Consider the following three quotes taken directly from the Koran:

And remember the angels’ words to Mary. They said: “[Allah] has chosen you. He has made you pure and exalted you above womankind.”[4]

 

The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than an apostle: other apostles passed away before him. His mother was a saintly woman.[5]

 

Whereupon [Jesus] spoke and said: “I am the servant of [Allah]. He has given me the Book and ordained me a prophet. His blessing is upon me wherever I go, and He has exhorted me to be steadfast in prayer and to give alms as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has purged me of vanity and wickedness.”[6]

 

Muslims and Apparitions of Mary

While it is apparent that Mary is considered by adherents of the Islamic religion to be the most blessed woman ever, does this necessarily mean that Muslims would respond to Marian apparitions or signs and wonders as many Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants do? Would Muslims listen to these apparitions and heed the messages? In order to answer this question, we can consider an apparition of Mary that appeared to millions of Muslims during the 20th century.

At a Coptic Orthodox church in Zeitoun, Egypt, a suburb of Cairo, a remarkable series of events occurred. A woman that onlookers believed was Mary, appeared in the form of an apparition, performing signs, wonders, and healings. This same woman appeared several nights each week for years. The vast majority of spectators were Muslim. Here is a description of the events surrounding the Zeitoun apparitions:

The Zeitoun apparitions…were seen by everyone present … the persons present at apparitional events there varied from several thousand to over two hundred thousand per night. Total witnesses perhaps numbered into the millions.

Several nights each week, thousands of Moslems (who constituted most of the crowds) fell to their knees on prayer rugs spread wherever space permitted, and wept before the magnificent, wondrous, glorious form of Our Lady from Heaven. All witnesses agree that the Lady seemed to be composed of light that usually was intense, yet lessened occasionally.

The apparitions of “Mary, the Mother of Jesus” were serenely animate, moving from one side of the church roof to another, as if to provide a direct view to all the surrounding throng, from which many called to her to come their way. She often responded to the singing or chanting of the crowd, appearing to bow in acknowledgment, greeting and blessing. Sometimes she made gestures of prayer, or held out and waved what appeared to be an olive branch. At other times, thousands watched her radiant form, which was often aglow with bluish white light, as she held in her left arm what certainly appeared to be the baby Jesus.

The Zeitoun apparitions seemed to affect all witnesses, including hundreds who were spontaneously healed. Many such cases have been documented by Dr. Shafik Abd El Malik, M.B., B.Ch., M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, who headed a commission of seven doctors to study the miraculous cures.[7]

A Sign to Mankind

Think about the implications – millions of Muslims responding to an apparition of Mary, falling to their knees, singing, chanting and calling upon Mary. Why did these followers of Allah respond to these signs and wonders? Why were they so sure that this apparitional woman was Mary? If events like these repeat in the 21st century for the entire world to behold, will the Islamic community follow the Queen of Heaven? While we can’t state with certainty what will happen, the following quotes taken directly from the Koran may lend some insight:

We [Allah] made the son of Mary and his mother a sign to mankind, and gave them shelter on a peaceful hillside watered by a fresh spring. Apostles! Eat of that which is wholesome, and do good works: I have knowledge of all your actions. Your community is but one community, and I am your only Lord: therefore fear me. Yet men have divided themselves into factions, each rejoicing in his own doctrines. Leave them in their error till a time appointed.[8]

 

And to the woman [Mary] who kept her chastity, We [Allah] breathed into her of Our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all mankind. Your community is but one community, and I am Your only Lord. Therefore serve Me. Men have divided themselves into factions, but to Us shall they all return.[9]

 

Unity through Signs

     Not only are Mary and her son a sign to mankind, the Koran also lays heavy emphasis on signs. Here are some examples –

Momentous signs have come to you from your Lord [Allah]. He that sees them shall himself have much to gain, but he who is blind to them shall lose much indeed.[10]

Then say: ‘Praise be to [Allah]! He will show you His signs and you will recognize them…’[11]

The Hour of Doom is drawing near, and the moon is cleft in two. Yet, when they see a sign, the unbelievers turn their backs and say: ‘Ingenious sorcery!’[12]

We will show them Our signs in all the regions of the earth and in their own souls, until they clearly see that this [The Koran] is the truth.[13]

     If the Koran states that Mary is a sign to mankind, and a growing number of Muslims are experiencing “Our Lady” at Marian apparition sites, is it possible that signs from a future apparition will persuade Muslims that Mary has been sent as a last days sign from Allah? Is it reasonable to speculate that the Queen, through signs and wonders, could convince many Muslims to become part of a world religion that contains the name of Christ? Time will tell.

Mary: Islam’s Faithful Example

To better understand the Moslem mind with regard to Mary, the Catholic News agency Zenit: The World Seen From Rome, interviewed Iranian Muslim scholar and theologian Sherazade Hushmand. What follows is their question and answer session which sheds even greater light onto why Muslims venerate and admire Mary:

Question: Of what significance is the figure of Mary to Muslims?

Hushmand: She is very present in the Koran, which presents her, specifically, as Mary Immaculate. In the third sura, beginning with verse 34 and subsequent ones, the Koran speaks about this aspect of Mary, about her total purity. Speaking about Mary, one of the verses talks about freedom. The woman of Hemram, who is Mary’s mother, prays to God saying: “God, I dedicate to you the one I have in the womb, and I dedicate her so that she will be free, absolutely free.” This word is used only once in the Koran, and only for Mary. This freedom is an absolute freedom from all what might be seen as sin, evil, failure, weakness. Mary is pure of all this. Then comes God’s affirmation: “I accept her.”

Question: Do all followers of Islam believe this?

Hushmand: In Chapter 66, the last verse, 12, the Koran says: “Do you want me to give you a faithful example to follow, valid for all the world’s believers?” Mary is proposed there as the example. This is very strong – because not only is Mary an example and a symbol for Christians to follow, but also in the Koran, Mary becomes a symbol and model for all believers, also for Muslims themselves.[14]

Muslims and Catholics

     The Koran infers that Allah inspired the Bible, though it alleges that Jews and Christians have since corrupted the text.[15] Also, it is interesting to note that both Islam and the Roman Catholic Church believe that Allah and the God of the Bible are the same.  Quoting from the Catholic Catechism we read:

The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.[16]

How will the Muslims be included in this “plan of salvation”? Could the apparitions that perform numerous signs and wonders, impact Catholics and Muslims who worship the same God? Could they possibly unite on this basis?

Insight from the influential Catholic priest Father Malachi Martin, in his best-selling book, The Keys of this Blood, may help answer these questions:

In reckoning the future of Islam, Pope Paul takes into account that as a genuinely religious faith, it preserves certain fundamental truths that the Holy Spirit reveals to all people of good will; and that, in God’s providence, Islam can be a threshold from which its adherents can be prepared to accept the only historical revelation made by God in this world. There will come a day, John Paul believes, when the heart of Islam – already attuned to the figures of Christ and of Christ’s Mother, Mary – will receive the illumination it needs. In the meantime, the Pontiff knows that Islam will stand against him and his church and his geopolitical vision.[17]

Mary, Queen of Muslims

The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who reached millions of viewers through his television series, believed that it would be Mary who would cause Muslims to convert to Christianity and unite under the Roman Catholic Church. In Sheen’s book, The World’s First Love – Mary, Mother of God, he comes to some startling conclusions concerning the future of Islam. In his chapter entitled Mary and the Moslems Sheen writes:

At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West that has ceased to be Christian and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power... [However,] It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Islam, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity – and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teaching of Christianity but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God… Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima.[18]

Louis de Montfort is considered by many as the greatest Marian evangelist of all time. Canonized as a Catholic Saint in 1947, Montfort made the following last day’s prediction:

The power of Mary over all devils will be particularly outstanding in the last period of time. She will extend the Kingdom of Christ over the idolators and Moslems, and there will come a glorious era in which Mary will be ruler and queen of human hearts.[19]

Catholic Saint Mary of Agreda – a visionary who received numerous messages from the apparition of Mary during the 17th century – wrote the massive classic entitled Mystical City of God. Her received Marian messages and her monumental book have received full approval from the Roman Catholic Church. Saint Mary of Agreda conveyed what was told to her about the last times:

Before the Second Coming of Christ, Mary must, more than ever, shine in mercy, might and grace in order to bring unbelievers into the Catholic Faith. The powers of Mary in the last times over demons will be very conspicuous. Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and Mohammedans, and it will be a time of great joy when Mary, as Mistress and Queen of Hearts is enthroned.[20]

Muslims venerate Mary

          Today, an increasing number of Muslims make pilgrimages to Marian shrines. Arguably, the most popular apparition site that Muslims visit is the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. Fatima was said to be Mohammad’s favorite daughter. Furthermore, Mohammad reportedly stated that Fatima has the highest place in heaven after the Virgin Mary.

The popular Catholic spokesman Archbishop Fulton Sheen believed that the “Blessed Virgin” chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.[21]

Fatima may be the most famous Marian shrine where Muslims go to pray and pay homage to the Queen of Heaven, yet Fatima is hardly unique. In 2004, Reuters News Service wrote, in an article entitled Twist of globalization: All faiths come together, that Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and other pilgrims regularly worship at famous Roman Catholic shrines to the Virgin Mary. They drink holy water, light votive candles, and pray fervently to the Madonna. The article explains that many pilgrims venerate her like one of their own goddesses.[22]

Furthermore, in recent years apparitions of Mary have been reported in several Muslim nations including Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and others. Veneration has increased as more and more claim that they have experienced a miracle at a Marian shrine.

Will the world, and in particular Muslims, soon receive the illumination that they need to unite under the Queen’s mantle? Fulton Sheen, in his chapter Mary and the Moslems, points to the Miracle of the Sun as the possible enlightenment that the apparition will use:

On October 13, 1917, believers and unbelievers prostrated themselves upon the ground during the Miracle of the Sun, most of them pleading to God for mercy and forgiveness. That whirling sun, which spun like a giant wheel and thrust itself to the earth as if it would burn it with its rays, may have been the harbinger of a world spectacle that will draw millions to their knees in a rebirth of faith. And as Mary revealed herself in that first Miracle of the Sun, so may we look forward to another revelation of her power when the world has its next rehearsal for the Dies Irae [Day of Wrath].[23]


[1] N. J. Dawood, translator, The Koran, New York, NY, Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1997, pp. 46, 47, surah 3:45-3:46.

[2] Sahih Bukhari, Hadith , Volume 4, Book 55, #642.

[3] Ibid., #643.

[4] The Koran, p. 46, surah 3:42.

[5] Ibid., p. 88, surah 5:75.

[6] Ibid., p. 216, surah 19:30-32.

[7] Ray Stanford, Fatima Prophecy, New York, NY, Ballantine Books, 1988, pp. 44-49.

[8] The Koran, p. 243, surah 23:50-54.

[9] Ibid., p. 233, surah 21:91-93.

[10] Ibid., p. 102, surah 6:104.

[11] Ibid., p. 271, surah 27:93.

[12] Ibid., p. 374, surah 54:1-2.

[13] Ibid., p. 338, surah 41:53.

[14] Zenit News Service, The World Seen From Rome, Virgin Mary Seen as Model for All Muslims, Online posting: www.zenit.org, December 10, 2001.

[15] Abdiyah Akbar Abdul-Haqq, Sharing Your Faith with a Muslim, Minneapolis, MN, Bethany House Publishers, 1980, chapters 3 and 4, pp. 242-243.

[16] Catechism of the Catholic Church, New York, NY, An Image Book, published by Doubleday, 1994, pp. 242, 243, paragraph 841.

[17] Malachi Martin, The Keys of this Blood, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1990, p. 285.

[18] Fulton J. Sheen, The World’s First Love – Mary, Mother of God, San Francisco, CA, Ignatius Press, reprinted 1996, pp. 201, 204.

[19] Petrisko, Call of the Ages, p. 449.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Sheen, p. 203.

[22] ExpressIndia website, Reuters, Online posting: www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=35246&headline=Twist~of~globalisation:~All~faiths~come~together, August 20, 2004, accessed Nov. 11, 2005.

[23] Sheen, p. 274.

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