|19.6. "Who will be my heir (in my duty) and heir to (the straight way of) the House of Jacob; and make him, my Lord, one with whom You are well-pleased. "|
يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيّاً
6. "Who will be my heir (in my duty) and heir to (the straight way of) the House of Jacob; and make him, my Lord, one with whom You are well-pleased."1
1. The Prophet Zachariah, upon him be peace, recited the prayer mentioned in these verses as he could not perceive of anyone among his kinsmen being able to succeed him in his duty of preaching God's Message, and safeguarding the future of Mary, whose guardianship he had undertaken.
While quoting a person's speech, God does not quote it word-by-word and in its literal sense; He is not narrating an event simply as an historian or observer. Rather, He considers the intentions and feelings of the speaker and the parts of the speech that a person may not utter. In narrating an event, He considers it with its meaning, causes, and the lessons it provides, as well as with the circumstances under which it took place and the intentions, status, and positions of the principal actors in it. For this reason, we can find the same event or speech narrated in different words and from different perspectives in the Qur'an, according to the subject that is being dealt with and the context in which it is found.
The Prophet Zachariah's prayer is mentioned in 3: 38 as: My Lord, bestow upon me out of Your grace a good, upright offspring, from which we understand that he asked for a successor from his own family and, therefore, asked for a son, as he had no children yet. One may wonder why Zachariah, upon him be peace, requested a successor from his own family; the answer is that God knows best upon whom to place His Message (6: 124), and God made pure Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of ‘Imrān, choosing them above all humankind, as descendants of one another (3: 33–34). It is impossible that the Prophet Zachariah, upon him be peace, was not aware of this, so he knew that the successor among his progeny would be one who would descend from Jacob's house. (See also 3: 34, note 7.)
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