(Allah said:) "Oh Zachariah! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son, His name will be Yahya /John. We have given that name to none before."
He said: "My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age??"
He said: "So it will be. Your Lord says; It is easy for Me. Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing!"
Zachariah said: "My Lord! Appoint for me a sign."
He/Allah said: "Your sign is that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect."
Then he came out to his people from Al-Mihrab (a private praying place) he told them by sign language to glorify Allah’s Praises in the morning and in the afternoon.
"Oh Yahya/John! Hold fast the Scripture/Torah."
And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. And made him sympathetic towards people as a mercy from Us, and purity from sins. And dutiful towards his parents, and he was neither an arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah and his parents). And Salamun/ PEACE be on him the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life again!
And (oh Muhammad) mentioned in the Book (Quran) the story of Maryam, when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Spirit (Angel Gabriel), who appeared before her in the form of a perfected man.
She said: "Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent from you, if you do fear Allah."
(Angel Gabriel) said: "I am only a Messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a righteous son." She said: "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be), your Lord said: That is easy for Me (Allah): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter already decreed." So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place (i.e. Bethlehem valley about - miles from Jerusalem).
And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!" Then a voice spoke from below her, saying: "Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you. And shake the trunk of date palm towards you; it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you. So eat and drink and be glad, and if you see any human being, say: “Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day." Then she brought this infant to her people, carrying him. They said: "Oh Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing). "Oh sister of Haroon/Aaron (not the brother of Moses, but he was another pious man at the time) Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman." Then she pointed to him. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He (Iesa/Jesus) said:
“Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet; And He has made me blessed whosesoever I be, and has required of me prayer, and charity, as long as I live. And dutiful to my mother, and made me not an arrogant, unblessed. And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!"
Such is Iesa/Jesus, son of Maryam. A statement of Truth of which they doubt. It befits not the Majesty of Allah that He should beget a son. Allah Deserves all Glory. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, "Be!" and it is.
Iesa/Jesus said: "And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path.” Then the sects differed. So woe unto the disbelievers (who claim Jesus is the son of God). How clearly will they see and hear, sharply! The Day when they will appear before Us! But the wrong-doers and polytheists are in plain error. And warn them (Oh Muhammad) of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, as they are now in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.
Verily! We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned. Mention in the Book (Quran) Ibrahim. Verily! He was a man of truth, a Prophet. When he said to his father:
"Oh my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? Oh my father, Surely there has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path. My father, worship not Shaitan/Satan. Verily! Shaitan/Satan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent. My father! Verily! I fear that a torment from the Most Beneficent may overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan/Satan.
He (Ibrahim’s father) said: "Do you reject my gods, Oh Ibrahim? If you don’t stop this nonsense, I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you."
Ibrahim said: "Peace be on you! I will beg Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord."
So when he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each one of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our Mercy, and We granted them honour on the tongues (of all the nations, everybody remembers them with a good praise).
And mention in the Book/this Quran was Moses. Verily! He was chosen and he was a Messenger, and a Prophet. And We called him from the right side of the Mount, and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him. And We bestowed on him his brother Haroon/Aaron, a Prophet out of Our Mercy too. And mention in the Book/Quran Ismail/Ishmael. Verily! He was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, and a Prophet.
And he used to enjoin on his family and his people the prayers and the charity, and his Lord was pleased with him. And mention in the Book/ Quran Idris/Enoch. Verily! He was a man of truth, and a Prophet. And We raised him to a high station.
Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried in the ship with Nooh/Noah, and of the offspring of Ibrahim and Israel and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Beneficent, Allah were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating and weeping.
~and for a sensory approach to learning about the real Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus may Allah bless them both: http://www.sparklywater.com/files/flash/maryam.swf
Here's a thought. this chapter in Quran, granted to us, meaning HUMANITY, not just Muslims, but to everyone, by GOD, is named "MARYAM". A woman, one of the most pious believers, and one of the most loved people by GOD. Just another proof against the hyped up stereotypes against females in the stance of