- This is an account of your Lord’s grace towards His servant, Zachariah, when he called to his Lord secretly, saying, ‘Lord, my bones have weakened and my hair is ashen grey, but never, Lord, have I ever prayed to You in vain: I fear [what] my kinsmen [will do] when I am gone, for my wife is barren, so grant me a successor––a gift from You–– to be my heir and the heir of the family of Jacob. Lord, make him well pleasing [to You].’ ‘Zachariah, We bring you good news of a son whose name will be John––We have chosen this name for no one before him.’ He said, ‘Lord, how can I have a son when my wife is barren, and I am old and frail?’ He said, ‘This is what your Lord has said: “It is easy for Me: I created you, though you were nothing before.” ’ He said, ‘Give me a sign, Lord.’ He said, ‘Your sign is that you will not [be able to] speak to anyone for three full [days and] nights.’ He went out of the sanctuary to his people and signalled to them to praise God morning and evening. [We said], ‘John, hold on to the Scripture firmly.’ While he was still a boy, We granted him wisdom, tenderness from Us, and purity. He was devout, kind to his parents, not domineering or rebellious. Peace was on him the day he was born, the day he died, and it will be on him the day he is raised to life again.
ʿaqīm — infertile, barren, sterile
- To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent. 42:49-50
- But those who disbelieve will not cease to be in doubt of it until the Hour comes upon them unexpectedly or there comes to them the punishment of a barren Day. 22:55
- And his wife approached with a cry [of alarm] and struck her face and said, "[I am] a barren old woman!" 51:29
- And in 'Aad [was a sign], when We sent against them the barren wind. 51:41