Verses 1-87 probably belong to the period between the battle of Bedr and Hej. 6.--Muhammad supposed Imran or Amran to be the father of the Virgin Mary (Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12)--Mary and Elizabeth to be sisters; who, with Jesus, John, and Zacharias, make up the family of Imran. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Muhammad is guilty of the anachronism of confounding Miriam with the Virgin Mary. On the other hand is the difficulty of conceiving that as the sequence of time and fact is observed with tolerable accuracy in regard to the main features of Jewish and Christian History, he should have fallen into so serious an error, or have so inadvertently adopted, as Mr. Muir supposes, the phraseology of his Jewish informants (amongst whom the only well-known Mary (Miriam) was the daughter of Imran and the sister of Moses) as to have overlooked the discrepancy in their respective dates. But it is possible that Muhammad believed, as some Muslim writers assert, that Miriam's soul and body were miraculously preserved till the time of Jesus in order to become Mary his mother. Certainly the Talmudists fabled that the Angel of Death and the worm of corruption had no power over Miriam. Comp. Babha Bathra, 17. Jos. Ant. iv. 4, 6.
ELIF. LAM. MIM.