continuing from above (back from dinner :D)
Strikingly, the Quran relates the story of Mary’s miraculous pregnancy and Jesus’ birth in the early Meccan period along with the stories of other prophets, and the sentence used in the 19th chapter to introduce the account of Mary’s pregnancy forms a pattern with the opening sentence of those stories:
19:16. And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East
19: 41. And make mention in the Scripture of Abraham. Lo! he was a saint,* a prophet*.
19: 51. And make mention in the Scripture of Moses. Lo! he was chosen, and he was a messenger (of Allah), a prophet.
19: 54. And make mention in the Scripture of Ishmael. Lo! he was a keeper of his promise, and he was a messenger (of Allah), a prophet.
19: 56. And make mention in the Scripture of Idris. Lo! he was a saint, a prophet
After these verses, the Quran claims that the list belonged to the messengers of Allah:
19: 58. These are they unto whom Allah showed favour from among the prophets, of the seed of Adam and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the revelations of the Beneficent were recited unto them, they fell down, adoring and weeping.
This might mislead one to the assumption that Mary was one of the prophets since in the verses I quoted above the one remembered in the Book with the other saints and prophets is not Jesus, but surprisingly His mother Mary. Thus, it is possible to claim that the Islamic Scripture alludes to Mary’s prophetic mission although it does not say it directly because of the traditional belief that only men are sent as Messengers:
21: 07. And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men, whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not ?
Still, in the same chapter where the concept of prophetesses is refuted, the Quran does not avoid including Mary along with Jesus to the list of messengers:
21: 91. And she who was chaste, therefor We breathed into her (something) of Our Spirit and made her and **her son **a token for (all) peoples.
In chapter 23, once more, the Quran refers to Mary in the same context as the other messengers:
23: 50. And We made **the son of Mary **and **his mother **a portent, and We gave them refuge on a height, a place of flocks and watersprings.
23: 51. O ye messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right. Lo! I am Aware of what ye do.
There is something else to be stressed in the two quotations above. According to the writers of the Quran, Mary and Jesus are equal in many ways. Thus, it is both Mary and Jesus that are Signs from Allah; both Mary and Jesus have been raised to a lofty place. These verses absolutely assert that Mary is nothing less than Her son Jesus!