Allah tells us about His servant and Messenger `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon them both, and that He made them as a sign for mankind, i.e., definitive proof of His ability to do what He wills. For He created Adam without a father or a mother, He created Hawwa' from a male without a female, and He created `Isa from a female without a male, but He created the rest of mankind from both male and female.
(and We gave them refuge on high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams.) Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said: "Ar-Rabwah is a raised portion of land, which is the best place for vegetation to grow." This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said,
(Dhat Qarar)"A fertile place.
(and Ma`in) means water running on the surface." This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah. Mujahid said: "A level hill." Sa`id bin Jubayr said that
(Dhat Qarar and Ma`in) means that water was flowing gently through it. Mujahid and Qatadah said:
(and Ma`in ) "Running water." Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib:
(and We gave them refuge on a Rabwah, Dhat Qarar and Ma`in.) "It is Damascus." He said; "Something similar was also narrated from `Abdullah bin Salam, Al-Hasan, Zayd bin Aslam and Khalid bin Ma`dan." Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from `Ikrimah from Ibn `Abbas that this Ayah referred to the rivers of Damascus. Layth bin Abi Sulaym narrated from Mujahid that the words;
(and We gave them refuge on a Rabwah,) referred to `Isa bin Maryam and his mother when they sought refuge in Damascus and the flatlands around it. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said:
(on a Rabwah, Dhat Qarar and Ma`in.), "It is Ramlah in Palestine." The most correct opinion on this matter is that which was reported by Al-`Awfi from Ibn `Abbas, who said;
(and We gave them refuge on a Rabwah, Dhat Qarar and Ma`in.) "Ma`in refers to running water, and is the river of which Allah mentioned:
(your Lord has provided a water stream under you.)"19:24 Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said;
(on a high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams.) refers to Jerusalem. This -- and Allah knows best -- is the most apparent meaning, because it is mentio- ned in the other Ayah, and parts of the Qur'an explain other parts, so it is more appropriate to interpret it by another Ayah, then the Sahih Hadiths, then other reports.