23 June 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 03/26/2004, 00.00

    lebanon - islam

    "Issa's" (Jesus's) crucifix fascinates today's Islamic intellectuals



    The release of the movie "The Passion of the Christ" in Middle East Muslim countries opens the question on how Muslim see the crucifix. In Italy, for example, the crucifix in public places makes some Muslims intolerant and blasphemous. Elsewhere in the Islamic world, the Jesus who died on the cross and resurrected, the Jesus of Catholics, fascinates religious Muslims – above all poets, writers and contemporary intellectuals.

     Beirut (AsiaNews) – "Jesus's passion is essential to innovative modern poets; in this way they hope to give new life to language and society," said Tarif Khalidi, professor of Islamic history at Cambridge University during a seminar at the American University of Beirut. Tarif Khalidi is author of the book, "The sayings and stories of Jesus the Muslim in Islamic Literature" (Harvard). The book was recently published in Arabic by the Lebanese publishing housing, An-Nahar, under the title "The Gospel According to Muslims".

    Muslims respect and honor Jesus in a special way. So much that when his name is said, one adds "peace be upon him". Officially for Islam, Jesus escaped death by using others as substitutes (cf. An-Nisà's Sura IV, "The Women").

    During a seminar held in Beirut, Khalidi spoke about the "fascination that the figure of Jesus has had on the Muslim imagination" since antiquity.

    When Islam speaks about Jesus, according to Khalidi, one must distinguish between two tendencies: firstlt, there is the "theological-prophetic" Jesus of the Koran who is considered the "Word of God", "His Breath", "Messiah", "Allah's Messenger"; secondly, there is the narrative or "mythical" Jesus, in terms of his life as told in the Muslim literature and in myths, "in the flesh and blood and in stories".

    It is this very "mythological" aspect –that of Christ's passion, blood and resurrection –which interests Islamic intellectuals. Among them are three contemporary poets: the Sudanese Muhammad al-Fayturi, Palestinian Mahmud Darwish and Iraqi Badr Shaker al-Sayyab, inspired by Christ's "mythological" status as seen in his death and resurrection to save mankind.  For the poet, Al-Sayyab, "Jesus is a figure who is more in tune with nature and the seasons than Mohammad."

    The images used by these poets to describe Jesus represent a challenge to the Koran, where nothing is said of his divinity and crucifixion. However, for these authors the main elements of the Christian faith "are too beautiful…to leave out." 

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    26/03/2004 qatar
    Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East


    26/03/2004 islam - christianity
    Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)


    12/03/2004 Lebanon
    Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir says Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic


    26/07/2004 MALAYSIA
    "The Passion of the Christ" for Christians-only viewing

    Johor bishop critical of restriction: "The movie could be useful in interfaith dialogue."



    11/03/2004 PHILIPPINES
    Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"




    Editor's choices

    RUSSA - VATICAN
    Vatican and Russian orthodox scholars debate history and Ostpolitik

    Vladimir Rozanskij

    The conference begins tomorrow and continues until June 21. Joint work was blocked in 2002 over allegations of "proselytism" against the Russian Catholic Church. Change of climate after the meeting between Francis and Kirill in Havana in 2016. Russians prefer to talk about common mission to the world rather than unity of the united Church in the first 10 centuries.

     


    LAOS - VATICAN
    The “strength of the Church is within the small churches”, says Laos’s first cardinal

    Weena Kowitwanij

    On 21 May, Pope Francis announced his nomination, a surprise for Laos’s 50,000- strong Catholic community. It is a “baby Church” that experiences the first proclamation and is turned towards Tribals and animists. "Some of the most serious problems are the shortage of personnel and the quality of education,” the prelate said. "Some people think that being a cardinal is an honour,” but for Mgr Mangkhanekhoun it means advising the pope on how to “solve problems.”


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®