30 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/26/2004
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
03/26/2004 qatar
Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East
03/26/2004 islam - christianity
Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)
03/12/2004 Lebanon
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir says Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic
07/26/2004 MALAYSIA
"The Passion of the Christ" for Christians-only viewing
03/11/2004 PHILIPPINES
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"
cambodia
"The Passion: A Great Instrument For Mission Work"
pakistan
Viewers react to " Passion of the Christ"
INDIA
Gibson's film inspires passionate interest in Aramaic
THAILAND
Passion of the Christ raises questions among Buddhist audiences
IRAN
'Passion' opens despite Islamic objections
India
Gibson's "Passion" appreciated by Hindus, seen as antidote to fundamentalism
HONG KONG - TAIWAN – CHINA
"The Passion" : Movie theaters booked by churches inviting non-Christians
Qatar
After seeing "The Passion" Muslims start searching for the Gospel
philippines
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
south korea
"The Passion" welcomed by Protestants and Catholics
malaysia
Malaysian Muslims offended by "The Passion"
Palestine
"The Passion of the Christ" resounding success as moviegoers search for traces of anti-Semitism
China
"The Passion of the Christ" wins over non-Catholic youth
China
Pirated copies of "The Passion" used to evangelize
philippines
Archbishop Rosales: "Watch 'The Passion!'"
qatar
Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East
islam - christianity
Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)
ITALY
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
Lebanon
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir says Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic
PHILIPPINES
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.