Easter in Islamic eyes: common ground and an impasse


A bit of perspective from Rollo Romig at The New Yorker:

With Easter on the way, I became curious about what the Koran has to say  about the crucifixion. I called an imam I know, Ibrahim Sayar, and we got  together over glasses of Turkish tea. Sayar does a lot of interfaith work, much  of which involves getting people from different religions together to eat  kebabs. In the company of Christians, he said, mentioning the status of Jesus in  Islam can be a great icebreaker. “I always tell people, there are millions of  Muslims named after Jesus and Mary—we call them Isa and Mariam,” he said. “Nobody names their children after someone they don’t like.”

In Islam, he emphasized, “believing in Jesus is an absolute requirement. If  you don’t believe in him, you’re automatically not a Muslim.” According to the  hadith—sayings of the Prophet, second only to the Koran in Islamic  authority—Jesus was assumed into heaven, and will return at the end of time in  the east of Damascus, his hands resting on the shoulders of two angels. When it  sees him, the Antichrist will dissolve like salt in water, and Jesus will rule  the earth for forty years. What Muslims don’t believe, though, is that Jesus  died on the cross. It’s spelled out quite clearly, Sayar said, in the Koran’s  fourth Sura, verse 157: “They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him.”

Read Romig’s entire article here:  http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/04/how-muslims-view-easter.html#ixzz1rULTAqja

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