Book Reviews Islam Jesus

Tarif Kha­li­di, The Mus­lim Jesus”

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The fol­low­ing is a syn­op­sis of Tarif Kha­lidi’s book enti­tled : The Mus­lim Jesus”, which might lead peo­ple to learn more about Islam. Tarif Kha­li­di is Sir Thomas Adams’ Pro­fes­sor of Ara­bic, Direc­tor of the Cen­tre of Mid­dle East­ern and Islam­ic Stud­ies, and Fel­low of King’s Col­lege, Cambridge.

Here is a cross-sec­tion of book reviews from a vari­ety of sources :

    The Mus­lim Jesus
    Say­ings and Sto­ries in Islam­ic Literature
    Ed. and Trans. Tarif Khalidi

    The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Convergences: Inventories of the Present)

    Jesus fig­ures promi­nent­ly in Islam. Along­side the hadiths, the sto­ries of the Prophet’s say­ings and actions, appear sto­ries of Jesus’ say­ings and actions, 303 of which Tarif Kha­li­di has col­lect­ed and trans­lat­ed to pro­duce, for the first time, a Mus­lim gospel. Some of the say­ings reflect cer­tain of Jesus’ say­ings in the Chris­t­ian gospels, while oth­ers prob­a­bly derive from pre-Islam­ic ascetics and heroes…Khalidi’s efforts bring a…[great] diver­si­ty of Mus­lim beliefs about Jesus into the book. To each sto­ry, Kha­li­di appends astute analy­sis, and a lengthy gen­er­al intro­duc­tion pro­vides a his­tor­i­cal and func­tion­al overview of the Mus­lim under­stand­ing of Jesus. An unique and impor­tant addi­tion to the cor­pus of writ­ings about Jesus. — John Green, Booklist

    Tarif Kahli­di brings togeth­er Islam­ic pri­ma­ry sources about Jesus from the eighth to eigh­teenth cen­turies. Includ­ed are mys­ti­cal works, his­tor­i­cal texts about prophets and saints and, of course, the foun­da­tion­al words about Jesus in the Qur’an…the lit­er­ary qual­i­ty of the texts and the role the Mus­lim Jesus” has played in both Mus­lim piety and Muslim-Christian
     — Pub­lish­ers Weekly

    [The Mus­lim Jesus] helps dis­pel the igno­rance among Chris­tians about Islam. It is a col­lec­tion of Islam­ic say­ings about Jesus in the Koran and Islam­ic literature…With a lit­tle per­se­ver­ance, the read­er is reward­ed with a bet­ter under­stand­ing of Islam, and an appre­ci­a­tion of how one of the most cen­tral fig­ures in West­ern civ­i­liza­tion – Jesus of Nazareth – is per­ceived by anoth­er tra­di­tion. – Lar­ry B. Stam­mer, Los Ange­les Times

    Jesus cap­ti­vat­ed the Mus­lim imag­i­na­tion ; in Islam, he is regard­ed as the last great prophet to pre­cede Muham­mad. Kha­li­di reminds us of the Mid­dle East­ern milieu into which Islam arrived. Under a blaz­ing desert sun, many of the world’s great tra­di­tions – Judaism, Chris­tian­i­ty, Zoroas­tri­an­ism – min­gled in a vibrant, dynam­ic atmos­phere. The prox­im­i­ty of so many reli­gions bred, along with tol­er­ance, unmis­tak­able signs of each oth­er’s influence…For many years, Kha­li­di engaged in schol­ar­ly archae­ol­o­gy, por­ing over the Hadith for any sight­ings of Jesus. In The Mus­lim Jesus, he presents more than 300 sto­ries and sayings…Consider one inter­est­ing East-West par­al­lel aid­ed by the book’s chrono­log­i­cal for­mat. In a 14th cen­tu­ry col­lec­tion by the law­mak­er al-Sub­ki, Jesus is still a cher­ished fig­ure, instruct­ing Mus­lims that the rich shall not enter the king­dom of Heav­en.’ About the same time, Dante con­signed Muham­mad to cru­el suf­fer­ing in Infer­no.’ We might explain such dras­ti­cal­ly dif­fer­ent treat­ments by the fact that impe­r­i­al Islam was flour­ish­ing while West­ern civ­i­liza­tion was in tur­moil. Today, with the sit­u­a­tion reversed, the val­ue of The Mus­lim Jesus is all the more evident.‘Amid the cur­rent ten­sions between Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam,’ Kha­li­di writes, it is salu­tary to remind our­selves of an age and a tra­di­tion when Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam were more open to each oth­er, more aware of and reliant on each oth­er’s wish­es.’ –Nick Owchar, Los Ange­les Times

    The Mus­lim Jesus is as fas­ci­nat­ing as it is time­ly. The say­ings are remark­able and often beau­ti­ful lit­er­ary arti­facts in their own right ; but more impor­tant­ly, they demon­strate that the links that bind Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam are much deep­er, more com­plex, and far more intri­cate­ly woven, that most of us would expect…Now of all times, it should be wel­comed as a book of the great­est impor­tance. –William Dal­rym­ple, The Guardian

    Kha­lidi’s long intro­duc­tion is a gem of grace­ful eru­di­tion and ana­lyt­i­cal wis­dom, set­ting the stage for dozens of often sur­pris­ing and always fas­ci­nat­ing extracts which show all the numer­ous ways in which Mus­lims, while deny­ing both Incar­na­tion and Cru­ci­fix­ion, nev­er­the­less have a deep-seat­ed affec­tion and rev­er­ence for Jesus. — Edward W. Said, Times Lit­er­ary Supplement

    This short book con­tains a mil­len­ni­um’s worth of say­ings and sto­ries of Jesus drawn from Islam­ic lit­er­a­ture. The title may seem para­dox­i­cal ; we are not accus­tomed to think­ing of Jesus in Mus­lim con­texts. Enter Tarif Kha­li­di, Sir Thomas Adams pro­fes­sor of Ara­bic and direc­tor of the Cen­tre of Mid­dle East­ern and Islam­ic Stud­ies at King’s College…Khalidi proves to be an expert guide to this wealth of mate­r­i­al. As a result, The Mus­lim Jesus is a book of spir­i­tu­al con­nois­seur­ship with a time­ly and seduc­tive appeal…The Mus­lim Jesus is hand­some­ly pro­duced. Its pages are well designed and spa­cious. They invite the eye to linger and the mind to rumi­nate. Tarif Kha­li­di has not only risen to the occa­sion of our present dis­con­tents, he has tran­scend­ed it and lift­ed the heart beyond sor­row and dis­trac­tion to delight. –Thomas D’Eve­lyn, Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Monitor

    The Mus­lim Jesus is a very good book. Kha­li­di writes in elo­quent yet nev­er pompous English…always striv­ing to be com­pre­hen­si­ble to the non­spe­cial­ist. More­over, he has done valu­able work sim­ply in col­lect­ing, anno­tat­ing, and trans­lat­ing his mate­r­i­al. There­after, he lets the mate­r­i­al about Jesus speak for itself, in order (I think) to make an impor­tant point : that the Jesus of Islam is a cre­ation of Islam. In Kha­lidi’s words, the Mus­lim Jesus is a com­pound image,” a fig­ure res­ur­rect­ed in an envi­ron­ment where he becomes a Mus­lim prophet.” Thus, Kha­li­di explains, a wide range of Mus­lim authors used the fig­ure of Jesus as a spokesman for their cause, be it asceti­cism, qui­etism, Shi’ism, or anti-Chris­t­ian polemic…Khalidi is to be con­grat­u­lat­ed for col­lect­ing this mate­r­i­al and pre­sent­ing it in a clear and acces­si­ble man­ner. He has also includ­ed a com­plete bib­li­og­ra­phy of Ara­bic sources for the spe­cial­ist and detailed end­notes with the most impor­tant sec­ondary lit­er­a­ture for the spe­cial­ist and non­spe­cial­ist alike. Kha­li­di might also be thanked for writ­ing a book remark­ably free of the arro­gant tone and the gra­tu­itous attacks on ear­li­er schol­ars that seem to plague the field of Islam­ic stud­ies. –Gabriel Said Reynolds, Books & Culture

    Tarif Kha­li­di, pro­fes­sor of Ara­bic at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge, has assem­bled a very valu­able col­lec­tion of say­ings and sto­ries – 303 in num­ber – of Jesus in Ara­bic Islam­ic lit­er­a­ture. The sources scanned reach from the sec­ond to the twelfth Islam­ic cen­turies. The book con­sists of a com­pre­hen­sive and illu­mi­nat­ing fifty-page intro­duc­tion, the 303 items in chrono­log­i­cal order of their sources, and brief help­ful com­ments (on sources, par­al­lels, and func­tion in Islam­ic dis­course) append­ed to each item. Before Kha­lidi’s efforts, the basic cor­pus of the Mus­lim gospel” used to be a col­lec­tion of 225 say­ings by the Span­ish schol­ar Miguel Asín y Pala­cios who trans­lat­ed the say­ings into Latin (!) and pro­vid­ed brief Latin com­men­taries on them.Khalidi’s col­lec­tion will now replace that one for those of us whose needs are served by good trans­la­tions. [The Mus­lim Jesus] is a great accom­plish­ment, reward­ing read­ing for any­one inter­est­ed in Islam and in reli­gious tran­scul­tur­a­tion (sic). – Heik­ki Räisä­nen, Jour­nal of Bib­li­cal Literature

    From the Qur’an, Jesus has always had a spe­cial place in Mus­lim piety as Kha­li­di (pro­fes­sor of Ara­bic at Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty) shows in his exem­plary study, The Mus­lim Jesus.The 303 snip­pets that Kha­li­di trans­lates and com­ments on from a wide range of sources (hadith, belles-let­tres, mys­ti­cal works, etc.) do con­vinc­ing­ly estab­lish his point that In his Mus­lim habi­tat. Jesus becomes an object of intense devo­tion, rev­er­ence, and love.” — Mid­dle East Quarterly

    The Mus­lim Jesus : Say­ings and Sto­ries in Islam­ic Lit­er­a­ture is the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the largest col­lec­tion ever pub­lished for a west­ern read­er­ship of the say­ings and sto­ries of Jesus as found in Ara­bic Islam­ic lit­er­a­ture. A unique and invalu­able resource for the study of Jesus’ role and posi­tion with­in an Islam­ic context.Tarif Kha­lidis­’s infor­ma­tive intro­duc­tion and com­men­taries place the say­ings and sto­ries with­in an his­tor­i­cal context.The Mus­lim Jesus is an indis­pens­able and greatlyap­pre­ci­at­ed addi­tion to Islam­ic Stud­ies. — The Mid­west Book Review Bookwatch

    Tarif Kha­lidi’s com­men­tary and com­pi­la­tion of Mus­lim depic­tions of Jesus is a remark­able, eye-open­ing work of deep schol­ar­ship, pro­found reli­gious under­stand­ing, and unprece­dent­ed­ly rich cross-cul­tur­al exchange. A work as full of nov­el­ty as it is of won­der­ful illu­mi­na­tion, Kha­lidi’s effort to show how one major reli­gion adopt­ed and loved the cen­tral fig­ure of anoth­er reli­gion estab­lish­es him as one of the fore­most Islam­ic schol­ars of our time. This book is a plea­sure to read, acces­si­ble to gen­er­al­ists and to those for whom bel­li­cose claims about the clash of civ­i­liza­tions are asun­sat­is­fac­to­ry as they are false.  — Edward W. Said, author of Reflec­tions on Exile and Oth­er Essays

    The 300-odd logia are enor­mous­ly impres­sive, rem­i­nis­cent of the Nag Ham­ma­di cor­pus as well as of the Gospels, espe­cial­ly the Ser­mon on the Mount, yet alto­geth­er dis­tinc­tive. The com­bi­na­tion of sub­lime moral­ist and magi­cian is strik­ing, and so is the vir­tu­al exclu­sion of ref­er­ence to the Cru­ci­fix­ion. The author’s intro­duc­tion makes the gen­er­al his­to­ry eas­i­ly intel­li­gi­ble.  — Frank Ker­mode, author of Shake­speare’s Language

    Despite the stereo­types and igno­rance that have some­times marred it, the long rela­tion­ship between Chris­tians and Mus­lims has also been mutu­al­ly appre­cia­tive and pro­duc­tive. Both tra­di­tions have, for cen­turies, shared a love for the prophet of Galilee. Now for the first time we have The Mus­lim Jesus, a pre­vi­ous­ly uncol­lect­ed com­pendi­um of sto­ries and say­ings of Jesus from Mus­lim sources, some of them over a mil­len­ni­um old. This invalu­able class­room resource will also enrich the present live­ly dia­logue between the two fra­ter­nal faiths. — Har­vey Cox, author of The Sec­u­lar City and Fire from HeavenEndmark

    Ascetic saint, lord of nature, mir­a­cle work­er, heal­er, social and eth­i­cal mod­el : such is the fig­ure of Jesus in Pro­fes­sor Kha­lidi’s Mus­lim gospel.’ A fig­ure of uni­ver­sal reach and res­o­nance, the object of a ubiq­ui­tous and all-too-human reli­gious sen­ti­ment unfet­tered by sec­tar­i­an affil­i­a­tion, the Jesus of Mus­lim pen­i­ten­tial and sen­ten­tious lit­er­a­ture assem­bled by Tarif Kha­li­di is par­tic­u­lar­ly salu­tary today. — Aziz Al-Azmeh, Zayed Pro­fes­sor of Islam­ic Stud­ies at the Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty of Beirut and author of Mus­lim King­ship : Pow­er and the Sacred in Mus­lim, Chris­t­ian, and Pagan Pol­i­tics Tarif Khalidi, "The Muslim Jesus" 26

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  1. What’s wrong with pro-Israeli ads ? Don’t you want to show that Islam is a tol­er­ant reli­gion ? We all know this is a sham !

  2. Mohamad Latiff Reply

    Con­cern­ing the Google Ads, it is actu­al­ly beyond the con­trol of the web­mas­ter of this site. It’s rather auto­mat­ic. The only way to pre­vent the pro­mo­tion of anti-Islam­ic ads is to take out the Google ads alto­geth­er, or change the set­tings in the Google Adsense accounts to block off ads from cer­tain known non-Islam­ic or anti-Islam­ic websites.

    I have a sug­ges­tion for the more busi­ness-mind­ed amongst our brethren (in fact, the Prophet (P) him­self was a busi­ness­man ;) — we should cre­ate a paid adver­tis­ing net­work of Islam­ic web­sites. In fact, there should be ebooks on Islam­ic busi­ness prac­tices and Islam­ic self improve­ment and per­son­al development.

    This will not only help to uplift the gen­er­al ummah from unnec­es­sary pover­ty, it will also edu­cate our young as well. These efforts should be under­tak­en by our young.

    For once, the 73 (and/​or more) sects’ of the one Islam­ic ummah should set aside their dif­fer­ences and work togeth­er towards a com­mon and uni­ver­sal­ly ben­e­fi­cial enterprise.

  3. May Allah bless on your efforts. How­ev­er one com­ment broth­er, there are some­times anti-Islam and pro-Israeli ads on your Google Ads, don’t you think you might unknow­ing­ly pro­mote anti Islam ads ? Mon­ey is good but Jan­nah is bet­ter. Salams.

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