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The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Convergences: Inventories of the Present) Paperback – 1 Apr 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (1 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674011155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674011151
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"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, ShiUism, 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. Khalidimight 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.

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 relations.

Ý"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" (05/26/2001)

[ 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.

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.

From the Qur'an on, 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."

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 greatly appreciated addition to Islamic Studies.

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.

"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 greatly appreciated addition to Islamic Studies.

["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" (05/26/2001)

"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" (12/22/2001)

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" (12/07/2001)

In his fascinating book "The Muslim Jesus", Tarif Khalidi brings together, from a vast range of sources, 303 stories, sayings and traditions of Jesus that can be found in Muslim literature, from the earliest centuries of Islamic history. These paint a picture of Christ not dissimilar to the Christ of the Gospels. The Muslim Jesus is the patron saint of asceticism, the lord of nature, a miracle worker, a healer, a moral, spiritual and social role model.--Mehdi Hasan"New Statesman" (12/09/2009)

"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" (03/01/2002)

In his fascinating book "The Muslim Jesus," Tarif Khalidi brings together, from a vast range of sources, 303 stories, sayings and traditions of Jesus that can be found in Muslim literature, from the earliest centuries of Islamic history. These paint a picture of Christ not dissimilar to the Christ of the Gospels. The Muslim Jesus is the patron saint of asceticism, the lord of nature, a miracle worker, a healer, a moral, spiritual and social role model.--Mehdi Hasan"New Statesman" (12/09/2009)

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 as unsatisfactory 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 Heaven

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 Polities

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" (04/15/2001)

[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" (05/26/2001)

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 archeology, 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" (10/20/2001)

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" (12/22/2001)

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" (02/28/2002)

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" (03/01/2002)

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 Asin 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 RAisAnen "Journal of Biblical Literature "

In his fascinating book The Muslim Jesus, Tarif Khalidi brings together, from a vast range of sources, 303 stories, sayings and traditions of Jesus that can be found in Muslim literature, from the earliest centuries of Islamic history. These paint a picture of Christ not dissimilar to the Christ of the Gospels. The Muslim Jesus is the patron saint of asceticism, the lord of nature, a miracle worker, a healer, a moral, spiritual and social role model.--Mehdi Hasan"New Statesman" (12/09/2009)

About the Author

Tarif Khalidi is Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic, Director of the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Classical Arab Islam: The Culture and Heritage of the Golden Age and Arabic Historical Thought in the Classical Period.

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Format: Hardcover
Tarif Khalidi has written a book that won't be given the acclaim it deserves; it won't be read by the people who should read it and it won't (barring a miracle) have the impact on the World that it should. His book turns the light on in the no man's land between Islam and Christianity. It shows how the two religions are closely connected and how our long gone ancestors treated the other with respect, dignity and even friendship. It's not for me to promote the content of this book, it's just there and it should be read by as many people as possible. It really could have a colossal impact on the world if this, the truth, were widely known...
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This is the first collection of references to Jesus in Islamic literature outside of the Qur'an published since 1919. This up to date collection includes some newly collated references, bringing the total up to 303.

The references are arranged in chronological order of when they were written down, from the 8th to 18th century. Each saying or story is accompanied by source references plus a generally rather too brief explanatory comment where necessary. Anyone expecting a collection of parables and wisdom sayings is likely to be sorely disappointed. The content is very mixed indeed. Some come, directly or with modification, from gospel or apocryphal gospel accounts (infuriatingly, though in some cases the author lists chapter and verse of the original gospel source, in many cases he does not do so); there are one or two distinctly gnostic entries; most however have no obvious traceable source.

They begin with a very austere and ascetic Jesus who very much keeps himself apart from the sinners, in contradistinction to the Jesus of the gospels. Later on the portrayal of Jesus softens somewhat.

Whatever the individual content or general picture, overall the Jesus presented here is thoroughly Islamicised. He even prays in mosques, goes on pilgramage to Mecca and condemns the drinking of wine as evil. Some of the entries are in the form of hadith qudsi, where God speaks to Jesus who then responds; these are usually formed with the intention of pointing out the errors of Christians (for example, God asks Jesus if he ever claimed to be the son of God; Jesus responds that he would never have done such a thing). Many of the pieces sourced from gospels have also been Islamicised to show the truth of Islam and the falsehood of Christianity.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 29 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing the Islamic-Christian rift 27 Oct. 2014
By Roy Waidler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tarif Khalidi is to be lauded for producing a stellar scholarly work in how Jesus is represented in the Qur'an and the various Hadith. A lengthy and quite necessary introduction explains the early to medieval Islamic environments where these traditions took hold and flourished; and as it is likely that even a well-informed reader from either tradition might have an over-simplified view of the generation and growth of the various Hadith (especially where they concern Jesus and to a lesser extent his mother Mary / Miryamni,), the introduction becomes indispensable for a clear understanding of them. Make no mistake, the Jesus perceived by early Islam is very different from the orthodox Jesus of the Church. He is not divine, he is not a member of the Trinity; he is the last prophet before Mohammad; but as a prophet, his utterances are quite in line with what someone within the Judeo-Christian-Muslim would say about the nature of God, who shall be saved, and a great deal more. However, the author is at pains to underline that this work is intended not to amplify the differences between Islam and Christianity but rather their similarities. This alone makes the book praiseworthy in my 'umble opinion. If you are a Muslim or Christianm please read this book; and if you are one of THEM - a Westerner who views Muslims as nothing but bloodthirsty terrorists - you ought to read it as well, although I doubt that anything could get past the propaganda foisted through the media upon the West. You truly need not only an open mind, but something more basic, something that both the Prophet Mohammad and the Prophet Issa- blessed be their memories! - could agree upon: that it should be read with an open HEART. I write as someone who is neither Muslim or Christian and who has studied some of the primary text-sources used by the author. Definitely worth the money!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An AWAIR Pick!!! 16 May 2011
By Audrey Shabbas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work represents in English translation the largest collection ever assembled of the sayings and stories of Jesus in Arabic Islamic literature. Here is the tradition of love and reverence for Jesus that has characterized Islamic tradition for more than a thousand years.

Though the author describes this as the "Muslim Gospel" we might call it the hadith (traditions) of the Prophet Jesus (and more than 300 of them), for the very same scholars who collected and authenticated this collection, had already set about authenticating the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad. The isnad (line of transmitters) is included as much as is known, considering these were collected in the ninth century for the most part. The line of transmitters for the sayings (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad are more detailed as the work was done just two hundred years after his death. With the line of transmitters (isnad) one is able to consult volumes on the biographies of these transmitters. . . a not uncommon practice for ordinary Muslims reading the teachings and sayings of Muhammad.

Some samples of the 300 hadith of Jesus included in this work:
#46 Christ said: "Whoever has learned, acted, and imparted knowledge. . .is the one who is called great in the kingdom of heaven."
#49 Jesus used to prepare food for his followers, then call them to eat and wait upon them, saying: "This is what you must do for the poor."
#91 Jesus met a man and asked him, "What are you doing?" "I am devoting myself to God," the man replied. Jesus asked, "Who is caring for you?" "My brother," replied the man. Jesus said, "Your brother is more devoted to God than you are."
#94 "At the end of time, there will be religious scholars who preach abstinence but do not themselves abstain,, who encourage yearning for the afterlife but do not themselves yearn, who forbid visits to rulers but do not themselves desist, who draw near to the rich and distance themselves from the poor, who recoil from the lowly and fawn upon the mighty. they are the tyrants and the enemies of the Merciful God."

This reviewer would also recommend Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg, a Lutheran and member of the Jesus Seminar. His scholarly yet highly readable understanding of the gospels of the New Testament lead to a clearer understanding of both the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. Muslims would no doubt find that their understanding of Jesus squares very well with Borg's.

Teachers/Librarians: 6th grade to adult - social studies/humanities
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What every Christian should know 19 Jun. 2010
By Janet Powers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As it turns out, careful control over the creation of the Bible centuries ago meant that many of the orally preserved stories about Jesus were lost to the Christian tradition. Islam, however, preserved a number of these, as one of the Abrahamic religions whose adherents shared a common theological background with Christians and Jews. This book collects a number of sayings and stories concerning Esa, as Jesus is known to readers of the Qur'an. Some are quite similar to stories and sermons familiar to us from the New Testament, but many are delightfully new and enrich the legacy of Jesus without in any way diminishing his contributions as a teacher and advocate for the poor. Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the son of God, but they do revere him as a prophet. In many ways this book explains and illuminates that reverence for Esa.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Work 22 July 2013
By A. West - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers a topic area that really needs to be more thoroughly explored by both Muslims and Christians alike. There is much room for mutual understanding and respect based on the contents of this book. The dialogue and efforts to achieve greater understanding are based on mutual respect of our differences. This book details the reverence with which Jesus receives within the Muslim world through the various sources of these teachings. It's a productive read, and well worth the time to explore the understanding in this work. I think works like it can help to foster the productive, collaborative relationship between 2 great monotheistic religions that have much more in common than they do in competition with each other.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening 16 Sept. 2015
By Adam S - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is very interesting. Not for a close minded Christian. If you are searching for all stories related to Jesus no matter the doctrine, this book is for you
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