Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saudi Liberal Mansour Al-Hadj on Shahid Intercession

Medina Mosque
Saudi Arabia
(Image from Wikipedia)

I've previously noted that contrary to what one ordinarily hears of Islamic teaching about the limits of sacrifice -- namely, that one person cannot act as a redemptive sacrifice for another, which is stated as an objection to the Christian view of Christ's vicarious sacrifice -- Islam also has a view similar to the Christian one.

One finds this view expressed most often in Islamist writing. According to Memri (Special Dispatch, No. 2663), the "reformist writer Mansour Al-Hadj, one of the . . . senior reporters [for the liberal Muslim e-magazine Aafaq], described the Islamist education he received as a youth in Saudi Arabia, which stressed the culture of death and the glorification of martyrs." Here's the money quote on intercession by the shahid (martyr):
"[In Saudi Arabia], we were also taught that every martyr has six privileges . . . . [the sixth being that] he can intercede on behalf of 70 of his relatives, [ensuring that they join him in Paradise after their death]."
The intercession here means that the martyr's death qualifies him to act as a redemptive intercessor based on his sacrifice of his own life, which earns paradise not only for him but even for seventy relatives.

Actually, there's a lot to sort out on this point, not just precisely what the 'redemptive' act entails -- in what way it is redemptive and what the redemption is from -- but also what Muslims mean when they deny the Christian view of Christ's redemptive act . . . and in fact, I'd like to find an instance of the denial, now that I think about it.

But not this morning, for work calls.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home