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Turin Shroud: A Challenge to Muslims' Belief?

Question and answer details
Umar
Turin Shroud: A Challenge to Muslims' Belief?
2008-06-24
  Dear respected scholar, as-salamu `alaykum! I've got a question pertaining to the `aqidah (faith). Are there some fatwas by modern Muslim scholars about the famous Turin Shroud (Shroud of Christ) and the results of recent researches made over it in Russia by FSB (Russian state security service)? What is being published about it sounds like a kind of challenge to the Islamic view over the life of `Isa (Jesus; peace be upon him), who according to the Qur'an was not crucified. Or are there different views over this issue among the Muslim scholars? In any case, what is your view over the Turin Shroud? There are many Christian missionaries in our Central Asian states; they are very active and often successful, and they use different ways of propaganda. Therefore, we, Kazakhstani Muslims, really need full information over such issues.  Jazakum Allahu khayran.                                                                          
Muhammad Muhammad Abu Laylah
Answer
Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question, and we implore Allah to guide all the members of the human family to the best, both in this world and in the hereafter.

Regarding the issue you raised in your question, it does not pose any challenge to Muslims' belief: Muslims have no doubts over the truthfulness and authenticity of the Qur'an. The Qur'an is clear that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified, and that is the belief of every Muslim.

In response to your question, Muhammad M. Abu Layla, professor of Islamic studies and comparative religions, Al-Azhar University,  illustrated,

Muslims are dominated by their beliefs, and they try hard to abide by it. There is no compromise at all with Muslims concerning Jesus (known in Arabic as: `Isa), (They slew him [Jesus] not nor did they crucify him) (An-Nisaa' 4:157).

Muslims believe that Jesus was ascended to Allah; but no one can tell but Allah how that happened.

Muslims do not believe in the crucifixion of Jesus. The shroud cannot be taken as a proof at all that Jesus was killed or buried. Reading the accounts given by the evangelists, i.e. the writers of the four gospels, cannot provide solid evidence that Jesus was crucified and buried and came up from the tomb three days after his burial. The four accounts are confusing.

This does not mean at all to undermine other people's faith, but respecting other people's feelings should not prevent us from telling the truth or examining their evidences.

Muslims do not believe in the Shroud ascribed to Jesus or anything similar to it. They should abide by what the Qur'an told on the end of Jesus on Earth. Whatever is presented to them, as a scholar and specialist in Christianity, I do not agree that the shroud is a challenge to Muslims.

Muslims do not wait for something to be discovered to strengthen their faith in Jesus as an infallible prophet of Allah.

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