A new book, “The Muslim Jesus,” analyzes a millennium’s worth of sayings and stories of Jesus drawn from Islamic literature. The title may seem paradoxical for people not accustomed to thinking of Jesus in Muslim contexts. But Tarif Khalidi, Sir Thomas Adams professor of Arabic and director of the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at King’s College, Cambridge, 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. Khalidi says, “The legacy of Jesus is gentleness, compassion, and humility.” For Christian readers, this is reassuring. But the Muslim holy book, the Koran, recognizes that “man is contentious,” and the Muslim Jesus addresses his wayward followers with strong insinuating speech.
Zahed Amanullah is associate editor of altmuslim.com. He is based in London, England.