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Author Topic: Saint George/Al Khader In Orthodox Christianity And Islam  (Read 1134 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: August 05, 2012, 11:07:31 PM »

Now, for those of you who do not know, Saint George is also commemorated by Muslims as well as Christians. He is called "Al Khadr" by Muslims, meaning the "the green one." It is not uncommon to see both Muslims and Christians alike venerate this great Saint's relics in Saint George's Greek Orthodox Church in Bethlehem. What I am curious about is how the Islamic narrative of this Saint differs from the Orthodox Christian Hagiographical accounts of his life. 

A video account:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwVo910B3bk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

+Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 11:11:58 PM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 11:12:24 PM »

Subscribed. Do orthodox Muslims venerate him as well, or just Sufis and/or sects?
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Severian
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 11:15:04 PM »

^I know that Sunnis venerate him, I am not sure about the other sects. Some Sunni Muslims in Egypt actually visit the Coptic Orthodox Monastery -that is said to be at the site where the Lord and his mother visited- and pray there. Isa could probably tell us more about this.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 11:22:25 PM by Severian » Logged

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Severian
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 02:35:23 AM »

--Bump--
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Severian
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 09:00:24 PM »

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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 09:45:07 PM »

^I know that Sunnis venerate him, I am not sure about the other sects. Some Sunni Muslims in Egypt actually visit the Coptic Orthodox Monastery -that is said to be at the site where the Lord and his mother visited- and pray there. Isa could probably tell us more about this.

Yes. Its not uncommon for Sunnis, Shias, Sufis, and several other sects to venerate Christian saints or visit Christian shrines (although its not really accepted by many Islamic theologians/shaikhs). Muslims do venerate Christian shrines such as St. George Church in Palestine, Mar Sharbel & Mart Rafqa Shrine in Lebanon, Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine, Church of the Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring in Constantinople/Istanbul, St. Maryam Assyrian Church/Shrine of the Magi in Iran, and many many more chruches and shrines.

I've heard that in Russia, some Muslims from the Caucasus region visit Orthodox churches. Also, one time there was a Russian Chechen (or Dagestani?) Muslim person who would visit the church I used to go to because they said that it made them feel at home.

In India/Pakistan, some muslims visit Sikh holy shrines.     
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 06:18:18 PM »

Dear Severian,

I thought this was a very interesting and also inspiring clip you linked to.

It mentioned in part the story of a family, which I slosely paraphrase:

Quote
The Hamadan family are devout Muslims. Ahmad was 10 days old at the start of the second Palestinian uprising. He was caught in an Israeli teargas attack and almost died, and lost the ability to speak. Years later he was taken to Al-Khader Church. When the priest put the key in his mouth, he spoke his first word.

My question is, what is this miraculous key that is put in the child's mouth? The priest does this to another child in the movie as well. Is it a key to the miraculous chains, or perhaps a key to something else in the church?
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 06:25:51 PM »

Al-Wahhab and his disciples would, of course, scoff at veneration of Christian saints and try to blow them up. This is what happens when you take instruction from a drop-out.
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 06:36:20 PM »

Not to be confused with Al-Khidr. Moses didn't know what to do with him.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 06:37:54 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 06:42:44 PM »

Subscribed. Do orthodox Muslims venerate him as well, or just Sufis and/or sects?

General Sufis would consider themselves "orthodox".
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2012, 11:18:20 PM »

Jetavan,

You wrote:

St George(Al Khader) and the Green Man(Al Khidr/ Al Khudder)may overlap in Islam. St George's father was Turkish, St George was martyred in Turkey, and according to the website you pointed to, reverence for Al Khidr is particularly strong in Turkey.

For some reason, St George in Christianity was associated with a pagan Green George, who appears to be a basis for the one in Islam:
Quote
Still another tradition that both draws upon and contributes to Hizir lore is the 'Green George' festival in Greece and other Balkan states. In the rites of spring, the vegetation god 'Green George' is represented by a young man clad from head to toe in green leaves. After performing a long series of ritual gestures that symbolize planting, harvesting, and procreation, this surrogate for the god is thrown into the water. Identified at a very early date with Saint George, the pagan 'Green George' still survives in countless Christian communities. The 'Green George' festival and the Feast of Saint George are celebrated on the same day, and it is no accident that that day is April 23, time day sacred to Hizir on the older calendar.
http://khidr.org/hizir.htm

Similarly, the website shows an overlapping depiction in Christian and Muslim cultures of this figure slaying a dragon or serpeant:
Quote
Al-Khadir also presents some point of resemblance with Saint George, and it is in this connection and as patron of travellers that we meet with a figure which is probably that of al-Khadir in carved relief over the gateway of a caravanserai on the road between Sinjar and Mosul, of the XI nth century; the figure is nimbate, and is thrusting a lance into the mouth of a scaly dragon.
http://khidr.org/khwaja-khadir.htm

Another website explains that these are actually two separate figures who are associated with eachother in the popular imagination and revered in Islam:
Quote
George's death occurred around the fourth century AD, some 300 years before the last prophet of Islam completed the Message of God to His creation with the Qur'an. Thus as a true follower of monotheism (one god), Muslims regard him as dying in a state of submission to the One Creator. Or in Arabic, of dying in a state of Islam. As such, George has acquired status as a Muslim martyr too. Muslims across the Middle East have traditionally associated George with Al Khadr, literally 'the Green One', signifying wisdom that is ever fresh and imperishable. Al Khadr is described in the Qur'an as a mystical boat companion of Moses, and even though Moses' time was centuries earlier, the linking of George to this Qur'anic personality has held the imagination, and the similarity of title has meant the two figures have become entwined.

According to tradition, George often prayed near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where an elongated mosque named Qubbat Al-Khadr is dedicated to him. Located within the terraced site of the Dome of the Rock, George's shrine in Palestine came to be a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims seeking out its special healing powers. Many other sites throughout the Islamic world resound with Al-Khadr, one of the most notable being the great Beirut mosque of Al-Khadr that lies close to where George legendarily slayed the dragon, saved a princess and caused the whole city to convert to Christianity.
http://www.12thcolchester.org.uk/bd/St.George09/St.George/St.George2/Dynamic/page2.html

Qubbat Al-Khadr in Jerusalem
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 11:32:20 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 05:17:51 AM »

St George's father was Turkish, St George was martyred in Turkey, and according to the website you pointed to, reverence for Al Khidr is particularly strong in Turkey.

St. George's father wasn't Turkish. There were no Turks in Anatolia that early. It's anachronistic and plain misleading to refer to the inhabitants of what is now Turkey as Turkish hundreds of years prior to the Turkic migration.

James
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 11:52:42 AM »

St George's father was from the region that is now Turkey, St George was martyred in what is now Turkey, and according to the website you pointed to, reverence for Al Khidr is particularly strong in the region that has become Turkey.

St. George's father wasn't Turkish. There were no Turks in Anatolia that early. It's anachronistic and plain misleading to refer to the inhabitants of what is now Turkey as Turkish hundreds of years prior to the Turkic migration.

James
James,

Can't the above (in red) be implied, since I was referring to the geographical connection between the place St George's father was from, the place he was martyred, and the place that strongly focuses on his veneration in Muslim communities? This geographic connection in my mind shows overlap.

Can't a description of Eskimos in 18th century Russian Alaska refer to them as Alaskan Eskimos based on the current-day geography even if there was no official "Alaska" then?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 11:53:21 AM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 12:06:08 PM »

St George's father was from the region that is now Turkey, St George was martyred in what is now Turkey, and according to the website you pointed to, reverence for Al Khidr is particularly strong in the region that has become Turkey.

St. George's father wasn't Turkish. There were no Turks in Anatolia that early. It's anachronistic and plain misleading to refer to the inhabitants of what is now Turkey as Turkish hundreds of years prior to the Turkic migration.

James
James,

Can't the above (in red) be implied, since I was referring to the geographical connection between the place St George's father was from, the place he was martyred, and the place that strongly focuses on his veneration in Muslim communities? This geographic connection in my mind shows overlap.

Can't a description of Eskimos in 18th century Russian Alaska refer to them as Alaskan Eskimos based on the current-day geography even if there was no official "Alaska" then?

It's calling the father Turkish that's misleading as that implies an ethnic group. It would be like calling the Celts in south eastern Britain English hundreds of years before the Anglo-Saxons ever came here. Saying that St. George was from an area in modern Turkey is very different from saying he was a Turk.

James
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 01:36:29 PM »

St George's father was from the region that is now Turkey, St George was martyred in what is now Turkey, and according to the website you pointed to, reverence for Al Khidr is particularly strong in the region that has become Turkey.

St. George's father wasn't Turkish. There were no Turks in Anatolia that early. It's anachronistic and plain misleading to refer to the inhabitants of what is now Turkey as Turkish hundreds of years prior to the Turkic migration.

James
James,

Can't the above (in red) be implied, since I was referring to the geographical connection between the place St George's father was from, the place he was martyred, and the place that strongly focuses on his veneration in Muslim communities? This geographic connection in my mind shows overlap.

Can't a description of Eskimos in 18th century Russian Alaska refer to them as Alaskan Eskimos based on the current-day geography even if there was no official "Alaska" then?

It's calling the father Turkish that's misleading as that implies an ethnic group. It would be like calling the Celts in south eastern Britain English hundreds of years before the Anglo-Saxons ever came here. Saying that St. George was from an area in modern Turkey is very different from saying he was a Turk.

James
This could be splitting hairs, although I agree with you that it is correct. King Arthur and his fellows would have been those Celts, but are probably often referred to as "English".Do people even know what was the ancient name for the region that is now Turkey?

And what about my Alaska example? What about referring to the native peoples of Madagascar or the Phillipines before those names were found? Yes, he was not ethnically Turkish, but is it completely wrong to say:

Saint George was Turkish
http://whatislove-2010.blogspot.com/2012/04/saint-george-was-turkish.html

What is your opinion of the Republic of Macedonia commemorating Alexander the Great as "theirs" when in fact he was not Slavic?

Can Belarus, Poland and Lithuanian lay any claim to Adam Mickiewicz?

Was the medieval Kingdom of Lithuania really slavic?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 01:38:20 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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