Dini ni mfumo wa maishani

Dini ni mfumo wa maishani

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Ruling on visiting the sick ?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Visiting the sick is called ‘iyaadah in Arabic (from a root word meaning return) because people come back time after time.

Ruling on visiting the sick
Some of the scholars are of the view that it is a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah). Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) favoured the view that it is a communal obligation (fard kifaayah), as stated in al-Ikhtiyaaraat (p. 85) and this is the correct view. It is proven in al-Saheehaayn that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are five duties that the Muslim owes to his brother Muslim,” one of which is visiting the sick. According to another version: “The rights of one Muslim over another are…” Al-Bukhaari said: Chapter on the obligation of visiting the sick, and he narrated the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Feed the hungry, visit the sick and free the captives.” End quote.

This hadeeth indicates that it is obligatory, and may be understood as meaning that it is a communal obligation, like feeding the hungry and freeing the captives. Al-Nawawi narrated that there is scholarly consensus that it is not waajib (obligatory). Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (10/117): i.e., it is not obligatory for individuals.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (5/173):

The correct view is that it is a communal obligation, and the Muslims are obliged to visit their sick. End quote.

The virtue of visiting the sick
There are many ahaadeeth which speak of its virtue, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When the Muslim visits his (sick) Muslim brother, he is harvesting the fruits of Paradise until he returns.” Narrated by Muslim, 2568.

The reward attained by the one who visits the sick is likened to the harvest reaped by one who gathers fruit.

According to al-Tirmidhi (2008), the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a sick person or visits a brother in Islam, a caller cries out to him: ‘May you be happy, may your walking be blessed, and may you occupy a dignified position in Paradise’.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

Imam Ahmad narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a sick person is plunging into mercy until he sits down, and when he sits down he is submerged in it.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2504.

Al-Tirmidhi (969) narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no Muslim who visits a (sick) Muslim early in the morning but seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in Paradise.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

Visiting the sick does not involve only those whom you know, rather it is prescribed for those whom you know and those whom you do not know. This was stated by al-Nawawi in Sharh Muslim.

Definition of the sick person whom it is obligatory to visit
It is the sick person whose sickness is preventing him from seeing people. If he is sick but he is still going out and seeing people, then it is not obligatory to visit him.

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/171

Visiting a non-mahram woman
There is no sin in a man visiting a non-mahram woman, or a woman visiting a non-mahram man, so long as the following conditions are met: proper covering, no risk of fitnah, and no being alone together.

Imam al-Bukhaari said: “Chapter on women visiting (sick) men. Umm al-Darda’ visited one of the Ansaari men from the mosque.” Then he narrated a hadeeth from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), who said that she visited Abu Bakr and Bilaal (may Allaah be pleased with them both) when they fell sick when they first came to Madeenah.

Muslim narrated from Anas that Abu Bakr said to ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them), after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died: “Let us go to Umm Ayman and visit her as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to visit her,” so they went to her.

Ibn al-Jawzi said: This is to be interpreted as referring to one from whom there is no fear of fitnah, such as an old woman. End quote.

Visiting a kaafir
There is no sin in visiting a mushrik kaafir who is sick, if that serves an interest. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) visited a Jewish boy and called him to Islam, and he became Muslim. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1356). And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was present when his paternal uncle Abu Taalib was dying, and he called him to Islam but he refused. Agreed upon.

The purpose in that case may be to call the person to Islam, or to restrain his evil, or to soften his heart, and so on.

See Fath al-Baari, 10/125

Should the visit be repeated?

Some scholars are of the view that one should not visit every day so that it will not become burdensome for the sick person. The correct view is that it varies according to the situation. Some people may be dear to the sick person and it may be hard for him if he does not see them every day. In that case it is Sunnah to visit continuously, so long as they do not know that the sick person dislikes it.

Haashiyat Ibn Qaasim, 3/12

One should not sit too long with the sick person
The visitor should not sit for too long with the sick person, rather the visit should be short so that it does not cause any hardship to him or his family. The sick person may pass through periods when he suffers pain because of his sickness, or he may do something that he would not like anyone to see, so sitting with him for too long will cause him embarrassment.

However, it depends on the situation; the sick person may like some people to sit with him for a long time.

Haashiyat Ibn Qaasim, 3/12; al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/174

Time for visiting
There is nothing in the Sunnah that suggests that there is a specific time for visiting the sick. Ibn al-Qayyim said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not specify any particular day or time for visiting the sick, rather he prescribed that for his ummah by night and by day, at all times. End quote.

Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/497

Some of the salaf used to visit the sick at the beginning of the day or in the early evening, so that the angels would send blessings upon them for the longest time, based on the hadeeth quoted above: “There is no Muslim who visits a (sick) Muslim early in the morning but seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in Paradise.”

But we should pay attention to the condition of the sick person and what is easiest for him; the visitor should not choose the time that suits him best, if that is going to cause hardship to the sick person or his family. That can be worked out with the sick person himself or with his family.

Frequent visits from people who do not take care to keep their visits short or choose the right time may make the sick person’s sickness even worse.

Making du’aa’ for the sick person
Du’aa’ should be made for the sick person in the manner narrated in the Sunnah: “La ba’s, tuhoor in sha Allaah (No worry, it is a purification, if Allah wills).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari.

Du’aa’ for healing should be said three times. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) visited Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas and said: “O Allaah, heal Sa’d,” three times. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5659) and Muslim (1628).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to place his right hand on the sick person and say: “Adhhib al-ba’s Rabb an-naas, wa’shfi anta al-Shaafi, laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an laa yughaadir saqaman (Take away the pain, O Lord of mankind, and grant healing, for You are the Healer, and there is no healing but Your healing that leaves no trace of sickness).” Narrated by Muslim, 2191.

It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood (3106) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a sick person who is not yet dying, and says seven times in his presence: ‘As’alu Allaaha rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem an yashfiyaka (I ask Allaah, Lord of the mighty Throne, to heal you), Allaah will heal him of that sickness.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

The visitor should ask him how he is and how he is feeling, etc. That is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as narrated by al-Tirmidhi (983) and classed as hasan by al-Albaani.

It is also narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that ‘Aa’ishah did that when she visited Abu Bakr and Bilaal (may Allaah be pleased with them both).

Reassuring him and giving him hope of a long life
A hadeeth concerning that was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2087) but it is a weak hadeeth: “When you enter upon a sick person and reassure him that he is going to live, that does not change anything, but it lifts his spirits.” It was classed as da’eef (weak) by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Tirmidhi.

But it is supported in meaning by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “La ba’s, tuhoor in sha Allaah (No worry, it is a purification, if Allah wills).” So we should try to cheer him up and give him glad tidings of healing in sha Allaah, for that will comfort the sick person.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony

Muungano wa Afrika umesema nchi nne zinaunda kikosi cha pamoja cha kupambana na kundi la waasi la Lord's Resistance Army.

Hatua hii ni sehemu ya juhudi za Sudan, Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Congo, Jamhuri ya Afrika ya Kati na Uganda ili kuzidisha shinikizo dhidi ya LRA ambalo ni kundi lililoundwa nchini Uganda miaka ishirini iliyopita.

Umoja wa Mataifa umesema kundi hilo limesababisha watu laki nne kukimbia makaazi yao katika miaka miwili iliyopita, na linashambulia miji na vijiji vilivyo mbali ya kilometer elfu moja kutoka makao yao ya asili.

Joseph Kony (alizaliwa mwaka 1961) ni kiongozi wa kundi la wanamugambo wa Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), kundi la kuvizia ambalolomejihusisha na kampeni za ghasia likiwa na azma ya kuanzisha serikali inyoongozwa na viongozi wa dini nchini Uganda, kundi hili liandai limejengeka kwenye misingi ya Biblia ya kikristo na amri kumi. [1] Kundi la LRA ambalo lilijulikana kwa vitendo vyake dhidi ya wenyeji wa Uganda Kaskazini, limeteka nyara takribani watoto 30,000 na kusababisha watu milioni 1.6 kukimbia makazi yao tangu uasi wao ulipoanza mwaka 1986.


Joseph Kony alizaliwa mwaka 1961 katika kijiji cha Odek, kinachopatikana mashariki mwa Gulu kaskazini mwa Uganda, wazazi wake walikuwa wakulima. Aliwapenda wadogo zake lakini walipomkosea aliwaadhibu. [5] Katika ujana wake, Joseph Kony alifunzwa kuwa mganga wa kijiji na kakake mkubwa, Benon Okello, na kakake alipoaga alichukua kikamilifu wajibu wa kuwa mganga wa kijiji. [6] Alipokosewa alipendela kupigana badala ya maelewano kwa njia ya mazungumzo. Akiwa shuleni alitaniwa kwa ukubwa wake na walimu walimpa wakati mgumu kwa sababu hakuonekana muerevu sana. Babake alikuwa mteandakazi wa mungu katika kanisa katoliki na mamake alikuwa Muangilikana, Kony alikuwa alatare kwa miaka kadhaa. Aliacha kwenda kanisani akiwa na umri wa karibu miaka 15. [5] Aliachaia masomo yake shule ya upili na alipata umaarufu mwezi wa Januari mwaka 1986, akiwa na miaka ishirini na kitu hivi. Kundi lake lilikuwa moja ya makundi makubwa yaliyoibuka huko Acholi wakati wa vuguvugu maarufu la Roho Mtakatifu lililoongozwa na Alice Auma (aka Lakwena). Hata hivyo kulikuwa na mgogoro miongoni mwa Wacholi walionung'unikia kupoteza uashawishi wao baada ya Rais Tito Okello aliyekuwa Muacholikupinduliwa na Yoweri Museveni na jeshi lake la National Resistance Army (NRA) wakati wa Vita vya msituni vya Uganda vilivyoisha mwaka 1986.

Mwanzoni, kundi la Kony's liliitwa United Holy Salvation Army (UHSA) na halikuchukiliwa kama tisho na NRA. Kufikia mwaka 1988, baada ya mkataba kati ya NRA na Uganda People's Democratic Army kuongeza makundi yake mengine ya wapiganaji pamoja na kusajili watoto kwa nguvu kulilifanya kundi la United Holy Salvation Army kuwa jeshi lililoogofya. Askarijeshi wake wengi walikuwa watoto. Inakadiriwa kuwa amechukuwa watoto zaidi ya 104.000 wavulana na wasichana tangu LRA ilipoanza kupigana mwaka 1986. MMara nyingi aliua jamaa na majirani wa watoto hawa alipokuwa akiwateka na kuwalazimisha wapigane katika jeshi lake. Kamanda wa kundi lilosalia la UPDA alikuwa Odong Latek, ambaye alifanikiwa katika kumshawishi Kony atumie mbinu za kisasa za kijeshi kinyume na majaribio ya awali ambayo yalihusu mashambulizi ya mslaba na kutumia maji matakatifu. Mbinu hii mpya ilifanikiwa na UHSA mapigano madgomadogo lakini waliweza kuwashinda NRA. Baada ya ushindi huu NRA ililipiza kizazi kwa kudhoofisha kundi la Kony kisiasa na kampeni iliyoitwa Oparation North.

Kufikia mwaka 1992 alilipa hilo kundi jiypa la Muungano wa Jeshi la Kikristo la Demokrasia na ni katika wakati huu ndiyo waliowateka nyara wasichana 44 kutoka shule za upili za Sacred Heart Secondary na St. Mary's Girls School Operation North iliharibu kabisa kile kingekuwa wanamugambo wa Lord's Resistance Army,hata hivyo, ingawa idadi yao ilipungua kutoka maelfu hadi mamia waliendelea kuwavamia raia na washirika wa NRA.

Mazungumzo ya Bigombe ya mwaka 1993 yalifunua mengi kumhusu Joseph Kony. Betty Bigombe alikumbuka kwamba mara ya kwanza alikutana na Kony na wafuasi wake walitumia mafuta kujikinga na risasi na pepo mbaya. [7] Katika barua ilyohusu mazungumzo ya baadaye Kony pia alieleza kwamba sharti angetafuuta ushauri kutoka kwa Roho Mtakatifu. Mazungumzo yalipoanza walisisitiza kwamba viongozi wa dini washirikishwe na walifungua mkutano kwa maombi yaliongozwa na Mkurugenzi wa Masuala ya Dini wa LRA Bw. Jenaro Bongoni. Hatimaye katika mazungumzo ya amani ya mwaka 1994 Kony aliingia huku wanaume waliovaa majoho wakiwa mbele yake wakimyumyizia maji takatifu. [8]

Juhudi nyingi za kimataifa za kuleta amani na kukomesha utekaji nyara wa watoto na Kony na Wanamugambo wa kundi lake la Lord's Resistance Army zilifanyika kati ya 1996 na 2001. Juhudi zote zilishindwa kumaliza utekaji nyara wa watoto, ubakaji, askari-jeshi watoto mauji ya raia ikiwemo usambuliaji wa kambi za wakimbizi. Baada ya shambulizi la tarehe 11 Septemba Marekani ilitangaza rasmi wanamugambo wa Lord's Resistance Army kuwa kundi la kigaidi na Joseph Kony kuwa gaidi. [9]

Josph Kony alifikiriwa kuwa mtu mwenye pepo; amesawiriwa kama ama kma Masihi au shetani. Alizuru mara kadhaa milima ya Ato nchini Uganmda. Inadaiwa kuwa angekwea hadi kileleni cha milima na kulala huko kwenye jua kali kwa siku kadhaa. Angefunikwa na kundi la kumbikumbi wekundu ambao waliing'ata ngozi yake kwa undani. Mafuta kutoka mti uitwao Yao ilipakwa mwilini mwake. Kisha aliingia kwenye pango na kushinda huko pekee kwa majuma kadhaa. Alichowaamuru watoto wafanye kilikuwa kitu cha upuzi- aliwaambia kuwa iwapo wangechora mslaba kwenye vifua vyao na mafuta wangekingwa kutoka kutoka kwa risasi. [5] Kony anasisitiza kwamba wanamugambo wa Lord's Resistance Army wanapigania Amri Kumi. "Ndiyo, tunapigania Amri Kumi," Je, ni vibbaya? siyo kukiuka haki za binadamu. Na amri haikutolewa na Joseph. Haikutolewa na LRA. la, amri hiyo ilitolewa na Mungu. " [10]

Mashtaka rasmi
Kigezo:LRA Tarehe 6 Oktoba, 2005 Mahaka ya Kimataifa ya Uhalifu (ICC) ilitoa vibali vya kukamtwa kwa wanamugambo watano wa kundi la Lord's Resistance Amy kwa uhalifu dhidi ya haki za binadamu kufuatia kufunguliwa mashitaka. Siku iliyofuata waziri wa ulinzi wa Uganda Amama Mbabazi alidokeza kuwa Joseph Kony, naibu wake Vincent Otti na makamanda wa Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odiambo na Dominic Ongwen walikuwa miongoni mwa wale ambao vibali vyao vya kukamtwa vilitolewa. Kwa mujibu wa msemaji wa jeshi, jeshi la Uganda lilimua Lukwiya tarehe 12 Agosti, 2006. [11]

Juma moja baadaye, tarehe 13 Oktoba, Mwendesha Mashitaka Mkuu wa ICC Luis Moreno Ocampo alitoa maelezo kuhusu mashitaka yaliyomkabili Kony. Kuna jumla ya mashtaka 33, 12 yakiwa ni uhalifu dhidi ya haki za binadamu, ambayo ni pamoja na mauaji, utumwa, utumwa wa ngono na ubakaji. Kuna mashitaka mengine 21 ya uhalifu wa kivita ambayo ni pamoja na mauaji, ukatili kwa raia, ushambulizi wa kimakusudi kwa raia, uporaji mali, ubakaji na kusajili watoto kwa nguvu katika vikosi vya waasi. Ocampo alisema kwamba "Kony aliwateka wasichana kuwatoa kama zawadi kwa makamanda wake."

Jeshi la Uganda limejaribu kumua Kony kwa shutuma za Upinzani .

Tarehe 31 Julai, 2006, Kony alikutana na viongozi kadhaa kitamaduni, kisiasa, na viongozi wa dini kutoka Kaskazini mwa Uganda mafichoni mwake katika msitu wa kondo kuzungumzia vita. Siku iliyofuata, 1 Agosti, alivuka mpaka na kuingia Sudan kuzungumza na Makamu wa Rais wa Kusini mwa Sudan Riek Machar. Baadaye Kony aliwaambia waandishi wa habari kwamba hakuwa tayari kufika mbele ya mahakama ya ICC kujibu mashitaka kwa kuwa hajafanya lolote baya.

Tarehe 12 Novemba 2006 Kony alikutana na Jan Egeland, Umoja naibu wa Katibu Mkuu wa Umoja wa Mataifa anayeshughulikia masuala ya kibinadamu na misaada ya dharura. Kony aliambia shirika la habari la Reuters: "Hatuna watoto wowote. tunawapiganaji tu. [12]

Tarehe 28 Agosti mwaka 2008, wizara ya fedha ya Marekani ilimuorodhesha Kony miongoni mwa kundi la "magaidi wa kipekee duniani" kundi ambalo huwa na adhabu za kifedha na adhabu. Haijulikani iwapo Kony ana miliki au hamilki rasilimali yoyote amabyo inaathiriwa na maelezo yaliyotolewa.

Desemba 25, 2008, kwa mujibu wa kikosi cha kulinda amani cha Umoja wa Mataifa, waasi wa Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) waliwaua watu 189 na kuteka nyara watoto 120 wakati wa sherehe iliyofadhiliwa na Kanisa Katoliki huko Faradje, katika Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo. Desemba 2008, jeshi la Kongo, pamoja na vikosi vya jeshi la Uganda na Sudan, vilivamia waasi wa LRA wakiwa na lengo la kuwanyang'anya silaha waasi wa LRA.

Depiction of Jesus


The Mandylion of Edessa from the private chapel of the pope in the Vatican is considered to be the earliest painting of Jesus.

The depiction of Jesus in art took several centuries to reach a conventional standardized form for his physical appearance, which has subsequently remained largely stable since that time. Most images of Jesus have in common a number of traits which are now almost universally associated with Jesus, although variants are seen.

The image of a fully-bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Images of Jesus tend to show ethnic characteristics similar to those of the culture in which the image has been created. Beliefs that certain images are historically authentic, or have acquired an authoritative status from church tradition, remain powerful among some of the faithful, in both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin is now the best-known example, though the Image of Edessa and the Veil of Veronica were better known in medieval times.

Early Christianity

Before Constantine

Incised sarcophagus slab with the Adoration of the Magi from the Catacombs of Rome, 3rd century. Plaster cast with added colour.

No physical description of Jesus is contained in any of the canonical Gospels. In the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus is said to have manifested as a "light from heaven" that temporarily blinded the Apostle Paul. The Book of Revelation makes a reference to a vision the author had of Jesus: "among the lampstands was someone like a Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." (Revelation 1:12-16, NIV) These, however, are likely a more figurative description of a spiritual form of Jesus and not his human appearance.[citation needed] Because of this, use in art of the Revelation description of Jesus has been restricted to illustrations of the book itself.

During the persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, Christian art was necessarily furtive and ambiguous, and there was hostility to idols in a group still with a large component of members with Jewish origins, surrounded by, and polemicising against, sophisticated pagan images of gods. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) and Eusebius of Caesarea (d. ca. 339) disapproved of portrayals in images of Jesus and the issue remained the subject of some controversy until the end of the 4th century.[1]

The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of tombs belonging, most likely, to wealthy [2] Christians in the catacombs of Rome, although from literary evidence there may well have been panel icons which, like almost all classical painting, have disappeared

Baptism of Christ, fragment from the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, c. 330

Initially Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the Ichthys (fish), the peacock, or an anchor (the Labarum or Chi-Rho was a later development). Later personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between Christ's death and Resurrection; Daniel in the lion's den; or Orpheus charming the animals.[3] The Tomb of the Julii has a famous but unique mosaic of Christ as Sol Invictus, a sun-god.[4] The image of "The Good Shepherd", a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the commonest of these images, and was probably not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus at this period.[5] It continues the classical Kriophoros, and in some cases may also represent the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century.[6]

Among the earliest depictions clearly intended to directly represent Jesus himself are many showing him as a baby, usually held by his mother, especially in the Adoration of the Magi, seen as the first theophany, or display of the incarnate Christ to the world at large.[7]

The appearance of Jesus had some theological implications. While some Christians thought Jesus should have the beautiful appearance of a young classical hero,[8] and the Gnostics tended to think he could change his appearance at will, for which they cited the Meeting at Emmaus as evidence,[9] others including the Church Fathers Justin (d.165) and Tertullian (d.220) believed, following Isaiah:53:2, that Christ's appearance was unremarkable:[10] "he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him." But when the pagan Celsus ridiculed the Christian religion for having an ugly God in about 180, Origen (d. 248) cited Psalm 45:3: "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, mighty one, with thy beauty and fairness"[11] Later the emphasis of leading Christian thinkers changed; Jerome (d.420) and Augustine of Hippo (d. 430) argued that Jesus must have been ideally beautiful in face and body. For Augustine he was "beautiful as a child, beautiful on earth, beautiful in heaven."

After Constantine

Bearded Jesus between Peter and Paul, Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, Rome. Second half of the 4th century. Such works "first present us with the fully formed image of Christ in Majesty that will so dominate Byzantine art"

From the 3rd century onwards, the first narrative scenes from the Life of Christ to be clearly seen are the Baptism of Christ, painted in a catacomb in about 200,[13] and the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus,[14] both of which can be clearly identified by the inclusion of the dove of the Holy Spirit in Baptisms, and the vertical, shroud-wrapped body of Lazarus. Other scenes remain ambiguous - an agape feast may be intended as a Last Supper, but before the development of a recognised physical appearance for Christ, and attributes such as the halo, it is impossible to tell, as tituli or captions are rarely used. There are some surviving scenes from Christ's Works of about 235 from the "baptistery" at Dura Europos on the Persian frontier of the Empire. During the 4th century a much greater number of scenes came to be depicted,[15] usually showing Christ as youthful, beardless and with short hair that does not reach his shoulders, although there is considerable variance.[16] Jesus is sometimes shown performing miracles by means of a wand,[17] as on the doors of Santa Sabina in Rome (430-32). He uses the wand to change water to wine, multiply the bread and fishes, and raise Lazarus.[18] When pictured healing, he only lays on hands. The wand is thought to be a symbol of power. The bare-faced youth with the wand may indicate that Jesus was thought of as a user of magic or wonder worker by some of the early Chrisitians.[19][20] No art has been found picturing Jesus with a wand before the 2nd century. Some scholars suggest that the Gospel of Mark, The Secret Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John, (the so-called Signs Gospel), portray such a wonder worker, user of magic, a magician or a Divine man.[21] Only the Apostle Peter is also depicted in ancient art with a wand.[20]

Another depiction, seen from the late 3rd century or early 4th century onwards, showed Jesus with a beard, and within a few decades can be very close to the conventional type that later emerged.[22] This depiction has been said to draw variously on Imperial imagery, the type of the classical philosopher,[23] and that of Zeus, leader of the Greek gods, or Jupiter, his Roman equivalent,[24] and the protector of Rome. According to art historian Paul Zanker, the bearded type has long hair from the start, and a relatively long beard (contrasting with the short "classical" beard and hair always given to St Peter, and most other apostles);[25] this depiction is specifically associated with "Charismatic" philosophers like Euphrates the Stoic, Dio of Prusa and Apollonius of Tyana, some of whom were claimed to perform miracles.[26] After the very earliest examples of c. 300, this depiction is mostly used for hieratic images of Jesus, and scenes from his life are more likely to use a beardless, youthful type.[27] The tendency of older scholars such as Talbot Rice to see the beardless Jesus as associated with a "classical" artistic style and the bearded one as representing an "Eastern" one drawing from ancient Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia seems impossible to sustain, and does not feature in more recent analyses. Equally attempts to relate on a consistent basis the explanation for the type chosen in a particular work to the differing theological views of the time have been unsuccessful.[28] From the 3rd century on, some Christian leaders, such as Clement of Alexandria had recommended the wearing of beards by Christian men.[29] The centre parting was also seen from early on, and was also associated with long-haired philosophers.

Late 4th century mosaic of Christ as a teacher (traditio legis), drawing on classical images of philosophers

From the middle of the 4th century, after Christianity was legalized by the Edict of Milan in 313, and gained Imperial favour, there was a new range of images of Christ the King,[30] using either of the two physical types described above, but adopting the costume and often the poses of Imperial iconography. These developed into the various forms of Christ in Majesty. Some scholars reject the connection between the political events and developments in iconography, seeing the change as a purely theological one, resulting from the shift of the concept and title of Pantocrator ("Ruler of all") from God the Father (still not portrayed in art) to Christ, which was a development of the same period, perhaps led by Athanasius of Alexandria (d. 373).[31]

Another depiction drew from classical images of philosophers, often shown as a youthful "intellectual wunderkind" in Roman sarcophagii; the Traditio Legis image initially uses this type.[32] Gradually Jesus became shown as older, and during the 5th century the image with a beard and long hair, now with a cruciform halo, came to dominate, especially in the Eastern Empire. In the earliest large New Testament mosaic cycle, in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (ca. 520), Jesus is beardless though the period of his ministry until the scenes of the Passion, after which he is shown with a beard

Christ as Emperor, wearing military dress, and crushing the serpent representing Satan. "I am the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6) reads the inscription. Ravenna, after 500

The Good Shepherd, now clearly identified as Christ, with halo and often rich robes, is still depicted, as on the apse mosaic in the church of Santi Cosma e Damiano in Rome, where the twelve apostles are depicted as twelve sheep below the imperial Jesus, or in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia at Ravenna.

Once the bearded, long-haired Jesus became the conventional representation of Jesus, his facial features slowly began to be standardised, although this process took until at least the 6th century in the Eastern Church, and much longer in the West, where clean-shaven Jesuses are common until the 12th century, despite the influence of Byzantine art.

French scholar Paul Vignon has listed fifteen similarities ("marks", like tilaka)[34] between most of the icons of Jesus after this point, particularly in the icons of "Christ Pantocrator" ("The all-powerful Messiah"). He claims that these are due to the availability of the Image of Edessa (which he claims to be identical to the Shroud of Turin, via Constantinople)[35] to the artists. Certainly images believed to have miraculous origins, or the Hodegetria, believed to be a portrait of Mary from the life by Saint Luke, were widely regarded as authoritative by the Early Medieval period and greatly influenced depictions. In Eastern Orthodoxy the form of images was, and largely is, regarded as revealed truth, with a status almost equal to scripture, and the aim of artists is to copy earlier images without originality, although the style and content of images does in fact change slightly over time.

As to the historical appearance of Jesus, in one possible translation of the apostle Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul urges Christian men of first-century Corinth not to have long hair. [36] An early commentary by Pelagius (ca. AD 354 – ca. AD 420/440) says, "Paul was complaining because men were fussing about their hair and women were flaunting their locks in church. Not only was this dishonoring to them, but it was also an incitement to fornication."[37] Interestingly, some have speculated that Paul was a Nazirite who kept his hair long.

Jesus was a practicing Jew so presumably had a beard

Alexamenos graffito

Engraving of a crucified donkey believed to be an early anti-Christian graffito, it reads: "Alexamenos worships [his] god."

A very early image generally thought to be a representation of Jesus is the Alexamenos graffito, a unique piece of wall graffiti near the Palatine hill in Rome. The inscription has been ascribed dates ranging from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD.[38][39][40][41][42] It was apparently drawn by a Roman soldier to mock another soldier who was a Christian. The caption reads, in Greek, "Alexamenos worships [his] God", while the image shows a man raising his hand toward a crucified figure with a donkey's head. The head of the donkey seems to refer to a Roman misconception about Jewish religion,[clarification needed] so that the image would be at once anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. A small minority of scholars dispute whether this image depicts Jesus, proposing that this image may be a reference to another deity.

Range of depictions

An 18th century Ethiopian image of Jesus

Miraculous images

There are, however, some images which have been claimed to realistically show how Jesus looked. One early tradition, recorded by Eusebius of Caesarea, says that Jesus once washed his face with water and then dried it with a cloth, leaving an image of his face imprinted on the cloth. This was sent by him to King Abgarus of Edessa, who had sent a messenger asking Jesus to come and heal him of his disease. This image, called the Mandylion or Image of Edessa, appears in history in around 525. Numerous replicas of this "image not made by human hands" remain in circulation. As recently as the 19th century, it was not uncommon to find prints of this icon in the homes of Anglicans, along with framed copies of the correspondence between Jesus Christ and the King of Edessa.[citation needed]

A currently familiar depiction is that on the Shroud of Turin, whose records go back to 1353. Controversy surrounds the Shroud of Turin and some have speculated it to be the same image as the Mandylion of Edessa, which disappeared in the wars surrounding the fall of the Byzantine Empire shortly before then. One of the Catholic devotions approved by the Holy See, that to the Holy Face of Jesus, now uses the image of the face on the Shroud of Turin as it appeared in the negative of the photograph taken by amateur photographer Secondo Pia in 1898. The image cannot be clearly seen on the Shroud of Turin itself with the naked eye, and it surprised Pia to the extent that he said he almost dropped and broke the photographic plate when he first saw the developed negative image on it in the evening of May 28, 1898.

Prior to 1898, devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus used an image based on the Veil of Veronica, where legend recounts that Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the sweat from Jesus's face with her veil, the image was imprinted on the cloth.

The establishment of these images as Catholic devotions traces back to Sister Marie of St Peter and the Venerable Leo Dupont who started and promoted them from 1844 to 1874 in Tours France, and Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli who associated the image from the Shroud of Turin with the devotion in 1936 in Milan Italy.

There are also icon compositions of Jesus and Mary that are traditionally believed by many Orthodox to have originated in paintings by Luke the Evangelist

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Archaeologists unearth ‘first church in the world’ in Rihab

A picture shows a cave under Saint Georgeous Church in Rihab near Mafraq, where early Christians are belived to have taken as a shelter from persecution in Jerusalem. Circular-shaped stone seats, supposedly for the clergymen can be seen in the cave (Photo by Rula Samain)

By Rula Samain

AMMAN - Lying underneath Saint Georgeous Church in Rihab, Mafraq, is what archaeologists describe as the first Christian church in the world.

“We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33AD to 70AD,” said Archaeologist Abdul Qader Hussan, head of the Rihab Centre for Archaeological Studies.

The discovery was “amazing”, Hussan told The Jordan Times.

“We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians: the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ,” the scholar said.

The early Christians, described in the mosaic inscription on St. Georgeous floor as “the 70 beloved by God and Divine”, are said to have fled from Jerusalem during the persecution of Christians, to the northern part of Jordan, particularly to Rihab, he added.

Citing historical sources, the expert said the 70 lived and practised their rituals in secrecy in this underground church.

We believe that they did not leave the cave and lived until the Christian religion was embraced by Roman rulers.

“It was then when St. Georgeous was built,” said Hussan.

Saint Georgeous is believed to be the oldest “proper” church in the world, built in 230AD. This status is only challenged by a church unearthed in Aqaba in 1998, also dating back to 3rd century.

The findings in the graveyard near the cave offer valuable clues, according to Hussan.

“We found pottery items that date back from the 3rd to 7th century,” he added. The findings show that the first Christians and their offshoot continued living in the area till the late Roman rule.

“Going down a few steps into the cave, one would see a circle shape area, believed to be the apse, and several stone seats for the ecclesiastics,” he added.

Archimandrite Nektarious, Bishop Deputy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, described the discovery of the cave as an “important milestone for Christians all around the world”.

“The only other cave in the world similar in shape and purpose is in Thessalonica, Greece,” the bishop said in an interview in Amman.

The cave also embraces the living place of the first Christians. “A wall with an entrance is the only partition separating the altar from the living area,” Hussan said.

There is also a deep tunnel, which is believed to have led the 70 Christians to their source of water, the archaeologist added.

Officials in Mafraq say they will capitalise on the discovery to further promote the area.

Governor Zeid Zreiqat, who noted Rihab is rich in unique archaeological sites, said that together with the new discovery, these sites can be invested to attract religious tourism.

“We are working on developing Rihab to become a major tourist attraction in the near future,” he told The Jordan Times.

So far, 30 churches have been discovered in Rihab,” Hussan said. It is also believed that Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary have passed through this area, he added

Marekani Yaomba Radhi Kwa Kuwaambukiza Watu Magonjwa ya Zinaa

Rais wa Marekani, Barack Obama na waziri wake wa mambo ya nje, Hillary Clinton wameiomba radhi serikali ya Guatemala baada ya kugundulika Marekani iliwatumia raia wa Guatemala katika majaribio ya madawa yake kwa kuwaambukiza kwa makusudi watu 1,500 magonjwa ya zinaa.
Serikali ya Marekani imeiomba radhi serikali ya Guatemala baada ya kugundulika wanasayansi wa Marekani waliwatumia raia wa Guatemala katika majaribio yao ya madawa ya magonjwa ya zinaa kwa kuwaambukiza kwa makusudi magonjwa ya zinaa.

Majaribio hayo ingawa yalifanyika miaka 60 iliyopita, kugundulika kwa siri ya majaribio hayo kumepelekea rais Obama ampigie simu rais wa Guatemala kumuomba radhi. Serikali ya Guatemala imesema itaanzisha uchunguzi kuhusiana na majaribio hayo ambayo ilisema yako nje ya ubinadamu.

Imegundulika pia kuwa katika miaka ya karibuni baadhi ya wanasayansi wa Marekani wamekuwa wakienda kwenye nchi masikini ambazo raia wake wana upeo mdogo wa kielimu na kuwatumia watu kujaribu madawa yao.

Katika maongezi yake kwa njia ya simu na rais wa Guatemala, Alvaro Colom, rais Obama alielezea kusikitishwa na majaribio hayo yaliyofanywa na watafiti wa afya wa Marekani nchini Guatemala kati ya mwaka 1946 na 1948.

Rais Obama alisema kuwa serikali ya Marekani inawaomba radhi watu wote walioambukizwa kwa makusudi magonjwa ya zinaa.

Obama aliahidi kuanzia sasa majaribio yote ya madawa yatalazimika kuzingatia sheria za Marekani na za kimataifa.

Watu 1500 waliambukizwa magonjwa ya zinaa kama vile gono, kaswende na kisonono na kisha kupewa madawa ya majaribio kutibu magonjwa hayo. Mtu mmoja alifariki katika majaribio hayo.

Katika majaribio hayo yaliyoongozwa na dokta John Cutler, wanawake wanaofanya ukahaba nchini Guatemala waliambukizwa kwa makusudi magonjwa ya gono au kaswende na kisha wanawake hao kuruhusiwa kufanya mapenzi na wanajeshi na wafungwa.

"Baada ya kugundulika ni watu wachache waliambukizwa magonjwa hayo, watafiti walibadilisha staili na kuamua kuwadunga sindano za maambukizi hayo wanajeshi, wafungwa na watu wenye matatizo ya akili", zilisema nyaraka za majaribio hayo.

Baada ya hapo watu walioambukizwa magonjwa hayo walipewa madawa ya majaribio lakini hakukuwa na taratibu za kuhakikisha kama wamepona magonjwa hayo au la.

Inaaminika kuwa watu walioshiriki majaribio hayo hawakujua kinachoendelea kutokana na kuongopewa na wanasansi hao.

Rais wa Guatemala alisema kuwa alikuwa hajui lolote kuhusiana na suala hilo mpaka alipopigiwa simu ya kuombwa radhi na waziri wa mambo ya nje wa Marekani, Hillary Clinton.

Taasisi Huru ya madawa ya Marekani itafanya uchunguzi kugundua undani wa majaribio hayo ya madawa nchini Guatemala.

Wacharazwa Bakora Kwa Kuuza Chakula Mwezi wa Ramadhan

Wanawake wawili wa nchini Indonesia ambao walipatikana na hatia ya kuuza chakula mchana wa mwezi wa ramadhan wamecharazwa bakora mbele ya mamia ya watu.
Wanawake wawili ambao walipatikana na hatia ya kuvunja sheria za kiislamu kwa kuuza chakula wakati watu wakiwa wamefunga mwezi wa ramadhan wamecharazwa bakora mbele ya mamia ya watu waliokusanyika mbele ya msikiti.

Mamia ya watu walikusanyika mbele ya msikiti uliopo kwenye mji wa Jantho, Aceh nchini humo ili kushuhudia Murni Amris, 27 akicharazwa bakora tatu na Rukiah Abdullah, 22, akicharazwa bakora mbili.

"Hawa wanawake wawili walikamatwa wakiuza wali mchana wa mwezi wa ramadhan. Sharia za kiislamu zinapiga marufuku kuuza chakula masaa ambayo watu wanakuwa wamefunga", alisema Marzuki Abdullah mkuu wa polisi wa sharia katika jimbo la Aceh.

Bi Murni Amris alicharazwa bakora moja zaidi ya mwenzake kwa kuwa yeye ndiye aliyekuwa mmiliki wa kibanda cha kuuza chakula wakati Bi Rukiah Abdullah alikuwa ndio mfanyakazi wake.

Walikamatwa wakiuza chakula wakati wa mwezi wa ramadhan ulioisha ambao ulianza kati ya mwezi August na septemba mwaka huu.

Gonga linki chini kwa picha zinazoonyesha wanawake hao wakicharazwa bakora.