August 19, 2003

al-Farsi

In a footnote on page 50 of Farid Esack's useful little book The Qur'an: A Short Introduction, elaborating on the view that those who heard the revelation of Moses were bound to follow it, until the advent of the revelation of Jesus, which in turn was surpassed and finalized by that granted to the Prophet, Esack informs us:

This theory is neatly supported by a lengthy account regarding the spiritual search of Salman al-Farsi (d. 658) before he encountered the Prophet. Salman was said to have grieved at the inability of deeply pious friends of his who died before hearing about his new faith, Islam, to embrace it. The Prophet is reported to have told him: "Whoever has died in the faith of Jesus and died in islam before he heard me, his lot shall be good. But whoever hears of me today and yet does not assent to me shall perish." (Tabari, 1954, 1:323)

By islam, incidentally, Esack means not the organized religion, merely submission to God. I thought that was interesting, in light of this post, and the ensuing discussion.

And I've been meaning to get around to noting that Aziz Poonawalla has posted his thoughts on the subject here on Unmedia and here on Shi'a Pundit.

Posted by Ideofact at August 19, 2003 11:48 PM
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