We all know the legendary story of St George and how he slain the dragon, although many of us find the story far-fetched and very detached from what we really know about England’s patron saint, from especially since the dragon did not enter the story until centuries after his martyrdom reported in the year 303 CE
Even though details of how St George, who was born in present-day Turkey and raised in his mother’s homeland, Palestine, came to be associated with the British Isles are incomplete, the St. George, the April 23, still provides a good excuse to go. go out to drink with our friends.
Again, when has anyone ever needed an excuse?
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However, there is another version of St George’s story that the vast majority of us drinking our pints in honor of a godly man who most likely preached against alcohol are unaware of.
That being the narrative supported by an order of Muslim spiritualists and mystics, known as the Sufis.
Sufis respect the ways of Sufism.
Sufism is not necessarily a sect of Islam, as you would have Catholics and Protestants in Christianity. Rather, it is a path, approach, or interpretation that more inward-looking and metaphorically-minded Muslims tend to follow, regardless of what sect they belong to. It is not a single cult movement, but rather a movement to which several cults, orders and fraternities subscribe.
It is also not representative of all followers of Islam, as some Muslim scholars criticize certain aspects of Sufi belief as being too subjective and having no basis in the sacred text of the Quran or the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. .
Nonetheless, St George is an important figure for the Sufis, who associate him with another mystical figure mentioned in the Qur’an known as Al-Khidr, which literally translates from Arabic as “The Green Man” .
The story of Al-Khidr can be found in the 18th chapter of the Quran, which is titled Sura al-Kahf, or in English, Cave Chapter. In the Qur’an, Al-Khidr is mentioned as a contemporary of the prophet Moses, who is said to have lived over 1,000 years before the birth of St George.
In the Quran, Al-Khidr is presented as someone whom God sends to Moses to educate him on the hidden world of divine knowledge. Because of his speech to God and to all, Moses comes to believe that he is the most learned among men. So God told Moses to head in a particular direction. The true purpose of his mission remains a secret until he arrives wherever he goes.
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Eventually, Moses finds himself at the junction of two seas. Where exactly it is is not known. It is then that he meets Al-Khidr, who takes Moses on an adventure, on the only condition that Moses does not speak unless he is spoken to. Moses accepts and follows Al-Khidr on his journey, where the latter behaves in a shocking and peculiar manner. Whenever Moses opens his mouth to question Al-Khidr’s actions, Al-Khidr reminds him of his promise to remain silent. After witnessing everything he does, Moses receives an account from Al-Khidr in which the wisdom behind his actions is explained. Moses remains humiliated and eventually concedes that he is not as knowledgeable as he thought. Al-Khidr is no longer mentioned in the Quran.
There are different interpretations among Muslim scholars as to who this mysterious “green man” really is. Some say he was another prophet, while others say he was a saint. There is a wide range of theories regarding its origins, but in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine it is related to St George.
Palestinian Christians still travel regularly from Bethlehem and Nazarath to visit a church that was erected in honor of St George. Right next to the church stands a mosque, named after Al-Khidr. On St. George’s Day, which in Eastern Christianity is celebrated on May 6, Muslims in the region join Christians in their veneration of the saint.
In many Muslim and Christian societies around the Levant and the Balkans, May 6 also coincides with the day of Ederlezi, or Hidirellez. The first part of the word comes from Al-Khidr, while the second part comes from the Jewish prophet Elias, otherwise known as Elijah. According to some Sufi traditions, Prophet Elias, Al-Khidr and Saint George are all the same person. They believe that Elias reappears at different times in human history under different names to help stricken believers in times of crisis.
Another Sufi account of Al-Khidr is that he was a commander in the army of a legendary king, identified in the Quran as Dhu’l-Qarnayn, which is more of a nickname that translates to “Possessor of both. horns ”. . While some Muslim scholars speculate that Dhu’l-Qarnayn was Cyrus the Great, others believe he was actually Alexander the Great. Some disagree with both camps. Either way, the identity of this particular king is a mystery.
The story goes that while Al-Khidr was serving in Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s army, the two paths parted in search of the fountain of eternal life. Al-Khidr was the first to arrive at the fountain, finding it somewhere at the junction of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. After drinking from his water, Al-Khidr then became an immortal time traveler. He mastered the ability to exist simultaneously at different times in history and to make appearances in various places at the same time. He walked land and sea, or was seen riding the sea while standing on a fish. He would right the wrongs, heal the sick and step in to adjust the course of history as he saw fit. He allegedly even surfaced around Beirut and killed a dragon. Seems familiar?
Other Sufi accounts will tell you that Al-Khidr is a simple servant of God addicted to martyrdom. When he is martyred, he is then reincarnated, then martyred again.
Who knows, maybe Saint George was just one of the manifestations of this divine hero who has been with us since the dawn of time. Who can say that Al-Khidr, or St George, is not still walking among us today? So the next time you go out with your friends to celebrate St. George’s Day, keep this story in mind. Maybe St George is just sitting by the bar ordering himself some orange juice.
According to Noor, the Ahmadiyya community is one of the many sects of Islam, and its members believe in a prophet who came after the holy prophet, the founder of Islam, Muhammad.
They believe that the true and peaceful message of Islam was revived by their prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1889. Ahmadiyya Muslims seek to spread the message of Islam through peaceful means.
The five pillars of Islam form the basis of Ahmadi belief and practice and the Qur’an is their sacred text.
Majority of Muslims in London belong to Sunni and Shia Islamic sects