The Weight in the Word: Prophethood, Biblical and Quranic
Sussex Academic Press, 1999 - 204 pàgines
Biblical ethics and eloquence reached a pinnacle with the great "writing" Prophets. Prophethood has also been central to Islam. Muhammad, its final messenger, is coupled with Allah in the Islamic faith, through confession or Shahadah. Is it proper, or feasible, to bring these two realms together, separated as they are by more than ten centuries? Many in each community of faith would disapprove. Yet there are clear common denominators - the central role of personality; the mystery of language and inspiration; the bearing of circumstance and situation; and, through all these, the incidence of suffering.
Among the Biblical Prophets, a basic descriptive for their vocation and meaning is the sense of "burden." The title of the book is taken from Surah 73.5 of the Qur'an where Muhammad understands that he is to undergo the onset of a "a heavy saying," or a "weighty word." Exploration of this mutual theme leads to common features. While the "weight" Qur'an-wise is the obligation to give divine words perfect reproduction; for the Biblical Prophets the onus is more inherently personal, and is reflected in the essential loneliness of vocation. The Weight in the Word attempts to explore an alignment of Prophethood in the Bible and in Islam in one denominator, against the odds of mutual alienation. In the Qur'an, "God and Messenger" represent the dual unity of creed and command; for Christian theology, via Messiah crucified, the theology of Prophethood is found in knowing "the Weight in the Word" by the wounds in the soul, and "the Word made flesh."