By The Soft Lyres
The Search for the Prophet Elijah
Mishael Caspi / Gerda Neu-Sokol
Islamkundliche Untersuchungen Band 272
Klaus Schwarz Verlag
1. Auflage (2006)
Paperback, 415 Seiten
Elijah, a mysterious person, first appears ready to undertake the mission to restore the hearts of the people to God. He is also the forerunner about whom Jesus later said, Elijah already came. In order to comprehend humanity's recognition of Elijah and his unique role in three traditions, we can examine three events: God's revelation to Moses via the burning bush and God's connection to Khidhr that is described in Islamic folk literature. Each of these traditions offers us an immortal being who is here and there, who is both human and divine, who wanders from one place to another, and who helps common people. Yet in each tradition, Elijah plays a different role. For one he heralds the coming of the Messiah. To others he comes to identify the importance of the Torah. And in the Islamic tradition he is revered as a miraculous person. When Elijah gets taken to heaven in a fiery chariot, mortals can no longer see him, and he be-comes an angel living in the celestial world. Folk literature has thus created the image of this biblical character, a meta-historical persona, and has turned Elijah into a legend. This demonstrates that humanity is in a constant, everlasting search of Elijah because no search for him has ever been completely satisfied or realized. Some still search for the Elijah who will hearken the Messiah's footsteps and share his tidings. Others continue look for the Elijah who will fulfill prophecy and attain the messianic promise. Still others search for Elijah's promised blessings. Humanity is on esoteric ground in this eternal quest at whose heart lies a deep intellectual struggle. It is a struggle that humanity refuses to abandon. One of the human heart's deepest desires remains rooted in its eternal search for the elusive Elijah.