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Jesus: dead or alive?

Jesus crucified

Jesus crucified

Long before Dan Brown ever dragged the idea into the global imagination, there were theories that Jesus did not in fact die on the cross.  It’s a theory that challenges one of the central tenets of Christianity - without His death, there would be no resurrection and without that - well, no miracle on which to found a major religion.
by Shahnawaz Khan

Alternate theories abound.  One of them leads to Kashmir, to a place called Rozabal.  Some believe that Jesus survived the crucifixion and then travelled east to India and lived out the rest of His life in Kashmir, where He died of old age and now it is His body that lies buried in a small tomb shrine in Rozbal, part of the Khanyar locality of Srinagar.

Rozabal shrine

Locals believe it to be the shrine of a preacher and a prophet called Yuz Asaph, which maybe an Indianized version of the name Jesus.  The theory was propogated around 1899 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiya Muslim sect who claimed that Yuz Asaph was buried at Rozabal and said he had papers that proved his descent from the buried prophet.

New York-based researcher Suzanne Olsson has been trying to obtain DNA samples of the man or men who may be buried in the tomb.  She too believes that Yuz Aspah and Jesus may be the same man and wants the chance to prove it.  Furthermore she claims to be the 59th descendent of Jesus.  Her attempts - both legal and illegal - to obtain DNA samples from the tomb have incensed the locals who responded by closing the shrine to visitors.

“It is over eight years now, since we had to close the shrine.  We were facing lots of problems with people coming to say that Jesus is buried here. It is against the teachings of Quran,”

According to the Quran, Jesus, also one of Islam’s prophets did not die on the cross, but instead, God raised Him up to Himself alive.  So the residents of Rozabal don’t want people to think that He is buried there or anywhere.

These days Rozabal, unlike most shrines of Kashmir that are routinely visited by local Muslim residents, is open only once a month for prayers.

The persisting frequency of foreign visitors have made the local youth hostile.

“We have forced away tourist guides and taxi drivers who bring in foreigners and tell them Jesus is buried here,”

a youth standing near the shrine told me. He made it clear that he wanted me to leave too, despite the fact that I’m Muslim and Kashmiri.

And they’re serious.  When Olsson continued in her efforts to obtain her DNA samples, the management of the shrine successfully petitioned to get her visa cancelled.

Photo - flickr Mehraj Mir

5 Comments on “Jesus: dead or alive?”

  1. #1 David Berridge
    on May 29th, 2010 at 4:27 am

    I have a serious problem believing this one! The Mormons claim that Jesus came to the Americas, now this sect about Jesus having come to India. He certainly did a lot of travelling!! The wounds from cruxifiction would no doubt have led to infection, gangerine, amputation, shock, probable cardiac arrests, mortal losses of blood, and who knows how many other medical traumas involved. To have survived this episode and then travelled these incredible distances for the times seems ludicrous. Why then no mention of Jesus on his travels with influences of his teachings or performed miracles influencing conversions to Christianity which no doubt have threatened more than one regime as the Romans experirnced. History would have made more of this than the vaccum which exists now, certainty the Romans would have kept up a frantic effort to have seem him finally dead by all means of emperical evidence. This version is far too fanciful for any serious consideration.

  2. #2 Phillip Hanson
    on May 30th, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I agree with David. This story has already been around the globe and this writer repeats the same errors as the others. Blaming Olsson has already proven to be a distraction for people with more nefarious designs on the tomb. Doesn’t matter who’s buried in there…the ‘tolerant’ peace loving Muslims have siezed the tomb of a non-Muslim and tried to destroy it. The rest is all smoke screens they are throwing up to hide their own shameful deeds.

  3. #3 jasmin
    on May 31st, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    @Suzanne Olsson: I have read your link,…..and the link:
    I totally agree with you that the Kashmiri Pundits and convert Muslims of Kashmir are descendents of Jews who came to Kashmir, centuries ago. I am a Kashmiri Pundit myself, and our customs are very different from the Hindus of the rest of India. Not long ago the Pundit women used to dress like Jewish women; we still offer meat on altars( during havans), and unlike Brahmins, we are non-vegetarian; the Star of David is made by our priests during religious ceremonies; the surname Joos(Jews) is popular in Kashmir; the names of the places in Kashmir are Biblical. The Jews who came to Kashmir, stayed back and married with the local population and adopted their Aryan customs and vice-versa. If the Jews were here, it is a great possibility that Lord Jesus was here too.
    And interestingly, Suzanne, the Jews have a curse on them: they have to flee their homeland as the majority oppresses them. Just like now, 4 lac Kashmiri Pundits fled twenty years ago, due to the atrocities of Muslims. And just as Egypt faced violence and destruction after the Israeli Exodus, Kashmir is in a similar state of turmoil after the exodus of Pundits. Kashmir will regain its lost glory only when the rightful owners of the land return home.
    I am looking forward to the release of your book. Best wishes and thanks for your efforts on this issue.

  4. #4 irfan shaikh
    on Aug 16th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    all it is true concerning jesus pbuh and his mother mary pbuh. They both were given refuge on the high ground land with surrounding meadows after the ascending to heaven which was the percieve of the christians at those time in jersulam. And Quran is very much right in saying that he was not crucified nor he was killed as it was made to appear them. Another man was instead with similarity was crucified and that is why when they saw jesus at that time they thought he was resurrected and after that he vanished but he was ascended along with his mother to this part of the world i.e. murree ( formerly known as mai mari da asthan or resting place of mother mary) which the british changed to know murree. This proof can only be accomplished if one read Quran’s word thoroughly and analysed it and also believe it and i know 99 percent of muslim also doesn’t know as well as christians because their present belief will be shaken as they r waiting for a false imam as well as jesus to comeback again which Quran forbade.

  5. #5 Richard Roberts
    on Aug 18th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Jesus is dead only biologicaly but his soul is alive and goes to hearts in eace everyone of us. Jesus is born to be a messenger and savior in place of God. Jesus is alive and will be alive in our hearts forever be.

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