Raqqi, Syria- This mysterious image was posted on an ISIS website this weekend. Is it a supernatural sign? The Islamic State leadership certainly hopes so.
Amidst a devistating pounding from coalition forces led, now, by Jordan, ISIS has a morale problem. And now, just in time, comes what some say is a message directly from the prophet. While images of Mohammed are strictly forbidden by an interpretation of the hadith, this is considered too important a message to withhold. So censors merely removed the potentially blasphemous central portion.
Scuzzfeed has a firm policy never to link to extremist websites, so we cannot give you the URL to the original story. Suffice it to say, it is strongly suggested there that you accept this relic as authentic. Not entirely without precedence images of the prophet were more or less common in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was later interpretation of comments made by the prophet to his inner circle that led to the ban on images of Mohammed.
And could this illustration from “The Apocalypse of Muhammad”, written in 1436, provide a clue as to how such an image may have been made? Other examples of supernatural religious imagery include: The Shroud of Turin, an image of the Virgin Mary on a tortilla, and a manifestation of Jesus in the clouds as bombers in the Korean war move to obliterate the “god-less” communists.
As always, we suggest a healthy skepticism towards this and other spontaneous manifestations of iconography. Objects such as this will always fall into the category of Belief. To the believer no evidence can contradict their beliefs. Belief that greater powers guide us, belief that ancient words are the only “truth”, or even the belief that Fox News is news. To these things there can be no contradiction. So we leave this story to you, our readers, to decide for yourselves. -Buster Lews