Call it blasphemy but to some it is a cherished belief!
Although most Christians believe in the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, followers of the Islam religion worldwide do not subscribe to this belief. They view it as heresy, arguing that Judas Iscariot was in fact the one who died on the cross not Jesus Christ.
This matter was top among issues discussed during a gathering for Muslims at their mosque in Bulawayo's Makokoba suburb last Sunday. The gathering was a celebration of the birth of their spiritual leader, Prophet Muhammad. The occasion brought together multitudes of Islam followers around Bulawayo, How Mine, Gwanda, Hwange and Harare.
One of the organisers of the event, Sheikh Isa Paipi, said the conference was aimed at educating ordinary citizens, Christians in particular about the Moslem religion.
"The conference was aimed at conscientising people irrespective of their religious background about Islam. There are many issues that people need to know about our religion because it holds deep truth about the salvation of man more than Christianity. Actually Christianity is skewed because its followers believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross yet it was Judas Iscariot who was crucified," said Paipi.
He further revealed that Jesus was saved from crucifixion by Allah. In Christianity Allah is God.
"Based on the Holy Quran, Allah changed the appearance of the treacherous Judas Iscariot to look like Jesus and the soldiers who were sent to arrest Jesus took Judas instead. So they crucified him because he was cursed and as for Jesus, Allah lifted him up to heaven," said Paipi.
He also said this should be known by Christians.
"The truth is that Jesus was merely a messenger of God just like our leader Prophet Muhammad. He was not the son of God or God as some believe. No one died for the sins of people. It is unjust for another man to be judged based on the sins another. What was the sin of Jesus that he should be crucified to renounce the sins of all creation? Hence our brothers should submit themselves to Allah and pray for their salvation," he added.
During the fete, two tents were pitched outside the mosque to accommodate the "overflow" of congregants.
Old and young men were dressed in long robes which covered them down to the ankles. They were either black or white in colour. They also put circular head scarfs while walking barefooted.
Women were singing and chanting Islam choruses while dancing and had their heads covered in veils.