Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Muslim shia communities

Who is Peter, Jesus disciple? Where is this town of Shame3 in Lebanon?

Posted on February 23, 2012

And what if Peter was not crucified in Rome, upside down, as the Church of Rome found it convenient as a credible story?

This is another alternative story, a hometown story.

Apparently, the Muslim Shia sect in Lebanon consider Peter (Simon), Jesus disciple, as a prophet and a close cousin to Mary (the Virgin) 

The Virgin Mary was his aunt from both her mother and father sides. Simon, Peter…is also known as Shimon Safa in the town of Shama3 (Shamaa) near the city of Tyr. Safa means the lean stone in Arabic, Kifa in Syriac, and Peter in Greek.

Peter was born around 10 BC and lived in the town of 7amoul or (Hamoun) near the village of Naqoura in South Lebanon.  Peter’s father was Hamoun Bin 3aama in the town still known as Hamoul where he is buried.

Hamoun had two sisters: Hanneh (Hanna) and Elizabeth. Hanneh married Omran and gave birth to Mary. The mother of Peter is the sister of Omran.

In the year 64, Peter fled Rome after Niro escalated his persecution of the Christian, and settled in Babylon by the River Euphrates for a while.

He wrote a letter to the community of Karkisia by the Euphrates River.  Peter travelled to Palestine and when the Jewish revolt (66 to 70 AC) started persecuting the Christian, Peter fled to Northern Galilee (Tyr district) in 67, but the Jews followed him and killed him by a blow on the head. Peter was 77 year-old.

The community of his ancestors in Hamoul buried him there by his mother in the town of Shama3, which is short for Shimon.  

The upper story is one thousand year old, but the lower one is pretty ancient.

Thousand of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Peter’s tomb every year, especially during the celebration of the 40 days of Hussain martyrdom.

An inscription on the two-story tomb reads: “Peace on the prophet of God, peace on you Shimon Safa, peace on you and on the prophet of God…”

People in that region have a saying: “O Shimon Safa, your secret has not disappeared”

Shimon and his brother Andrew were fishermen and threw the net in Lake Tiberiad (Tabaraya).  Before Tiberias, they learned the profession of fishing in the Mediterranean Sea, in current south Lebanon.

Most of Jesus disciples were close cousins and close relatives from the district of Tyr (Lebanon):  This should come as no surprise for normal people.  

As Jesus was standing trial, all the disciples huddled in a remote house and dared not step out for a week.  The disciples were scared, but mostly ashamed for following this “insane cousin of them” who kept his silence and refused to defend himself.  

An insane cousin who ended up crucified like common criminals, between two confirmed criminals.

An insane cousin who had no one to support him after a “King” entrance to Jerusalem a week ago, with a large following, a walking Rabbi, and mounted on a donkey!

An insane cousin who was warned several times Not to advance toward Jerusalem (his first visit in his entire life). The Jews in Jerusalem were very worried, especially with the rumors that Jesus wanted to “galvanize” the Jews against the Roman occupation. The Jewish clerics had an autonomous control and vested with many privileges by the Roman Consul.

An insane cousin they had high expectation to becoming an important personality and honoring the extended family back in Upper Galilee in the district of Tyr (current south Lebanon). Tyr was the administrative and judicial capital of that region , from Haifa all the way to the Lake of Tiberias, during the Seleucid Empire and after the Roman occupied this land.

An insane cousin who acted as a meek prisoner, and worse, insisted to be the Son of God, the expected Messiah.

People are suckers for stories.

When a person likes a story, the story takes a life of its own.  

What if the story is loved by 2 billion people (Christians and Muslims)?

The story goes that attitudes changed after Jesus re-appeared to the disciples…and Peter was not crucified in Rome, upside down, as the Church of Rome found it convenient as a credible story…

Note 1: This post was inspired by an article by Hala Homsi in the daily Al Nahar. The reference is author Ali Dawood Jaber “Shimon Safa: the in-between Christianity and Islam

Note 2: We owe it to the Muslim Shia communities in South Lebanon and Jabal Amel to have maintained the “hometown stories” of Jesus, Mary, Peter, Jacob, Omran, Hanneh… where they were born, raised and buried.

Note 3: Once the disciples of Jesus were pressured to leave Jerusalem, where they were huddled for many years and behaved according to the strict daily customs of the Jews of Jerusalem, their first phase was to visit their hometowns in Upper Galilee, before venturing far away.


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