August 4, 2013

Superheroes: Prophet-inspired?

People are fans of famous singers, sports players, actors, socialites, models and other celebrities.. I can't help but wonder: how do they all really contribute to our society?
Superheroes also have a strong following of their own and I couldn't help but to notice similarities in their man-made nature with... the Messengers of God (Peace Be Upon Them). And my question is, why aren't our Prophets our real Superheroes??

Superman vs Moses (PBUH)
In 1938 started to emerge a wave of superhero characters from America with the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman, Hulk and many more. Their appearance is flawless and  their super powers make them stronger than humans while they deal with all aspects of society, including personal, social and political abuse - like hot, current topics of drug and alcohol abuse, terrorism etc.

Hope is what brought about comic strips back in the 1930's, also known as the Great Depression in the USA. Now listen to this.

Two young Jewish New Yorkers named Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (illustrator) decided to create their own hero - Superman, whose story is strangely similar to the one of Moses (Peace Be Upon Him) :

- Their childhood : both were sent away from home by their parents and forced to undergo an exodus from their people (Hebrews/Kryptonians) due to their threats against their lives, and then get adopted by people who are very different from themselves (Egyptian royalty/rural Kansans).

- Meaning of Superman's birth name : Kal-El, his Kryptonian name, can be translated as "Voice of God" in Hebrew.

- Talmudic values and principles.
The 99 vs Allah's Names & Attributes
The 99 is the brainchild of Naif Al-Mutawa whose idea was to create a group of superheroes enforced by the 99 Names & Attributes of God which are found throughout the Quran, in a comic book inspired by Islam.

Widad the Loving, Bari The Healer, Jaleel The Majestic, Mujiba The Responder..
Those are a few characters from the new generation of comic book heroes who not only fight crime like others, but they smash stereotypes, battle extremism and reinforce positive messages of Islam.
Justice League adopt Teshkeel Comics heroes
Since its inception, The 99 have witnessed unprecedented success ; Obama gave the superheroes a shout out, 26 animated TV series are reaching completion and a theme park is in the making.

Last but not least, The 99 team partnered with DC Comics' Justice League standing cape to shoulder with the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to defeat the friend of evil.
What brought these characters of different worlds together is, no doubt, their virtues and values which are found across Abrahamic religions.

I personally think that having these role-models, inspired by such, are a great influence on our younger genereation.
I remember the Sheikh whom I professed my faith, or Shahada, with saying ; "Teenagers put posters of Britney Spears, boy bands, actors etc up on their walls.. to me God's Prophets and Messengers (PBUT) are our superheroes and I try to be like them".

Jewish Virtual Library speaker profile on Naif Al Mutawa
Twitter: @DrNaif

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