SHEIKH IBRAHIM, BROTHER JIHAD
(2006-2010), 83’ min
Two lives committed to religion in the age of the Western religious crisis, and a commitment to tolerance: In Damascus, the Sufi Sheikh Ibrahim calls to prayer in the mosque – in the mountains of the Syrian desert Brother Jihad reads the morning mass in the Deir Mar Musa monastery. Without comment, Scheich Ibrahim, Bruder Jihad (Sheikh Ibrahim, Brother Jihad) tells of the life and the bond between the two protagonists.
Two lives committed to religion in the age of the Western religious crisis, and a commitment to mutual tolerance: In Damascus, Sheikh Ibrahim calls to prayer in the mosque – in the mountains of the Syrian desert Brother Jihad reads the morning mass in the monastery. Scheich Ibrahim, Bruder Jihad (Sheikh Ibrahim, Brother Jihad) portrays two Syrian clergymen in the context of their religion: Sheikh Ibrahim is a member of the Muslim Sufi order Naqschibandi-Haqqani in the Rukn Edin district of Damascus. Brother Jihad is a priest and monk and lives in the Syrian Catholic monastery Deir Mar Musa. One follows the everyday life of the two protagonists: Ibrahim in his tailor shop in Damascus, his committed work in the community; Jihad in prayer, the work in the monastery and his meditation in the desert. What unites the two is a long-standing friendship, which testifies to their great respect for each other’s faith and religion.
The existential way of life of the protagonists characterizes the film through predominantly long, calm shots and still images, which seemingly without external influence – such as artificial light or commentary – bring the two religious men and their lives closer to the viewer. The narrative style reflects the devotion and fervor with which they live their religion – puristically – like the faith and life of Sheikh Ibrahim and Brother Jihad. In times of material abundance, the film is a plea for reflection on human coexistence.
Background – SCHEICH IBRAHIM, BRUDER JIHAD (SHEIKH IBRAHIM, BROTHER JIHAD)
Das Kloster Deir Mar Musa al-Habaschi
Auf den Felsen des Antilibanon Gebirges, am Rand der syrischen Wüste, befindet sich das christliche Kloster Deir Mar Musa. Der Fürst Moses von Abessinien, zog sich vor 1500 Jahren dort in eine Berghöhle zurück. Eine Gemeinschaft von Eremiten sammelte sich um die kleine Basilika, die man in den Ruinen eines römischen Turms errichtete. Das Kloster wurde im 19. Jahrhundert aufgegeben und Deir Mar Musa verfiel. Im Jahr 1982 begann der Jesuitenpater Paolo dall’Oglio das Kloster als Begegnungsstätte der Religionen wieder aufzubauen. Die neugegründete asketische Gemeinschaft von Nonnen und Mönchen ist keiner Ordenshierachie untergeordnet und steht unter dem Schutz der Syrisch-katholischen Kirche. Die klösterlichen Regeln von Gebet und Arbeit bereicherte Pater Paolo um die Tugenden von Gastfreundschaft und Dialog entsprechend der Tradition der benachbarten Wüstenbewohner, der Beduinen.
The Sufi Order Naqshbandi Haqqani
The Sufi teaching is based on the personal approach and merging with Allah, which is at the same time connected with a suspension of the self. Building on a fusion of pre-Islamic and Islamic teachings, the first Sufi Masters appeared in various places within the new religion of Islam in the 7th century. They preached for the small group of their students an ascetic path of life and a mystical examination of Allah. According to the Sufi concept, the world forms a unity with Allah and in Allah. From this unity results the suspension of the self. The first Sufi orders were formed in the 12th century. They are not based on a monastic organization, but their members meet in mosques and prayer rooms for prayer and dance. With a special emphasis on the divine in all things, Naqshbandi was founded in Uzbekistan in the 14th century by the Sufi master Baha-du-Din Naqsch. The mosque of the Naqshbandi Sufis in Damascus has been run by the Master Sheikh Nazim since the seventies.