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Youza Asaf, Youza Asaph, Youza Asouph, Yuz Asaf, Yuzu Asaf, Yuzu Asif, or Yuzasaf, (Urdu: یوضا آصف) are Arabic and Urdu variations of the name Josaphat, and are primarily connected with Christianized and Islamized versions of the life of the Buddha found in the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat.
According to Ahmadiyya thought the name Yuz Asaf is of Buddhist derivation, and possibly from Yusu or Yehoshua (Jesus) and Asaf (the Gatherer).
Local Kashmiri traditions state that the Yuz Asaf was a prophet of Ahle-Kitab (People of the Book) whose real name was Isa – the Quranic name for Jesus. The prophet Yuz Asaf came to Kashmir from the West (Holy Land) during the reign of Raja Gopdatta (c 1st century A.D) according to the ancient documents held by the current custodian of the tomb.
Indologist Günter Grönbold in his Jesus in Indien assesses that the shrine was previously Hindu, before the Islamization of Kashmir and is possibly the grave of a Buddhist or Hindu saint rather than a Sufi, but, in any case, has no connection with Jesus or Christianity.
Ghulam Ahmad and Ahmadiyya belief
Having stumbled upon research by Russian explorer Nicolas Notovitch, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, identified Yuz Asaf as the name that Jesus of Nazareth may have assumed following his crucifixion and migration from Israel. Ahmad further identified that the Roza Bal shrine located in Srinagar, Kashmir is the tomb of Jesus.
These beliefs are discussed in the book Jesus in India, written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In these publications he proposed the belief that the tomb of Yuz Asaf in the Roza Bal shrine, located in the Khanyar district of Srinagar, Kashmir - was that of Jesus of Nazareth. Drawing on Kashmiri oral traditions, as well as the Qur'an, Hadith and accounts by explorers, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad postulated that Jesus travelled to Srinagar, where he settled and married a woman called Maryam (Mary), and that Maryam bore Yuza Asif children, before he died aged 120 years. Ahmadiyya writers assert that Mary (mother of Jesus) is buried in the town Murree in Pakistan (see Mai Mari da Ashtan).
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's use of various Hindu and Islamic sources have been deemed to be misunderstandings or distortions by various scholars of Buddhism including the Swedish scholar Per Beskow in Jesus in Kashmir: Historien om en legend (1981), the German indologist Günter Grönbold, in Jesus in Indien - Das Ende einer Legende (1985) and Norbert Klatt, in Lebte Jesus in Indien?: Eine religionsgeschichtliche Klärung (1988).
These views[clarification needed] are considered to be blasphemous by the majority Sunni Islamic scholars and authorities who assert that Jesus is alive in heaven. Muslim residents at the shrine believe Yuz Asaf was a Sufi saint.
- Ijaz 1986.
- "Ahmadiyya -Jesus".
- Vaziri, M. (26 July 2012). Buddhism in Iran: An Anthropological Approach to Traces and Influences. Springer. ISBN 9781137022943.
- Khwaja Muhammad Azam Didamari (1998). Waqi'at-i-Kashmir (Story of Kashmir), being an translation by Khwaja Hamid Yazdani from the Persian MSS Tarikh-i-Kashmir 'Azmi (in Urdu). Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Research Centre. p. 117.
- Grönbold Jesus in Indien 1985 p.57
- Miller, Sam. "Tourists flock to 'Jesus's tomb' in Kashmir". news.bbc.co.uk. BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
Officially, the tomb is the burial site of Youza Asaph, a medieval Muslim preacher
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Ahmad, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam (2016). Jesus in India: Jesus' Deliverance from the Cross & Journey to India. Islam International Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85372-723-8. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- Ahmaddiya magazine Review of Religions Review of religions - Mary.
- "Placing the Marginalized Ahmadiyya in Context with the Traditional Sunni Majority" (PDF). S2CID 73710025. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2019. Cite journal requires
- "Kashmir shrine bars tourists over Jesus burial row". DAWN.COM. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
medieval Muslim saint Yuz Asaf