What People Are Saying About The Gospel of Damascus
There is a rhythm to this story. Like a little song in the back of your head. A relaxing melody that made me happy. The story uses Islam as the central philosophy of the journey of a man who prepares the world for the second coming of Christ. Yet, this is not a story of religion. It is a look at morality – and the impact of choices not only on those who make them, but the ripple effect of those choices through society.
Palla O’Neal-Jimentel, Parkville, MD

Omar Imady’s The Gospel of Damascus attempts to eradicate this severance between mankind and helps to unite Muslims, Jews, and Christians by connecting the three belief systems together. The author shows tremendous respect for all three religions, and I very much appreciated how he was able to use factual aspects of the three different religions and incorporate them into a fictional story. The Gospel of Damascus was an absolute pleasure to read!
Jason Roberts, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship of the angels with Yune. The spiritual journey that they make helps me reflect on my own personal spiritual journey and my need to “wait for Christ”. I didn’t realize that parts of the Muslim faith paralleled the Christian faith. This is a great summer read!
Crystal Steele Joyce, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Gospel of Damascus is a beautiful book, beautiful in its prose and uplifting in its message. The chapter titled “The Gospel of Damascus” is particularly striking in its message. It is hard to describe what feelings this book invoked in me, I felt as though it was more of an experience than an exercise in reading. I will keep this book along with other books that I refer to time and again when I need some guidance in my life as I, too,“wait for Christ.”
Joan Scholla, Dunmore, Pennsylvania

The Gospel of Damascus is the first novel, that I am aware of, that is written by a Syrian and perhaps by an Arab author which categorically condemns the Holocaust (I speak here as a Palestinian scholar who is very familiar with contemporary fiction by Arab and Muslim authors). Not only does The Gospel of Damascus condemn the Holocaust, but it also makes attempting to save Jews from the Nazis a prerequisite for being selected by God for the most special mission of all: receiving the Christ.
Yasir Sakr, Ph.D., Jordan University of Science and
Technology, Irbid, Jordan

An excellent fictional account of the events leading to the coming of the Christ in Damascus. Transcending religions and denominations, we are drawn into a realm of celestials who lead and guide humans to the Will of the Divine. I simply couldn’t put this one down! I give this book Five Stars and a big Thumbs Up!
Cynthia Henry, Ronceverte, West Virginia

This is my maiden literary journey with Omar Imady, and what a wonderful journey it was! He masterfully weaves his way between the human and the spiritual world so the reader can experience the angels in our midst that we encounter daily or just know their presence with us. As I read some of the opening pages, I remembered the novels written by Frank Perretti and how he also blended the natural and spiritual entities we encounter daily. There are many surprises also within these pages that keep the reader moving through, wanting more!
Gertrude Hutchinson, Altamont, New York

This book is a very well written and entertaining story. On first glance it reads like a fantasy story with its angel-like beings but if you let the story enter your thoughts and actually start to think about it you learn that it is much more. For me it was an eye opener about my approach to religion – and that is something you did not expect from a novel. I just can’t say more for it is more to me. Many thanks!
Oliver Fitzner, Leun, Germany

“Behold, out of Syria will I begin to call together a new Jerusalem.”

— Epistula Apostolorum

I. In Search of a Fire Horse

My name is Raqeem, one of eight angels entrusted with the
task of facilitating God’s design on earth. On the eve of the return
of the Anointed One, seven seals were broken and a fire horse was
sculpted by the words of golden scrolls. I was a witness to these
events and I have been honored with the task of sharing with all the
wonders that my eyes have seen.

The barzakh is the Transient Partition, a cosmic sphere where
angels having earth-related instructions abide. It is also the place
where departed human souls are kept until the Day of Judgment.
At the end of each Hebrew century, eight angels are sent from the
barzakh to replace the eight who have completed their mission
on earth. These angels are called the Guardians of the Design. My
seven companions and I arrived on earth moments after sunset on
Thursday the 1st of Tishri, 5701, which corresponds with the 20th of
September, 1940, and the 1st of Ramadan, 1359. We are scheduled
to be retrieved from earth on Saturday, the 1st of Tishri, 5801, or the
8th of September, 2040, and the 1st of Ramadan, 1462.
Though we have been endowed with human forms, we neither
eat nor drink. Yet, we can experience pain and joy, laughter and
tears, the sacred gifts to the children of Adam. We are protected from
death, but not from its instruments. Our base is Mount Hermon, the
original gate to heaven as testified by The Book of Enoch. Each of us
has been entrusted with the secrets of a sacred quality, as reflected
by our very names. Mine, Raqeem or inscription, signifies that my
gift is weaving seemingly unrelated segments, as letters are woven
into words or sounds are arranged into music.

For nearly twenty-six years, the tasks we were entrusted with
were mostly related to crises taking place in various parts of the
world. But my companions and I longed for a mission that was of a
very different type, a mission that prepared the earth for a dramatic
event that would have significant impact on the nature and intensity
of human spirituality. But we were all too aware of the fact that such
missions were very infrequent and that numerous past members
of the Guardians of the Design have arrived on earth and departed
without having been honored with such a task. But then suddenly
Wahi arrived.

Wahi is not one of us. Not only is he higher in rank, but he is also
our link to the Divine Will, a grand go-between, if you like. Everything
we help unfold, every move we make during our stay on this
planet is inspired by messages conveyed to us by Wahi. When Wahi
arrived from the Seventh Sphere we all knew it was important. It had
to be important. Though none of us have been invited there, it was
quite clear that it was a place where important decisions were made
and conveyed. Well, perhaps not made, but definitely conveyed.
When Wahi drew near it always felt like wind and light, a strange
combination, almost like an electric breeze. His voice, both warm
and distant, was consistent with his sense of presence. “Be sure to
open each scroll in its designated time,” he said, as he handed me
a wooden box that contained golden scrolls, reserved for the most
important of missions entrusted to us. ‘Periodic Unfolding,’ the
technical term for what Wahi was emphasizing, meant not only that
this was an extremely important message, but also that not even I,
the angel entrusted with overseeing missions from on-high, would
know its true nature until the very end. I watched Wahi disappear
in the brilliant sky above Mount Hermon and carried the scrolls to
my cave.

The wooden box is made from branches of the sidrah or the Lote
Tree, which marks the extreme limits of the Seventh Sphere. I raised
the box to my face and inhaled its sacred scent. Inside the box, seven
glass cylinders were neatly placed. The golden scrolls were placed
within these glass cylinders. You know the time is right to break
a cylinder when it begins to glow, almost like a light bulb, but far
more beautifully. One was already glowing when I opened the box.
To break a cylinder, you must hold it with both hands and apply
pressure on the middle point. It’s made in such a way that when
pressure is applied, it breaks as though it was perfectly cut with an
electric blade. The first cylinder contained two golden scrolls with

numbers on each to indicate which should be opened first. Though
I was aware that these thin sheets of gold cannot be torn or broken,
I was very careful when I unrolled scroll number one. The following
words were incised:
A fire horse will be born in the city of Christ to a Huguenot
womb and an Uzbek Knight.

This was not a riddle, at least not intentionally. There was no
expectation that I would regard it as difficult to understand. The
choice of words in these messages reflected what the Divine Will
regarded as important, the most essential elements, as it were. This
said, I rarely found these messages easy to understand and this
particular message was no exception. I had to follow the clues and
the first was the fire horse. I knew that the fire horse was the name
of one of the years in the Chinese calendar, but I felt there was a lot
more to find out. And so, it was time to meet Fei.
When we, the Guardians of the Design, travel, our destination
hastens to meet us. We take one step and we are suddenly where
we intend to be. A few humans have been blessed with this gift. In
Jewish tradition they are known as kefitzat ha-aretz, or those for
whom earth jumped. As the Rabbis have taught: “For three did
the earth shrink: Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, our father Jacob, and
Abishai the son of Zeruiah …” In the mystic Islamic tradition, they
are known as ahl al-khitwa, or the people of the step.
We can also pull people into behaving in certain ways. But this
is something we do our best to avoid because people vary in how
open they are to being pulled. The extent to which their behavior
reflects what we intend them to do is rarely a perfect match. But
tonight is different. The man I wanted to meet had perfected the
art of being open to angelic pulls. In one step I am in Hangzhou, a
Chinese city not too far from Shanghai. I walk into Louwailou, or
Tower Beyond Tower, a restaurant overlooking West Lake. And I’m
not at all surprised to find Fei sitting inside with a smile on his face.
“So you wanted to see me. I have ordered: Shrimp with Dragon
Well Green Tea. No one should go through life without having tasted
this. You still insist on this no eating policy…”
“If I could eat, Fei, I assure you I most certainly would not eat

When engaging with humans, we take on various disguises.
Our features change at the very moment we envision the person
we would like to become. Only with a select few, do we present
ourselves as who we really are, angels in human form. Fei was one
such exception, but if he were to seriously contemplate sharing
our secret with anyone, his memories of our encounters would be
instantaneously erased.
“So, Raqeem, I suspect you need some insights on Chinese astronomy?”
“Yes I do, Fei. Please tell me, is the year of the Fire Horse special
in any way?”
Fei was a very knowledgeable and eloquent man. I was introduced
to him by Mizan, the angel entrusted with the secrets of
wisdom and one of my companions on Mount Hermon. Fei’s entire
world revolved around astronomy and his openness to me made
him move quickly to the very points I was interested in.
“Unlike the year of the Horse which takes place every twelve
years, the year of the Fire Horse takes place every sixty years. The
last year of the Fire Horse was 1906. The next will start a week from
today, January 21, 1966, and will end on February 8, 1967.”
“Children born in the year of the Fire Horse are, to put it simply,
extreme horses. They have all the qualities of a child born in the
year of the Horse, individualism, love of freedom, hatred of mediocrity,
but in a highly accentuated manner. The result is a dangerous
creature destined to become famous or infamous, a bearer of
tragedy or spectacular fortune. But you see my friend, who wants to
take such a risk? This is why some women due to give birth soon are
actually planning to have an abortion.”
The thought of aborting the gift of a child made me cringe.
“Anything else I should know?”
“Oh yes,” he said as he reached for his glass of Shaoxing wine,
“fire horses are most dangerous when in love. Whatever self-control
they are able to practice, it all vanishes when colliding with the
passion that love unleashes in them.”

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