Robert Reilly, acclaimed author of THE CLOSING OF THE MUSLIM MIND, imagines a scene in Heaven: a Muslim catechized by Jesus Himself.
By Robert Reilly
Scene: Before the heavenly Throne.
Muslim (upon seeing Christ): “Is this a dream?”
Christ: “No. Something much better.”
Muslim: “I didn’t expect to see you here far above everyone. I thought you were coming back at the end of time to break the Cross, as we Muslims believe.”
Christ: “No, I’m not coming back to break the Cross. Rather, I was broken on the Cross, which is why you’re able to appear before me today.”
Muslim: “But we believe that the all-powerful God would not allow one of his prophets to be treated that way. That is why we refuse to believe you were crucified. It was some other man, or a shadow.”
Christ: “But I am not simply one of the prophets. I am God. I chose to allow myself to be treated this way to fulfill what the prophets foretold of the Suffering Servant.”
Muslim: “But God can’t do that! He can’t suffer and die.”
Christ: “Who are you to limit what God can do?”
Muslim: “But we are the true defenders of God’s absolute omnipotence. God is whoever is all powerful."
Christ: “So, right is the rule of the stronger?”
Muslim: “Yes. God decides because He is the strongest.”
Christ: “And He can decide anything?”
Muslim: “Yes, anything, and whatever He decides is just.”
Christ: “He is not bound even by His own word?”
Muslim: “No, not by anything.”
Christ: “But I am the Word. I am true to Myself. Pure will and power are arbitrary, tyrannical. I would be a despot.”
Muslim: “But we were taught that God cannot be confined by our human ideas of justice.”
Christ: “From where did you think you got those ideas of justice in the first place, if not from Me?”
Muslim: “I don’t know. Islam tells us to submit without questioning. The great al-Ghazali taught us that, ‘the mind. . .once it testifies to the truthfulness of the prophet, must cease to act.’”
Christ the Redeemer by Andrea Mantegna, 1493