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, 1493Christ: “That it is a betrayal of Me. I seek rational consent, not cowering subjection. Tell me: can the all-powerful God enter his creation?”Muslim: “Yes, but only through his word to his prophets to give us his commands.”Christ: “But, as I said, I am the Word.”Muslim: “But you are flesh.”Christ: “Yes, the Word made flesh, because God is also Love and wishes to save you. Though I am the strongest, I made myself the weakest out of love for you.”Muslim: “We are taught that God can only favor us (if we obey Him) because He is complete in Himself, and loving us would indicate some lack in Him. So, this kind of love cannot be. It is a forbidden thought.”Christ: “You cannot forbid Me. I suffer no lack from this love. I do not need to complete myself, but to complete you. You have a hole in your soul. Only I can fill it. I became man for this purpose.”Muslim: “Yes, we thought you were a man, certainly not the son of God. That would be blasphemy.”Christ: “I know. You have a false idea of Me from the Qur’an, just as it mistakenly tells you that the Trinity is composed of Father, Son, and Mary. Neither did you believe that God is your Father, but some infinitely distant, unknowable Being, who could not possibly be in relation to you, except as a master to a slave.”Muslim: “Yes, that is my name – Abdullah, ‘slave of God.’”Christ: “But I am the Son of God, who made you my brother. I became human, so you could become divine. That’s how you became children of God. You have no idea how dear you are to me.”Muslim: “But I can’t possibly be a child of God! God is infinitely above me.”Christ: “But We made you in our own image and likeness.”Muslim: “We say in Islam, ‘bila kayfa wala tashbih’ – which is: ‘without asking how and without comparing.’ It is forbidden for us to compare anything to God, much less ourselves. So, I find all this inconceivable.”Christ: “I know. In fact, it required Conception – my Incarnation. But I am not telling you anything against your reason.”Muslim: “We abandoned reason and submitted ourselves to the text of the Qur’an.”Christ: “In doing that, you abandoned me, for I am Logos. I am Reason. That is why my pope, Benedict XVI, proclaimed that, ‘not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature.’ This is why so many of you have behaved unreasonably, and why you could not find Me.”Muslim: “Since we do not believe any of these things, how did I get here then?”Christ: “You got here by the merits of the very things you deny, my Sonship and my sacrifice, because you had no chance to accept them. You knew nothing but Islam. And yet you lived a good and decent life by the lights you were given. I love you none the less for that. I died for you, too.”Muslim: “I thought there would be only Muslims here, and that the Christians would be in Hell. But now that I see what the Christians said is true, why am I not in Hell?”Christ: “I only send to Hell those who choose it. In fact, they send themselves.”Muslim: “How can you forgive me for being so blind?”Christ: “You knew not what you were doing.”Muslim (falling on his knees, forehead to the ground): “My Lord and my God, how can I adore you now?”Christ: “By loving me back. Now that you see me as I Am, you can do this. Welcome. One of my priests martyred in Algeria in 1998, Fr. Christian, prayed before his death that he ‘could contemplate with the Father his children of Islam as He sees them.’ He is with my Father doing that now. You may join him and see for your self. Then pray for your fellow Muslims that they, too, may see. I want them all for Myself.”