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What Would Jesus Do?

(Introduction)

What Would Jesus Do?
For Muslims, in asking what Jesus would do, they are reminding themselves of what all Muslims are called to do and to be.

Muslims believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) is a Prophet of Islam.

He is mentioned many times in the Quran and there are many places in the Quran where he denies being anything other than a prophet.

The Quran says of Prophet Jesus:

{He was no more than a servant: We granted our favour to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel.} (43:59)

Indeed, the Quran often repeats this theme:

{Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the messengers who passed away before him.} (5:75)

Coming from a long line of prophets sent by Almighty God (Allah), that started with Adam and included such names as Moses, Abraham, David and Solomon (peace be upon them all), Prophet Jesus brought to the world the same message that all the prophets had brought: that there is One God in heaven and that He should be worshipped how He tells us to worship Him.

Furthermore, Muslims believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) did not die on the Cross or rise from the dead after three days.

The message brought by Jesus (peace be upon him) and all the prophets culminates in the final revelation of the Quran to the last prophet of all, Muhammad (peace be upon him), who brings us the fullness of revelation, confirming all that had gone before that was true and refuting all that had gone before that was false.

Just as Muslims do, Christians have a great respect for Jesus. In fact, it is Jesus who is at the heart of their faith. The accounts of the life of Jesus given by the four gospel writers chosen by the early Church differ in many ways from what the Quran says about Jesus. The writings of Paul, especially, have led Christians to see in Jesus something more than a man. On this, quite obviously, Christians and Muslims disagree.

Yet there is so much about this man that is appealing to both Christians and Muslims, there is so much that inspires them to be better people by what he teaches, that learning lessons from his life can, in fact, bring us even closer together.

Far from being a source of division, Jesus can be a bridge for Muslims and Christians to walk over together.

In the Quran, Jesus says these words:

{And I have come to attest to the Law, which was before me in the Torah, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me.} (3:50)

Both Muslims and Christians believe that Jesus was sent to do away with parts of the Jewish Law that had become a burden on men’s backs, rather than a way to God. They also believe that he came with something new.

In this series of articles, then, we are going to ask the question “What would Jesus do” and we will apply it to different situations. For Muslims, we could as well call the series “What would Muhammad do?” or even “What should Muslims do?”

The idea comes from an often asked question by Christians themselves. Always trying to purify their own faith and become better adherents to what they believe is right, many Christians ask themselves what Jesus would have done, when they are presented with a problem that seems impossible to solve or a moral dilemma that confounds them. In imaging what Jesus would have done in that situation, they then find strength and solace in trying to do the same.

In asking what Jesus the Prophet of Islam would do, Muslims are doing the same thing, yet in doing so they are also teaching others something about the Muslim Jesus (peace be upon him).

So let us first of all understand a little more about this Muslim Jesus.

The Quran tells us:

{And He (Allah) will teach him (Jesus) the Book and the Wisdom and the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), and will make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel (telling them) I have come to you with a sign from your Lord that I make from you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave.

And I heal the blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s leave. And I inform you of what to eat, and what you store in your homes. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.} (3:48-9)

The essence of this passage is that Jesus does indeed work marvels, but they are all done by Allah’s leave. In other words, it is very important not to mix up the message with the messenger. Jesus’ message is that God is great and that God can do all things, so we must trust God and obey Him.

We must never fall into the trap, though, of confusing the one bringing that message with the message itself. Bringing that message does not make Jesus equal to God. He is simply the one who delivers it and who performs miracles and wonders as God allows him to.

For Muslims, in asking what Jesus would do, they are reminding themselves of what all Muslims are called to do and to be. Jesus was a man, not a god. In living his life fully as a Muslim he was able to become most fully what Allah had intended him to be. Serving Allah opened up his full potential and made him fully a man.

The Quran tells us:

{He said: ‘I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a Prophet; and He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Zakat as long as I live’.} (19:30-1)

Next time, we will begin, inshallah, to see how Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) might respond today to the greed and the consumerism that drives our world.

As a Prophet of Islam, he shows us that there is another way. Inshallah, we can all learn from that, whether we are Muslim or not.

Read Part 1

First published on March 2016.


About Idris Tawfiq

Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant.He became a Muslim around 15 years ago.For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom.Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest.He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness.May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.

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