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What Would Jesus Do? (Part 1)

Introduction 

Muslims and Christians share the belief that Jesus (peace be upon him) will one day return to earth, though we differ on the details of how he will do that.

Last time, we looked at Jesus as a Prophet of Islam, preaching the message of the Oneness of God, completely denying his own divinity, and pointing to ways in which we should live our lives in service and worship of that One God, Allah.

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In this series about Prophet Jesus we speculate about how he would react upon his return and what he might say to our world. For sure, the Quran has something to say about this:

{And behold! Allah will say “O Jesus the son of Mary! Did you say unto men ‘worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah”? He will say: “Glory to You! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart though I know not what is in Yours. For You know in full all that is hidden.

“Never said I to them anything except what You did command me to say, that is ‘Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord’; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up You were the Watcher over them and You are a Witness to all things.} (5:116-18)

In other words, to make it quite clear to those who might be in doubt, Jesus (peace be upon him) assures us that he never made any claims to be anything other than a Messenger of Allah.

What, then, might he say upon his return to earth?

As a Prophet of Islam, what might Jesus have to say, for example, to the politicians of today?

This is such an important question, especially since Islam and politics seem to have come so intertwined in our world. We have, on the one hand, groups claiming to act in the name of Islam, setting up their own political nation states, whilst on the other hand we have individuals acting on their own initiative and deliberately trying to harm others in the name of this Islam they believe in.

What are ordinary people to make of all this, let alone politicians who, at best, are relying on advisors to filter news and events for them?

How can people see through the violence and the terror on their television screens to the Islam taught down through the centuries by Prophets sent by Almighty God, Allah, to tell people how they should live their lives?

Perhaps Jesus would begin by the example of his own life. That is surely the best way of teaching. People may no longer listen to people lecturing at them or telling them what to do, but they do instinctively listen to good people who live good lives. In fact, people in our world today are thirsting for the example of such people.

Jesus (peace be upon him) would show the politicians of today that he has no gun hidden within his robes and that he has no hidden agenda to be superior to others or to force people to do anything against their will. Isn’t that the example of his life we read about in the Quran?

His whole life was to speak about Allah, not himself. In the Quran he says:

{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 enjoined on me Prayer and Zakat as long as I live.} (19:30-1)

The example of his life, then, would be the credentials Jesus could present to the politicians of today to show his intent. With a good heart and the example of a life well-lived, Jesus would surely show the politicians of today that Islam has nothing at all to do with those men of violence who would try to cause harm and who would divide communities, in fear of one another.

Instead, he would show them that Islam has the power to make a difference in our world. Far from being a threat to any country or any community, he would show that Islam has the power to change lives for the better.

In turning to Almighty God, Allah, in prayer, he would show how men and women can find their true selves and be at peace with themselves and with one another. In fasting in Ramadan, he would show that men and women are not controlled by their desires and appetites, but in fact are in control of them and when they fast for Allah’s sake they truly appreciate the things of this world, often taken for granted.

By the sheer force of his personality, Jesus would make the politicians sit up and listen. He would show them how Islam has an answer for many of this world’s problems. There is plenty of food and water to go round, he would say. It is just a matter of sharing the resources we have and he would point to the idea of actually giving up a portion of your unused wealth to those who need it more than you. That idea might make the politicians a little uncomfortable: that people should give away their wealth, rather than hoard it and try to accumulate more and more.

And Jesus would surely show the politicians the example of the Annual Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) and how millions of people of different color and race can come together as brothers and sisters, equal in the eyes of God, Allah.

As Muslims, there is much we can learn from this speculation about what Jesus might do upon his return. In a world increasingly more hostile towards Islam, Muslims need to know that the world is only hostile because it is only seeing a distortion of Islam and not the real thing.

By living as good Muslims, good neighbors in their communities and a good example to all the people around them, Muslims will show the world what Islam is really like: far from being a threat, it is in fact a blessing.

Using the good example of the life of Prophet Jesus, Muslims by their own good lives have the power to touch hearts and change lives for the better, starting here and now with the people living next door to them.

Inshallah, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) can inspire us to go out and make a difference in the world.

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.