… and travel through time, I will have spent quite a bit of time studying to speak and read Arabic.
And then I will travel back to approximately August 22, A.D. 610 to a cave to talk to a guy named Mohammed about Jesus.
For that, as I understand it, is our best guess at the night when Mohammed supposedly saw his vision of Gabriel, who reportedly encouraged him to recite verses from Allah, a new revelation to be recorded by scribes.
That’s the moment of man’s history I would choose to unwrite.
I would seek to speak soothingly to the fevered brow of that displaced and disowned young man that the God of whom he had heard from the Christian traders really does have a Son who came to our world as fully human and loved him to death, even death on a cross … that it was no mere appearance, but perfect blood shed at the hands of murderous conspirators … that this sacrifice means forgiveness and reconciliation and a home among brothers and sisters and God Himself.
I would give it a shot.
I am not smart enough to know how Mohammed might react or whether he would slay me on the spot or how it might change history, but I would be willing to trust God and take a shot at it.
It might have prevented the writing of a Koran that says Allah (Mohammed’s god) has no son, nor need of one, that we should say “Trinity;” or the contrivance of an entire religion named after peace but which decrees that the doctrine of any imam is equally binding as the Koran itself – including ones that encourage murdering the innocent as infidels and committing suicide in the effort.
It might have intercepted the desire to force whole cities to convert to the Prophet’s dictates at the point of a scimitar.
It might have forestalled the blood feud over Mohammed’s successor that still divides Islam; might have stanched the flow of blood over several Crusades; might have minimized some of the differences between many nations; might have even stemmed the desire to bomb embassies, obliterate entire villages, hijack airliners and fly them into buildings.
Satan might just have sent a fake “Gabriel” to the next poor, illiterate, disfranchised Arab who happened to take refuge in that cave.
But it would be worth trying – if I had a flying, time-travelling DeLorean.
And the time.