23 Mar 2015
This essay mainly compares and contrasts Christianity and Muslim religions. These two religions are closely related and therefore form the two main religions which are always in contradiction to one another. Though the religions are very different in many ways, they have some similarities between one another.
Some of the similarities evident in Islam and Christianity are as follows: looking at the Lord's Prayer of the Bible and the Qur'an's opening Chapter it is clearly evident that both of them are indeed universal prayers as they go to the source of all religions that man has ever had in professing. Qur'an's opening is usually called Fateha while the whole of the Christian prayer is usually called the Lord's Prayer. Though the Muslim prayer is much simpler that does not make it any better than the Christian Prayer. The two prayers both take the format of adoration, submission and supplication, the only difference observed being that of the language used. This is how each goes:
The Muslim prayer:
"Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Compassionate, the Merciful. King of the Day of Reckoning. Thee only do we worship and of Thee only do we ask aid. Guide us unto the right path -Â the path of those to whom Thou hast been gracious, not the path of those who are the objects of Thy wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.Â Amen" (The Qur'an 1:1-7)
The Christian Prayer:
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. Forever and ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9:13)
There are some similarities observed in the basic concepts of the two religions. For instance, it is clear that God is monotheistic whereby Muslim has it that God is Allah while Christianity recognizes God as the Creator. In both religions, God is recognized as being Omnipresent, Immanent and Omniscient within His own creation but still is transcendent. God manifest Himself as having a relationship with mankind that is unique making covenants with them in both religions. Both Muslim and Christianity have similar view of the end time of the world which is referred to as eschatology where it is strongly believed that the world will end at someday where by Satan or the antichrist will be defeated. In both religions, it is believed that there is forgiveness of sin from God if a person errs but only after a sincere moment of repentance (Goddard, 2000).
There are also some similarities observed in the moral codes of the two religions. It is believed in both that faith with no forms of works is useless, that is belief alone is not really enough. It is also believed that all human beings have their own rights over some things and that is why things like murder, lying, theft and even violence are all prohibited. It is also clear that it is God alone who should be worshipped and therefore he punishes all who worship other gods besides Him. It is also evident that honor to our parents should be maintained by their subjects while spouses have special rights of one another and therefore adultery is not allowed. Some similarities are also observed in the different practices of the two religions. Prayer for example as a practice is highly esteemed as a tool of communication with the Almighty God who grants mankind according to what they have requested. In addition to this, there exist standard prayers. It is also evident in both religions that it is of great reward to help the poor and relieve those who are suffering. Therefore every follower is expected not to assume those who are helpless and needy in the society. They are to accommodate them and also provide for them in accordance to the capacity of their ability. There is the celebration of the advent and birth of those they believe God through in both religions. Muslims celebrate Prophet Muhammad's advent and birth on 12th Rabi Awwal which is a date according to the calendar of the Islams. On the other side, the Christians celebrate on the 25th the advent and birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God. This day is usually called Christmas day according to the Christian calendar. Lastly, both religions revere Abraham and other patriarchs who are talked about in the Christian scriptures and the Qur'an. This has made the two religions to be sometimes called Abrahamic religions (Goddard, 2000).
Besides the similarities that are there between Christianity and Muslim, the two religions still have contrasts which make them very different from one another which make their followers never to get along with one another. As a matter of fact, there have been religious catalyzed mass crimes, conflicts and even wars. The contrasts can be out sourced right from the information about the religions. For instance, the meaning of Christianity represents the fact that the Christians believe in Christ the Messiah while that of Islam implies there submission to God's will hence the believers are called Muslims. Christianity has its major denominations as the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Anglican among others. On the other hand Islam denominations are Shi'ite, Sunni, Sufi; Sufi being a tradition which is mystical.
The contrasts are also evident from the beliefs of the religions. To begin with, examining the deity concept, the Christians believe in the Trinity which represents one Godhead but three persons that is, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. On the other side, the Muslim have no believe in the Trinity but have that God is one and that is Allah which is an Arabic word for God and is indivisible. Jesus Christ is believed by the Christians to be the Son of God who is worshipped as God and without whom no one can access the Father and is also a member of the Trinity. On the other side of the Muslims, Jesus Christ is only highly regarded as the second last prophet only after Muhammad in the order of importance. Considering the death of Jesus, the Muslims believe that Jesus was neither killed nor suffered death but was alive on His ascension to heaven. The Christians on their side believe that He was killed by the Roman Army after being hanged on the cross at Calvary after which He was buried in a tomb from which He resurrected on the third day after burial. He then stayed on earth for forty days before He ascended to heaven in a new body which changed after His resurrection. The Christians also identify with the Holy Spirit who is a person and actually the Spirit of God Himself. He is unto them a helper and comforter and was send by Jesus Christ to all the Christians represented by the first twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, after He had ascended to heaven. The Muslims on their side do not believe in the help of the Holy Spirit but Muhammad alone whom they believe to link them to God directly (Hesford, & Karolyi, 2004).
The Christian believe in the Bible which is a Holy book containing the true Word of God which guides them in their day to day Christian living and was originally written in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts while the Muslim believe in the Qur'an as their Holy book which was originally written in Arabic manuscripts. The Christians also believe that Adam who was the first human being created by God sinned by disobeying God in the Garden of Eden with Eve his wife being directly responsible. Concerning Adam on the Muslim side, he is believed to be free from faults and sins and that he is also a prophet. Considering the status of a baby when it is being born, it is believed in Christianity that the child is born with a sinful nature Adam having sinned and God cursed him. This already therefore separates the child from God until it receives the sanctification through confession and repentance. Islam on the other side has it that all the babies born to the Muslims are pure and a total submission state unto Allah (Hesford, & Karolyi, 2004). The children are, however, taught other forms of Islamic beliefs as they grow up to maturity through the madrassa classes by a special teacher.
Both religions have a criteria used to determine who enters heaven. Christians believe that one has to first believe in Jesus Christ having died and resurrected, confess his sins and repent, be baptized and live a hanged life without sinning through the obedience of God's Word. In IslamÂ¸ it is believed that one's account of deeds is opened to heaven once he reaches puberty. It is believed that for any Muslim to attain heaven, then his deeds that are good must outweigh the bad and evil deeds that one has done. This implies that doing evil is not prohibited.
Some difference in these two religions is also evident in their practices. For instance, the church and the state are considered separate in Christianity and that explains why many Christian predominated countries are democratically governed. On the other side, the Islam considers their religion to be integrated with the state and that is why many Muslim habited countries are dictatorially governed. The Christians globally do worship on Sundays with a few doing it on Saturdays but on the Muslims have their worship usually on Fridays. Looking at the law, in Christianity, it is considered to be legal matter while in Islam; it is both considered legal and moral matter. The legislature is considered to be the peoples' prerogative in Christianity while it is considered God's prerogative in Islam. Giving a glimpse on marriage, Christianity allows intermarriages between different faiths so long there is an agreement, although this has been off late resisted because it is considered that light cannot mix with darkness. In Islam on the contrary, intermarriages are not allowed and a Muslim woman may not be married or remain married to a Muslim man. All the contrasts discussed above make these two religions very different indeed (Goddard, 2000).
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