There is no denying fact that Islam and Christianity are two of the world’s most populous religions. According to the IslamiCity (2010) “for a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a way of life”. …
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The Answering Islam Organization for instance puts forward the argument that “Christianity and Islam share much common ground. Both trace their roots to Abraham. Both believe in prophecy, God's messengers (apostles), revelation, scripture, the resurrection of dead, and the centrality of religious community.” It is also interesting to note that regarding a doctrine like salvation, the two religions have both contrasts and similarities. Three Perspectives of Salvation The comparison and contraction of salvation as it pertains to the two religions thus Christianity and Islam shall be viewed from three major perspectives. These are the origin of sin, the way to salvation and the consequences of salvation. A detailed discussion of the three perspectives would give a pre-salvation conceptualization, salvation conceptualization and post-salvation conceptualization. On the issue of origin of sin, which eventually brings to the need for salvation, both Christianity and Islam believe that the first family (Adam and Eve) sinned against God. The difference with the two religions however is the fact that whereas in Christianity is it believed that the sin of Adam and Eve lives on and makes all humankind sinful, thus the need for salvation, Islam believes that the sin of Adam and Eve were forgiven and that generations thereafter bears no condemnation of the first sin. The Answering Islam Organization terms this situation as the originality of sin. According to the organization, “Christianity teaches that the effects of original sin have corrupted the world and the human beings who exist in it.” “In Islam, however, there is no such a thing as original sin. The Qur'an does indeed state that Adam and Eve sinned, but according to Islamic belief, they repented and were fully forgiven so that their sin had no repercussions for the rest of human race.” From the above discussion, it can be said that in Islam, the need for salvation arises because various individuals sin against God and therefore need His forgiveness, which is also termed salvation. The reason why salvation is needed is however different with Christianity because with the Christian believe, everyone born of a woman needs salvation right from birth because we each inherit the sins of Adam and Eve. It is therefore not surprising that in Christianity, good deeds are separated from being saved. In the Christian setting, because each person comes to the world with some sins, no matter how generous or morally upright a person may be; if the person does not get saved (salvation), his or her good deeds are not justified by God. Conclusively, both religions believe that humankind need salvation but the reason or need for salvation is different. After establishing that in Christianity people need salvation because they inherit sin but in Islam people need salvation because of their personal sin, the question then becomes, for whatever reason that a person may need salvation, how is salvation granted in the sight of the two religions? On how to attain salvation, there is a clear similarity among the two religions. From the Epistle of James chapter two, we read; “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him (Verse 14)? In the same way, faith by
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