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Compare/Contrast Christianity and Muslim - Essay Example

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Students of religion can often learn a lot of respect and understanding of people of other religions if they simply look into the basic ideas that found both their own belief system as well as those of the other religion. It is often found that while the outward forms and rituals of a religion may be quite different, the underlying founding principles remain…
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Compare/Contrast Christianity and Muslim
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Compare/Contrast Christianity and Muslim
Students of religion can often learn a lot of respect and understanding of people of other religions if they simply look into the basic ideas that found both their own belief system as well as those of the other religion. By making this comparison, it is often found that while the outward forms and rituals of a religion may be quite different, the underlying founding principles remain the same. One of the predominant religious systems in the United States is Christianity. Even among those who are not strong worshippers, the beliefs and rituals that accompany this religion remains deeply ingrained in the societal structure while the hostilities that have occurred throughout history have predisposed Christians to view Muslims as their avowed enemies and, therefore, opposites. However, Muslims are far from the devil-worshipping, child-sacrificing godless heathens imagined. A simple comparison of these two religions demonstrates they are not so very different after all as can be traced through their primary books of worship.
The two religions are very similar in terms of their primary prayers, creation stories, the laws of God, moral codes, religious practices and concepts of God. Both the Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and the Fateha (The Qur’an 1:1-7) speak of adoration, submission and supplication in that order. There are several points of similarity regarding creation such as: Qur'an 35:13 - He merges Night into Day, and he merges Day into Night, and he has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law): each one runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord: to Him belongs all Dominion. This compares to: Genesis 1:14 - Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. The Qur’an and 10 Commandments of the Bible match-up well almost line by line. Both list whom a person cannot marry, such as family members, again, almost line by line. Concepts such as God as the ultimate creator, omnipotent, omniscient and immanent are carried through in both religions while moral codes also tend to match, such as punishment for the worshipping of false idols. Finally, even the expression of each religion seems to be a duplicate as prayer becomes the chief method of communicating with God, charity wins high praise and specific and similar religious holidays are celebrated.
Despite these many similarities, there are some differences between Christianity and Islam. The Quar’an believes in a single God while Christians believe in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Holy Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. through the angel Gabriel who was carrying out God's precise instructions and contains no possibility for error. Christians believe that divine inspiration inspired the writers of the scripture and take no offense to new interpretations of the old words. Therefore, they also have no compunctions against creating new versions of the Bible that are translated into the many languages of the earth, abbreviated or ‘modernized’ for the contemporary audience to better understand according to a variety of interpretations. This type of alteration is considered sacrilege by the Muslims, contributing to their belief that Christianity is an impure religion. Also, because of their different foundational beliefs, the specific holidays celebrated are not always the same – Muslims, for example, do not celebrate Jesus’ birthday while Christians do not celebrate Mohammed’s.
While there are some differences between Muslim and Christian, careful study of these differences reveals that they are only ‘skin deep’ so to speak. The foundational beliefs upon which many Christians and many Muslims base their lives upon remain surprisingly similar. From ritual prayers and holy places to concepts of God and his laws for mankind, these two religions are nearly indistinguishable. It is only when the practices of man enter the picture, the rituals, the interpretations and the specific dates celebrated, that the two religions come into any kind of clash of ideals. A broader understanding of this would allow Christians and Muslims to come together on a secure foundation before beginning to explore, peacefully, their differences. Read More
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