christianity and islam Essay
Christianity and Islam are two of the most significant religions since their creation. Islam means “submission” in Arabic, and a Muslim is one who submits to the will of God (Islam page 223). Christians were called so because of Jesus’ title Christos, which is Greek for Messiah (Christianity page 198). Both religions are very similar with only some of the beliefs and teachings being different. They also give separate messages to outsiders as to what their religions stand for. Both religions are monotheistic with a holy text and they both strive to conquer evil.
Islam has a set of rules (5 Pillars of Islam) set forth to reach enlightenment while Christians basically just sin, repent, and then are forgiven for their sins. Christianity is a much easier religion to belong to because it is a lot more lenient to what you can and cannot do as well as when and where you can do it. Islam is also more closed doors because the do not really send out missionaries looking for people to convert to Islam.
For Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah (the anointed one) – God’s deliverer, whose coming the prophets had foretold (Christianity page 198). Jesus taught the good Word of the Lord, as was his duty as the Son of God. He is also said to have performed miracles such as curing leprosy and blindness as well walking on water. Roman and Jewish authorities were disquieted by the threat to the establishment that Jesus and his followers seemed to offer, and they conspired successfully to execute him by crucifixion (Christianity page 198). After Jesus was crucified for the sins of all men, he was believed by Christians to have risen from the dead and then ascended to Heaven. After the death of Jesus, his life and teachings were written with many “tall tales” (as I like to call them) about the great battles and accomplishments of Christians as well as success stories about the followers of Gods’ Word. All of these stories and some historical facts are written in the Bible, which is the holy text of the Christians. It explains how God created the Earth the creation of the Earth and man and it teaches how to be righteous.
The founder of Islam was the Prophet Mohammed who was an orphan from the city of Mecca. Mohammed claimed to be visited by the Angel Gabriel who gave him the basis for this new religion. The Five Pillars of Islam are the basic laws to be a good Muslim. Declaring that there is no God but Allah, praying five times a day facing Mecca, fasting during set times, tithing for needy, and a journey to Mecca at least once in your lifetime. Some Muslims have a sixth pillar, jihad, which is translated into “holy war” (Variety page 234).
Mohammed’s teachings were not written until his death because there was no compelling reason to set his words down in some definite form. After the sudden death of Mohammed in 632, Caliph Abu Bakr ordered one of the prophets companions to collect, from oral and written sources, all of Mohammed’s utterances (Qur’an page 225).They were written in the Qur’an which is basically the “Muslim Bible”. The Qur’an is the written version of the teachings that Mohammed preached while he was alive. A second source of guidance for most Muslims is al-Hadith (Tradition), a vast body of transmitted stories of what the Prophet said or did or what was said or done in his presence and therefore approved by him (Foundations page 225).
Christianity is a very appealing religion because it seems to be so easy to understand and become a Christian where as Islam is very difficult. There are five set times a day in Islam where you have to stop everything and pray facing Mecca and Muslims go to church on Fridays. Christians are free to pray any way they want at any time they want and go to church on Sundays. The Bible is different in that it contains the teachings of Jesus, the direct Word of God, and many religious stories. The Qur’an contains only the teachings of Mohammed which is said to be the Word of God spoken through man. The religious stories of Islam are in separate sources such as the al-Hadith, The Six Authentic Compilations, and Gardens of the Righteous (Tales page 230). The Bible and the Qur’an are similar in the simple fact that they were not written until the prophets of their religion were dead (although Jesus was resurrected and went to Heaven). While Jesus and Mohammed were on Earth, their stories and teachings were passed on orally, so the need to write them down was not necessary.Christianity is a religion where they welcome outsiders in to convert them and love everyone, Christian or not, for they are all the children of God. Islam teaches to:
“Be mindful of you duty to Allah and try to promote accord between yourselves (8.2).All believers are brothers; so make peace between your brothers (49.11). Fight the idolators all together, as they fight you all together, and know that Allah is with the righteous (9.36)…”(Nawawi page 232).“Make peace between your brothers”, means to make peace with other Muslims. If you are not Muslim, you are not one of their brothers. They also say to “fight the idolators”, which means to fight against those who are not Muslim. This message to hate he who is not of the same religion is the complete opposite from that of Christianity’s message. I believe that is why Muslims feel compelled to bomb other peoples and fight holy wars. This is another reason why Christianity is more appealing.Both Islam and Christianity offer a rewarding “eternal dwelling” if you live a righteous life here on earth and do the duty of Allah or God. Christians believe that their reward for a righteous life is to go to Heaven. For Muslims, the reward for following the 5 Pillars of Islam is pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eternity (Nawawi page 232). These are the sole reasons for having the religions in the first place. The supreme goal of both religions is to successfully reach a peaceful afterlife. As far as bad afterlives go, Christianity has Hell for those who go against God and are not forgiven for their sins. Hell is an eternal damnation full of torture and suffering. Hell is a deterrent from sin, which makes people more inclined to live holy and righteous lives. As Heaven is a reward for living a righteous life, Hell is the punishment for living a life of sin. I am not sure about Islam, although the book does talk about “Allah saving someone from the Fire” and “Fire” being defined as Hell (Nawawi page 232). I can infer this means that they both have a punitive home for the unholy and disbelieving.
Both Islam and Christianity have dietary restrictions. Muslims cannot eat from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. Some Christians fast on Good Friday as well as giving up their favorite food during the Advent Season. Christians celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus while the only religious celebration that Muslims have to my knowledge is the holy month of Ramadan. I do not know why they celebrate this but I do know they celebrate the ninth month on their lunar calendar and that is the holy month of Ramadan.
I personally think that Christianity is a much easier religion to deal with being that it has just about the same outcome as Islam does. Christianity also has a lot less work involved. I would say that Christianity is a much more convenient religion. Less time and effort is put into praying and being righteous with Christianity. Plus it is much more believable to me that Jesus was the Son of God than it is to believe that Mohammed was visited by an angel that told him what to do. They were both doing well although the Islamic message is not quiet as nice as the Christian one. Loving everyone as your brother and sister is a good message to give and it is an exceptional way to keep the world peaceful even if you are not Christian. That is why Christianity is a much more successful religion and it is stronger than Islam will ever be.Christianity and Islam are basically one in the same. They both have one God with and the same basic beliefs. Both have a holy text with the teachings of their prophets along with some religious stories. Both religions are very successful although Christianity has a leg up do to its convenience and its willingness to take others and convert them. These religions have been around for almost two thousand years and will continue to strive throughout history.
“Christianity: Conquering the World for Christ” Alfred J. Andrea and James H.
Overfield, eds. Human Record I. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.1998), 198-199.“Islam: Universal Submission to God” Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield,
eds. Human Record I. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1998), 223-224.
Nawawi, Imam. “Gardens of the Righteous” Reprinted in Alfred J. Andrea and
James H. Overfield, eds. Human Record I. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
“The Qur’an” Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield, eds. Human Record I.
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1998), 225-226.“The Foundations of Islamic Life” Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield, eds.
Human Record I. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1998), 225.“The Tales of Tradition” Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield, eds. Human
Record I. (Boston: Mifflin Co. 1998), 229-230.
“Variety and Unity in Islam” Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield, eds. Human
Record I. (Boston: Mifflin Co. 1998), 253-234.