Christianity and Islam Essay
Christianity and Islam
Among the widely known religions of the world are Christianity and Islam - Christianity and Islam Essay introduction. Both have been subject to various criticisms and controversies tracing back since the fall of the Constantinople on the hands of the Muslim Turks. But did everyone know that Christian and the Islam faith both originated from the Jewish tradition (Judaism) mainly with the notion that there is only one God (Netto, 2006).
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By exploring the map of the world one can easily locate the regions in which Christianity and Islam are employed as the leading religions. Though not all regions can be considered faithful to one religious faith, yet it some parts of the world do.
Christianity is regarded as the largest and widely employed religion across the globe while Islam ranks second. It is undeniable that the major causes of the conflicts faced by the two religious faiths are due to their unparallel beliefs and practices. While the other considers a particular act as just the other deems it as not and vice versa. In most of the cases, cultural differences are influenced by no less than these differences on faiths and other principles.
As a monotheistic religion, Christianity spread the principle that there is only one God. It started as a mere sect of Judaism and eventually attempted and succeeded establishing a separate religious and spiritual association.
Together with Islam and Judaism, Christianity is considered as one of the Abrahamic religions which entails that all of them originally got their foremost religious thoughts through the Hebrew Bible (Netto, 2006).
The Christian faith is mainly founded on the teachings of the Jesus Christ and the Gospel written in the Bible. Among the foremost beliefs in Christianity are the following: Trinity, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Death and the Resurrection of Jesus, Salvation, the original sin through Adam and Eve, and the sacred Scriptures.
Christians hold that there is only one God whom is personified into three: the God the Father, the Son of God (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian Christians contends that such Trinity does not entail separation of three distinct persons who shared the godliness of the God but the Trinity embodies the full character of God and should not be perceived as separate personalities.
As the God the Father exists, the Son of God also exists in the name of Jesus Christ whose life and death are considered to be the cause of mankind’s salvation from sins. In connection with these sins, mankind is decreed to bear the original sin originated from the first man and woman creations of God, Adam and Eve who were teased by Satan to commit sin against God (Netto, 2006). Thus, man since then carries in throughout his existence the sin which only by devoting his life to God that his soul can be saved.
The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ personifies the immortal life after the corporeal body of the man. As the Christian doctrine declares, only those who lived a life in accordance with God’s commandments could be saved and granted with an everlasting life. Furthermore the depiction of death and resurrection of Jesus Christ reveals that He is the messiah that is sent by his Father to save the souls of the mankind.
With regards to the doctrines and principles of the Christian religion, Christianity is symbolized by one word, fellowship. As evidently and consistently explicated throughout the Bible, every Christian should live a Christian way of life and that is by following the Ten Commandments, feeding the soul with the words of God written in the Bible and revealed through church mass. Fulfilling and at the same time respecting the Holy Sacraments (i.e. Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, Penance, Last Rites, Ordination, and Matrimony) of the Christian religion are also part of the Christian life.
It is quite odd that while the term Islam means either peace or submission, most of the conflicts of the world throughout the history involved the Muslim nations. Like the Christian faith, Islam believes that there is only one God by the name of Allah. While many people mistakenly perceived as antagonist of the original principles of Christianity, Islam does not really undermine what the foremost beliefs and traditions of the Christian faith holds. In fact, Islam holds that Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets existed (Netto, 2006). However, Islam maintains that Judaism and Christianity altered and misinterpret the true teachings of the aforesaid personalities. With this, the final prophet, as what the Islamic tradition holds, Muhammad came to not to establish new religion but to restore the original teachings in the Bible.
Though Islam believes in the Bible, it set up a new one and labeled it as Qur’an which stands for the words of Muhammad and another book named Sunnah which embodies the deeds of the last prophet. Muslims believe that the establishment of Qur’an is made possible through Allah’s divine intervention who reveals His words to the prophet Muhammad making Muhammad as the Messenger of Allah.
Unlike the Christian faith, Islam does not believe on the former’s idea of Trinity for they believe that such is a product of polytheistic tradition (Netto, 2006). At the same time, it does not regard Jesus Christ as the Son of God but only as a man and not really divine or holy as how the Christians hold. Nevertheless, like the Christians, Muslims believe in angels. They claim that angels are the messengers of God and that they do not have free will. They are used by God to reveal his words just like how Muhammad is portrayed.
In addition, Christianity and Islam hold the same beliefs on the Judgment Day (as revealed in the Christian Bible through the Book of Revelations). According to the Islam faith, Allah had ordained the Judgment Day yet it is unknowable to man (Netto, 2006). Moreover, Islam strongly believes that everything is already predetermined by Allah such that man cannot do anything to alter or to stop His wills by any means.
The Islam faith also employs various practices and doctrines. Among these doctrines and principles are the Five Pillars, the Law of Islam, and the concept of Jihad (Holy War). The Five Pillars are deemed to be fundamental for Muslims (particularly to Sunni Muslims) to accomplish for it measures how strong their faith in Allah and the Islam religion. The Law of Islam or the Sharia is a code of rules and conducts that are necessary to be followed with strict compliance by every Muslim. The Jihad or the Holy War of Islam suggests that dying in the period of the Holy War is the most honorable and divine act that a Muslim could do to profess his faith on Islam (where fighting and war is justified through faith).
As my personal viewpoint, I do not think that one of these two religions outwits or is outwitted the other or by the other at any case. It is for the reason that faith could not really be evaluated simply by reasoning or whatever means since faith alone can justify its own undertakings.
With regards to their respective beliefs, principles, and practices, the differences they have complements their way of interpreting their religious faith, thus it is impossible to arrive at absolute evaluation saying that the other is correct while the other is wrong. For me, that is unattainable.
The two have the same regard when it comes to their notion of what is God and how God works though they differ with the names but such is a very minimal difference. The thing that severed the disparity between the two religions is the fact that Christians and Muslims have the different ways of interpreting God and His words/teachings resulting to the different beliefs and practices. In the end, there is no such thing as superior or inferior between Christianity and Islam.
Netton, I. R. (2006). Islam, Christianity and Tradition: A Comparative Exploration. Edinburgh University Press.