Compare and contrast Muslims and Christians
Compare and contrast Muslims and Christians
Muslim and Christian faith have a number of similarities and differences - Compare and contrast Muslims and Christians introduction. This is because the two assert the existence of one God, the creator and ruler of every thing in the world. They are also believers in the existence of angels, prophets and prophecies (Goddard 21). Just to be appreciated is the fact that both Muslims and Christians believe that God will judge all mankind at the last day upon which they will go to heaven or to hell (Rippin 67).
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However, Christianity and Islam have a difference on the concept of God. Unlike Christians who believe in the holy trinity, the Muslims believe in one monotheistic God, Allah. Still, Islam and Christianity differ on the nature, person and role of Jesus Christ in defining religion (Rippin 67). The other question of contention between Christians and Muslims is the approach to eternal life. This essay is written as a discussion of the underlying similarities and differences between Christianity and Islamic faiths.
Both Muslims and Christians have a number of similarities. They both assert the fact that there is one God who is the creator of the universe and all its creatures. This God has sovereign power over all the creatures of the world. According to the Muslim, this God is called Allah. It is worth noting that Allah is an Arabic word, which stands for high God (Goddard 22). Another outstanding similarity between Muslims and Christians is that they have the same origin. Both religions are founded from Abraham.
Muslims and Christians believe that there is heaven and hell (Goddard 24). They believe that these two places are the destination of mankind after their death. Just to be appreciated is the fact that both religions have a common acceptance that God will judge all people in the final day according to their deeds. Just like Christians, Muslims believe in the existence of prophets, angels, and prophecy (Goddard 22). The most common angel found in these religions is angel Gabriel. For both religions, characters like Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and Jesus among others are symbolic of prophets and Gods prophecy to mankind.
It is clearly established that both Christians and Muslims are guided by the holy book in their quest for righteousness. The Muslim called it the holy Koran while Christians call it the Bible. The religions have the common notion that man should avoid doing evil to be saved of God’s punishment (Kidd 71). On this point, both religions proclaim the existence of Satan as an enemy of God. These religions find good in helping orphans and widows, practicing hospitality, righteousness and honesty as are defined in the holy book.
Another similarity is that both religions believe in Jesus of Nazareth. According to the two religions, Jesus Christ was the son of Mary. The two also agree on the fact that the birth of Jesus was through the prophecy of angel Gabriel to Mary (Haddad 56). Though they differ in the person of Jesus, both Muslims and Christians do conquer on the fact that the teachings of Jesus are reflective of the will of God to his people.
However, Christianity and Islam have numerous fundamental differences. First, the two religions differ on the person of Jesus Christ. According to the Christians, Jesus is the son of God were came to save the mankind from sin. Nevertheless, the Muslims believe that God was created by God like human being and was his slave and prophet (Rippin 93). Therefore, unlike Christians, Muslims do not believe that Jesus his the way to eternal life.
Another common difference between Christianity and Islamic religions is on the issue of the death and resurrection of Jesus. According to the Christian faith, Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross (Goddard 31). Still, the Christians do assert that Jesus resurrected on the third day and ascended to heaven. However, according to the Muslims, Jesus was never crucified but died a normal death somewhere in Afghanistan-Palestine region. The Muslims also do not believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead (Goddard 31).
Christians and Muslims differ on the concept of escaping judgment. From the theology of the Islamic faith, one can only escape judgment on the final day and receive God’s approval through self efforts (Rippin 89). For them, one should fully submit to God and follow all His teachings as found in the Koran. Just to be appreciated is the fact that the Muslims believe that the last day judgment will be based on weighing of the number of goods and wrongs one had committed during their life.
The Christians on the other side believe that no human being is holy enough to deserve acceptance by God (Hirak). This is because we are all preoccupied by rejecting God in our day to day lives, a factor that made him to descend in the form of a man and die on the cross for our sins. Therefore, for Christians, escaping judgment is based on faith in God rather than self-efforts (Hirak). Based on all these arguments, it is quite clear that although Islam and Christianity share many similarities, they find difference in their approach to salvation as well as in the nature person and role of Jesus.
Goddard, Hugh. Christians and Muslims: From Double Standards to Mutual Understanding. Surrey, England: Curzon Press, 1995.
Haddad, Yvonne. The Muslims of America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Hirak, Francis “Understanding the Christian Way of Life.” Understanding the Christian Way of Life. 1 Oct. 2008. 17 May. 2010 <http://ezinearticles.com/?Understanding- the- Christian- Way- of-Life&id=1546961>.
Kidd, Thomas. American Christians and Islam: Evangelical Culture and Muslims from the Colonial Period to the Age of Terrorism. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2009.
Rippin, Andrew. Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. New York: London, 2005.