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Christianity Vs Islam

Essay by   •  November 12, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  2,111 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,200 Views

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Two of the largest religions in the world are Islam and Christianity and they share many common beliefs. The two religions manage to co-exist in many areas of the world. However, each religion has it is own regions where they are the central religion. The both share almost the same history of origin and concepts of faith. Regardless of, being comparable in many ways, they also have clear differences. These differences have led to a common distrust between the Muslims and Christians. While many of on each side of their faiths have brazenly come out openly to criticize the each other’s religion and have written countless articles condemning the opposing religion, their differences and similarities appear in many aspects of each religions.

The Belief

The foundation of both Islam and Christianity is the belief in the actuality of a supreme being. Both are monotheistic religions in that they believe in the existence of only one supreme God (Isik 16). The universe and everything in it were and are continued by God. However, In the Christian faith, followers believe that God took six days to create the earth after which He rested on the seventh day (Aziz-Us Samad 18). In terms of the Islamic belief, the Quran does not make it clear in which the order of creation occurred, but passages spread in the Quran as scriptures that clearly show the earth was created by Allah (the Supreme Being) (Abbas).

Both religions believe that good actions will bring good to the followers’ and bad conduct can bring harm. The bad deeds are judged by the Supreme Being as indicated in their respective books of scripture. Lastly, they both believe that the Supreme Being uses prophets to fulfill his will for the earth, its inhabitants and the entire universe (Aziz-Us-Samad 29). An example of the use their use would be how in both religions’ the Supreme Being sent prophets John the Baptist, Jesus and Moses, each sent for a particular purpose.

Even though, both believe in the Supreme Being, the two differ explicitly in regards to his very essence. Christians believe that God exists in three forms, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Christians observe God in the three forms but regard them as one. This is also known as the Holy Trinity. In Christianity, Jesus being known as the son and sent to earth by God the Father, was purposed to save the sinners from their sins (Isik 217).

This Trinity, which refers to Jesus as God. Most Christians believe that God is one but exists in three forms and reverence one God bound by oneness. Muslims rejects the existence of God in three forms. In Islam Jesus is considered a human prophet and worship only one God that they believe created the universe and holds absolute power (Islam 101). Unlike the Christian faithful, that believe Jesus died on the cross and rose to heaven after three days, Muslims believe that when he was being crucified, he ascended to heaven prior to his death (Abbas). In Islam it is believed that the same God they worship revealed Jesus to be imperfect to the Jews and Christians. This difference in opinion has caused strife between the two even with such strong similarities.

Father Abrahahm

Essential to the understanding of Christianity and Islam are their principles of ultimate power or authority of God. For both religions, ultimate control belongs to God alone, and human authority must mirror this divine power. This tension between the two powers has determined the sequence of their respective histories and even interaction with between each other.

In both religions tolerance is a central principle and is based on love and respect for human life and dignity. The Qur'an plainly supports mutual acceptance and cooperation among the people of the Book who are Jews, Christians and Muslims (Spencer, 2016). This is evidenced in the term ahl al‐kitab, the family of the Book, which includes all the children of Abraham.

Christians believe God first gave Abraham a son through a bond woman named Hagar. This son was named Ishmael. God gave him a second son from his barren wife Sarah. He was named Isaac. According to Christian scripture, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac "to prove that he was 'worthy of becoming the father of a mighty nation, which would be as numerous as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore'" (Armstrong, 1993). Muslims maintain that Abraham further asked God to bless both the lines of his progeny, of Ismail and Ishaq, and to keep all of his descendants in the protection of God. They also believe that Muhammad is a descendant of Abraham through Ishmael.

Tolerance

Religion in itself is not a tolerant, it’s a debating nature. By definition religion in “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” (dictionary.com) Religion is a debatable and always has been.

Today, world religious tolerance is a hard concept to grasp. In more democratic nations such as the United States, we permit religious freedom. However, it doesn’t always mean that we have reached religious tolerance. In other countries, like those in the Middle East, they don’t have religious freedom and definitely don’t have religious tolerance.

In the U.S., although the practice of various religions is allowed and the government recognizes religious freedom, within our individual religions we don’t have religious tolerance. Religion is similar to the concept of nationalism in that every religion in itself has the inherent danger that it’s the best religion and their beliefs are correct.

Islam in the U.S

Since September 11, the views of U.S. citizens on Islam have become significantly more negative. In 2007, anti-Muslim discrimination was the highest it had been since the September 11 attacks, according to a report released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)).

After 9/11 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported a 1,700 percent increase of hate crimes against Muslim Americans between 2000 to 2001 (Anderson, 2002). Since then, increased racial and religious animosity has left Arabs, Middle Easterners, Muslims, and those who bear stereotyped physical resemblance to members of these groups, fearful of potential hatred and hostility from persons of other cultures (Abu-Ras & Suarez, 2009; Baqi-Aziz, 2001; Kira et al., 2010; Rippy & Newman, 2006).

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