Intellectual Heritage 1
01 November 2018
Islam and Christianity are widely worshiped religions that have a tremendous impact on people’s lives. Although Christianity is more widely practiced around the world compared to Islam, both religions practices are used in governments and a countries formal laws. The two religions have major differences due to the holy books and different religious figures that form each respective religions beliefs and guidance. But their similarities in ideas and monotheistic beliefs have allowed both religions worshipers to respect each other’s religions and build off one another.
Both Christianity and Islam have the notion of God’s unity but they both have different viewpoints on how God conceives unity. In Christianity, God is the creator and ruler of all that is, but his essence is broken up into three equal persons which are Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Although God is broken up into three different persons and elements, each one of them is known to have the same spiritual attributes and they are all worthy of equal praise and worship because they all act in unity. The Holy Trinity is said to be the basis of Christianity and not believing in the Trinity makes people fall outside the belief of Christianity. On the other hand, Islam has a different belief where God is one and he is not broken up into different elements of God. Muslims believe that Allah is the creation of all things and that he does not need help or assistance in ruling over people. As discussed in class, Allah has 99 different names in Islam that describe the different attributes he possesses. He possesses all these different attributes because of the idea of oneness and how Allah is the ruler over everyone.
A similarity between Christianity and Islam other than the idea that they are both Monotheistic is that they both have prophets. The prophets in Christianity and Islam are the ones that go and preach God’s worships to others. God assigned them to go out into the world and preach because it allowed people to follow God’s worships and live the proper way. For example, in The Koran Allah sent Noah to his people and he said, “Serve God, my people, for you have no God but him…I am sent forth by the Lord of the Universe to make known to you my Lord’s will and to give you friendly counsel”. God has shown to be there for anyone who is willing to follow his worships. But in some circumstances, if God’s practices are not followed there could be severe punishments.
God created the human kind so that his worships could be recognized and that he was the creator of the universe. But there are times where humans disobey God’s worships and commit a sin that God may not forgive depending on the religion. In Christianity, God is always willing to forgive a sin no matter the severity of the sin. But in order for God to forgive, God requires repentance and forgiveness of others to be acknowledged. Repentance is the idea that a person goes away from sins and towards God and they start to feel sorrow for their sinful acts. Forgiveness of others is the idea that a person is not holding a grudge against another for a previously committed sin and that they are taking actions to forget the sin and make an effort to resolve the issue. If these two requirements are completed, God will usually forgive the person for their sin. In Islam forgiveness of sins differs because although Allah is open to forgiveness, Allah’s punishments are more severe, and his decision is based on what type of sin was committed. In The Koran, Allah brought down severe punishments such as death due to not following God’s worships. For example, in The Koran prophet Shu’aib went to his town to go and convince the civilians to worship God’s worship but they had refused and threatened to banish him from their city. As a result, “the earthquake felled them, and when morning came they were crouching lifeless in their dwellings, as if those that that spurned Shu’aib had never lived there”. This showed that in Islam punishments were more severe and that Allah used death as one of his first means of punishment compared to Christianity where something can be sacrificed due to a sin.
Christianity and Islam have known to be some of the world’s biggest religions due to the large followings they have. When first comparing these two religions, they seem to be unrelated but when digging deeper into each religion there are many similarities that arise. Their monotheistic practices and idea of prophets being God’s teachers make the bulk of their religions very similar to one another. And their differences such as their forgiveness of sins, God’s unity, and respective bibles make each other’s religions be respected by one another and practice peacefully throughout the world.