Many people do not realize how much Christianity (Christian) and Islam (Muslim) religion have in common, both religions are considered to be monotheistic Abrahamic religions because their common origin being Abraham. Also, Jesus Christ is considered to be the most important figure in both religions. Although these two particular religions have much in common they also have many differences. Many people believe that Christianity began with the Jesus Christ; however the study of Christianity began with Christ’s most important early follower Saint Paul and Islam religion began with the prophet Muhammad, whom was considered to be the last prophet sent by Allah.
This paper will breakdown the history of Christianity, explain the different type of Christianity, and discuss the modern day Christianity. This paper will also explain the history of Muslim religion, the different types of Muslims and the modern day Muslims. As Christianity’s history unfolds, many thought Christianity began with Jesus Christ who was Jewish. Dating back, Christianity’s roots goes further back and is found to have begun as a movement within Judaism during the first century.
During this time a Jewish rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth, which took up a public teaching ministry, after he began preaching about the coming of the kingdom of God. The Christian Scriptures, which is commonly known as the New Testament was created by Jesus to establish the Twelve Jewish disciples. Meanwhile, Jesus and his followers began to minister to the poor and the outcast in Israel and Palestine. During the year of 33 C.E. Jesus was arrested and executed by the Roman governor. Jesus followers believed that Jesus rose from the dead which created the belief that he was the son of god and his followers believed that Jesus’s resurrection saved them from their sins. Once belief began to grow his followers renamed Jesus to Jesus Christ because the Christians (Christianity followers) believed that Jesus was the Messiah that the Hebrew Scriptures explained they must wait for. ( During the early years many letters were moved around among the Christian communities about their beliefs in Jesus as the Messiah and the way Christians should live and worship him. The letters if the apostle Paul and a few other authors were eventually included in the Christian Scriptures along with the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Christians debated for centuries over which documents should be included in their scriptures. The first list of the twenty-seven accepted documents eventually became the Christian Scriptures which did not appear until the year of 367 CE. During this time, first and second generation Christians worshipped in small areas throughout the Middle and Near East and religious practices became to differ from town to town. However, Christianity was often outlawed under the Roman law, so many believers were either persecuted or killed for expressing their faith. In the year 313 CE the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and legalized the religion which put an end to persecutions and executions. Constantine noticed the disorganization among the Christians because many of them did not agree with each other on many important points such as the relationship of Jesus to God which these debates caused a lot of confusion among his empire. Constantine began to call the Christian leaders Bishops from across the empire down to the council in Nicaea (ancient city in northwestern Anatolia which is now known as Turkey). The first major council of the Christian churches clarified key points of theology including the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus then the second major council took place in 381 CE in Constantinople which expanded the faith into longer statements that members of many Christian churches still recite. Although, throughout the many of the years Christians still underwent many debates they started to become more unified in the fourth century under the power of Theodosius and through the theology of Bishop Augustine of Hippo. After seventy years, Theodosius established the Christian faith as the official religion of the Roman Empire which created the rapid spread of Christianity. Many converted to Christianity to further advance in the Roman society and others converted out of the fear of the Roman authorities but majority of the people converted out of freewill. After many years Augustine became one of the most influential theologians in the history of the Christian church. During this time Christian beliefs were still contested, so Augustine articulated much of his theology in response to competing interpretations of the faith and to non-Christian faiths of the fourth and fifth centuries. Through these conflicts, Augustine provided significant explorations of the Trinity and human sinfulness, as well as the relationship between church and state. Augustine’s numerous writings greatly influenced Christian thought from the fifth century to the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and beyond.On the other hand, Islam began in Arabian Peninsula, Mecca at Mount Hira which is why the original language is Arabic.Islam is dervied from the Arabic root Salema which is peace,purity,submission and obedience.In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obeddience to his law. The found of Islam was the prophet Muhammad. According to the Islamic scriptures all people who follow God’s revealed guidance and the messengers sent with it submit to that guidance and are considered Muslims ( Adam,Moses, Abraham, and Jesus).Muslim is one who follows islam and individuals who belieb in Allah and a God whose teaching its followers (Muslims).Muslims are to believe the recorded, verbatim by the god’s last prophet Muhammad along with worshiping in Mosque/masjid ( muslim place of worship) or any place that is considered to be clean by the Islamic standards. The practices of Muslims fall under the five pillars which is the testament that there is one God and Muhammad is his messenger. Also the practice of Muslim faith is to pray five times daily and fast during ramadan ( the ninth month of the Muslim year ), along with zakat( obligatory payment made annually under Islamic law on certain kinds of property and used for charitable and religious purposes). Muslims believe that statues and pictures of God or prophets should not be permitted. Art takes the form of calligraphy and architecture. Muslims distinguish themselves from other groups by not drawing lifelike human works which could be mistaken as idolatry because no image is a representation of God. Muslims believe the meaning of salvation is to believe in only one God, the remembrance of that one God, repentance, and the hope of God’s mercy along with the fear of God will deliver them from all their sins. Muslims also believe that you are judged according to to your effort to do good and avoid sinful behaviors and God will judge your deeds along with your intentions .The religious beliefs of Islam is there is only one god, he is the only creator, no one existed before him, and none of his creation resemble him nor can he be seen but he sees all along with God transcends life and death. Muslims believe that all beings created with reason will be accountable to God almighty on the day of judgement, they will be rewarded for every part of good or either forgiven and/or punished for the evil deeds. The goal for Islam religion is to fulfill gifts and take responsibility of this life through following the guidance of Holy Quran and Hadith while striving to serve mankind through compassion, justice, trustworthiness and love for all of God’s creations. The religious law for Islam is Shariah law which is derived from Quran and Hadith which governs prayers, business transactions and individual rights along with criminal and governmental laws. Quran is the Islamic sacred book believed to be word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel and written down in Arabic. The Quran consist of 114 units of varying lengths known as suras, the first sura is said as part of a ritual prayer. Suras touch up all aspects of human existence, including matters of doctrine,social organization,and legislation. On the other hand, Hadith is a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad along with all encounter of his daily practice (the Sunnah) which constitutes the major source of the guidance for Muslims apart from the Quran. The Sunna is the traditional portion of Muslim law based off Muhammad’s words or acts. A day of worship consist of praying five times but friday is the day for congregational prayer which is obligatory for only men. Muslims believe that humans are born pure and innocent, upon reaching puberty you are responsible for what you do and must choose right from wrong. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand in hand. Islam taught that resurrection is denied because God raised Jesus to him and he will return before the end of time to finish his life and he will correct any confusion about his teachings. They also believe he will restore order to the world when he returns. Muslims believe that forgiveness must be sought from God, there is no intermediary with him such as confessing your sins. If any wrong is done against another person or thing, forgiveness must first be sought from then then from God, as all of God’s creation’s have rights that must not be infringed. Islam taught that marriage is an act of Sunnah in Islam and is strongly recommended. Men can only marry the people of the book and Abrahamic religions.Women can only marry a Muslim man. Islam is totally opposed to monasticism and celibacy. Muslims believe that races are generally viewed as equal but those that accept Islam are viewed more favorably than those that do not. Muslim women must present themselves modestly to cover hair and body shape. Men must be modestly dressed and covered from waist to knee. In most Muslim cultures women wear a form of hijab, in some they wear the full-body cover known as burqa. Muslims are only suppose to eat foods that are considered halal,pork is forbidden. The Muslim views on Christians, Jews and etc are regarded as the people of the book, who hold a great deal of respect over materialists, any connection to divine guidance or scripture is a positive one. Muslims and Christians both believe in God and Mary. They also believe that there is only one God along with many prophets. Both religions believe in spiritual beings such as angels,demons, and spirits. Although Muslims and Christians formed in different areas many of the religious beliefs are the same. They both believe God will come back to restore the order of the world and correct all the confusion of his teachings. They both believe in the following God’s guidance and God’s prophet’s along with scriptures. Both religions follow the similar guidelines. My topic contributes to our understanding of diversity of human experience because both religions are formed from human experience. Christianity was formed from followers believing in Jesus Christ’s preachings. Islam was formed from followers believing in the words of Muhammad whom was said to be sent from God to guide followers in his teachings, just like Christianity. Both religions express the difference of how cultures lived based on the scriptures and holy guidelines.