Islam and Christianity There are hundreds of religions in this world. Of them two are the most prominent. Islam and Christianity. It is averaged that there are 750 million people practicing Islam, and another 1 billion practicing Christianity.
The start of Islam is actually derived form Christianity, history books indicates that one night in the year 610, the first of many revelations came to Muhammad from God by way of the angel Gabriel (In Christianity this is the same Angel which brings the news of Jesus’ birth, Jesus of course is the founder of Christianity). The message Muhammad received told him that there was but one God (Identical to the inception of the Ten Commandments), not many gods, as most Arabs believed. This God was creator of the world (In Christianity, it’s documented in Genesis Chapter 1 verse 1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth), and He would one day judge mankind (This is also true in Christianity: “The Lord will judge his people.” Hebrews 10:30). Both of these religions share almost the same framework, but they also differ in many ways. The word Islam means “surrender” or “submission,” submission to the will of Allah, the one God. Muslims are those who have submitted themselves.
The basic creed of Islam is brief: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah. Islam teaches that there is one God, the creator and sustainer of the universe. This God, Allah, is compassionate and just. Because He is compassionate, He calls all people to believe in Him and worship Him.
Because He is also just, on the Last Day He will judge every person according to his deeds. On the Last Day, all the dead will be resurrected and either rewarded with heaven or punished with hell. In Christianity one of the Ten Commandments states that “I am the Lord you God…you shall have no other gods before me”, also identical to Islam God is considered the creator of the universe, and he is also just. On the last day, or judgment day, the same holds true as in Islam in the Christian beliefs, the dead will be resurrected and either rewarded with heaven or punished with hell.
Mankind is regarded as the crown of creation, entrusted by God with management of the whole created order. In Christianity this was Adam, who had dominion over all the animals and beasts of the earth. Islam sees humanity as weak and prone to disbelief in God and to disobedience to His will. Humanity’s weakness is pride. In the Christian religion it was pride that caused the downfall of man, Eve thought that God had no right to tell them what they could and could not eat.
In Islam, God sent prophets to communicate His will. These prophets, all mortal men, were elected messengers to whom God spoke through an angel or by inspiration., identical to Christianity, an example of that was God sending Moses to free his people out of Pharaohs hands. In Islam, they also believe in forgiveness, another basic Christina principle, Islam teaches that God is always ready to pardon the individual and restore him to the sinless state in which he started life. In Christianity this is called being “born again”.
The life of each Muslim is always within the community of the faithful: All are declared to be “brothers to each other,” with the mission to “enjoin good and forbid evil.” Within the community, Muslims are expected to establish social and economic justice. They are also expected to carry their message out to the rest of the world. In the early Islamic community, this meant the use of force in the form of jihad, or holy war. This also happened in the Christian faith, it was known as “Crusades”, where missionaries would go out and spread the word of God.
The intent was not to force conversion on anyone; this was forbidden by the Koran and the Bible. The object of jihad and the crusades was to gain political control over societies and run them in accordance with the principles of Islam and Christianity. Both took separate paths to accomplish their prospective goals, thus explaining the Islam influence in the Middle East and North Africa, and the Christian influence in Europe and North America. During the decades following the death of Muhammad certain essential principles were singled out from his teachings to serve as anchoring points for the Islamic community. These have come to be called the “five pillars of Islam.” Some early, and more fanatical, believers added jihad as a sixth pillar, but it was never accepted by the whole community. Similar to the five pillars, the Ten Commandments are regarded as law in the Christian faith.
The revelations that Muhammad received were collected into a new book, the Koran, directing his followers what to believe and how to live (In the same manner, the Bible is a collection of writings from prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Elijiah, etc. Identical to the Muslim prophets.) Many Muslims (the name for people who practice Islam) believed that everything Muhammad said and did was inspired by Allah, many reports of his sayings and deeds were collected. At first these were just remembered and spread by word of mouth. Later they were captured in writing, to serve as an additional guide for believers, along with the Koran.
The Koran relies heavily on Christian traditions. It was Muhammad’s contention that Christianity had departed from belief in God’s message as revealed in their Scriptures. God had sent many prophets, among them Abraham, who is considered the founder of the faith for Islam, as he is also for and Christianity. The Koran, using sources in the older Scriptures and later traditions, relates the stories of Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Aaron, David, Solomon, Jesus, and others, all of whom are declared to have been true prophets whose messages were largely ignored: “We sent forth Noah and Abraham, and bestowed on their offspring prophethood and the Scriptures.
. . . After them we sent other apostles, and after those, Jesus the son of Mary.” The lack of success these prophets had was reflected in Muhammad’s own experience, as he preached the oneness of God to the Arabs in Mecca. The implication was that he was the last in the series of prophets, the last reveler of divine truth.