Islam and Christianity: A Comparative Study

S Sem Ali & Farooque Alam

Research Scholar

Department of West Asian Studies

Aligarh Muslim University, India

Abstract

In the modern world there are so many religions. In India the country of religions the country of Adam there are eight important religions i.e. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Parsi, Judaism, Christianity and Islam among these Islam Christianity and Buddhism are the world religions with missionary system. Durable peace to a great extent depends upon the good and cordial relations among the followers of these and other religions. Though every religion claims that if it is followed by the people the world witness development and maintenance of the world peace but to perform such a great work for the world is not in the capacity of every religion because so many religions have very few followers and some are locally based and some there is lack of missionaries zeal leading to non-contact among the followers of the other religions world peace mainly depends upon the followers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism mainly because Islam and Christianity both are universal missionaries religion and Judaism apparently is the mother of these two religions hence it has played a greater role in the world peace. More over many Prophets are common among Islam, Christianity Judaism like Adam, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Yaqub, Daud, Sulaiman, Moosa, Haroon and also the second Adam but among these three the most important role may be played by Islam because its teaching are based on the Holy Quran the last and the latest version of all the divine books and the prophet Mohammad the seal of all the prophets and the world has practically witnessed the maintenance of world peace when Islam had prevailed in West Asia that a young lady had come alone from Sana of Yemen to Holy Mecca without any danger to his honor and property. Let us not weak perplexed form the modern world chaos and disorder. Let us hope for the better and practice Islam and then see the prevalence of peace as in past and we shall see by our eyes that history repeat itself. Now I am presenting my paper on the points of difference between Islam and Christianity but before this I would like to say there are some points of similarity also between Islam and Christianity like the concept of God concept of Prophet hood concept of angel and the resurrection and the day of judgment and finally the life of hell and paradise. Lets now proceed to observer the points of difference between these two worlds majors religions.

Introduction of Islam:

Islam is the religion of peace. Peace cannot exist without goodwill and toleration. The history of Islam is full of deeds of toleration: but this is not place to cite Muslim toleration historical example, on the other hand a Muslim, believes in the divine origin of all the great religions of the world. The Sacred Book of Islam declares that God has raised Prophets in every nation to guide the people to the path of truth and righteousness. [1] The great numbers of Islams believers make that religion great and important in the life of the world, and especially important for people living where Muslims dominate society such as Middle East, North Africa etc. People in Muslim lands who do not belong to the Islamic religion need to know about Islam, not only in order to avoid offending their neighbors and colleagues, but also to understand the convictions, the objectives and with whom they have to deal, just as it is desirable, that Islamic peoples should understand and appreciate the ideas and ideals of other nations, so it is social and personal duty and privilege for these other peoples to become well acquainted with Muslim ideas and custom.

One of the oldest, most persistent and most widespread of the mistake is the belief about Islam that still exist in the West is the idea that the Muhammadans worship Muhammad, it is easy for people to think that, just as Christian worship Christ, the founder and central figure of their religion, so the Muhammadans worship Muhammad the founder of the religion often called Muhammadism.[2]

The fundamental doctrines of Islam are

(1) The unity of God, (2) the belief in the Prophets raised by God among all the nations of world, (3) the belief in the revelations sent by God to the Prophets to guide human being to truth and righteousness, (4) the inherent sinlessness of human nature and mans capacity for unlimited moral and spiritual progress (through belief in God and faithful adherence to the inspired teachings of the Prophets), (5) personal accountability for ones actions, (6) the life after death, and (6) the equality and universal brotherhood of mankind. [3]

Introduction of Christianity:

Christianity is also well known religion of the world. It spread in entire world such as America, Africa, North Africa, Europe, West Asia etc. It is similar with Islam but there are some differences between them.

Christianity, as understood and believed by Christians of both Roman Catholic and Protestant persuasions, means the Three Creeds, namely, the Apostles, the Nicene and the Athansian. The Cardinal doctrines of Christianity are (1) The trinity, (2) the divinity of Jesus Christ, (3) the divineshsip of Jesus, (4) the original Sin, and (5) the Atonement.[4]

Jesus Christ as a Prophet was born in 4 B.C. in a humble home in Palestine. Very little is known about the early years of his life. When he was between twenty-three and twenty five years of age, a prophet appeared in Palestine preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin. The name of this Prophet was John the Baptist, and Jesus went to him and was baptized by him.[5]

The true religion of Jesus (Peace be upon him) was no other than Islam. It was St. Paul who introduced fanciful ideas in-to this pure and simple religion of Jesus. This hard fact has been revealed by modern research in theology. On page 122 of his book, Jesus and Paul, Dr. Arnold Meyer, Professor of Theology at Zurich University, makes the following sparkling revelation: If this is Christian, then such Christianity was founded by St. Paul and not by our Lord. This he stated after making a meticulous study of the church dogmas.

The Christian is brought up to believe that his religion is the only true one, with Judaism as a preparation for Christianity, and that all other religions are false. He thinks that God has revelation chosen and set apart the children of Israel for the purpose of reveling His Messages and sending His Prophets. And so, he believes only in the prophets and religious teachers of Israel and looks upon all other claimants to prophet hood as impostors.[6] The founders of Islam and Christianity were both godly men, completely dedicated to the task of preaching Gods religion, of delivering men from error and sin and making the Will of God prevail in the world.

Main Points of difference between Islam and Christianity:

1. In Islam, the basic formula faith is monotheism (La Illaha Illalha) and the basic formula of faith in Christianity is trinity (of God, Jesus, and Holy Ghost).

2. In Islam to believe in all the prophets from Adam up to Mohammad is fundamental belief for Muslim denying a single one would lead to his exclusion from Islam but in Christianity belief in all the prophets is not necessary to be a true Christian (Christianity does not recognize prophet Muhammad as Prophet).

3. All prophets are innocent in Islam according to Quran but in Christianity all prophets are not innocent. (According to Bible Suleiman A.H was charged with polytheism, Daud A.H with adultery, Yaqub A.H. with deceit and fraud with his brother Easu, Idom and his maternal uncle who was also his father in law Lebon etc.)

4. In Islam ZabiHullah sacrificial son was Ismael A.H but in Christianity Ishaq AH (Holy Quran A.L Saffat, verse 100 to 107, Bible Genesis chapter 22 verse 1 to 18)

5. In Christianity the last prophet is Jesus Christ but in Islam Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet. (Bible, the New Testament, Gospel of Matthew, Marks, Luke, John; Holy Quran Surah Al Ahzab verse 40)

6. According to Islam Jesus Christ was not crucified but according to Christianity i.e., Jesus was crucified on Friday (Gospel of Matthew chapter 27 verse 38 to 50)

7. According to Islam prophet Daud and Suleiman were both prophets and kings but in Christianity they were only kings not prophets (Holy Quran Surah Al Nisa 163, Bible, the book of first King)

8. According to Islam Prophet Suleiman did not commit polytheism but according to Christianity he committed polytheism because of his none Israeli wives, Surah Al Baqra verse 102: Bible King first, chapter 11 verse 1 to 10.

9 According to Islam the place of sacrifices of the son of Abraham was in Mecca, Marwa Mountain in Arabia) but according to Christianity the place of sacrifice was in Palestine Morya Mountain in Jerusalem. (Moatta Imam Malik and Seerat un Nabi by Allama Shibli Nomani and Syed Sulaiman Nadwi Vol Ist 2006, Pakistan, Lahore, page 100 to 101, Bible Genesis chapter 22)

10. According to Islam Allah created the universe in six days and then the function of the world began by Allah Himself without any feeling of tiredness but according to Christianity although God created the universe in six days but on the seventh day He took rest. (The Holy Quran Surah Hood verse 7 Al baqra verse 255 (Ayatal qursi), Bible the book of Exodus chapter 20 verse 9 to 10)

11. According to Islam every child is born innocent and sinless but according to Christianity is born with original sin the sin committed by Adam and you concerning the forbidden tree is continued generation by generation until he or she becomes a Christian. (The Holy Quran Surah Bani Israel verseWalaqat Qarramna bani Adam vahamalnuhm; Bible, Genesis Ist IInd and IIIrd chapter and laters of Saint Paul)

Conclusion:

Islam and Christianity both are divine religions based on revealed books, Islam being based on Quran and Christianity on Bible. The holy Quran was revealed in Arabic language and its divine purity is still maintained to be continued up to the end of time and Allah who revealed this book claims that its purity would be maintained and all the contents of holy Quran and in verse are same as they were revealed. No human being or even angle has made any addition or decrease in the holy Quran but in the case of Christianity the pristine purity has not maintained what to say of contents even the original words of Jesus Christ have not been maintained. The four versions of Christian Bible i.e., Gospel by Four different persons is the clear proof that original words of Jesus have not been maintained and the four versions of the modern Christina Bible are different from one another. The study of Holy Quran reveals the fact that this Holy book in which Islamic based is the most effective means in the hands of human beings to maintain worlds peace if its contents are acted upon because it address the whole humanity as is clear from this verse Walaqad Qarramna Bani Adam i.e., all the children of Adam irrespective of their religion, race, caste, creed, color or domicile etc. have been honored by the Almighty Allah and more over all the human being are considered by Islam as the family of Allah and who so ever does good to the family member the head of the family automatically does good to him hence the famous teaching of Islam Be Kind to those on earth the one (Allah) in the sky will do good to you. In addition to this Holy Quran says wama anfaqtum min shayin wi sabillillahi ya waffo yukhlifhu ie., whatever is spent or done good to the human being the creator of human being will give the return to those who do good to human beings i.e. the family of God.

As far the Christianity is concerned the original Christianity as preached by Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples also leads to the development and maintenance of world peace but by the own going current of time many non-Christian factors got included in the original Christianity which became too weak to develop and maintain the world peace two world war were fought by the follower the clear example of this claim is the three hundred years continual Crusades between Christian and Muslim. Had the Christian priest of the time been true the original Christianity of Jesus Christ world peace in those days might not have been disturbs and millions of innocent lives might have been saved. Alas! Real teachings of Christ could not prevail on the Pops in Priest of those times.

Bibliography

  1. The Holy Quran.
  2. The Bible.

3. Calverley, E.) Islam: An Introduction. Cario: The American University At Cairo (1958).

4. Qureshi, I. H. The Religion of Peace. Karachi: Royal Book Company (1989).

5. Samad , U. A.-U. Islam and Christianity. Peshawar : International Islamic Federation of Student Organiztion . (1982 ).

6. Siddiqi, M. Islam and New World. Delhi : Max Ford Books, (2006).

7. Singh, N. Islam A Religion of Peace . Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House, (2005).

8. Thought For Christians . (n.d.). Qum, Iran: Darut Tablighil, Islami.

  1. Inquilab Daily Urdu News Paper.

Journal and Article

  1. KALIN, IBRAHIM. Islam and Peace: A Survey of the Sources of Peace in the Islamic Tradition.Islamic Studies44.3 (2005): 327362.
  2. Vincent J. H. Houben. Southeast Asia and Islam.Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science588 (2003): 149170.
  3. REHMAN, UZMA. Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking in Islam: Toward Reconciliation and Complementarity Between Western and Muslim Approaches.Islamic Studies50.1 (2011): 5569. PARET, RUDI. ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY.Islamic Studies3.1 (1964): 8395.

Personalities:

  1. Dr. Ghulam Mursaleen specialization in Arab World
  2. Prof Abdul Khalique specialization in World religion


[1] Samad , U. A.-U.. Islam and Christianity (1982). Peshawar: I.I.F.S.O. 1

[2] Calverley, E. Islam: An Introduction (1958). Cario: The American University At Cairo. Pg, 1,2

[3] Samad , U. A.-U.. Islam and Christianity (1982). Peshawar: I.I.F.S.O. Pg. 28, 29

[4] Samad , U. A.-U.. Islam and Christianity (1982). Peshawar: I.I.F.S.O. 28

[5] Samad , U. A.-U.. Islam and Christianity (1982). Peshawar: I.I.F.S.O. 11

[6] Ibid1

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