ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY Essay, Research Paper
Although Islam is less known than Christianity, it is the fastest growing religion in the in our country today. Islam is actually derived form Christianity. History books indicate that one night in the year 610, the first of many revelations came to Muhammad from God by way of the angel Gabriel. The message Muhammad received told him that there was but one God, not many gods, as most Arabs believed. This God was creator of the world, and He would one-day judge mankind.
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. The life of each Muslim is always within the community of the faithful, all are declared to be “brothers to each other,” with he 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. The object of jihad was to gain political control over societies and run them in accordance with the principles of Islam. 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.” After the sudden death of Mohammed in 632, Caliph Abu Bakr ordered one of the prophets? companions to collect, from oral and written sources, all of Mohammed?s utterances. They were written in the Qur?an which is basically the ?Muslim Bible?. The Qur?an is the written version of the teachings that Mohammed preached while he was alive. A second source of guidance for most Muslims is al-Hadith (Tradition), a vast body of transmitted stories of what the Prophet said or did or what was said or done in his presence and therefore approved by him
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. After Muhammad’s death in AD 632, it was feared that the content of the revelations might be lost, as those who had originally memorized it died. It was therefore decided to collect all the revelations, from what ever source, and make a compilation. Christianity and Islam are two of the most significant religions since their creation. Islam means ?submission? in Arabic, and a Muslim is one who submits to the will of God. Christians were called so because of Jesus? title Christos, which is Greek for Messiah. Both religions are very similar with only some of the beliefs and teachings being different. They also give separate messages to outsiders as to what their religions stand for. Both religions are monotheistic with a holy text and they both strive to conquer evil. Islam has a set of rules (5 Pillars of Islam) set forth to reach enlightenment while Christians basically just sin, repent, and then are forgiven for their sins. Christianity is a much easier religion to belong to because it is a lot more lenient to what you can and cannot do as well as when and where you can do it. Islam is also more closed doors because the do not really send out missionaries looking for people to convert to Islam. For Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah (the anointed one) ? God?s deliverer, whose coming the prophets had foretold. Jesus taught the good Word of the Lord, as was his duty as the Son of God. He is also said to have performed miracles such as curing leprosy and blindness as well walking on water. While Jesus and Mohammed were on Earth, their stories and teachings were passed on orally, so the need to write them down was not necessary. Christianity is a religion where they welcome outsiders in to convert them and love everyone, Christian or not, for they are all the children of God. Islam teaches to: ?Be mindful of you duty to Allah and try to promote accord between yourselves (8.2). All believers are brothers; so make peace between your brothers (49.11). Fight the idolators all together, as they fight you all together, and know that Allah is with the righteous (9.36)??. ?Make peace between your brothers?, means to make peace with other Muslims. If you are not Muslim, you are not one of their brothers. They also say to ?fight the idolaters?, which means to fight against those who are not Muslim. This message to hate he who is not of the same religion is the complete opposite from that of Christianity?s message. I believe that is why Muslims feel compelled to bomb other peoples and fight holy wars. This is another reason why Christianity is more appealing. Both Islam and Christianity offer a rewarding ?eternal dwelling? if you live a righteous life here on earth and do the duty of Allah or God. Christians believe that their reward for a righteous life is to go to Heaven. For Muslims, the reward for following the 5 Pillars of Islam is pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eternity. These are the sole reasons for having the religions in the first place. The supreme goal of both religions is to successfully reach a peaceful afterlife. As far as bad afterlives go, Christianity has Hell for those who go against God and are not forgiven for their sins. Hell is an eternal damnation full of torture and suffering. Hell is a deterrent from sin, which makes people more inclined to live holy and righteous lives. As Heaven is a reward for living a righteous life, Hell is the punishment for living a life of sin. I am not sure about Islam, although the book does talk about ?Allah saving someone from the Fire? and ?Fire? being defined as Hell.
In conclusion, even though Islam religion is the fastest growing religion today I do believe it is due to the inference that more people today our out for themselves and are also scared because they don?t know what to believe in, thus they choose the one with the most rules for the reason that they feel it is better for their being. Like every religion, people choose which rules they want to abide by, through the word of man. Why even choose or change a religion?