Similarities between Christianity and Islam
Here are some of the many similarities between Islam and Christianity. And although there are also significant differences, the commonality is sufficiently strong to create empathy between the two.
(Reporting diversity? See The Right Way to Write)
We all like to believe that we are special, whether as a race or as followers of a particular religion.
- The Japanese once believed their Emperor was a direct descendant of the Sun goddess.
- In India, the Brahmins are believed to be chosen by God as custodians and interpreters of God's message.
- Many administrations have attempted to create a superior race through the curiously named. 'ethnic cleansing'. Hitler believed he could create an Aryan Master Race, and indeed some people, such as the Raelians, still dream of doing this through cloning.
- Hitler also believed that the Jews were poisoning humanity with their existence, which is rather strange, since Jews believe that they are the Chosen Ones.
- Mormons adopt themselves to Jewish tribes thereby claiming membership to the House of Israel, along with its chosen status.
- Many Christians are adamant that their way is the only path to salvation.
- Many Muslims are equally convinced that it is themselves who are chosen to supersede the Jews and be the only true messengers of God.
- But we all know that it's really we Americans who are blessed to be God's chosen ones.
Here, we look at the two largest religions in the world, and see just how nonsensical this holier-than-thou attitude is. (Of course, there are wild variations within each religion; we are making broad generalisations here.)
For both Christianity and Islam:
- They believe in miracles and believe that Jesus performed miracles. They are monotheistic. God is omnipotent and angels exist as God's servants. There is an Antichrist (Satan) who also has servants. God has sent prophets and Jesus, who now lives in heaven, was born of the Virgin Mary.
- God is the Creator. The lifespan of this world is finite, but man does not know when the world will end. Jesus Christ will return when the world ends. At that time, Satan and his servants will be defeated and men will be judged to determine whether their souls go to heaven or hell.
- God is both loving and forgiving. He has made a covenant with man, who has the freedom to choose between good and evil, and whether or not to obey God and His commandments.
- Man communicates with God through prayer and a standard Lord's Prayer exists. Prayer can be communicated at any time although special times also exist to ensure man has a regular opportunity to pray. Many from both faiths use aids such as prayer beads (Christian: rosary, Muslims: tasbih).
- Congregational services occur on a set day weekly and special holy days occur in the annual calendar.
- There are seven deadly sins and intoxication is forbidden. Whilst some Christian churches organise bingo evenings, gambling is intrinsically wrong for Christians (see the Dice and the Cross). Muslims may not play any game of chance nor gamble. Suicide is considered murder and is forbidden (being one of the Ten Commandments). There are some different rules regarding interfaith marriages, depending on the conservatism of the sect. Generally speaking, currently both religions oppose same-sex marriage and follow scriptural law relating to marriage.
- Charitable actions, fasting, and pilgrimages are encouraged. Man should love his neighbour as himself .
In addition, both religions have divine Scriptures from which they can study God's plan. Here are some sections; different language, but the meaning is practically identical.
|Gen. 1:1-2||Qur'an 13:2|
|In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.||Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see is firmly established on the throne (of authority). He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)|
|Gen. 1:9-12||Qur'an 13:3,4|
|And God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear. And it was so. God called the dry ground land, and the gathered waters he called seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.||And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two: He draweth the night as a veil o'er the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider! And in the earth are tracts (diverse though) neighbouring, and gardens of vines and fields sown with corn, and palm trees - growing out of single roots or otherwise: watered with the same water, yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who understand!|
|Gen. 1:14-18||Qur'an 35:13 and 41:12|
|And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so. God made two great lights; the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.||He merges Night into Day, and he merges Day into Night, and he has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law): each one runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord: to Him belongs all Dominion. And those whom ye invoke besides Him have not the least power. |
So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge.
|Gen. 2:1-3||Qur'an 50:38|
|Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.||We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us.|
|Gen. 2:7||Qur'an 15:28,29|
|The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.||Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit fall ye down in obeisance unto him.|
The Ten Commandments / The Fateha
|Exod. 20:3||Qur'an 17:23. Also 2:163,255; 3:2,6,18,62; 4:87; 5:73; 6:102,106; 7:59,65,73,85,158; 9:31,129; 10;90; 11:14,40,61,84; 13:30; 16:02; 18:110; 20:8,14,98; 21:25,87; 23:23,32,116; 27:26; 28:38,70; 28:88; 35:3; 37:035; 38:65; 39:6; 40:3,62,65; 44:8; 47:19; 64:13; 73:9|
|You shall have no other gods before me.||Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him|
|Exod. 20:4||Qur'an 22:12|
|You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.||They call on such deities, besides Allah, as can neither hurt nor profit them: that is straying far indeed (from the Way)!|
|Exod. 20:7||Qur'an 7:180|
|You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.||And Allah's are the best names, therefore call on Him thereby, and leave alone those who violate the sanctity of His names; they shall be requited for what they did.|
|Exod. 20:8-11||Qur'an 16:124|
|Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.||The Sabbath was only made (strict) for those who disagreed (as to its observance); But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment, as to their differences.|
|Exod. 20:12||Qur'an 17:23|
|Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.||Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.|
|Exod. 20:13||Qur'an 17:23|
|You shall not murder.||Nor take life which Allah has made sacred.|
|Exod. 20:14||Qur'an 17:32|
|You shall not commit adultery.||Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).|
|Exod. 20:15||Qur'an 2:188|
|You shall not steal.||And do not eat up unjustly the property of each other among yourselves nor convey their cases to the authorities for devouring unlawfully some portion of the property of the people knowingly|
|Exod. 20:16||Qur'an 2:42|
|You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.||And cover not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).|
|Exod. 20:17||Qur'an 4:32|
|You shall not covet your neighbour's house. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.||And in no wise covet those things in which Allah Hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others|
The Lord's Prayer / The Fateha
|Matt. 6:9-13||Qur'an 1:1-7|
|Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.||Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Compassionate, the Merciful. King of the Day of Reckoning. Thee only do we worship and of Thee only do we ask aid.|
|Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.||Guide us unto the right path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been gracious, not the path of those who are the objects of Thy wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.|
(See also Paternoster Cross)
|Lev. 18:6-18||Qur'an 4:22-24|
|No-one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord. Do not dishonour your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her. Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonour your father. Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere. Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; that would dishonour you. Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your father; she is your sister. Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative. Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is your mother's close relative. Do not dishonour your father's brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt. Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her. Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonour your brother. Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness. Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.||And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what is past: It was shameful and odious, an abominable custom indeed. Prohibited to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, mother's sisters; brother's daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (who gave you suck); foster-sisters; your wives' mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in, no prohibition if ye have not gone in; (those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for God is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful; Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess. Thus hath God ordained (prohibitions) against you. Except for these, all others are lawful.|
Wow! These things show just how similar Christians and Muslims are. Like brothers.
Come to think of it, there are many brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, who don't have such similar ideas.
So with all these things in common, why in Heaven's name do Christians and Muslims fight? Let's look at the differences between Christianity and Islam.
We are all God's chosen people: Acts 10:34-35
'Ethnic cleansing' is a silly euphemism when you remember that everybody has mixed ethnicity and it's not something that can be cleansed. What it means in practice is the elimination of unwanted people through methods such as forcible displacement, murder or genocide.
The Bible tells how God chose the Jews because they were the only race that obeyed Him rather than Pagan gods (see Gen. 11:1-9 and 10:32). The Bible does not say Jews automatically get an entry permit to Heaven; only those who obey God's law will do that. The choosing is not a license for special privilege; rather it is a choosing to bear special responsibilities. Study the verses around: Exod. 19:5-6, Deut. 7:6, 10:15, 14:2, 2 Chron. 20:7, Isa. 41:8-9, Amos 3:2, Rom. 11:26-27, and make sure you see Acts 10:34-35.
This is especially the case for those who consider themselves to be "True Christians", such as Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons. Other Christians recognise that the only "way" is through Christ. See The meaning of the Cross
Both Christians and Muslims are taught to love their neighbours as themselves: Mark 12:31 and Fourth Hadith of an-Nawawi 13. Actually, it goes further than that - 'neighbours' include enemies, and both religions promote making enemies into friends. Sadly, this is a teaching ignored by too many followers of both faiths.
"When Jesus said Love your enemies, I'm pretty sure he meant don't kill them." (Quaker bumper sticker.)