Have you ever wondered about the differences and similarities between Christianity and Islam? Both Christianity and Islam are monotheistic, meaning they both believe in one God. In both religions God is the creator of everything and is loving and forgiving. He also has a special relationship with humans, and has made covenants with them. However, there is one major difference between the beliefs of Christians and Muslims regarding God.
While Christians believe in the Holy Trinity, or three persons in one divine nature, Muslims believe that God is only one person, and that the Trinity is the belief in three Gods.
The first major difference between these two religions is their founders. Muhammad is the founder of Islam. He, like all other Muslim prophets is believed by Muslims to be infallible and sinless. He was not only a religious leader, but also a political leader, which explains the common practice of integrated church and state in many Muslim countries. The founder of Christianity is Jesus.
Although both Muslims and Christians recognize Jesus, their beliefs about him differ greatly. Both believe that Jesus was sinless, infallible, and born of the Virgin Mary. Both religions accept that Jesus preformed miracles, and was ascended, or raised up, to God. But while Muslims see Jesus as a highly regarded prophet, Christians see Him as God Himself. They believe that Jesus was crucified and resurrected on three days later in atonement for the sins of all man kind. Jesus was a spiritual, but not a political leader, and today most dominantly Christian countries practice a separation of church and state.
The idea of how salvation is obtained also varies among Christianity and Islam. Both believe that God created man, along with everything else, and that man has a special place among creation. Christians believe that Adam sinned, and that all people, aside from Mary and Jesus, are born with this original sin and it can only be removed through the sacraments. They also believe that man is imperfect, and therefore can not earn salvation, but instead receives it through the grace of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus.
Christians believe that we can earn indulgences or reparation for our sins, through the good works of the saints, because we are one as a church. Muslims believe that each human is born sinless, and is responsible to maintain this state throughout life. They believe that each person is responsible for only his or her salvation, and that no person can receive an indulgence. Both religions have similar beliefs as to what will happen at the end of time. Both believe that Jesus will come again to judge all people. Christians and Muslims also believe that all people will go to either heaven or hell.
Both religions believe that heaven is eternal, but while Christians believe that hell is also eternal, some Muslims believe that God can pardon those in hell. Important aspects of both religions are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Both have a holy day where all adherents are obligated to go to a group prayer. Muslims go to their mosque on Fridays, and Christians go to church on Sundays. Muslims are also obligated to face Mecca, the Muslim holy land, five times daily and say certain prayers. Christian daily prayer is less rigid, and is seen as a person discussion between God and man.
Muslims fast each year on Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar (Islam uses a lunar calendar). They do not eat anything on these days between sunrise and sunset. Christians fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days they are allowed one regular meal, two snacks, and to drink water throughout the day. Christians also abstain from meat on Fridays in lent. Muslims are required to give one fortieth of everything they own each year. Christians are urged to give ten percent of everything they earn each year to the church. There’s a lot of different and similarity between them.