There are more than thousand religions exist all around the world. From all these Christianity is the largest religion based on believers and Islam comes second after this. There are lots of similarities between Christianity along with some unavoidable differences. As Qur’anic scriptures, Christianity and Islam came from the same source but Christianity, the older one of them decayed from it’s fundamental rules and regulations day by day which is about to be same to Islam. The holy Qur’an is the only scripture came directly from the creator of the universe remains unchanged. The objective of this paper is to show some similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam briefly.
Christianity: Christianity, stemming out of Judaism and developing primarily in the West, has become the largest religion of the world even though, except for Islam, it is the youngest major world religion. Approximately one in every three persons on earth is identified with Christianity.
Islam: Islam is the youngest of the major religions of the world. It is the dominant religion of the third-world nations of the Middle East and
Christians maintain, on the contrary, that prophecy continued and that the writings that eventually became the New Testament were also divinely inspired. But since Muslims maintain and believe that Muhammad is also the last prophet, the revelations communicated through him supersede, even as they mark the culmination of all earlier SCRIPTURES. The authority of both, Jewish and Christian scriptures is subordinated to the content of Muslim revelation, and the former serve as a theological, not merely a chronological, preamble to Islam.
· that the injil [Arabic for 'Bible'] like the Qur'an, was a real Scripture -- the original Word of God, sent down from the heavens and transmitted to the human Messenger (Prophet) Jesus on earth, through the medium of the celestial messenger (the angel Gabriel), as the highest form of infallible divine inspiration called wahy in Arabic. Christians have lost their injil, whereas Muslims have managed to meticulously preserve every word of their Qur'an in its original purity.
· that not only the Prophet Muhammad's p.b.u.h. own words, sayings or utterances, as distinct from God's Words (the Qur'an) but also a record of his actions and tacit approvals, have all been separately preserved. They are known as Hadith, Traditions, or Sunnah. Muslim scholars maintain that The New Testament, which contains the writings of the disciples of Jesus are really more like the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h., whereas the injil, which has been lost, was like the Qur'an.
Similarities & Dissimilarities
Similarities in Prayer
Islam: The Fateha [The Opening]
The Qur'an 1:1-7
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. 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. Amen
Christianity: The Lord's Prayer
[The New Testament, King James version]
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.nGive us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors [Other translations say: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."] And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, The Power and the Glory. For ever and ever. Amen
If we carefully compare the parts of each prayer which are written above as separate paragraphs (a) (b) and (c), we will observe that there are differences only in language, yet there are no differences whatsoever in meaning. There is in both prayers absolutely the same spirit of (a) Adoration (b) Submission and (c) Supplication.
Similar prayers of Islam and Christianity:
- Prayer is a means of communicating with God; God hears prayers and sometimes grants requests.
- In Islam Special congregational service of worship (salat) once per week on Friday, in a mosque, is an obligation (in addition to five times a day obligatory service of worship (salat) - also preferably in congregation.) and for christianity Congregational worship at church once per week on Sunday is an obligation.
- Charity and relieving the suffering of others carries spiritual rewards.
- Certain standard prayers exist.
- Fasting and similar ascetic practises for religious purposes carries spiritual rewards.
- Pilgrimage (hajj) is obligatory.
- Muslims celebrate the advent and birth of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) on the 12th Rabi Awwal (Islamic calendar date) and Christians celebrate the advent and birth of Jesus Christ, Dec. 25. This is known as Christmas.
Similarities in About Creation
Qur'an 35:13 :- 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.
Qur'an 13:2 :- 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)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.
Qur'an 13:3,4 :- 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!
Qur'an 41:37:- Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve.
Qur'an 41:12:- 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.
Qur'an 50:38:- We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us.
Qur'an 15:28,29:- 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.
Genesis 1:14:- Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night,
and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
Genesis 1:1,2:- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Genesis 1:9-12:- Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear''; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them''; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after] their kind; and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:3-5:- Then God said, "Let there be light''; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Genesis 1:14-18:- Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth''; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 2:1-3:- Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Genesis 2:7:- Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Similarities in Prohibiting Marriage
4:22 And marry not women whom your fathers
married, except what is past: It was shameful and odious, an abominable custom indeed.
4:23 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);
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;
4:24 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 . . . and God is All-knowing, All-wise.
6 No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.
7 Do not dishonour your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.
8 Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonour your father.
9 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.
10 Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; that would dishonour you.
11 Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your father; she is your sister.
12 Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative.
13 Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is your mother's close relative.
14 Do not dishonour your father's brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.
15 Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her.
16 Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonour your brother.
17 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.
18 Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.
Similar to Islam & Christianity:
- Monotheistic -- God (Allah) is recognized as the Creator.
- God is omnipotent, omniscient, immanent within His creation yet transcendent.
- God has a unique relationship with humans (master and servant).
- God makes agreements or Covenants with humans.
- Have similar eschatology (pertaining to the last days or the end of the world) -- this world will come to an end someday and no-one knows when.
- A figure referred to as Satan or Antichrist (dajjal) (a figure of evil) will be defeated at the end of the world.
- After the world has ended, God will judge humans, based on their actions in compliance with a moral code, specified in the Covenant which God makes with us.
- This judgement will determine one's eternal abode, heaven or hell (bliss or punishment).
- Human beings have a spirit (ruh) which is eternal, continuing its existence after our physical death. As to its origin, the Qur'an says, "When I [God] have fashioned him [Adam] (in due proportions) and breathed into him of My spirit . . ." [Qur'an 15:29]
- Humans have the ability (free will) to choose between good and evil (obeying or disobeying God, complying with the moral code of the Covenant or transgressing).
- Angels exist who are the servants, and sometimes messengers of God.
- Satan (shaitan) exists, as well as evil spirits who follow him; they are the enemies of humanity.
- Divinely revealed scriptures exist which are the primary source of religious knowledge. The Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad and it is the final scripture given to man.
- Miracles occur on occasion.
- If a person errs or transgresses, God may forgive them, if they sincerely repent.
- Prophets brought spiritual instruction.
- There are similarities between the Quranic and biblical version of many stories, such as Adam and Eve, Moses and the children of
, etc. Israel
- At the time of the end of the world, Jesus ChristHYPERLINK "http://muslim-canada.org/jesus.html" willHYPERLINK "http://muslim-canada.org/jesus.html" come again.
- Jesus Christ was born to the virgin named Mary.
Differences between Islam & Christianity
- Islam prohibits to believe in the trinity but Christians believe in the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
- God has informed us of only 99 of His beautiful names (Attributes). Many of them depict His beautiful aspects (jamal), and some of them depict His power, authority and grandeur (jalal). Christians currently emphasize the beautiful aspects of God (i.e. God is Love)
- Jesus is a Prophet and a servant of God. Muhammad is also a Prophet and a servant of God. He was the last Prophet sent by God to guide and teach mankind. But Christianity says that as a member of the Trinity, Jesus is viewed as God Himself.
- The Quranic teachings in this regard may be summed up as follows: (1) Christ was neither crucified nor killed by the Jews, notwithstanding certain apparent circumstances which produced that illusion in the minds of some of the enemies; and (2) Jesus was taken up to God (i.e.. God raised him up (raf'a) to Himself.) [Qur'an 4:157, 158 & 3:55 & 4:157] but Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a cross. Christians also believe Christians believe Jesus was resurrected (raised from the dead) three days after being crucified on a cross (Good Friday to Easter Sunday are the days when Christians remember and celebrate this.) Jesus' crucifixion they believe, redeems Christians of their sins.
- As Islamic teachings Eschatology - Judgement will occur on Judgement Day (the end of the world when God will judge all human beings beginning from Adam and Eve). Persons who have been previously deceased, and are in their graves, are given an indication (via 'windows' in the grave) of what his or her future Judgement may be. The punishment of the grave will begin immediately. Rewards begin immediately too. (This intermediate stage of the grave may be regarded as similar to the Catholic Purgatory, and is called barzakh in Islam). The final abode of either
Paradiseor Hell will be pronounced on the Day of Judgement. But from the Christians’ belief Eschatology - most Christians believe that judgement takes place, immediately upon death (i.e. they will either go to Heaven or Hell, or as in the case of Catholics, they could also go to Purgatory immediately upon death). Christians also believe that the final Judgement Day is only for all those people who have not died yet and will be for those remaining on earth.
- Islam says that Hell is a place of purification, and is permanent.
Paradiseas a reward, and Hell as a punishment are but graphic terms to make us understand a state of things which is beyond all our notions of life in that world. Paradisewill be eternal. Once meriting it, there can be no question of being ejected from it. As to whether Hell is also eternal for the unbelievers, there are two schools of thought: (1) A great majority of Muslims affirm that God may pardon every sin and every crime except disbelief in God. [Qur'an 4:48,116] (2) Others believe that even the punishment of disbelief may one day terminate by the grace of God. [Qur'an 11:107, etc.] The Qur'an 4:124 declares: "If any do deeds of righteousness - be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Paradiseand not the least injustice will be done to them." In other words no religion has a monopoly on salvation! But Christianity says, Hell is eternal, but Purgatory is not (note: Catholics believe in Purgatory whereas Protestants do not). While Catholics believe that Purgatory is precisely the same as Hell, it is not eternal. They believe it is a place or state of punishment wherein the souls of those who die in God's grace may do penance for past sins and hence become cleansed and fit for heaven. Only Christians can go to heaven.
- Muslims do not believe in vicarious atonement. They believe that each person is responsible for his or her own actions and that no-one else can atone for them. However, you can pray to God for His Mercy and Forgiveness on behalf of another person. The Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. -- and some others (like innocent babies who have passed away) are given the special privilege to intercede on behalf of their parents on the Day of Judgement. This is in accord with the Throne Verse in the Qur'an. So with God's graceful permission, they may have a specially bestowed privilege of pleading on behalf of others and begging for God's forgiveness for them on the Day of Judgement. This is known as intercession (shafa't). But Christians believe in vicarious atonement -- that another person can extinguish the guilt incurred by another person's sins. Jesus is believed to have died so as to atone vicariously for man's sins. He was considered to be the Lamb of God, which means that Jesus was considered to be the perfect sacrifice by which the hold of Original Sin was broken. Christians believe in intercession and intercessors such as priests and monks.
- Islam says that all mankind is born pure and he/she is responsible for his or her own sins and not someone else's. But Christians believe in Original Sin, (all of mankind is held responsible for the sins of Adam and Eve) which only the sacrament of baptism in the name of Christ can expiate.
- The holy Qur'an was revealed ('revelation' [wahi] is the highest form of inspiration with no possibility of error in the message or the conveyance of the message) to the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. through the angel Gabriel who was carrying out God's precise instructions. This occurred over a period of 23 years. The holy Qur'an is God's Word -- not the word of the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. Christians believe that divine inspiration (the Latin word is 'afflatus' which means 'divine wind') inspired the writers of the scripture. Hence they believe that the Gospel of St. Mark (obviously written by St. Mark) or the letters of Paul the Apostle are the "Word of God."
- The Qur'an exists today exactly the same as it was revealed to Muhammad, p.b.u.h. There have been absolutely no changes whatsoever made to the wording. Special checks and balances and special means for the preservation of accuracy (.e.g. memorizing of the text by many people, etc. etc.) were put into place so that no error or change could possibly creep into the text. A council was called, in the early days of Christianity, where the church fathers and elders debated. This was presided over by the Roman (and Christian) Emperor Constantine (circa 324 A.D.). This council codified (systematized) standard Christian belief and gave the New Testament its present form, depriving some books of the status of Scripture (many of which still exist today and are known as the Apocrypha).
- According to Quran all the Prophets, from Adam a.s. to Muhammad p.b.u.h. are pure and sinless/infallible. In the Old Testament (Jewish scriptures which most Christians regard as authoritative), Prophets are not portrayed as being infallible to say the least.
- There are many differences between the Quranic and the Biblical versions in the details of certain Biblical stories.
- The first source of Muslim Law, is the Qur'an. The second source of law is the Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h.). The Hadith literature expounds and explains and interprets the Quranic injunctions and teachings. The Hadith do not contradict the Qur'an in any way. And The source of Christian (or Canon) Law is the scripture, which has been interpreted by the Pope for Catholics; by the Patriarch for members of the Orthodox faith; and by the consensus of the community for other groups. The writings of the church fathers would also be relevant.
- For Muslims, Prophets are spiritually advanced and are very pure and sinless. They have been sent by God to guide and teach mankind. There have been 127,000 of them from Adam, a.s. to Muhammad p.b.u.h. who was the last Prophet sent, meaning that no more Prophets will come after him. Hence Muhammad p.b.u.h. was called the "Seal of the Prophets." The Prophets were sent as Messengers of God to people in different countries at different times. Prophets do not have the same stature in Christianity that they have in Islam.
Similar to Islam and Christianity
- Faith without works is useless (it is not enough to simply say "I believe).
- God severely punishes the worship of any deity other than God Himself as well as disrespect toward Him.
- Humans have rights (hence the prohibitions on murder, theft, lying, violence).
- Parents have special rights (to be honored), as do spouses (hence adultery is forbidden).
- Fornication and lewd behaviors are forbidden.
- Transgressions similar to the Christian "seven deadly sins" (avarice, pride, greed, gluttony; envy, lust, sloth) are all spiritual illnesses.
- Society's laws must be obeyed.
- Intoxication is forbidden.
- Suicide is forbidden.
- Homosexuality is forbidden.
Differences between Islam & Christianity
- Islam does not treat law and morality as different things. What is legal/lawful is also moral and conversely what is unlawful/illegal is also immoral. Consequently, Islamic law automatically covers and governs morality -- moral values are not changeable nor are they dependant on the whims of individuals or society. The Islamic legal system combines the two opposites: a) rigid inflexibility and permanency through the Shar'iah (i.e. the divine injunctions of the Qur'an and the Sunnah) and b) the flexibility and fluidity to accommodate man-made legislation with the changing needs of society. There are two forms of legal systems in Islam: i) Fiqh (which cannot be inconsistent with the Shariah) and ii) the derivative form of legislation which is based on the Shariah. Transgressing these two regulations or bounds will make Fiqh (i.e. man-made legislation) ultra vires ab-initio (i.e. absolutely void from the beginning.). But in Secular law, and morality are often different things. For example, abortion is considered legal by the government in
. Many Protestants have no problem with this law, yet Catholics forbid it for their followers. What is considered moral has tended to change with each generation. The guideposts and/or criteria of what is considered moral or what is considered immoral are interpreted differently depending on the era or the group (Catholic, Protestant, etc.). Church doctrine, while it can change and be altered, doesn't change so often as the church members interpretations of it do. For example, Jesus' commandment "Love thy neighbour as thyself" has differing interpretations on how to carry it out depending on the time and era and generation; also compliance to this commandment has changed substantially from place to place, group to group and time. Canada
- Muslims believe that while the Scripture and Gospels were originally pure and error free, contradiction and error has crept into them over time and so now the current books are considered to be highly suspect. For example we don't know what are really Jesus', a.s. words from what are the scribes words because there were no checks and balances that were put into place to ensure that such errors did not occur. Hence we see several contradictions in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Even though the Old Testament is regarded as Scripture, Christians do not regard themselves as being bound by Jewish law (this thanks to a dream of St. Peter).
- Muslims, like Jews do not consume the flesh of swine. But Christians consume the flesh of swine.
- Alcohol and/or intoxication is completely forbidden in Islam. Alcohol intoxication is forbidden for Christians, but alcohol consumption is not.
- Free-mixing of sexes is discouraged in Islam. In Christianity free-mixing of the sexes was historically discouraged, but today this injunction doesn't play the role it used to.
Differences between Islam & Christianity
- Muslims do not believe in the separation of 'church from state' (i.e. secularism). However, it is permissible to separate the functions of government (politics) from religion and be undertaken by different individuals -- politics would still be subject to religion. On the contrary, almost all Christian countries have secular governments.
- The Muslim daily rituals and practices are clear and detailed (e.g. proper way to use the washroom, specifics of purification for prayer, inheritance, details of Zakat, prescribed punishments, etc.). But in Christianity, lack the details that Islam holds.
- Prayer is very specific and exactly the same no matter which country the Muslim happens to live in. There are five prescribed prayers per day at set times according to the rotation of the earth around the sun. All of these prayers are obligatory on every Muslim. The prescribed prayers are recited in Arabic and are recited exactly the same in all countries of the world. The culture of a person does not influence the performance of prayer (salat). It is the exact prayer that Muhammad, p.b.u.h. taught us to do. With a few memorized exceptions in Christianity, like the 'Our Father' and the 'Apostle's Creed,' prayer is an improvised conversation with God; there is neither prescribed time for nor daily number of Christian prayers.
- In Islam Actions may be haram (forbidden), halal (allowed), fard (obligatory), sunnah (following the ways of the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h.) and so on. But Christianity don't have any specific categories of actions as seen in Muslim law.
- Funeral prayers, the birth of a baby (adhan), donations to charity (i.e. Zakat) etc. are ritualized and clearly set out no matter which culture a Muslim belongs to. In Christianity, certain rites called sacraments are performed: i.e. Baptism, Confession, the Eucharist, etc.
- Hymns and devotional services of worship and supplications are an integral part of all Muslim forms of worship. Zikr ceremonies (chanting a name of God), and sama (religious music) are practised more often among the more devout groups of Muslims such as the Sufis. And hymns and devotional music play a big role in Christianity.
- In Islam, there is neither institutionalized “church” nor its hierarchy. There are no monks in Islam either. Religious leaders are not obliged to remain celibate. In Christianity there are certain sects (i.e. large sects like the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches) condone monkshood. Catholic monks and priests are obliged to remain celibate. Protestant ministers are not obliged to remain celibate.
- Muslims are forbidden to put pressure, either directly or indirectly, on another person to convert to Islam. Efforts in this regard have to be through persuasion (i.e. without involving any kind of pressure). The Qur'an clearly lays down the law that the duty and function of all the Prophets and all Muslims is only to convey the message of God. Period. Christians have an obligation to proselytize. Missionary work is considered very important.
- Homosexuality is considered to be a perversion and is forbidden. Since the prohibition on homosexuality is found in the Old Testament only, some Christian sects say it does not apply (i.e. the
ordains homosexual ministers). United Church
- Interest (riba) is forbidden to Muslims who live in Islamic countries. Interest used to be forbidden in Christianity, but it seems that this is no longer the case.
- Polygamy is allowed to Muslims. There are strict limitations and prohibitions concerning it so it does not become a method to dominate women. In Christianity, polygamy used to be allowed by the Church, but now it is forbidden to all sects but the Mormons.
- All games of chance and gambling are forbidden in Islam. Some sects of Christians are very strict about gambling, but others are not strict at all.
- Only females are allowed to wear gold in Islam. But In Christianity Males and females are allowed to wear gold.
There are lots of similarities between Islam and Christianity. From the history of Islam we can see there is no changes in the scripture holy Qur’an and hadith. So, the practices and ideology of Islam remains almost safe. But we can observe lots of changes and conflicts in Bible which is created day by day. The ideology of Christianity has been broken into several parts and every part has huge differences with another. So, after this study, I have come to a belief that
- Christianity and Islam came from same source.
- Islam has no differences and conflicts against Christianity, but Islam is more extended than Christianity because of its wide work area.
- The differences that is present between Islam and Christianity is occurred for the simultaneous change of Christianity in long period.