Christianity many similarities, there is a clear difference in

                     Christianity and Islam are
two very widespread religious concepts that play a considerable part in the
daily lives of its believers. They both originated from the Middle East and have
multiple similarities in belief, practices and teachings. They are both monotheistic
religions meaning that they only believe in and
worship one God. 

 

Though these two
religions possess many similarities, there is a clear difference in the
foundation of their beliefs. Christianity is a religion that started out as a
Jewish belief and is seen as an Abrahamic religion, its followers are referred
to as Christians. They believe in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son
and God the Holy Spirit, all three Gods in one. They also believe that the
messiah, Jesus Christ, came in the form of man and was referred to as the Son
of God born to the Virgin Mary, suffered, died and resurrected to cleanse them
of their sins. It is also believed that he would return to reward those who
have lived according to the doctrines taught by the Holy Bible, their religious
book.

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Islam is also an
Abrahamic religion that believes in the complete submission to the almighty God
(Allah) and Prophet Muhammad, the last and final prophet. The Holy Quran is their
religious book and it is seen as a guideline for the Muslims who are the
followers of the Islamic religion. It is believed that Allah revealed the Holy
Quran to Prophet Muhammad verbally through the Angel Jibrail (Gabriel) and the
original Arabic version is the final revelation from God. Muslims, do not
believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, according to them it is almost
blasphemy to associate God with having a son or a daughter or a helper of any
kind, the basis of their worship is that there is no god but Allah, they also
do not believe that Jesus Christ was crucified. In actuality their belief is
that Jesus Christ was a Prophet of his time and was sent by God with the Injeel
(Bible) to spread the teachings of Islam much like Prophet Muhammad who came
after him with the Holy Quran, the final word of God. They also believe that
the Prophet Jesus would return to lead them in prayer and those Christians who
are the true believers of Jesus Christ would pay heed to his message. Some
Muslims also believe that the prophet Jesus would come back to destroy the
anti-Christ, but much like Christianity, there are also many different sects of
Islam with many different teachings and beliefs which may stem from different
cultural backgrounds or different interpretation of the same holy book.

Now it is clear
that both religions differ greatly in their foundation and they both contradict
each other’s core belief. However, there are still many correlative practices
that exists between these two religions. For example, both religions have a
symbolization of purification and admission into the faith.

 

For Christians it
is referred to as Baptism. It is the religious rite of sprinkling water on to a
person’s forehead or of immersing them in water. This symbolizes regeneration
and admission to the Christian faith. They also believe that it cleanses a
person of original and personal sin. In most sects of Christianity, baptism is
performed on young children and is accompanied by name-giving which is commonly
known as christening.

 

Similarly, in
Islam an individual takes Shahadah. This is known as a Muslim’s profession of
faith where they proclaim “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his the
last messenger of Allah”. For children it is referred to as an Aqiqah, which is
a celebratory ceremony where a sheep is sacrificed and then the meat is cooked
and distributed to the poor almost as the baby’s first act of charity. Shahadah
is seen as one of the five pillars of Islam. These Five pillars are, the profession
of faith (shahadah), fasting (sawm), prayer (salaat), pilgrimage (hadj/hajj)
and charity (zakat).

 

These core practices
also carry much significance in the Christian teachings, such as fasting.

During the season
of Lent Christians fast by abstaining from food, water or earthly pleasures,
for forty days ad forty nights as a means of seeking nearness to God and being
more spiritually aware. At the end of the Lenten season Christians then
celebrate Easter which honors the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is custom in
some parts of the world to celebrate Easter by going to church and cooking
special meals.   

 

Similarly, during
the Month of Ramadhan, the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims
also fast for twenty nine or thirty days. However, their manner of fasting is a
bit more specific, in that, they abstain from food, water and sex from dawn
till dusk when they break their fast. Throughout this time Muslims attempt to
pay more attention to performing acts of good deeds such as giving charity,
another pillar in Islam and also another practice highly encouraged in the
teachings of Christianity. At the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, Muslims
observe Eid- Ul- Fitr, which celebrates the revelation of the Holy Quran, which
most Muslims complete reading during the month of fasting. Both Eid-Ul-Fitr and
Easter seen as religious holidays in most countries.

 

Another practice is
prayer, which is if not one of the most important aspects of life. It is the
means by which one communicates with their creator. Christian prayer is very
diverse, it can be completely spontaneous or read entirely from a text. The most common prayer among Christians is the “Lord’s
Prayer”, which according to the gospel accounts is how Jesus taught his
disciples to pray. The belief that Jesus gave his life to create a united
people encourages the practice of Christians to assemble in their place of
worship, a church, to pray to their lord and savior Jesus Christ. It is custom
that these prayer and worship assemblies are conducted on a Sunday and is
traditionally lead by a pastor, a Christian religious leader.

 

On
the other hand prayer in Islam is much more structured. It is compulsory in
Islam for men and women, form the ages of nine and sixteen respectively, to
pray five times every day. These prayer have names and specific times in which
they are to be performed. One prayer in the morning (fadj), two prayers in the
afternoon (zuhr and asr) and two prayers in the evening (mugrib and isha ).

 

 Prayer in congregation however, is also very
much encouraged in Islam. It is custom for Muslims to congregate in the mosque
on a Friday, which they refer to as Jummah, and pray together. It is also
believed that reason Friday is observed as their day of worship lead by the
Imam of the mosque is because the Day of Judgment is said to be on a Friday.

 

Pilgrimage
for both Christians and Muslims refer to a meaningful journey to a sacred
place. For most Christians they visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other places in
Israel that are read about in the scriptures and this , they consider an act of
pilgrimage.

Similarly,
Muslims visit the city of Mecca, where it is believed that the Holy Prophet
Muhammad was born. At this pilgrimage thousands of Muslims and even Non-Muslims
make what they call Hijrah. For
those who get the opportunity, making hijrah is an honor. It consist of many
rituals such a walking around the kaaba and calling the names of your loved
ones for the forgiveness of their sins.

The
kaaba is belived to be the first altar ever created hence Muslims pray in the
direction of the kaaba at all times.

 

Another
very prominent practice of the Muslim community is that Muslim women must dress
modestly and cover their heads with what they call a hijab. Though , in
Christianity there this no teaching of covering the heads of their women, the
bible does make mention of women’s modesty in Timothy 2:9 of the new testament
of the bible “Also that the women should dress modestly and decently in the suitable
clothing, not with their hair braided , or with gold , pearls or expensive
clothes”.

 

Islam however is very specific pertaining to the
covering of women as stated in An-Nur (the light) 24:31 of the Holy Quran “And tell the
believing women to reduce some of their vision and guard their private parts
and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily appears thereof
and to wrap a portion of their headcovers over their chests and not expose
their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’
fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’
sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess,
or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet
aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to
make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in
repentance, all of you, O believers that you might succeed.”

 Their women dress modestly with their hijab
which they describe as the flag of Islam they believe that the women are the
physical representation of Islam, they are the face of Islam. Their hijab,
hijab meaning covering, is meant to cover their hair, their necks, their
breasts and some believe their ears as well. But hijab isn’t limited to just
the covering of the head, it also refers to the covering of their body in the
clothes that they wear. When a girl reaches the age of nine the hijab is
compulsory for her to wear and the only persons that are to see her without her
covering are women, her brother, her father, her husband and those that are
specified in the holy Quran.

 

Ultimately
Islam and Christianity are the two leading religions in the world. They share many
common origins, concepts and beliefs, such as God being the supreme being as
well as there being messengers sent by God to teach the ways and practices
ordained by God for men.

Though
their books are different, believed to have been brought to the earth by either
the messiah or the prophet, the Bible and the Quran are two holy books believed
to be written through God’s inspiration.

 

 The two religions may possess major
differences such as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the belief that
he is a Prophet as well as the originality of the holy bible in comparison to
that of the Holy Quran, however the similarities between these two religious
concepts far outweighs their differences which should allow both Muslims and
Christians to coexist peacefully.