World Religions: Differences Between Islam and Christianity

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Throughout the previous decades, two religions were the most followed by people and that is Islam and Christianity. Each religion differs from the other in several aspects like Qur’an and The Bible. Followers of each religion believe that their religion is the true one since they believe it is the undeformed one and the other is distorted. What could be the distinctions between those two religions? This essay analyzes the differences between Islam and Christianity.

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To fully apprehend the two religions we must first understand the meaning of their names. Each religion has been given a name based on the name of its creator or the culture and country in which it was founded except Islam. What makes Islam different is that its name isn’t related to any person or culture. The word Islam is originally an Arabic word that means submission and religiously means submitting to the will of God as in following all of his orders and instructions. Mawdudi believes that: “As a religion, Islam stands for complete submission and obedience to Allah and that is why it is called Islam”. On the contrary, Christianity means the faith founded on Jesus Christ's individual and teachings where Mawdudi says that: “Christianity takes its appellation from the name of its prophet Jesus Christ”.

Defining each Religion’s God is the most important thing to do as all that comes next is dependent on that, where each Religion’s followers are asked to follow the path and instructions given by their God. Islam states that there is one God (Allah) where they believe in the Oneness of Allah and that he is the creator of all things like the sun, earth, solar system, universes, etc. and that Allah is the All-Mighty and All-Supreme. Dr. Hammudah Abdalati believes; In Islam, Allah is the everlasting and alone God who stands above all other beings so to defy that belief means you are committing the most inexcusable deed. Last but not least, Allah does not have a son, wife, race, or body.

This is the ideology of God in Islam. On the other hand, Behr states that in the Christian religion:

“The one God exists in three Persons and one substance, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself for the Son, in whom the creation was then reconciled to God, is the property of the essence of the Father. Thus what things the Son then wrought are the Father’s works, for the Son is the form of the divinity of the Father, which wrought the works”.

Father is God himself and his son is Jesus Christ and the holy spirit, all 3 of them make up one God who may be three everlasting separate entities at the same time without the heterogeneity shattering the unification.

The second major difference is the Holy Books bestowed upon the messengers where it includes God's words, orders, and instructions to guide people to the truth. Islam’s Holy Book is called Qur’an. The nature of the Quran relates to fundamental Islamic concepts such as the names of Allah and the resurrection on Judgment Day. The Quran also contains stories about the earlier prophets and their story with their people, how did their people react to their message to worship only Allah? Did they accept it and believe in the oneness of Allah to worship him or Did they deny the Prophet’s message? It also contains factual events from Prophet Muhammad's time with his companions, disbelievers, and with God. On the contrary, a Christian’s holy book is called The Bible which consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Ehrman believes that “The New Testament contains 27 books divided into 4 groups: Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles, and Apocalypse” and he describes the Old Testament as: “The Old Testament contains 39 books (24 in Hebrew) that were more or less a fixed collection about a century after Jesus lived”. They differ in instructions and orders written in them. For example, Qur’an says that Jesus is a prophet who was risen by God to the first sky and he will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice. The Bible says that Jesus is the son of God who was crucified.

The third difference between them is their place of worship where they perform their prayers to their God. Muslims pray in a mosque that often has a rounded roof that doesn't contain any pictures of animals, or humans but only decoration with words from the Qur’an. Muslims pray five times a day but what is the true purpose for it? Mawdudi states that: “It is the prescribed daily prayers which consist in repeating and refreshing five times a day the belief in which you repose your faith. You get up early in the morning, cleanse yourself and present yourself before your Lord for prayer. The various poses that you assume during your prayers are the very embodiment of the spirit of submission; the various recitals remind you of your commitments to your God”. It is the means of reforming and enhancing the connection between Muslims and Allah. It's simple to see how regular prayers reinforce the pillars of your faith, preparing you for a stronger understanding and devotion to God, and strengthening the faith from which spring bravery, honesty, purposefulness, purity of spirit, soul advancement, and spiritual enrichment. Christians pray in a church that commonly contains altar tables, lecterns, pulpits, fonts, and stained glass windows. McIntyre believes that: “Prayer is the uplift of the earth-bound soul into the heaven, the entrance of the purified spirit into the holiest; the rending of the luminous veil that shuts in, as behind curtains, the glory of God.”

One of Islam’s main beliefs is Judgment Day which is linked with some events, instructions, and descriptions in the Quran. As human beings, we are bound to be drawn into the charms of life so we tend to overlook the fact that our life will end at a point and that we will be standing in front of Allah and be judged on all our deeds, good and bad, that we have done in our life. Mawdudi states that: “That the entire record of every man and woman of all their doings and misdoings will be presented before God for final judgment”. Would it be a logical thing to live our lives contrary to what Allah ordered us?! Yet, some people live their life while completely omitting and ignoring Allah’s orders. Muslims believe they will leave this life and only take their deeds with them while leaving their money, cars, apartments, jewels, etc. Quran says: “For one whose scales are heavy with good deeds, He will be in a pleasant life … for one whose scales are light, His refuge will be an abyss”. This verse in the Quran encourages people to always think twice before doing any act as they will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgment. They will live their lives trying hard to only do the deeds that please God to be rewarded with Heaven, an everlasting place of happiness. Consider the one who refuses to believe in the Day of Judgment. He will be confident that the belief in God and living by His rules are of no consequence. What importance would he place on a life spent seeking God's pleasure? Mawdudi clearly says: “To him, neither obedience to God is of any advantage, nor disobedience to Him of any harm, and if a man does not follow the code of God and lives according to his likes and dislikes, or what use is his belief in the existence of God if any such belief he has?”

White states: ''Judgment Day is the final and eternal judgment by God of the people in every nation resulting in the punishment of some and the glorification of others.'. Christians see the Judgment day ideology as follows: Since the first couple defied God, Humans lost the opportunity of being able to live eternally on Earth which brought the fall and death of the next generations. Christians believe that day will be the day humans will be able to reclaim what our very First parents missed and that will go on for a thousand-year. As described in The Bible, Jesus Christ will be the judge where The Bible says about Jesus: ''Judge the living and the dead''. The living will be judged since they are survivors of the world's end, yet Judgment Day’s exact time is unknown. Scripture tells us: ''But about the day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father''.

Islam was originally taught to people by Prophet Muhammed, while Christianity was taught by Jesus Christ. Who are these two humans whose teachings had a significant impact on billions of people? Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca about the year 570 AD. He was supported by his grandparent and then his uncle after his father died before he could be born. He is neither like the ones he was born into nor he lies. His whole country unanimously attests to his honesty and his greatest enemies have never accused him of lying on any occasion in his whole life. Mawdudi says: “Those who deal with him in business have full confidence in his integrity. The entire nation calls him 'Al-Ameen'”. The Angel Gabriel appeared and relayed the word of God: “Recite in the name of your Lord Who creates, creates man from a clot! Recite for your lord is most generous….” to Prophet Muhammed when he was meditating in Cave Hira on Mount Jabal A Nour and that was the first Quranic revelation to Prophet Muhammed. Jesus came from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris, and was a Galilean. He was born between 6 and 4 BCE to Joseph and Mary and according to Luke, Jesus was a youthful learner as a boy, but there is no other knowledge of his upbringing or early childhood. He became a roving preacher and healer as an adolescent after he was christened by the Prophet John the Baptist. Between 29 CE and 33 CE, Jesus was imprisoned and killed when he went to Jerusalem to see the Hebrew Holiday. His followers were persuaded that he had risen from the dead and returned to them. They persuaded others to believe in him, resulting in the birth of a new faith, Christianity.

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In the end, this essay has analyzed some of the major differences between Islam and Christianity,  where each religion believes in its own God and Holy Book bestowed upon his Messenger. But are these only the major differences? Each religion still has tons of information not discussed which results in a lot of differences between them, as this information requires more research and sources.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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World Religions: Differences between Islam and Christianity. (2022, May 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from
“World Religions: Differences between Islam and Christianity.” GradesFixer, 17 May 2022,
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