Christianity & Islam at a Glance;

By Ijaz Chaudry

 

Difference between Christianity and Islam, Islamic point of view;

 

Christianity;

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

 

Islam;

According to Quran, this is not the first time people have called someone son of God;

[9:30]  The Jews said, "Ezra is the son of GOD," while the Christians said, "Jesus is the son of GOD!" These are blasphemies uttered by their mouths. They thus match the blasphemies of those who have disbelieved in the past. GOD condemns them. They have surely deviated.

Quran categorically states that God has no son now or ever;

[17:111]  And proclaim: "Praise be to GOD, who has never begotten a son, nor does He have a partner in His kingship, nor does He need any ally out of weakness," and magnify Him constantly.

 

Christianity;

Christians believe that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins.

 

Islam;

The destiny of a person is already written before the creation of Heavens and the Earth.  This episode is referred to as “Feud in the High Society” in the Quran.  When this happened according to what decision each of us (humans) made, we live our lives on earth.  Depending on that decision God creates circumstances and environment for us on earth, the believers are guided and the disbelievers are not.  Like Christians, Muslims believe that we are born sinners, however unlike Christians our sin is that in this feud we sided with Satan and not with God. Based on our decision in “Feud in High Society” which might border on righteousness God guides us.  However, we are oblivious of this fact (.i.e. what our decision is) thus the best solution for each one of us is to search for the truth, which leads us to find God and in turn a, eternal life.  Quran is also clear about a fact that everyone is responsible for his/her own deeds and no one can remove or share other person’s deeds bad or good.  It is also clear in the Quran that, apparent success of a human being might not be success in the Hereafter, because God is Most Merciful and he provides for both, believers and disbelievers.

[4:84]  You shall fight for the cause of GOD; you are responsible only for your own soul, and exhort the believers to do the same. GOD will neutralize the power of those who disbelieve. GOD is much more powerful, and much more effective.

[53:39]  Every human being is responsible for his own works.

[38:69]  "I had no knowledge previously, about the feud in the High Society.*

*38:69 The feud in the High Society was triggered by Satan's challenge to God's absolute authority. This is definitely the most important event in the history of the human race. We failed to make a firm stand regarding God's absolute authority. This life represents the third and final chance to redeem ourselves.

[2:126]  Abraham prayed: "My Lord, make this a peaceful land, and provide its people with fruits. Provide for those who believe in GOD and the Last Day." (God) said, "I will also provide for those who disbelieve. I will let them enjoy, temporarily, then commit them to the retribution of Hell, and a miserable destiny."

 

Christianity;

One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rising from the dead on the third day (the Resurrection).

 

Islam;

Quran is clear that Jesus did not die on crucifix;

[4:157]  And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him - they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.

The following verse tells us how Jesus died (seems like very peacefully);

[3:55]  Thus, GOD said, "O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me, and ridding you of the disbelievers. I will exalt those who follow you above those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is the ultimate destiny of all of you, then I will judge among you regarding your disputes.

There is no mention of Jesus being resurrected after three days.  The end of the world is called Day of Resurrection when the disbelievers will be resurrected, from, dead this is the only instance of human resurrection in Islam.  Jesus with all other messengers and believers is in Paradise, the same Paradise from where Adam and Eve were evicted from.

 

Christianity;

Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements of this God;

God the Father

God the Son

The Holy Spirit

 

Islam;

Is clear that there is only One God and it has just One Element which is God the Almighty Creator of The Heavens and Earth and everything between.  There is no other god beside The God.  Worshiping, some being other then God is idol worship which is the gravest sin in Islam.  God is forgiving and merciful, he can forgive any sin other then idol worship if maintained till death.  One of the reason why idol worship is so wrong is that God created the Heavens and the Earth, He created us provided us with provisions like various foods, roof over our heads, gave us the intelligence to live our lives successfully and much more, if we then turn around and thank anyone else other than God, like prophets or saints who are mere mortals and humans like us then it is quite wrong isn’t it?  Thus idol worship is the greatest sin!

[2:22]  The One who made the earth habitable for you, and the sky a structure. He sends down from the sky water, to produce all kinds of fruits for your sustenance. You shall not set up idols to rival GOD, now that you know.

[2:163]  Your god is one god; there is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

[3:2]  GOD: there is no god except He; the Living, the Eternal.

[3:18]  GOD bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. Truthfully and equitably, He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most Wise.

             The Unforgivable Sin

[4:48]  GOD does not forgive idolatry,* but He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who sets up idols beside GOD, has forged a horrendous offense.

 *4:48 Idol worship is not forgivable, if maintained until death. One can always repent from any offense, including idolatry, before death comes (see 4:18 & 40:66).

 

Christianity;

Life after death;

Christians believe that there is a life after earthly death.

While the actual nature of this life is not known, Christians believe that many spiritual experiences in this life help to give them some idea of what eternal life will be like.

 

Islam;

 

Life after death;

Muslims also believe in life after death.  Quran explains life after death a joyous experience for the believers and hellish experience for the disbelievers.   Since it is very difficult to explain to someone what the chocolate tastes like without actually tasting it, similarly the experience of Hereafter cannot be explained.  However, Quran uses analogies to explain Heaven and Hell.

[7:43]  We will remove all jealousy from their hearts. Rivers will flow beneath them, and they will say, "GOD be praised for guiding us. We could not possibly be guided, if it were not that GOD has guided us. The messengers of our Lord did bring the truth." They will be called: "This is your Paradise. You have inherited it, in return for your works."

 [26:85]  "Make me one of the inheritors of the blissful Paradise.

 [29:58]  Those who believe and lead a righteous life, we will surely settle them in Paradise, with mansions and flowing streams. Eternally they abide therein. What a beautiful reward for the workers.

 [30:15]  As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they will be in Paradise, rejoicing.

 [32:19]  As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they have deserved the eternal Paradise. Such is their abode, in return for their works.

[40:70]  They are the ones who have disbelieved in the scripture, and in the messages we have sent with our messengers. Therefore, they will surely find out.

            [40:71]  The shackles will be around their necks, and the chains will be used to drag them.

            [40:72]  In the Inferno,* then in the Fire, they will burn.

            [40:73]  They will be asked, "Where are the idols you used to worship,

 [40:74]  "beside GOD?" They will say, "They have abandoned us. In fact, when we worshiped them, we were worshiping nothing." Thus does GOD send the disbelievers astray.

[40:75]  This is because you used to rejoice in false doctrines on earth, and you used to promote them.

[40:76]  Enter the gates of Gehenna (Hell), wherein you abide forever. What a miserable destiny for the arrogant ones.

 

Christianity;

The Saints;

These days, the word saints most commonly used to refer to a Christian who has lived a particularly good and holy life on earth, and with whom miracles are claimed to have been associated after their death.

 

Islam;

The Saints;

Islam also recognizes saints.  But saints cannot produce miracles, only God does, maybe through them, the example of Jesus and Moses both were saints and prophets who could do miracles by God’s leave.  When the saints die that is their end on earth, they cannot produce miracles.  Islam recognizes another entity called Jinn’s or devil who is companion of all humans and when the human dies the Jinn is born.  Since this, Jinn had lived all his unborn life with this human, they know a lot about that human, hence the modern term ghost or spirit.  These are invisible and are given great power they could be seem to perform miracles.  Muslim’s are not allowed to associate with Jinn’s who in majority are disbelievers.  Example of this is Solomon and Sheba’s castle, at that time it was allowed by Muslim’s to gain righteous works from Jinn’s, but that is not allowed now, because humans tend to use Jinn’s to harm each other rather than do good work with them.

 

Christianity;

When life begins;

The Church says that human life begins when the woman's egg is fertilised by a male sperm.

 

Islam;

When life begins;

According to Islam, life begins after fetus is formed.  Before fetus is formed there is no life thus abortion is allowed at that time.  God has forbidden taking life thus one is not taking life before fetus is formed.

[6:151]  Say, "Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty - we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill - GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand."

The above verse confirms that it is forbidden to take life.

[22:5]  O people, if you have any doubt about resurrection, (remember that) we created you from dust, and subsequently from a tiny drop, which turns into a hanging (embryo), then it becomes a fetus that is given life or deemed lifeless. We thus clarify things for you. We settle in the wombs whatever we will for a predetermined period. We then bring you out as infants, then you reach maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the worst age, only to find out that no more knowledge can be attained beyond a certain limit. Also, you look at a land that is dead, then as soon as we shower it with water, it vibrates with life and grows all kinds of beautiful plants.

This verse confirms that life begins when fetus is formed.

 

Christianity;

War;

The main Christian, view of war ethics contained in the doctrine of the Just war.  The basic assumption of modern Christians is that war is rarely justified and should be avoided unless the Just War conditions are met.

An individual Christian may believe that the standard of evidence and argument required for them to support a war is higher than the standard of evidence that national leaders may require to go to war.

Christianity is no longer (if it ever was) wholly against war. Some say that modern Christianity has a 'presumption against war', but others say that it has a 'presumption against injustice' - and the bias against war comes from the injustice that war can do.

This view says that the aim of Christianity is to promote a world in which peace and justice flourish everywhere: war may sometimes be the tool needed to do this, and waging war may sometimes be a lesser evil (a lesser injustice) than allowing injustice to persist or tolerating the victimisation of innocent people

 

Islam;

War;

Islam also favors peace and tolerance, but is not totally against war.  The circumstances to justify war in Islam are as follows;

In defense

In order to practice religion freely

If oppressed

There is no other circumstance under which the war is allowed.

[2:190]  You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors.

[2:193]  You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.

[60:8]  GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.

 

Christianity;

While the Gospels clearly depict Jesus as having a special relationship with God, do they actually affirm what Christianity later explicitly affirmed, that Jesus is God incarnate, God become flesh? The evidence points in different directions. Mark, the earliest of the four, certainly believes that Jesus is God's Son, but he also includes this extraordinary passage:

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."

Mark 10:17-18

 

Islam;

Even reading Bible carefully affirms the core ideas mentioned in the Quran as in the example above Mark 10:17-18.

 

This article has direct reference to material on www.bbc.co.uk/religion.  Thus the paragraphs under the heading Christianity is from BBC.  Lot of effort has been taken to leave this material in its original form and minimize the amount of material in proportion to what BBC has put on their site.   This is done in compliance with Section 110 (5) of the Copyright Act 1976.