One of the philosophical topics that depict similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity is the divine. The two religions’ view of God reflects several areas of similarities and others of significant distinctions. One of the primary similarities between the two religions in their view of God is the fact that they are both monotheistic. Christians believe there is only one God who commands that they should not worship any other being or creature (Newlands 90). One of the emphases in the Islamic religion is the fact that God is strictly a singular being, which means that He is the only one to be worshiped. Therefore, as per the guidance of both Islamic and Christianity beliefs, there is only one supreme God. Further, the two religions have a similar way of viewing God’s nature. Christians define God as the eternal being, who created and consistently takes care of all earthly things. According to the Islamic beliefs, God is the creator, sustainer, the only one who ordains, and judge of all creatures. Hence, the two religions define God in a similar level of respect.
On the other hand, there are several differences in both the Islamic and Christianity view of God. To begin with is that the two religions have different names used to refer to God. The Islamic believers refer to Him as Allah, while Christians use the name, God. Additionally, there is a huge difference between how the two religions state the characteristics of God. Christians have created attributes of God according to their beliefs. Some of them include aseity, which means God is independent and does not need humans, eternity, meaning God’s existence is beyond time, holiness, meaning that God is separate from sin and is incorruptible, and more attributes. On the contrary, the Islamic way of presenting Allah’s characteristics is different. They have assigned Him different names with different meanings, which indicate His different characteristics. Some of these names include Most High and Ever-Forgiving. A major difference between the attributes in Christianity and the Islamic names of Allah is the fact that Christians associate God with humankind characteristics while Islamic believers do not associate Allah with human nature (Bonab et al.).
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Another philosophical topic that reflects more differences between the two religions is human nature. One of the similarities depicted by the beliefs of Islamic believers and those of Christians is that human beings suffer death as a punishment because of their sins. Both the Bible and Qur’an teach that human beings did not experience death until God in the Bible and Allah in Qur’an, offered them the mortal life as a punishment. Hence, the two religions describe the nature of man in a fallen nature, for having provoked God to the extent of punishing them with death. Secondly, the two religions view human nature as dedicated to God. According to Christianity, children are born without blemish and having not committed sin (Raschko 26). Additionally, they cannot differentiate between good and bad during childhood. For this reason, they are viewed as the purest creatures and heaven is their guaranteed destination. They are also born with a purpose, which is to serve God. Hence, every human being was born to glorify God and take care of his creation. Similarly, the Qur’an states that since Allah is a forgiving God, Adam and Eve were forgiven despite the fact that they were subjected to a mortal life here on earth. Hence, all children are born pure and in Al-Fitra, a state of submission to Allah. This breaks down to a similar interpretation to that of Christians that humans have a universal duty to serve and act in accordance with God’s will.
On the other hand, there are several differences between the Islamic and Christian view of human nature. To begin with, as stated above, the Islamic religion does not associate God with the human nature. They believe God is a Supreme Being that cannot be compared to the characteristics of human beings. This is unlike the Christian belief stating that human beings are created in God’s image. This belief is meant to separate humans from other creatures. They are assigned the duty of taking care of other creatures because they are special creatures. In Genesis, man was given the responsibility of naming the animals because he was more advanced than they were and he had power over the rest of the creatures. This is derived from the fact that they are created in the image of God. Although Muslims also believe that humans are the special of all creatures, they do not believe in being created in God’s image. They believe that God is too powerful and special to look like a man. Secondly, the Christian and Muslim beliefs of creation differ. According to Christianity, God created man through molding mad. This was the origin of man, and He later breathed life into him. However, the Islamic religion has a different opinion on how the nature of man was initiated. Muslims believe that Allah created man from a clot of blood and later created the jinn from fire (Islam on Human Nature).
In conclusion, views on both God and human nature depict multiple similarities as well as differences between the Islamic and Christian religions. Some of the similarities include the fact that the two religions believe in a God who is the creator of all things. They also believe that human beings suffer death as a result of Adam and Eve’s sins. The Quran quotes verses of the Bible, which explain how humans engaged in sin and God subjected them to a mortal life. However, the two religions also differ in the same topics. Muslims call their God Allah while Christians refer to him as God. Christians associate the nature of God to that of humans while Muslims believe that Allah is not similar to humans in any way. Further, Muslims believe Allah created man from a clot of blood, and his spirit was created from fire, while Christians believe that God created man from mud and breathed life into him.
- Bonab, Barger, G., Miner, Maureen & Proctor, Marie-Therese. “Attachment to God in Islamic Spirituality.” Journal of Muslim Mental Health, 7.2 (2013): Print
- Islam on Human Nature. 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.
- Newlands, George M. God in Christian Perspective. Eugene: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2008. Print.
- Raschko, Michael B. A Christian Understanding of Human Nature: To Hunger for God. New London: Twenty-Third Publications, 2010. Print.