|This is an opinion article from a user of WikiChristian.|
Islam is a monotheistic (religion based on the belief in one God) religion that began in the 7th century after Christ. An Arab, called Muhammed founded it. It quickly spread throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa through the conquest of Muslim armies.
Abraham was an upright man who lived in Canaan (Israel) about 1900 BC. He had two sons. One son born by his wife Sarah he called Isaac, and the other son, born by his slave-girl Hagar, he called Ishmael. Isaac’s descendants became the Jews, and Ishmael’s descendants became the Arab race. Today, the Arabs live in the Middle East, from Morocco to Iraq.
Muhammed lived in the 7th century after Christ, in Saudi Arabia. The environment was a hostile, desert country, and the people were nomadic, caravan traders, who believed in a whole host of gods and spirits. There were some Christians and Jews who lived in the area, and Muhammed would have been exposed to their beliefs. At that time, the Christians living in Mecca and the surrounding area were very confused, and a cult had formed in which the Trinity included Mary as the 3rd part of the trinity, in place of the Holy Spirit.
When Muhammed was about 40 years old, he went into the desert for meditation. After a long period, he returned to his home city, Mecca, claiming to be the prophet of the one God, Allah. He said that the angel Gabriel, a messenger of God came to him, and preached God's word, which was eventually written down into a book called the Quran (Koran). Only a small number of people in Mecca believed he was prophet, and these followers were unpopular in the town because they criticised idols. Some visitors from the nearby town of Medina however were impressed by his teaching, and he soon because the leader of the people of Medina. An army was formed that plundered caravans and nearby towns and enforced the observation of the religion. Within 100 years Muslim armies had extended across North Africa and throughout the Middle East, and thus, Islam was born.
Christians and Muslims
Christians and Muslims have traditionally been warring enemies. At times they have lived side-by-side, yet often wars have occurred because of one or the other side attempting forced conversions or using religious fervour to advance political causes. Today little has changed.
Statistics and population
Over 1 billion people claim to be Muslims. Most of these people live in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Some countries such as Saudi Arabia and parts of Somalia have government systems called Islamic Republics where the absolute law is the Quran. Other countries which contain mostly Muslim populations have more moderate laws such as Turkey and Indonesia.
Muslims believe in one almighty and merciful God who will judge every person as either righteous or unrighteous. God loves the righteous (these are people who believe in and obey God and repent of their evil doings), but hates the unrighteous (these are people who do not believe in or obey God).
The Quran is the holy book of Muslims and is believed to be the word of God.
The most important acts a Muslim should do are to believe only in the one God, spread the word of Islam, give alms to the poor, fast from dawn to dusk each year in the holy month of Ramadan, make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his life, and pray 5 times a day facing Mecca "Praise be to God, the Lord of all creatures. The most merciful, the king of the day of judgement. We worship you, and from you we beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, in the way of those to whom you have been gracious, not of those against whom you are incensed, nor of those who go astray."
Below is a list of what I believe are some differences between Christianity and Islam
In Christianity, God dies for your punishment so you can live if you repent.
In Islam, you can live if you repent; Jesus is not believed to be God nor is it taught that he actually died on the cross.
In Christianity, you shall never render evil for evil.
In Islam, justice is based on an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth tempered with mercy.
In Christianity, God loves all people, but can only save those who believe.
In Islam, God can save all people, but loves only those who believe.
In Christianity, faith is all that is required to enter the Kingdom of God.
In Islam, faith and works are required to enter the kingdom of God.
In Christianity, Jesus is a man and also God.
In Islam, Jesus is the second most important prophet, and merely a man.
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