Islam VS Christianity

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Since Christianity and Islam are the 2 largest religions (where Christians are still leading as the largest by adherents), I thought I would step outside the Christian bubble and see what Islam is. That is, apart from what Christians say. 
 
Here is a quick run down of the similarities / differences, now not sure who the author of this was, regardless, it looks pretty even keeled: 
http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/christianity_islam.htmThe below is just a subsection of the items on the link: 
 
First column is the comparison item, second is Christianity, 3rd is Islam 
 

ultimate reality
one creator God 

one creator God 

nature of God
Trinity – one substance, three persons 

unity – one substance, one person 

other spiritual beings
angels and demons 

angels, demons, jinn 

revered humans
saints, church fathers 

prophets, imams (especially in Shia Islam) 

identity of Jesus
Son of God, God incarnate, savior of the world 

true prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted 

birth of Jesus
virgin birth 

virgin birth 

death of Jesus
death by crucifixion 

did not die, but ascended bodily into heaven (a disciple died in his place) 

resurrection of Jesus
affirmed 

denied, since he did not die 

second coming of Jesus
affirmed 

affirmed 

mode of divine revelation
through Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Bible 

through Muhammad, recorded in Qur’an 

human nature
“original sin” inherited from Adam – tendency towards evil 

equal ability to do good or evil 

means of salvation
correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (some Protestants emphasize faith alone) 

correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars 

God’s role in salvation
predestination, various forms of grace 

predestination 

good afterlife
eternal heaven 

eternal paradise 

bad afterlife
eternal hell, temporary purgatory (Catholicism) 

eternal hell 

view of the other religion
Islam is respected as a fellow monotheistic religion, but Muhammad is not seen as a true prophet 

Christians are respected as “People of the Book,” but they have mistaken beliefs and only partial revelation 

 
The main difference here? Well, a number like the trinity of God vs one God in Islam. But overall, where it DEFINITELY counts is how to gain favour or go to heaven in the after life. Cause thats where we are all interested right? So the biggest differents looks to be the distinction of works vs faith for access to heaven/paradise (Muslims call it paradise). 
 
What are the implications of this? It means either its all on your own hard work to get to heaven OR its not based on anything you do particularly, but rather the free gift of salvation from God through Jesus death on the cross. If its based on works, isn’t it YOU who gets yourself to heaven? What do you need Allah for at that point other then to create the paradise? That idea I suppose leads to man trying hard and through different methods to get to heaven. Note that martyrdom is apparently the ONE way to ensure you get to heaven, hence the suicide bombers and such. Christianity in contrast gives the idea that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit so to go and destroy it for any reason basically means disrespecting the creator. Islmaic belief is that Allah is the creator, just like the Christian God, so you would think they too would respect the body and not kill themselves. But maybe I”m ahead of myself, need to read more. 
 
As always, Wikipedia has some great info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Islam 
 
A large sticking point is whether Jesus died on the Cross. This is KEY, Christianity and acceptance into heaven is based on a faith that accepts that Jesus died for our sins on the cross. God is Holy and cannot be around unholiness, we are full of unholiness so we need a saviour to take out sins, to make us pure in Gods sight so we can be with Him in eternity forever. If Jesus never died on the cross, he never paid for our sins, so we would never be able to be with a holy God in heaven if Jesus did not die. In Islam Jesus never died but was taken up to God. So can the Allah of Islam be around unholy, unpure people? Thats the suggestion, because no matter how you live, how many good works you do on earth, every christian and every islam follower and all the rest of the people in the world have sinned at LEAST once, and I’m sure millions of times even in a lifetime. So Allah is able to dwell with sin, or Allah isn’t sinless or holy??? I don’t have the answer for that one and thats probably the big place where Islam doesn’t make a lot of sense. See below from Wikipedia: 
 

“Islam and Christianity differ in their fundamental views in regard to the crucifixion and resurrection. Christians believe that Jesus was condemned to death by the Sanhedrin and theRoman prefect Pontius Pilate, physically crucified and resurrected. Muslims believe that Jesus was condemned to crucifixion and then miraculously saved:

That they (the Children of Israel) rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;  
That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God“;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-  
Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise;-
 

Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 156-158[4] 

 
And an interesting comparison on the ‘prophets’ as Islam calls them:http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Jesus-Muhammad.htm 
 

Differences Between Muhammad and Jesus

Muhammad…

Jesus…

Said Allah hates those who don’t accept Islam.  
(Qur’an 30:4, 3:32, 22:38)
Said God loves everyone.  
(John 3:16)
“I have been commanded to fight  
against people till they testify that there  
is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad  
is the messenger of Allah”  
(Muslim 1:33)
“He who lives by the sword  
will die by the sword.”  
(Matthew 26:52)
Stoned women for adultery.  
(Muslim 4206)
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  
(John 8:7)
Permitted stealing from unbelievers.  
(Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764)
“Thou shalt not steal.”  
(Matthew 19:18)
Permitted lying.  
(Sahih Muslim 6303, Bukhari 49:857)
“Thou shalt not bear false witness.”  
(Matthew 19:18)
Owned and traded slaves.  
(Sahih Muslim 3901)
Neither owned nor traded slaves.
Beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys.  
(Sahih Muslim 4390)
Beheaded no one.
Murdered those who insulted him.  
(Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)
Preached forgiveness.  
(Matthew 18:21-22, 5:38)
“If then anyone transgresses  
the prohibition against you,  
Transgress ye likewise against him”  
(Qur’an 2:194)
“If someone strikes you on the right  
cheek, turn to him the other also.”  
(Matthew 5:39)
Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold.  
(Muslim 4645)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for  
they will be called Sons of God”  
(Matthew 5:9)
Married 13 wives and kept sex slaves.  
(Bukhari 5:268, Qur’an 33:50)
Was celibate.
Slept with a 9-year-old child.  
(Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236)
Did not have sex with children.
Ordered the murder of women.  
(Ibn Ishaq 819, 995)
Never harmed a woman.
“O you who believe! Fight those of the  
unbelievers who are near to you  
and let them find in you hardness.”  
(Qur’an 9:123)
“Blessed are the meek, for  
they shall inherit the earth.”  
(Matthew 5:5)
Ordered 65 military campaigns  
and raids in his last 10 years.  
(Ibn Ishaq )
Ordered no military campaigns, nor  
offered any approval of war or violence.  
Killed captives taken in battle.  
(Ibn Ishaq 451)
Never took captives.  
Never killed anyone.
Encouraged his men to rape enslaved women.  
(Abu Dawood 2150, Qur’an 4:24)
Never encouraged rape.  
Never enslaved women.
Demanded captured slaves and  
a fifth of all other loot taken in war.  
(Qur’an 8:41)
“The Son of Man came not  
to be served, but to serve.”  
(Matthew 20:28)
Was never tortured, but tortured others.  
(Muslim 4131, Ibn Ishaq 436, 595, 734, 764)
Suffered torture, but never tortured anyone.
“And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah”  
(Qur’an 8:39)
“Love your enemies and pray  
for those who persecute you”  
(Matthew 5:44)
Blessed the brutal murder of a half-blind man  
(al-Tabari 1440)
Healed a blind man  
(Mark 8:28)
Ordered a slave to build the very pulpit  
from which he preached Islam.  
(Bukhari 47:743)
Washed his disciples feet.  
(John 13:5)
What are the Greatest Commandments?  
“Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause”  
(Muslim 1:149)
What are the Greatest Commandments?  
“Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.”  
(Matthew 22:34-40)
Demanded the protection of armed bodyguards, even in a house of worship  
(Qur’an 4:102)
Chastised anyone attempting  
to defend him with force.  
(John 18:10-12)
Died fat and wealthy from what was  
taken from others in war or  
demanded from others in tribute.
Demanded nothing for himself.  
Died without possessions.
Advocated crucifying others.  
(Qur’an 5:33, Muslim 16:4131)
Was crucified himself.
According to his followers:  
Had others give their lives for him.  
(Sahih Muslim 4413)
According to his followers:  
Gave his life for others.  
(John 18:11 and elsewhere)  
 

And that above list alone is telling and an interesting perspective. Am I incorrect in anything here? Please educate me if I’ve found anything incorrect. I think a frank discussion here is key to providing either a reason for their faith or a reason to take a second look at who / what they believe, for me as well as a born again Christian. I think we are all the seek out the truth. 
 
And another topic which I’ll save for another blog is the comparison of prophecy between Islam and Christianity, ie the Bible. That is a massive study and fascinating on the differences there. Again, really telling!

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