Christians and Muslims are two of the three major Abrahamic religious believers in the world. According to a demographic study, Christians have a rate of 31.50% out of the major religious group in 2010, while Muslims share 23.30%. Reconciliation of Christianity and Islam created on a real understanding of each other’s religions could be a barrier against partitions. It is also a perfect example of tolerance, respect, and solidarity. Hence, let us talk about the similarities between Christianity and Islam faith.
10 Surprising Similarities between Christians and Muslims
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1. Faith in only One True God.
Both Christianity and Islam teach the faith of believing and worshiping One True God. Both are the two among three of the major monotheistic religions in the world. In Monotheism, believers’ faith is that there is only one God.
The Bible mentioned this teaching. Let us see some of the many verses which explain the oneness of God.
- James 2:19 – You believe that God is one; you do well.
- 1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
- Deuteronomy 6:4 – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
The Quran also advocates the oneness of God. It has a whole chapter recounting this teaching. It is, in fact, one of the beautiful chapters of the Quran.
112 Surah Al-Ikhlas (The Unity)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.
2. Belief in Jesus
There are immense inequalities in terms of Jesus for Christians and Muslims. Nevertheless, both believers accept Jesus, a messenger of God Almighty to humanity, a beautiful common ground that we can celebrate. Here are the commonalities between Christians’ and Muslims’ belief in Jesus.
Jesus (‘Isa in Islam) is a messenger and a prophet of God.
John 13:16 – Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Acts 10:38 – How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Quran 2:87 – We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit.
Quran 2:136 We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them . . .
Quran 3:48 – And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel.
Jesus (‘Isa in Islam) taught the good news
As we read in Quran 3:48, Jesus was assigned to reveal “the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel.” In Christianity, this holds of The Bible. It includes the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament narrates us about the Laws from Abraham, Moses, and other prophets. In contrast, the New Testament relates the Gospel – Jesus Christ and his Apostles.
3. Honoring of Parents.
Christians and Muslims are mandated to honor thy parents. In fact, in the Christians’ world, this is the Fifth Commandment, which is One of The Ten Commandments: “Honor thy father and thy mother” found in Exodus chapter 20.
Allah Almighty clearly ties the rights owed to Him to the rights owed to parents in the Quran. Allah says in Quran 31:14 – And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. In Islam teaching, it is believed that paradise lies at the feet of your mother. This is how significant your parents are, especially your mother.
4. The Practice of Fasting.
Muslims are well-known for these religious practices. I have full respect for their dedication and determination during the holy month of Ramazan (Ramadan). This is the time when Muslims abstain from food and drink but also smoking, sexual acts (as a married couple), and any sinful behavior. During this time, Muslims devote themselves to salat (prayer), recitation of the Quran, and Sadaqat (Charity).
In recent years, fasting among Christians has traditionally emerged from obscurity. However, there are still Christians who practice fasting. After all, this is one of the faithful practices that was taught by Jesus in the remembrance of God Almighty. Matthew 6:16-18 – this was the story when Jesus taught us about how to fast.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Also Read About: Why Fasting Is Worth Your Attention
5. The Use of Prayer Beads.
In my case, as a Christian Believer, I am not into prayer beads. Mainly because Rosary is not biblical. Rosary is only originated from Catholic traditions in the 3rd and early 4th centuries. Roman Catholics believe that the Rosary was given to Saint Dominic in a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, in my opinion, the essence of the Rosary is what makes it essential to Christianity, particularly among Roman Catholics.
While Muslims, prayer beads are relating to Tasbīḥ. It’s a form of dhikr, which means remembrance of God that involves the repetitive utterances of phrases glorifying Allah. The use of beads is to keep track of the counting of these phrases and for the prayers, similarly to Rosary.
What inspires me the most in this practice is the dedication of both believers in terms of prayers. Both understood the significance of praying and glorifying our God Almighty. Both are striving to show spiritual affections to God Almighty.
6. The Use of Veil for Women.
Muslims are eminent for this religious practice. Muslim women are known of wearing Abaya, Hijab, and or Burqa. These clothing are worn by women to keep modesty and privacy from unrelated males. The Quran (33:59) says, “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
While Christians, particularly nuns, wear veils predominantly. Brides also wear a veil during their wedding ceremony. Although wearing veils are no longer widely practice by Christians today; still, Christians are being taught the significance of modesty in terms of dress codes. The Bible says the following:
- 1 Timothy 2:9 – Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.
- Deuteronomy 22:5 – A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Also Read About: How do you dress up?
7. Belief of Virgin Mary (Mother of Jesus).
Christians and Muslims are both believers of Jesus Christ; hence they give high regard to his mother, – Mary. In both religions, Mary is a pious woman who is a perfect fit to be the mother of Jesus. She is a precious gem that illustrates what a woman is as a child, wife, and mother. The name of Mary, Mother of Jesus, as mentioned in the Bible numerous times depending on the Bible version.
- 36 times – LITV
- 46 times – KJV, ASV, ESV, WEB
- 47 times – BBE, NHEB, YLT
- 49 times – NASB
- 55 times – GWTN
- 56 times – NIV
- 67 times – NLT
While in Islam, the Quran mentioned Mary, Mother of Isa (Jesus) Seventy times. She holds an exceptionally exalted place in Islam as the only woman named in the Quran. Mary is identified as the greatest of all women. In fact, there is a Surah that is dedicated to her, which is 19 Maryam – Mary.
8. Abrahamic Faith as their origin of religion.
Christianity and Islam are both originated from Abrahamic faith. The religion claims that their forefather is Prophet Abraham. Here are the significances of Abraham to Christians and Muslims:
- For Christians, Abraham is a spiritual ancestor. He is the early witness of God’s immense presence. Christians believe that Abraham is a model of faith. His loyalty and his intention to obey God by offering his son (Isaac) are seen as a prediction of God’s will through Jesus.
- For Muslims, Ibrahim (Abraham) is regarded as part of a line of prophets beginning with Adam (Genesis 20:7 also calls him a “prophet”). Adam is believed as the first Muslim. Muslims also consider the genuine loyalty of Abraham to our Allah by offering his son Ishmael (instead of Isaac) to sacrifice. Hence, Muslims practices Eid al-Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice. To give honors to the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.
Also Read About: Festival of Sacrifice
9. The Practice of Charity.
The practice of charity means the willingness to give to the in need. This practice is important to Christians and Muslims.
For Christians, Charity is not discretionary, but an essential component of faith. Christians believe that God’s love and kindness towards humankind moves and inspires us to do the same. In the Ten Commandments, God has commanded man how he must treat his fellow. Jesus Christ himself also taught the golden rule – “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Mathew 7:12). Christians must help anyone who is in need regardless of age, color, sex, nationality, religion, at so on.
- Proverbs 19:17 – Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
- Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
- Luke 6:30 – Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
- Matthew 6:3-4 – But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
For Muslims, Charity is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is known as Zakat (Alms). In adherence to Islamic law, Muslims bestow a fixed portion of their profits to the in need. Prominent rulers, leaders, and wealthy Muslims build mosques, hospitals, schools, and other facilities that help people in the religious aspect. Most of the charity works are done during Ramadan.
- Quran 2:83 – And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now).
- Quran 2:110 – And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees Well all that ye do.
- Quran 9:18 – The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, and fear none (at all) except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.
- Quran 28:54 – Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, that they avert Evil with Good, and that they spend (in charity) out of what We have given them.
10. Similar shares of anticipating Jesus’ return.
Jesus’ return is commonly known as the Second Coming. Both Christians and Muslims believe that Jesus will return in the time of Judgement Day.
- Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
- Matthew 24:27 – For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
- Revelation 1:7 – Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
In the Quran, the second coming of Jesus is indicated in Surah Az-Zukhruf. Quran 43:61 says And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore, have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.
There you have it; I hope you have enjoyed reading the Ten Surprising Similarities of Christians and Muslims as much as I do when penning this blog post. It is our responsibility to teach and understand one another. If we do focus on our similarities instead of differences, it would be easy for us to practice tolerance, respect, and solidarity. In a nutshell, what matters is your relationship with our God Almighty and how you treat others.
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