From a young age, I personally struggled with religion and the split between Christianity and Islam. My family has always been split down the middle; my father’s half is filled with Christians and my mother’s half is filled with Muslims so from the start I never knew which was actually “right”. It was weird, some of my Muslim family still celebrated Christmas for some reason which I never understood. I witnessed Ramadan first hand, when they would only eat once the sun went down and the little things like rinsing their mouths instead of drinking the water. Also, I always thought they prayed too often and in reality I still have never seen some of their real faces and hair. I only know them from their voices and eyes which is crazy when I really think about it but I also noticed in class that many of the names in the Quran and in Islamic history are the names of my cousins, aunts, uncles, even my mom!
So, when the topic came to class and as we were comparing the two and their differences, I knew most of the stuff from just spending time and asking questions. I was always raised as a Christian so the Quran was never provided for me but I will say I was surprised to hear how similar they were and how similar even the wording was. When we did the class exercise comparing the languages, even I didn’t know the differences and I was raised in both cultures.
I did not know that Muslims still believed in Jesus as a prophet, my perspective was that they always sort of threw him to the side as another person. To add, when mentioned, it was very surprising to find out that Jesus was mentioned more times in the bible than Muhammad. It doesn’t seem to make sense if Muhammad is their final authority in spiritual matters. Another surprise is that Muslims actually accept parts of the bible that they perceive are true but Christians do not see the Quran as legitimate when they are in fact both very similar with adjustments separating them. An issue with Islam is that they are willing to accept Jesus as the son of “Virgin Mary” but they still don’t see him as the holy one. There is no other that comes from a crazy situation as Jesus did, it doesn’t make sense that they believe was born of miracle and then believe he’s just another prophet. The last point I’ll make is that Muslims believe the Jesus received the New Testament from Allah.
It’s hard to say they are mutually exclusive when Islam broke off from Christianity and also still accept parts of the bible. They also “corrected” the bible to make it the Quran and they are still pretty similar in wording. They do have major differences on the topic of Jesus which is actually the center of Christianity. So are they mutually exclusive? No, but they are nowhere near the same simply because of their beliefs on Jesus, who is not just another figure in the history of religion.
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