Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world, and each has a unique cultural and religious identity. Christians and Muslims have historically warred over their cultural and religious differences, most notably in the Crusades. However, in spite of doctrinal differences between the two religions, there are some major similarities as well.
Both Christianity and Islam are monotheistic religions, meaning that they worship only one God. In Islam, the God is called Allah. In Christianity, it’s God, Yahweh or The Holy Father. However, there is an important difference between the two religions in terms of how they view the nature of God -- most Christian churches subscribe to the belief that God exists as the Father, the Son, or Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, otherwise known as the Trinity; Muslims, however, believe that Allah takes only one form.
God of Abraham
While Muslims and Christians may dispute the nature of the monotheistic God, they do not dispute the identity of God. Allah and Yahweh are, essentially, one and the same. This is perhaps the most important common ground between the two faiths. In both Christianity and Islam, the God of worship is the God who revealed himself to Abraham, known in Islam as Ibrahim. Jews, Christians and Muslims all regard Abraham as the first prophet of God and as the patriarch of their faiths.
Christianity is named for Jesus Christ, the prophet told of in the New Testament of the Bible. Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad to be the last and greatest prophet; however, Muslims do think of Jesus as a prophet and holy figure -- though not as "the savior of mankind," since the belief in “original sin” is not part of Islam. Muslims believe that Jesus lived without sin, was responsible for the miracles in the New Testament and was born of a virgin.
Both Muslims and Christians believe that Jesus Christ will come back to earth. A prophecy in Islam tells of a “great deceiver,” known as al-Dajjal, who will spread evil around the world in the end times. Muslims believe that Jesus will return to kill al-Dajjal and restore order to the world before Judgement Day. This is remarkably similar to the Christian interpretation of the New Testament, which indicates that an “Antichrist” will reign over the dark end times and then be destroyed by the coming of Jesus.
- BBC: Religions: Christianity
- BBC: Religions: Islam at a Glance
- Brittanica.com: Trinity (Christianity)
- Islam In Perspective; Dr. Sultan Ahmad
- BBC: Religions: Judaism - Abraham
- University of Georgia, Islam and Islamic Studies Resources: Jesus - A Summary of the Points About Which Islam and Christianity Agree and Disagree
- What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam: Second Edition; John L. Esposito
- Britannica.com: Antichrist (Christianity)
- Abid Katib/Getty Images News/Getty Images