Similarities between Christianity and Islam (Christianity vs Islam)

Both faiths believe that Jesus will return from Heaven. Both faiths also believe in the afterlife. Both religions believe that humans will have a day of judgment and will be judged for the lives they lead on earth.

What are the similarities between Christianity and Islam?

At first, it seems that the two religions are very different, but there are many similarities between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have a similar place of origin – which is in the Middle East. Christians believe Jesus, who is the son of God was born in the Middle East in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. Muslims believe Islam was founded over 1400 years ago in Mekkah, which is known today as Saudi Arabia.

What are the similarities between Christianity and Islam?

Christians and Muslims believe that there is only one God (unlike religions such as Hinduism). Muslims and Christians also believe that all humans are children of God. This means that both religions are monotheistic – meaning one God. Christians and Muslims believe that the word of their God was revealed to them through prophets, both believe that Jesus was a prophet who performed miracles!

Another similarity between Christianity and Islam is that both religions are Abrahamic religions – meaning that they descended from Judaism and the worship of the God of Abraham. Another similarity is that both religions trace their origins to the two sons of Abraham. For Jews and Christians, it is his second son Isaac, but for Muslims, it is his eldest son Ishmael.

Other similarities between Christianity and Islam are:

  • They both believe that practicing their religion is good for them because it creates harmony and peace.
  • They believe that Satan is real and tries to tempt people away from God and to commit sins.
  • They believe that paradise/heaven and hell are real literal places.
  • Christians and Muslims believe that the body is sacred and should be treated with respect.
  • They also believe that Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin.
  • They both believe that family is the foundation of their beliefs, and it has a big impact on society.
  • Muslims and Christians believe that obeying God creates peace and harmony among people and brings blessings in life after death.
  • Both faiths believe that Jesus will return from Heaven.
  • Both faiths also believe in the afterlife.
  • Both religions believe that humans will have a day of judgment and will be judged for the lives they lead on earth. For Christians, it determines whether they will go to Heaven or Hell for the rest of eternity. Muslims, refer to the afterlife as Akhirah – they will stay in their graves until the end of the world when they have their day of judgment. They will come before Allah (God) and if they have lived a good life they will go to Jannah (Heaven), but if they have lived a bad life they will go to Jahannam (Hell).

What is the difference between Christianity and Islam?

There are many differences between the two religions. Here you can find the main differences:

  • A key difference is that Christianity is founded on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and those who follow this are called Christians. Whereas, Muslims believe that the word of God and the teachings of Islam are shared by the prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is believed to be the final prophet who taught Allah’s law and revealed the Islamic faith through the angel Gabriel.
  • Islam views Jesus as a messiah, sent to guide the children of Israel and a messenger of God, not the son of God. Whereas, Christians believe Jesus to be the messiah of the Hebrew scripture (a religious text) and the son of God. Muslims believe that Allah (God) passes messages down to earth through prophets like Jesus and Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and all prophets should be respected, but not worshipped. The vital difference here is that Muslims view Jesus as a human prophet, and do not believe that Jesus is divine.
  • Christianity and Islam also have different scriptures, which is another word for a religious text. Muslims follow the Quran, but Christians follow the Bible.
  • Religions have differing beliefs about the Holy Spirit. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is God, but Muslims believe the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel.
  • Similarly, Christians believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity. This means that God exists simultaneously as The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. In Islam plurality of God would be seen as a denial of the belief in one God – Allah.

Why not take a look at this Similarities and Differences worksheet on Christianity and Islam to help your children learn about these religions and understand the key differences and similarities?

Comparison chart

Similarities

ChristianityIslam
No. of Gods and Goddesses1 God1 God

Comparison chart (Difference between Christianity and Islam) in Tabular Form

Differences

ChristianityIslam
Place of originRoman province of Judea.Arabian Peninsula, Mecca at Mount Hira.
Place of worshipChurch, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings.A mosque/masjid is any place that is considered clean by Islamic standards.
Use of statues and picturesIn Catholic & Orthodox Churches.Images of God or prophets are not permitted. Art takes the form of calligraphy, architecture, etc. Muslims distinguish themselves from other groups by not drawing lifelike human works, which could be mistaken as idolatry. No image is representative of God
Belief of GodOne God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity.Only one God (monotheism). God is the one True Creator. God has always existed, none existed before him and will exist forever. He transcends life and death. No part of His creation resembles Him, He cannot be seen, but sees all.
FounderThe Lord Jesus Christ.Prophet Muhammad. According to Islamic scripture, all people who follow God’s revealed guidance and the messengers sent with it ‘submit’ to that guidance, and are considered Muslims (ie. Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, etc.).
ClergyPriests, bishops, ministers, monks, and nuns.The imam leads congregational prayer in a mosque. Sheikh, Maulana, Mullah, and Mufti
PracticesPrayer, sacraments (some branches), worship in church, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, communion.Five pillars: Testament that there is one God and Muhammad is his messenger (shahadah); prayer five times daily; fasting during Ramadan; charity to the poor (zakat); pilgrimage (Hajj).
Literal MeaningFollower Of Christ.Islam is derived from the Arabic root “Salema”: peace, purity, submission, and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. A Muslim is one who follows Islam.
Life after deathEternity in Heaven or Hell, in some cases temporal Purgatory.All beings created with reason will be accountable to God Almighty on the Day of Judgement. They will be rewarded for every atom’s weight of good, and either forgiven or punished for evil deeds.
ScripturesThe Holy BibleThe Qur’an, and traditions of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, are called ‘Sunnah’ which is found in narrations or ‘hadiths’ by the men around him.
FollowersChristian (followers of Christ)Muslims
Means of salvationThrough Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection.Belief in one God, remembrance of God, repentance, fear of God, and hope in God’s mercy.
Human NatureMan has inherited “original sin” from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of sin. By knowing right and wrong Christians choose their actions. Humans are a fallen, broken race in need of salvation and repair by God.Humans are born pure and innocent. Upon reaching adolescence, you are responsible for what you do and must choose right from wrong. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand.
Goal of religionTo love God and obey his commandments while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel so that others may also be saved.Fulfill the gift and responsibility of this life through following the guidance of the Holy Quran and Hadith, striving to serve mankind through compassion, justice, trustworthiness, and love for all of God’s creation
View of the BuddhaN/A.N/A. Islamic scripture does not discuss or mention Gautam Buddha.
Geographical distribution and predominanceAs the largest religion in the world, Christianity has adherents all over the world. As a % of the local population, Christians are in a majority in Europe, North and South America, and Australia and New Zealand.There are 1.6 billion. The percentage of the total population in a region considering themselves Muslim, is 24.8% in Asia-Oceania, 91.2% in Middle East-North Africa, 29.6% in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 6.0% in Europe, and 0.6% in the Americas.
Confessing sinsProtestants confess straight to God, Catholics confess mortal sins to a Priest, and venial sins straight to God (Orthodox have similar practice) Anglicans confess to Priests but are considered optional. God always forgives sins in Jesus.Forgiveness must be sought from God, there is no intermediary with him. If any wrong is done against another person or thing, forgiveness must first be sought from them, then from God, as all of God’s creation have rights that must not be infringed
MarriageA Holy Sacrament.Islam is totally opposed to monasticism and celibacy. Marriage is an act of Sunnah in Islam and is strongly recommended. Men can only marry the “people of the book” i.e., Abrahamic religions. Women can only marry a Muslim man.
SymbolsCross, ichthys (“Jesus fish”), Mary, and baby Jesus.Muhammad’s name in calligraphy is common. There is also the black standard that says “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the last messenger of God” in Arabic. The star and crescent are not Islam per se; it is inspired by the Ottoman empire.
Original Language(s)Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.Arabic
AboutChristianity broadly consists of individuals who believe in the deity Jesus Christ. Its followers, called Christians, often believe Christ is “the Son” of the Holy Trinity and walked the earth as the incarnate form of God (“the Father”).Islam consists of individuals who believe in Allah, a deity whose teachings its followers—Muslims—believe were recorded, verbatim, by the god’s last prophet, Muhammad.
PopulationOver two billion adherents worldwide.1.6 billion Muslims
Religious LawVaries among denominations. Has existed among Catholics in the form of canon law.Shariah law (derived from Quran and Hadith) governs prayers, business transactions, and individual rights, as well as criminal and governmental laws. Religious debate or ‘Shura’ is utilized for practical solutions to contemporary issues
The second coming of JesusAffirmed.Affirmed
ProphetsProphets in the Bible are venerated.God sent thousands of divinely inspired messengers to guide mankind. These include Adam, Solomon, David, Noah, Abraham, Ismail, Issac, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. There are 124,000 prophets, who were sent to all the world’s nations.
Position of MaryMother Of Jesus. Revered in all denominations. The degree of reverence varies from the denomination.Mary (Mariam/Miriam) receives significant admiration from Muslims. She is said by the Prophet Muhammad to be one of the four best women that God created. She is free of sin as the mother of Jesus.
Holy DaysChristmas (celebration of the birth of Jesus), Good Friday (death of Jesus), Sunday (day of rest), Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Lent (Catholicism), and saints’ feast days.Ramadan (month of fasting), Eid-ul Adha (feast of the sacrifice), and Eid-ul Fitr (sweet festival at the end of Ramadan).
Ressurection of JesusAffirmed.Denied because God raised Jesus to him and he will return before the end of time to finish his life, correct any confusion about his teachings and restore order to the world.
Position of AbrahamFather of the faithful.A great prophet and a perfect, sinless example of the divine guidance of God.
JesusSon Of God. The second person of the Trinity. God the Son.Muslims believe Jesus to be a perfect, sinless, highly revered Prophet and a messenger of God. His name in Arabic is Isa ibn Mariam (Jesus the son of Mary). Jesus was immaculately conceived through God but is not God or the son of God.
God’s role in salvationHumans cannot save themselves or ascend on their own to a higher level. Only God is good and therefore only God is able to save a person. Jesus came down from Heaven to save mankind.You are judged according to your efforts to do good and avoid sinful behaviors, oppression, etc. God will judge your deeds and intentions. A person must believe in God and follow His commandments.
Status of VedasN/A.N/A
Day of WorshipSunday (most denominations), Saturday (Seventh-Day Adventist, Seventh-Day Baptist)Prayer five times daily is obligatory. Friday is the day of congregational prayer, obligatory for men, but not for women.
Abrahamic LineageAbraham, Isaac, and Jacob.The ancestor of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is Abraham (Ibrahim) through his son Ismael.
BeliefThe Nicene Creed sums up Christian belief in the Holy Trinity.Belief in one God, who has sent messengers with revelation and guidance for humanity so they may be guided to good & who has come with both good news and a warning, the last & final messenger being Muhammad صلى الله علي
No. of Gods and Goddesses1 God1 God
Virtue on which religion is based uponLove and justice.Tawheed (oneness of God); Peace
Use of StatuesVaries by denomination. Not used in Protestant denominations; icons are used in Catholic & Orthodox denominations.Not allowed
Praying to Saints, Mary, and AngelEncouraged in the Catholic & Orthodox Churches; most Protestants only pray directly to God.Shiites ask for Saints’ intercession, but, Sunnis do not. Mary is venerated by both Sunnis and Shiites however.
Original LanguageAramaic, Greek, and LatinArabic
Original LanguagesAramaic, Common (Koine) Greek, Hebrew.Arabic.
Primary God(s)A single, all-powerful god known as God is typically thought of in “trinity” form: God, the Father; Christ, the Son; and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost).Only Allah is seen as being all-powerful. “They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah.” —Surat Al-Ma’idah 5:73
Revered PeopleVaries by sect/denomination. Saints, the Pope, cardinals, bishops, nuns, church pastors, or deacons.Prophets, Imams (religious leaders).
On ClothingConservative Christians dress modestly; women may wear long skirts or dresses; men may wear dress clothes that do not show the chest, legs, and arms. More moderate or liberal Christians generally reject such clothing restrictions.Women must present themselves modestly to cover their hair and body shape. Men must be modestly dressed and covered from waist to knee. In most Muslim cultures, women wear a form of the hijab; in some, they must wear the full-body cover known as the burqa.
Concept of Deity1 God, in 3 Divine Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.God (Allah) is the only god and is all-powerful and omniscient.
On Food/DrinkJesus said, “‘…Whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” Mark 7:19Muslims are only supposed to eat foods that are considered halal. Pork is forbidden. Requirement for prayer and ritual butchery of meat. Quick and swift slaughter at single point on the throat; blood has to be completely drained.
Related ReligionsIslam, Judaism, Baha’i faithChristianity, Judaism, Baha’i faith
Spiritual BeingsAngels, demons, spirits.Angels, demons, spirits, jinn (genies).
Most Common SectsCatholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Mormons (LDS).Sunni, Shia.
Important TenetsThe Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes.The Five Pillars of Islam among Sunni Muslims and the Seven Pillars of Islam among Shia Muslims. The Shia Twelvers also have the Ancillaries of the Faith.
On RaceAll races are viewed equally in Christianity. However, Bible passages on slavery were used to support the practice in the past in the U.S. The “curse of Ham” was sometimes thought to be Black people; modern interpretations reject this.Races are generally viewed as equal, but those that accept Islam are viewed more favorably than those that do not. “Among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors…” —Surat 30:22
View of JesusGod in human form, “Son of God, ” savior. Death by crucifixion. Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, was taken up into heaven, and will return during the Apocalypse.Jesus was a perfect, sinless, highly revered Prophet and a messenger of God. Jesus was immaculately conceived through God but is not God or the son of God. Jesus did not die but ascended to heaven. So there was no resurrection.
Sacred TextsChristian Bible (includes Old and New Testaments). What is considered canon may vary slightly by sect/denomination.While the Qur’an is the only holy text of Islam, the Hadith, which is said to be the sayings of Muhammad, is also highly revered.
View on Abrahamic religionsAll worship the One God.Believe that Jews & Christians should accept Muhammad as the final Prophet; believe that Baha’is are wrong in believing that Bah-u-llah is a prophet.
On WomenEqual to men. In some denominations, they may become nuns.Varies. Some Muslims view women as equal, while others believe women should be subservient. Clothing is usually controlled (e.g., hijab, burqa); health choices may be restricted. Surat An-Nisa 4:34 allows for the “light beating” of “disobedient” wives.
Founders and Early LeadersJesus, Peter, Paul, and the Apostles.Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali
On MoneyTithing / charitable giving. “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” —Jesus in Matthew 19:24Zakat (charitable giving). “And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial (fitnah) and that surely with Allah is a mighty reward.” —Surat Al-‘Anfal 8:28
On LGBTVaries. Christians who believe in more literal interpretations of the Bible rarely accept homosexuality; some see it as a crime. “Do not be deceived…men who have sex with men…will not inherit the kingdom of God.” —1 Corinthians 6:9-10Varies, but generally, homosexuality is not accepted. Verses from the Qur’an condemn it and modern fatwas (Islamic law interpretation) often ban homosexuality as a crime, punishable by death in some countries. Sex change is not permitted.
On Marriage/DivorceThe definition of marriage and divorce acceptance varies by sect/denomination. Bible includes examples of polygamy and monogamy and only condones divorce in cases of adultery.According to the Qur’an, men may marry more than one woman, but no more than four, as long as they can support them and treat them fairly. Divorce is easy for men, but difficult for women.
On AtheismVaries. Some believe atheists will go to hell because they do not believe in God; others believe God does not operate that way. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile…” —Psalm 14:1Varies, but atheism can be very dangerous in some Muslim nations. “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, an evil refuge indeed.” —Surat At-Tawbah 9:73
Year Formed28-33 CE.610-622 CE.
Influenced ByHellenistic Judaism, Jewish folklore, Greco-Roman paganism, monotheistic Zoroastrianism.Judaism, Christianity, monotheistic Zoroastrianism. Customs of the pagan religions of the Arabian Peninsula already had pilgrimages to Mecca.
On Other ReligionsMany Christians believe all other religions are false. Moderates may or may not believe this. “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.” —Exodus 23:13Most Muslims believe all other religions are false. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day…until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel subdued.”—Surat At-Tawbah 9:29 Disbelievers will go to eternal hell.
Number of AdherentsAn estimated 2.1 billion, is the largest religion in the world.An estimated 1.5 billion, is the second largest religion in the world.
On AfterlifeEternal life in heaven (paradise) or hell (torment). Some Catholics believe in purgatory (limbo, temporary punishment).Eternal life in heaven (paradise) or hell (torment).
On ApocalypseMost, though not all, Christians believe Christ will return during an apocalypse that includes famine, war, and plague.Some Muslims believe Jesus will return at the end of the world; the difference is that they believe his return is a sign, not the actual end. Other Muslims believe Jesus is a minor figure and that Islam’s 12th imam, Mahdi, will cleanse the world.

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