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Islam vs. Christianity: Religion and/or Legal Framework?


As I said a while back, I have been studying a bit about ISLAM, its system, history, and its holy book, the QUR’AN. One of the most interesting aspects of the Islamic doctrine is that apart from being a very much followed religion, it also is a legal framework. A bit like the Torah used to be in ancient times.

Many people around the world follow the behavioural codes taught in the QUR’AN. And it is a fascinating book, which claims that many of the miracles Moses is credited with, were helped by ISMAELITES instead (QUR’AN 2:53-57). They also take credit for the plagues sent at the time, and the miraculous punishments that ensued in Egypt, for example. I think it is quite daring to take both credit and responsibility for such unfolding of events.

Of course, many people do follow the Bible too, although not so much as a legal framework. It is more like a moral code that is shared between communities; whereas in Islamic societies the law itself is deeply ingrained in its religion.

And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

Romans 7:16

The above Bible verse is somewhat controversial, in my opinion. It seems that according to the apostle Paul (who wrote the book of Romans) a good legislature makes you do things you do not wish to do. It is no wonder that Christian people rarely rigorously follow such a law. The truth is that people prefer to engage in activities they enjoy doing, and such is (in my opinion) healthier.

If anyone considers themselves religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 1:26

The above Bible verse tells us that words do matter; however, this is not directly applicable to the law in practice. This is a great difference between the Christian and Islamic religions. As a matter of fact, the Bible even speaks of sin as an absence of law.

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed, I would not have known what sin was except through the law

Romans 7:7

A similarity is that both textbooks highlight the importance of the Sabbath, although this does not get applied into law in practice. Below is a verse from the Qur’an which similarly highlights the importance of such a day.

You know about those of you who broke the Sabbath, and so We said to them, ‘Be like apes! Be outcasts!’ We made this an example to those people who were there at the time and to those who came after them, and a lesson to all who are mindful of God

QUR’AN 2: 65-66
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