Ap World Dbq Christian and Islam Attitude Towards Merchants

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Using the Documents, compare and contrast the differences of Christian and Islamic attitudes towards merchants until about 1500.

From a review of the 7 documents presented, it is clear that Christianity and Islam condemned inequitable trade, which led to many Christians and Muslims to look down upon merchants; however, honest business, especially as a merchant, is honored highly. In fact, the Qur'an compares fair merchants to martyrs which were some of the holiest people of all [D2]. However, many Christian and Muslim believers found most merchants to be dishonest and greedy. A Christian scholar describes a merchant's job and then concludes that when a person sells something for more than it is worth, it is "unjust and unlawful" [D4]. An influential Muslim scholar ventured to say that "flattery, and evasiveness, litigation and disputation" were all characteristic of a merchant's profession [D5]. Even common people, like a Christian mother scolds her own son, a merchant, for being greedy [D6]. Muslim law, as time went one, continued to allowed merchants to trade, but some instances of trade were rebuked by whole towns [D7]. Many encouraged generosity and viewed a merchant turning from his profession as a good thing as seen in Godric's life, who was a merchant and then devoted his life to charity and solitude [D3]. Furthermore, the Bible warns all that it is extremely hard for "a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" [D1]. Also, to fully understand how Christianity and Islam viewed merchants.

From Christians viewed merchants as often easily corrupted by riches, whereas Islam encouraged fair trade; however by 1500, Christians and Muslims both viewed merchants as immoral, unjust people. The Bible never specifically addressed merchants, whereas the Qu'ran did. The holy book of the Muslims specifically named merchants as good people, but only if they were honest. Unequal transactions, however, were condemned by both Islam and Christianity. Both faiths...
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