Dbq Muslim and Christan Attitiudes Towards Mercahnts

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12.16.12
AP World History / Pr. 6
Mr. Rivers

DBQ #1 Rough Draft

When comparing and contrasting the attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward merchants and trade from the religions' origins until about 1500, we notice there is a change in attitude over time in Christianity, while the attitude of Islam maintains continuity.

The New Testament written by Matthew in 70 to 80 CE, makes it seem that wealthy men, merchants, or tradesmen, will have a much more difficult time entering the kingdom of heaven than a man who lives a humble, lowly life. Notice that it is stated that it is difficult for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven, not impossible. Now when approaching this topic from Islamic values, we notice that being wealthy is not frowned upon as it is in Christianity. Islam says that being wealthy is accepted, as long as the manner in which one has achieved their wealth is trustworthy, honest, and respectable. As long as a merchant holds these values in their work they will have their spot in the kingdom of heaven.

As time progresses to a second later period, the ideas remain very close to their original viewpoints. We receive a story of a man, Godric, who began his life yearning towards the goal of wealth and materialistic gratification. This does neglect the views of Christianity, however as Godric's life continues he become conscious of the fact that what he is pursuing is not what he actually wants. He gravitates towards motions that advocate the original perspective of Christianity stated in the New Testament, he spends his wealth on charity and on God's honor and service. He leads himself back to the life of a simple man, who appreciates his faith, more than his wealth. In addition, it is stated in 1273, by Thomas Aquinas that it is against God's teaching to sell an item for anymore than it's worth, this only further supports Christianity's view on merchants. However, in complete opposition of what Thomas Aquinas has said, the Islamic...
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