Dbq Muslims V. Christian Merchants

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In the beginning of Christianity, trade was considered sinful, while the Muslims thought trade was a lesson of appreciation and hard work. Christians had a strongly negative attitude towards the interaction between trade and merchants. Islamic people, however, had various different opinions on trade in comparison to the Christian religion. However, over time, the thoughts on trade and merchants shifted to a more negative point of view from both religions. The opinions from these religions were opposite at the beginning of time, but they eventually fused into one overall thought and opinion by the 16th century.

From the beginning of time of the early development of each religion, there were various differences between the Christian and Islamic point of view towards trade and merchants, which can be displayed in documents 1 and 2. Document 1 had an in-depth focus on the negative point of view that Christianity obtained towards trade. It focused on the idea that becoming a merchant was sinful and a merchant himself was unable to enter into heaven, which agreed accordingly to the Christian opinion on producing money in their society. Furthermore, document 1 served as a direct statement of how Christians felt towards the subject of building an economy in the religion and in the community; the bible was provided as a direct objection against trade and merchants, mostly focusing on statements that displayed the rich as being corrupted and vain. This statement ultimately proved how negative the opinion of the Christian society was on merchants between 70-80 CE. Overall, document 1 states that wealthy merchants were frowned upon and prevented from entering heaven in the community, which supported the negative bias that Christians held. Jesus, the holy leader of the Christian community, was poor, thus his negative views against wealthy merchants could correlate with his inability to receive wealth. On the other hand, in document 2, the views of the Muslim society were presented in a positive manner. Document 2 was a statement from the Qur'an, the holy book of the Islamic community, which believes that a merchant who was honest with their manner of trade and performed trade in a faithful manner would be blessed. If the trade that took place was full of honesty and no greed or lies, then the Muslim merchant would take a higher rank in the community with the "martyrs of faith." (2) Merchants in the Islamic community were perceived as a positive kind of wealth and would take high rank in the religious world. Trade and merchants for the Muslims was represented as a form of honesty and truth. Furthermore, document 2 mentions how God himself has a positive outlook on an honest and faithful use of trade. In this community, merchants have a high rank and are above regular citizens because of this blessing from God. However, the Qur'an could be biased because the writer of the Qur'an had the objective to strengthen the Islamic capital to make the empire richer. If the religious point of view consisted of a charitable outlook on trade and merchants was adopted, then the merchants would be directed to the strengthening of the empire through trade. Even though both documents 1 and 2 provide a distinct opinion and point of view on trade and merchants in their societies, additional documents would be needed to strengthen their opinionated statements. A merchant who has no direct correlation to these religions, or who is a part of another religion, could provide an important insight through documents such as entries in a journal on what merchants actually receive when trading. These types of documents would support evidence in relation to how important religion was in the situations merchants were in, how wealthy merchants actually were, and their faithfulness and honesty. In the earlier time periods. Christian opinions on merchants and trade were perceived as negative, while Muslims views were positive. They had opposite point of views and...
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