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Christianity and Islam

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Owen Trepeta 12/17/12
DBQ Essay Social Studies 9H
Christianity and Islam
Christianity and Islam

In our society from the earliest times to now there has been religion. And these religions consisted of people who had a voice in how the organization in a way viewed something. In views and opinions there are both disagreeing parts and parts that agree. Christianity and Islam both had agreeing and disagreeing views on merchants. The higher classmen of Christianity and Islam agree and the scholars agree with each other, but the underclassmen of these religions disagree. In documents 1, 2, and 4 it suggest that the work of merchants are sinful and not seen as right out of many people’s eyes. In document 1 it says,” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” This document is out of the New Testament Christian Bible and it means that the most important thing in life is God. Any other activity especially the one of gaining money is one that doesn’t usually follow the way of a good Christian. Also it suggests that they believe rich people gain their riches or at some point undertake in sinful and unlawfully actions. In document 2 a person high in the religion of Muslim sees and pleads for merchants to act respectively and to not cheat people out of money. An example of this is, “o ye believers! Devour not each other’s property among yourselves unlawfully save that be trading by mutual consent. Woe to cheaters! Who, when they take measure of their dues from men, take it fully; and when they measure out to others or weigh out for the, they give less than is due.” This quote shows the knowledge of this upper class Muslim man with the way merchants act. This is a common rep for a merchant through the eyes of an Islam and Christian. This is also seen in document 4 by a Christian who is leading scholastic theologian. He writes, “I answer that it is altogether sinful to have recourse to decit in order to sell a thing for more than its just price, because this is to deceiver one’s neighbor so as to injure him.” He shows in this quote that he also believes that merchants participate in these sinful actions and that he is against it. Not all people though thought of it as an unlawful practice but good business. In documents 3 and 5 it shows the ideas and practices of merchants. It gives an image of high intelligent work rather than someone tricking people out of money. In document 3 it shows the work of a young contemporary and colleague of St. Godric. This man was one of high intelligence and he wrote,” He chose not to follow the life of a husbandman, but rather to study, learn and exercise the rudiment of more subtle conceptions. For this reason, aspiring to the merchants trade, he began to follow chapman’s way of life, first learning how to gain in small bargains of insignificant price; and to gain from things of greater expense.” This man writes of it being a way of life. Also the unfair prices and sinful selling to him is a part of being a merchant and what they do. They look at it as part of their job while others look at as them people scouring for money. This view is also shown in document 5 when a leading Muslim scholar writes,” although it be a natural means of livelihood, yet most of the methods it employs are tricks aimed at making a profit by securing the difference between the buying and selling prices, and by appropriating the surplus.” He shows in this quote that he knows of these tricks used but that it is part of how merchant make their profit and finds it simply ok. Many people don’t find it ok though. Documents 6 and 7 both contain accounts of lower class people in the way of a merchants work. Document 6 show accounts of people trading and selling to each other. The difference is that the Christian buyers trust there merchants while the Islam’s were cheated out of money and cotton. An example of the Christian trust is,” You say you have writ to Venice to remit us 1000 ducats with which, in the name of God and profit, you would have us buy Costwold wood. With God always before us, we will carry out your bidding.” Although some way along the line this man could have been cheated by the merchant he is doing business with, he trusts in the name of God that he will do the right thing. In document 7 it shows the account of a weaver being cheated out of cotton yarn. “Whenever cotton yarn comes to town, the aforementioned arrives, pays an extra price, and takes it from the owner, and the other weavers remain deprived.” This quote shows a business practice of a merchant caring for only his needs and not the rest. Instead of fairly distributing this much needed material he settles quickly for the highest price. Sometimes the best information told about a disagreement or even the agreement is from somebody else. I believe the best additional view would be from a non-Muslim and a non-Christian. This would be the best additional view because it would show how somebody besides a Christian or a Muslim sees what they are seeing. It would give a whole new perspective to the views that circulate merchants. In the end we can conclude that there will always be disagreeing sides and agreeing sides. Throughout history there have been cheaters but also there has been in a sense winners. Merchants in some eyes fall under both categories. Although maybe the higher classmen of Christianity and Islam agree and the scholars agree with each other, there is always a disagreeing side as shown with the underclassmen of these religions.

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