Sacred Scripture and Cosmogony of Islam and Christianity

Topics: Islam, Qur'an, Religious text Pages: 8 (3139 words) Published: March 19, 2006
The Sacred Scripture and Cosmogony of Islam and Christianity
In every religion around the world, there are very important scriptures and beliefs on how the universe came into being. Christianity and Islam are no different than any other religion in those aspects. They have similar thoughts on things in the sacred scriptures they have, and they also have opposing views. Also, these two religions have different views on the creation of the universe, both of these topics will be discussed here. It is important to understand the views on the following topics by these two religions for a number of reasons. Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world, with approximately 1.9 billion people being Christian and 1.1 billion people being Muslim. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. People in the future will have to learn to not have the typical stereotype of a Muslim, by knowing where they come from, people may learn to appreciate this religion and the people more.

First to be discussed are the sacred scripture that both Christianity and Islam employ, how they have some of the same thoughts and characteristics, as well as the differences between the two. Where did these scriptures come from? That is a very important question to know, and this will be answered as well. Also, it is important to understand the contemporary expressions that are used to teach the scripture.

The Islamic religions main sacred scripture is called the Qur'an , this is sometimes written as the Koran. The origins are thought to begin with a man named Muhammad, who was born around 570 C.E. He was a prophet who was to warn the people to turn to God (also known as Allah to Muslims), he also is the one whom is thought to have written the Qur'an. It is told that the angel Gabriel sent him the first words from God, "We sent it down during a blessed night" (Sura 44:3). Many Muslims believe that this meant that the Qur'an was sent down to the prophet Muhammad, but others debate what this truly means. Muhammad received messages all his life then, he would place them in the Qur'an. After his death, the Qur'an wasn't a single book, it was many scriptures that would be put together after his death.

The Qur'an isn't all that big, not even as big as the Christian Bible, and is broken down into something like chapters, these chapters are called a sura. In total, there are 114 suras, and then the suras are broken into verses. It is important to understand just how the Qur'an is taught. Many religions read the scripture, or do not even entirely rely on their scripture. The Muslims read it out loud to the listeners. The first words that a newborn hears from its father are from the Qur'an, it is "on the radio and on television, she hears readings from the Qur'an" (Clark, 102). Every aspect of the Qur'an is around the Muslims, they use the Qur'an extensively to apply teachings to their lives. In a Muslim society, the Qur'an is used as a kind of law book as to how they live their lives in the society. Muslims, for the most part, are very strict on the laws and punishments can be harsh. Societies that are mostly Christian (like America) do not go this far. We previously used the Christian Bible to swear in at a court system by placing the right hand on top, this is not done anymore because of laws that separate the church and state. So really in a way, it is almost the opposite from a Muslim society. The reader of this can probably now understand how very important the Qur'an is to the Muslims. It is the words from God, it helps to dictate the life a Muslim leads.

The Christians sacred scripture is known as the Bible. The Bible took a long road to get to where it is at today, well over 1,000 years! The first part of the Bible was written by a man named Moses, who formed a nation after leading the Israelites out of Egypt. After the first five books in the Bible, various authors added to the growing collection. Some of the authors were...

Cited: Van Voorst, Robert E. Anthology of World Scriptures. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth,
Clark, Warren Malcolm. Islam for Dummies. Indianapolis, IN. Wiley, 2003.
Sultan, Sohaib. The Koran for Dummies. Indianapolis, IN. Wiley, 2004.
Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. The Holy Qur 'an Text, Translation, and Commentary. 4th ed. Elmhurst, NY. Tahrike Tarsile Qur 'an, 2002.
Wagner, Richard. Christianity for Dummies. Indianapolis, IN. Wiley, 2004.
Geoghegan, Jeffrey, and Michael Homan. The Bible for Dummies. Indianapolis, IN. Wiley, 2004.
"Islam."Encyclopedia Britannica
World Religious Population by Religion. 9 Dec, 1999. Ohio Valley College. 12 Feb 2006.
"Cosmogony." Webster 's Dictionary of the English Language. 2nd Ed. 2004.
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