Religious differences between Islam and Christianity have existed since the ancient days of human kind. The reason behind such differences can be explained by the ideological distinction between the two worldviews. The existence of one is seen as a threat to the other: as the bible says in Exodus 34:14 that you shall worship no other god for the Lord. However, there are some unique instances of similarities in which the two worldviews preach to their believers. In this concern, there are many positives to take from what the two worldviews project in the life on earth. This essay will explore and analyze the harmonies shared in Islam and Christianity in accordance to literatures of Dante’s Inferno and the book of Muhammad’s Ladder.
Many religious literatures have been written with the intention to mark the differences between Islam and Christianity. However, there are others that focus on the common ideas that unify the two worldviews. Although this has been a rare case, the positives that could be drawn from Dante’s inferno in a Christianity point of view could as well match the Islamic view. A similar scenario exists in the book of Muhammad’s Ladder. They literally present the unique ideas and perceptions in Christianity and Islam respectively, but when critically analyzed, it is evident that the aspect of morality, spirituality and determined life after death is the common message (Lovett et al., 17).
As a devoted Christian, Dante Alighieri developed a divine comedy presenting the road of life of human beings after death. Christians are promised eternal life after death as written in the book of 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. The myth has a sequence of realms that one has to pass through all of them so that they can survive the ordeal. The part of the journey is the inferno. It comprises nine circles of hell presenting the judgment one will go through before reaching God and enjoy the everlasting happiness (Lovett et al., 23). The first circle will be the limit for pagans and non believers. They will not go past that point and will remain suffering in hell. The second circle is the limit for those who deliberately sinned. Those who overcame lust will pass past this point. Deliberate sinners will remain suffering from the ‘great worm’ as Dante explains in the inferno. The third circle houses the hypocrites, while the fourth, fifth, sixth seventh, eighth and ninth will house the various sins that human kind engages in the world in a distinctive manner.
The book of Muhammad Ladder
The Islamic culture and religion has been viewed negatively by the West. This is probably because of the practices and radicalization ideas taught by Islam and the Quran, the Islamic holy book. However, Muhammad ladder successfully attempted to preach out the positives about the Islamic religious practices. In the book of one thousand and one nights, Ladder presented the fiction and tales of the Arabian culture and fantasy (Ibrahim, 47). This is among the most known tales of the Muslim world to the West. The contents of the book constitute to the teachings and beliefs of Muslims. It gives a view on how judgment will be in life after death as surah of An-Nisa’, verse 97 describes. It gives the account that non believers will suffer. This is in addition to the sinners and people who held sinful living while on earth. The righteous will be guided to the path of Allah/God to enjoy all the happiness that in waiting.
Lessons of morality
It is evident from the two accounts of Dante’s inferno and Ladders book that people should live to embrace moral values while on earth. Ultimately, Christians are guided by the Bible that they should go by the narrow path if they have any chance to inherit the kingdom of God - Mathew 7:13. This will entail passing through successfully the nine circles of hell with a judgment at each and every circle. For the sinners and hypocrites, they will be housed within the circles characterized with severe and endless suffering. On the other hand, Ladder describes the way non Muslim believers and sinners will remain tortured in hell. Those who do wrong have no chance towards inheriting the righteousness of God. Despite the differences as evident in these accounts, they are all geared to teach a common thing – Morality. They all suggest that people must be or behave moral uprightly while on earth as that is the way to eternal life.
Apart from morality, the two tales embrace spirituality. Dante suggests that Christians should first accept Jesus Christ before anything else. While living on earth, they avoid sins and abide by the teaching of the bible appropriately. Leading a spiritual life is one of the key teachings of Christianity – John 14: 30. This is because one will be judged in accordance to their deeds. The circle in the nine heaves of inferno/ hell is only but something to believe. Believing requires much to do with faith and spirituality. Therefore, spirituality is mandatory for the believers of Jesus Christ. The same call is put across by Ladder’s book. The believers of Muhammad must be filled with the spiritual sense while living on earth. Spirituality will keep them away from doing evil actions. It will also avoid a Muslim from the interaction with non believers who are impure according to the Islamic worldview – Surah Al-FAatihah. Therefore, spirituality is critical to both Muslim and Christianity. This is among the major teachings of Dante’s inferno and the book of Muhammad Ladder.
Determined life after death
Unlike the lives of pagans that are filled with uncertainty of the future, the lives of Christians and Muslims as ascertained and definitely determined – John 5:24. Dante’s inferno tells a lot about the certainty of life after death for Christians. This is because the inferno tale presents a series of judgments in which if one successfully undergoes all stages, they will live in eternal life. There is the promise of an endless living filled with happiness and joy with God in heaven for the believers and the righteous. This is to say that the non righteous and sinners will be left on the fire in hell where they will be exposed to endless suffering. On the other hand, Muslims believes in life after death while joining the prophet Muhammad. Also, they believe in ‘jehannam’ characterized with untold suffering of fire. The book of Mohammed Ladder clearly projects these beliefs. Therefore, the certainty of life after death for Muslims and Christians is among the similarities preached by the two tales and worldviews.
As discussed above, different worldviews could reflect some similar lessons and positives that a human being could take regardless of the religious view. In this case, the beliefs of Christians could also be the beliefs of the Muslims in one way or another, or a half way. The situation of spirituality, morality in life and certainty of life after death justifies this concern – Revelation 1:18. Despite the various kinds of misunderstanding between Christianity and Islam, it is interesting to see that these worldviews match one another to some extent. Therefore, it is good that the believers of both worldviews start to recognize and embrace one another. This will completely solve the legendary conflict that has existed for centuries. Furthermore, the general life of human kind on earth will be better as they wait for the eternal living in the Kingdom God.
Ibrahim, I A. A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam. Houston: Darussalam, 1997. Print.
Lovett, Sarah, Joyce Bean, and Bill Weideman. Dantes' Inferno. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio, 2001. Print.
Good News Bible: Good News Translation. New York: American Bible Society, 2000. Print.