Christianity and Islam have been the two of world’s most greatest religions for several hundreds years. Obviously, these two religions developed their own unique points of view toward commerce and trading through ever-changing society and different eras.
Christianity’s first view toward the merchants is negative because Christians perceived that rich men cannot enter the heaven though Islam holds positive points toward trading because Islam’s founder, Muhammad was a merchant, therefore ranking merchant highly. Although the two religions initially have opposite ideas, before 16th century, they changed and assimilated individually and created their own peculiarity.
Was from Christian Bible, the holy texts of the Christianity, documenting the words and major events from Jesus and his prophets, which is extremely important for Christianity.
It demonstrates that the wealthy people have difficulty to access the heaven of God and that the business people are the sinners perhaps due to the background of Jesus Christ, who was a carpenter and devoted himself completely into spiritual pursuit. Therefore, Christians are opposed to merchants and trades at the beginning of the first millennium. Later in the twelfth century,
Reginald, peer and colleague of Godric, wrote the life of St. Godric, which shows that Godric started from a merchant although was very rich, abandoned all his possessions and donated to the charity in order to sincerely follow God and serve God.
Therefore, it shows that following God for spiritual sublimation is much better that the materialistically owning wealth, foiling the disdain to commerce of Christianity. However, Doc 2, as Qur’an indicates, truthful and honest traders are blessed by and will rank as the same level with martyrs, which means that Islam originally regarded merchant respectively and highly.
Later, both Christians and Muslims have more neutralizing opinions as Christians decrease their dislike toward trade but Muslims increase their discontentment.
As Thomas Aquinas (Doc 4), leader of Scholastic theologian illustrates, the honest and fair behaviors of gaining profit are condoned by people even though unjust and unlawful are not acceptable, manifesting the turning point of the Christianity’s viewpoint of commerce. Through this description, we can see that.
Christians became more and more inclusive about trades as long as trades are entirely free double-dealing. In Doc 5 from Ibn Khaldun, contrast to Doc althouh didn’t straightly show that the dislike of trading, Muslims condemns the dishonest manners of tradesmen because they thought that these inferior behaviors decrease national virtue and weaken manliness, gradually becoming less and less support trade. Therefore, Muslims of the fourteenth century perceive these reprehensive merchants utilizing tricks for gaining profits are no doubt deceiving people and conducting unjust events.
Doc 6 and Doc 7 illustrate totally evolved ideas of trading system before 1500. As letters to and from Italian merchants and related to merchants from indicate, Christianity completely embraces business system. Letters of these merchants recorded increasing trades in Europe, which shows that Christianity