The attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward merchants and trade are similar yet different. Over time Christian and Islamic attitudes towards the merchants and trade have changed. The attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward merchants and traders are similar. A way that these two religions attitudes towards their merchants and trade was that they both allowed being treated better under god easier for merchants to achieve if they were honest about what their trade. In the Muslim Qur’an it states “On the day of judgment, the honest, truthful Muslim merchant will take rank with the martyrs of the faith” (Doc 2). This statement proves that merchants could be treated better under god if they were honest. Also in the Christian Bible, New Testament (Matthew) it states “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” (Doc 1). This means that it is easier for the honest merchants to enter the kingdom of god than the rich upper-class Christians. All in all, the Christian and Islamic attitudes toward the merchants and trade are similar.
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As well as the attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward merchants and trade being similar they were different. A way that Christianity and Islam attitudes were different was that some Christians thought that if they gave away their money earned to charity they would be able to become closer to God by serving him, but in Islam they only thought that honesty could get you closer to God. In The Life of St. Godric by Reginald it states “now he had lived sixteen years as a merchant, and began to think of spending on charity, to God’s honor and service” (Doc 3). Although this statement proves the difference it may be bias because it was written by a colleague of a merchant, this could mean that he was experiencing things different than what they were really supposed to be by law. In the Qur’an it states “On the day of judgment, the honest, truthful Muslim merchant will take rank with the martyrs of the faith” (Doc 2). The statements from these two writings together prove that the attitudes towards merchants and trade were different between Christianity and Islam.
Over time both Christianity and Islam attitudes towards merchants and trade changed. Christianity started off with the Christian merchants not bidding with the traders to bidding with the traders. Thomas Aquinas wrote “the seller must not impose upon the bidder” (Doc 4). And this change was presented when a letter was written placing an order for English wool saying “with god always before us, we will carry out your bidding” (Doc 6). Both these statements could be bias due to the writer, the first quote from Aquinas could be bias because he was a theologian which means he studied gods and so he could have wrote more about what the bible states and not what actually happened.
Then the letter was written by a merchant which means they could have had different experiences with trade than other merchants. Islam started off with their merchants needing to be honest and ended up with their merchants seeking to make profits and gambling, and gambling for more money is not very truthful. The Qur’an it states “On the day of judgment, the honest, truthful Muslim merchant will take rank with the martyrs of the faith” (Doc 2). Ibn Khaldun a leading Muslim scholar wrote “We have already stated that traders must buy and sell and seek profits” and he wrote “they come under the heading of gambling” (Doc 5). All in all both Christianity and Islamic attitudes toward merchants and trade changed over time.
In conclusion Christianity and Islam had attitudes toward merchants and trade that were similar and different, and that both religions attitudes changed over time. A document that was not present that would have been helpful would be a document written by Muslim or Christian merchants because the documents that were written by merchants were written by British and Italian merchants.