The Commandments and Pillars of Islam form the foundation of the Christian and Islamic faiths respectively. These are set rules that present the blue print of what a Muslim and a Christian have to do in their contact with the Creator and fellow humans.
The contravention of these superlative laws is considered a sin that one has to seek deliverance from the Supreme Being, thus the call for an individual to acknowledge the dogma presented by the law. It is thus noted that these laws are restricted in the Holy Books of these two religions that is to say the Bible and the Quran. The denying of any one of the five pillars of Islam deliberately is grave and leads to unswerving excommunication from the religion.
The commandments and pillars are comparable in some ways as regards to the affiliation of man to man and man to God. However, some sharp differences also emerge as regards to these supreme religious rules governing the Islamic and Christian faiths. In as much as Islam and Christianity are distinctively dissimilar, they exude similar tendencies that govern relations among the faithful.
The initial pillar of Islam reckons faith in the existence of one superlative God referred to as Allah; consequently, it attaches importance to the presence and roles of Prophet Muhammad (Voorst 323). This implies that any individual professing the Muslim faith should hold belief in only Allah and no other supreme being.
Furthermore, the Muslims should pursue the teachings of the Prophet since Muhammad was Allah’s messenger and proclaimed applicable information from the superlative Being. The profession of this pillar forms the foundation of the connection between Muslim and Allah and under no grounds shall it challenged by any person professing comparable or dissimilar faith.
A telling comparison is drawn connecting the first pillar of Islam and the first two commandments as illustrated by Christianity. These commandments preside over the affiliation between God and man. The primary directive states that man shall not have any other god before Him (God). This commandment is inflexible and forms the basis of the faith of the Christians in the continuation and existence of one God.
The second commandment puts prominence on this by prohibiting the making of any article in the semblance of God and paying reverence to it. This law puts importance on the oneness of God and the ideology that only He should be worshipped. This is in line with the Islamic principle in the existence one superlative Being, Allah. The respect for the oneness of Allah is thus drawn across the different populations and religion.
The next pillar of Islam places a distinct importance on the art of prayer which is referred to as Salat thus applies to significant proportions of Muslims. These are five requisite prayers that are led by a person with the knowledge of the Quran. The prayers are said at dawn otherwise known as subh or noon, otherwise known as zuhr, mid-afternoon, otherwise known as asr, sunset, otherwise known as magrib and nightfall preferably in a mosque.
However, the prayers can be recited anyplace individually or as a group as long as due religious procedure is followed. These involve acts of episodic postures as illustrated by standing; furthermore, bowing, and prostrating during entreaty and facing a definite direction, known as qibla. The prayers engage reciting verses from the Quran as well as other prayer principles. The pillar also provides the Friday noon congregational prayers at the mosque where sermons herald the prayers.
The fourth commandment calls for human beings to repute the Sabbath day and ordain it for the worship of God. He thus demands that the very last day of the week be set aside for reverence in tandem with how he created the universe. The Lord further emphasizes on the relevance of this commandment to everybody. This is similar to the Islam version of the art of prayer which prescribes times throughout the week for the worship of Allah that also applies to all Muslims.
The third pillar of Islam establishes an unswerving association between man and fellow man with Allah playing a 3rd party but an all imperative role. This pillar provides course of action to the act of giving what Allah has blessed an individual as a form of spiritual investment. This act of obligatory charity by all who profess the Islamic devotion is called Zakah. It is applied on the net proceeds of a person after all deductions.
In most Islamic communities, it stands at a tenth of the proceeds and one-fortieth of twelve-monthly assets accumulated. In addition to that, enthusiastic Muslims can also pay sadaqa which is not obligatory as such. The funds collected as Zakah and sadaqa goes towards supporting the deprived, disadvantaged, novel concerts, employees, Muslims in liability and those involved in disciple work. This is a direct relationship between man and man with Allah’s indirect involvement.
The sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth commandments evidently specify the conscientiousness of the Christians to fellow human beings including non Christians. The sixth commandment proscribes Christians from committing acts of execution. It is to guide Christians in their dealings with one another with regard to the fortification life. The eighth commandment prohibits pilfering someone else of possessions.
This commandment is also indispensable in governing relationships between men, with God playing an oversight rule. It gives liability to humans regarding their neighbor’s assets. The ninth commandment opposes the bearing of false witness against neighbors. This is a communal compulsion that God bestows upon the Christians, and it guides their dealings with reverence to Him. It is thus noted that the last commandment asserts that:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s (The Ten Commandments, Para 10).”
This commandment plays a significant position in dictating the every day relations in the midst of the Christian brothers and sisters. It provides a central benchmark for interactions amid the different classes of people.
The third pillar of Islam and these commandments are intertwined in governing the affiliation between humans with the Supreme Being playing the role of an overseer. He is not directly involved in these human relations, but at the end of it, he determines the entire process. All the reverence goes to God or Allah since He sets the rules governing the relations and liability towards fellow humans.
Despite all these concurrences among the Pillars of Islam and the Ten Commandments, there are more than a few departure points between these two sets of guiding rules. These differences account for the varying sacred schools of thoughts in these two religions. The differences lie in the finer details that are expressed by the Pillars and Commandments with regard to different religious perceptions.
The second commandment indicates that:
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath…. Am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and generations … (The Ten Commandments, paragraph 2).”
In this case, there is the talk about of heaven, which is God’s aboard and earth where man lives. This clearly depicts the limitations involving man and God in terms of their habitats. Furthermore, it shows an unswerving affiliation between God and man. God thus directly addresses the Christian faithful and instructs them on what to do in their association with Him.
However, in the Islamic Pillars, there are no cases in point among all the Pillars that Allah directly addresses the Muslim faithful. Furthermore, the instances where He also directly warns them against going against His commandments are absent.
More so, the penalties of going against the directives of Islam tend to vary amongst dissimilar Muslims for the reason that they are not divinely stated. The Islamic Pillars are thus based on the knowledge of the Prophet Muhammad who was Allah’s messenger thus making the Muslims consider them.
The fourth Pillar talks about fasting as an approach towards showing genuine adoration and loyalty to Allah. Compulsory fasting is undertaken once a year for about 40 days during the consecrated month of Ramadhan. During this phase, all Muslims who are psychologically and bodily sound abstain from consumption and sexual links from dawn to dusk.
Psychologically and bodily unfit people plus women undergoing their periods or nurturing babies are exempted from the fasting. The fifth pillar demands that each person professing the Islamic faith has to make a trip to Mecca at slightest once in their existence. In addition to showing adoration for Allah, it also shows dedication to the Islamic faith.
In Christianity, the adoration for God is depicted through worshipping Him solitarily. He clearly directs in the second commandment that He is an envious God who will let loose his wrath on whosoever endeavors to revere other gods. The 4th commandment demands that Christians tribute their parents in order to enjoy longevity and associated benefits. This implies that works of kindness from the God is gained from apt associations with affiliate human beings.
The contrast with Islam is that, in Christianity, it is the routine things that are done in association with God and fellow humans that show the depth of our faith. However in Islam, the dedication of one to the faith and to Allah is shown by sacred activities undertaken outside the habitual forms of worship. These incorporate fasting throughout the consecrated month of Ramadhan and making the journey to Mecca, in accordance with the final pillars of Islam. This provides the critical appraisal for a devoted Muslim in their fervor in Islam.
The Ten Commandments orbit around the association between man and fellow man compounded with man and God. The first four Commandments unconditionally states how the affiliation between Christians and God should be propagated.
The initial directive emphasizes on the oneness of God while the second one puts emphasis on this by prohibiting the worship of other gods (Fisher&Bailey 184). The third Commandment essentially talks about human respect for God by setting aside the Sabbath day for Him. These four commandments provide the blue print for the relationship between Christians and God.
The fifth commandment demands respect for parents in order to get God’s blessings. This is fundamental in showing Christians that God values human relations since it is the solitary Commandment with a pledge, an assurance of longevity on earth. The sixth, seventh and eighth commandments prohibit execution, treachery and stealing.
These are grave issues that humans are likely to bump into in their habitual interrelations. God provides course of actions to Christians as regards their relations in such spheres of life. The last two commandments are not any different as they serve to provide a blue print for living with neighbors. They warn against bearing false witness and coveting.
These commandments are, therefore, essential in guiding human relations among the Christians. The Pillars of Islam do not provide clear-cut guidelines on how the Muslim brothers and sisters should relate and subsist with one another; furthermore, relations with their God is barely expounded (IslamiCity).
The five principles tend to attach superior importance on holiness and the profundity of the faith rather than habitual interactions among the Muslim. The second pillar that provides for every day prayers endeavor to unite the Muslims through congregating for daily prayers. Nevertheless, the flexibility of the prayers to allow for individualism in reciting the prayers leaves a lot to be desired on the social front.
The five pillars of Islam are apparent on what is projected of the Muslim faithful in their holy journey. It provides for detailed religious procedures for one to be considered a person of enviable faith within the Islamic set up (Caputo 23). The initial Pillar demands that one decrees his conviction in the oneness of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad since he is in direct contact with him as a messenger.
The guidelines for prayers provided for in the second pillar are essential for customary spiritual nourishment. The third Pillar provides for the procedures in offering back to Allah what he has sanctified one with over time. The fourth and fifth pillars then provide the definitive dedication to Islam in Saum and the Hajj. These clear-cut conventions are essential in providing for uniformity across the Islam religion across the world.
However, the Ten Commandments are rather indistinguishable on the spiritual practices that characterize Christianity. Apart from the oneness of God and subsequent prohibiting of idol worship in the first two Commandments, no other saintly performance is mentioned. Furthermore, the initial two commandments are also unvoiced on how God should be exclusively worshipped. This results in multiplicity, in the worship forms due to the dissimilar interpretations by the various groups of Christians.
In as much as the Commandments and Pillars of Islam are supposed to form the blue print of their various religions, they significantly compare and contrast in so doing. They approach the guidance of religions from varied points of views. Some core fundamental values are, however, the same for both The Commandments and The Pillars.
Caputo, John. On Religion. New York. Routledge, 2001. Print.
Fisher, Mary & Bailey, Lee. Living Religions. 7th edition. New Jersey. Prentice Hall, 2000. 184. Print.
IslamiCity. The Five Pillars of Islam. IslamiCity, 2001. Web. October 9, 2010.
The Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments Bible list — What are the Ten Commandments? The Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments. October 10, 2010. Web. October 9, 2010.
Voorst, Robert. Anthology of World Scriptures. 6th edition. Belmont. Wadsworth, 2008. 323. Print.
Zahid, Ishaq. The five pillars of Islam. Islam101.October 10, 2010. Web. October 9, 2010.