Christianity and Islam are two of the world’s largest and most recognized religions. Both religions believe in one God and each has a holy book, the Quran and the Bible. Both books encourage belief in God and teach patience and honesty. They both also forbid lying and stealing and believe in some type of Heaven and Hell. So, if they have so much in common, why is there so much conflict between the two? This question is the exact reason why I chose to take World Religion. I thought it was important to learn and understand the beliefs of other religions so that I could better understand the issues affecting society today. In this essay I will focus on the role of Christian women versus the role of Muslim women.
As society has changed throughout life on earth so has the view of women socially and religiously. Both Christianity and Islam agree that women and men were created by God, but beliefs differ from that point forward. The Christian idea of Adam and Eve is illustrated in the Bible as follows:
“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (Timothy, 2.11-14).
What this verse reveals is that God believed that Eve was to blame for seducing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. In Islam, the belief is that everyone is responsible for their own actions and both Adam and Eve, or Hawwa as they call her, were equally responsible for the sin of eating fruit from the tree. This is illustrated in chapter 7, verse 23 of the Quran, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers”. This event was one of the most important events setting the position for women in each book.
Recently, there have been many questions regarding the lack of equal treatment of Muslim women. To get a true understanding of the role of women in Islam, we must look deeper into the words of the Quran. According to author Jennifer Hurley, the Quran “mandates that women have the right to seek education, choose their own mates, work, possess and inherit wealth or property, divorce, and remarry” (76). In the following verse from the Quran, men and women appear equal:
“And their Lord responded to them, "Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed - I will surely remove from them their misdeeds, and I will surely admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow as reward from Allah , and Allah has with Him the best reward" (3:195).
The Quran also states that men and women are created from the same soul, have the same religious responsibilities, and both will receive like rewards on the day of judgment. In fact,...