How to Distinguish Between Islam and Christianity

Islam and Christianity are the two largest religions in the world. It is not as easy as one would think to differentiate between the two, especially since both religions share some similarities. Many people even mistakenly believe that the two religions worship the same deity, but they are in fact very different. There are a few major indicators that will help you distinguish between Islam and Christianity. These can be determined by examining the key points on which the two religions differ, and they will be discussed in this this article.


  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Islam and Christianity Step 1
    Look at who is the major figure and founder. Christianity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as the author and finisher of the faith. The church began shortly after his ascension into heaven, approximately 30 A.D. Islam identifies Muhammad as its founder and as God’s prophet. Muhammad started the religion after publicly preaching revelations he had received, which took place roughly 600 years after the introduction of Christianity. Christianity recognizes Muhammad as the founder of Islam, but as a false prophet. Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet whose message has been corrupted, and does not recognize him as the savior sent from God.
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    Consider what they believe the nature of God to be. Both religions are monotheistic, but have very different beliefs on the nature of God. Islam believes that God is “one being, one person”. Christianity holds that God is “one being, three persons”. The difference is the Christian belief in what is commonly referred to as the Trinity. God is one being in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Islam does not recognize the “three in One” God. Allah most closely resembles the Father of the Trinity, although it should be noted that Allah and God are portrayed quite differently, and that Muslims do not address Allah as 'Father.'
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    Refer to the holy text. Islam’s holy text is the Qur’an, revealed entirely by God to prophet Muhammad. Christianity’s holy text is the Bible. The Bible is divided into two “Testaments” which contain a total 66 books (some Christian Bibles also include the Apocrypha), written over the course of several hundred years by numerous authors. Both works are considered to be the inspired word of God by adherents.
    • What is the religion’s view on Jewish holy text? Christianity views the Jewish holy text as inspired word of God, and it is included in the Bible. It is referred to as the Old Testament. Islam considers it useful, but corrupted.
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    Compare how salvation is obtained in each religion. Generally, Christianity holds that salvation comes by grace from the Father through faith in the Son through the work he provided as a perfect sacrifice for sin. There are some branches that believe certain deeds and/or observances are also necessary in addition to this.These observances are known as Sacraments. Islam believes salvation depends on knowing and practicing sound doctrine, doing good deeds, and practicing the Five Pillars of Faith. Ultimately, it is Allah’s decision for a Muslim to enter into paradise in the end.
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    Think about where the adherents worship. Muslims are called to pray at specific times, and primarily in a mosque. Friday is a day of worship for Muslims. Many Christians meet on Sundays in buildings set aside for worship (churches, basilicas, cathedrals, etc). However, Christians are free to meet anywhere and at all times for worship, as some meet in homes or school buildings and at odd hours.
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    Learn about the different denominations and sects of both religions. Christianity has 3 main denominations, which are Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. Islam has 2 main sects, which are Sunni and Shia.


  • Many other differences between Islam and Christianity can be found on a useful chart at the link listed below in the sources and citations.
  • The Cross is the symbol for Christianity, while the crescent moon with a morning star symbolizes Islam.
  • Both Christianity and Islam are Abrahamic religions, but, Christianity traces its Abrahamic lineage through Isaac, while Islam traces its Abrahamic lineage through Ishmael.

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Categories: Christianity | Islam