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Christianity and Islam are two very significant Religions in the world today. Although they celebrate very different things, some of the things they celebrate are very similar. There are many differences between both religions predominantly with the way they celebrate festivals. On the other hand the rules that both religions follow are quite similar.
Christianity stands as the most widespread religion with over 2 billion followers. Christians believe that there has only been one God and he is the one who created everything on the earth today. The main festivals that Catholics celebrate are Lent, Easter and Christmas. In Christianity these festivals are very momentous and are always celebrated. The reason behind why Christians celebrate these festivals is because it reminds Christians the way Jesus lived his life up to when he passed away. In the Christian Religion there are different spiritual leaders starting with the Pope, Priests, Bishops and Jesus. Christians attend Churches to pray to God and ask him for certain things but most importantly to celebrate significant days on the Catholic calendar.
Islam began around 600AD in the Arabian Peninsula. The Islam community believes in one God called Allah. Islam was revealed to the prophet Mohammad in Mecca which is now modern-day Saudi Arabia. The key festivals that the Islamic community celebrate are called Ramadan which celebrates the gift of the Koran, Eid-al-Fitr which celebrates the first day after Ramadan has been completed, Dhu Al-Hijia and lastly the Eid-al-adha which is the festival of Sacrifice which occurs 70 day after the ending of Ramadan. Mohammad is an important individual when it comes to the history of Islam. He was the first person to ever be revealed to Islam and after his death many people began to follow Islam. His death gathered more people together and a wider community began to believe in the Religion of Islam. The Islamic community practices the five pillars of Islam which are Shahadah, Salaah, Zakat, Saum and Hajj.
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of a 40 period which is called Lent. It is important because we follow Jesus’ journey in the desert where he was forced to fast for 40 days. The time of Ash Wednesday becomes somewhat flexible as the date changes in the Liturgical Calendar. Sundays are not counted during the time of Lent which honours the Resurrection. Lent is a time of soul-searching and repentance. Traditionally on Ash Wednesday, Christians attend a mass where ashes are placed on their forehead as a sign or remorse and mourning. They are also the symbol of willingness to prepare themselves for the events which lead Easter. During Lent, Christians abstain from eating certain foods which they desire on a daily basis. In the Western Church, Christians have a tendency to to give up meat. The term ‘fasting’ is a personal act of devotion to God. It also helps us remember God. Abstaining from something that you enjoy is designed to bring you closer to God and helps you become a better Christian. Also during Lent, the Catholic Church encourages Christians to give back to the community or all across the world by giving loose change or clothing to help the less fortunate.
Ramadan is a period of time to abstain from eating during daylight hours of the day; this is only for people with a Muslim background. It is important to the Muslim community because it was the time where God declared the Koran to the prophet Mohammed. Ramadan occurs during the Ninth month of the lunar calendar when a new moon is occurring. The fasting period of Ramadan is quite different compared to the fasting period of Lent. In Ramadan, the Muslim community it is only permitted for people to eat and drink during Sunrise and then break their fast by eating dates only again at sunset. Not only do they abstain from eating during certain times of the day, they do not smoke, they abstain from sexual intercourse, and devote a whole month to their Religion. Muslims find it very difficult to not eat during the day, especially mothers with younger children. These difficulties arise when you are hungry and preparing food for younger children as you become tempted into eating. Not everybody in the Muslim community need to refrain from eating, children that have not hit puberty, pregnant women or breastfeeding women, people who are sick or people who are on a journey. Ramadan is designed to bring them closer to Allah, strengthen their willpower and self-control and is a test of self-discipline and faith.
Christianity, Lent, Islam and Ramadan are very similar because their beliefs and festivals are very similar to each other although their Religions are very different. The things which the Muslim community believe in are surprisingly similar to what Christians believe in also.