Dbq Islam and Christianity
Prompt: Using the documents, compare and contrast the attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward merchants and trade from the religions origins’ origins until about 1500. Are there indications of change over time in either case, or both? What kinds of additional documents would you need to assess the consequences of these attitudes on merchant activities?
During the Post-Classical Era merchants played an incredible role in shaping the course of different societies. Christianity in its origins had a negative view of merchants while Islam was more positive as seen in their religious documents; however by 1500 the two religions had switched their views,
Christianity more positive and Islam negative as displayed in the opinions of
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This negative Islamic view can also be seen in the court decision of the 17th century C.E. in the verdict is against a merchant (doc 7). It is clear that Islam is closer to Christianities original views on Merchants and Christianity is becoming more positive. The views of Merchants provides a clear change. In the 13th century C.E. Christian merchants are engaged in using religious terms promoting trade. Even a mother of a rich merchant advises him to be thankful but not too greedy. Again this is very close to Islam’s original position on the issue. This document could be biased because it is merchants writing and the words of a mother. Neither of these people would be negative on themselves or loved ones. As a result this could exaggerate the practice of
Christian in merchants and trade (doc 6). An additional source of different merchants writings would be good to see if all merchants used Christianity to sanction their actions. Moreover it would be good to have other Islamic merchants in writings than just document 7. This would give a better view of Islamic merchant actions around 1500 C.E.
By 1500 C.E. it is clear that Christianity had become more in-line to Islam’s original views on merchants and Islam was more in-line to Christianity’s