Islam and Christianity both come from a common foundation as religions of peace, both of these religious traditions share the foundational element of peace of their beliefs. In both the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity peace is a virtue and is seen more as a sense of wellbeing than just the absence of conflict and violence. Overall peace is found in unity with God, for Christians and Muslims are taught to live a life a life of peace with others, not only in their own communities but the entire of human society. The Qur’an in Islam and the New Testament in Christianity are respectively the principal sacred texts for these religious traditions. The Qur’an and the New Testament both express the importance of peace and peacemaking as evident in Jesus’ Beatitudes “Blessed are the peacemakers”.
It can also be understood to be associated with the spiritual peace with God for Christians and spiritual peace with Allah who desires peace for Muslims. Muslims believe that it is through complete submission to Allah that an individual may achieve inner peace. For Christians the New Testament’s view of inner peace are derived from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and from his understanding of peace. Throughout the Gospels Jesus is portrayed as a man of peace. In his interactions with people he teaches a non-violent way of living.
Both Christianity and Islam use their respective sacred texts to obtain information about peace and through principal teachings adherents are able to demonstrate what each teaches about peace. Inner peace can be found through prayer, as it is personal and helps one to find a tranquil state of mind. Global or world peace is achieved through finding serenity and using it to benefit others. For Christians, the Bible, in particular the New Testament, guides adherents to a life that is with God, which can only be achieved by finding peace with those around them. The Gospels state the importance of peace with those around them as expressed through the ‘Ten Commandments’ and ‘Beatitudes’.
It is therefore through the sacred texts that a comparison of the understandings of peace in Christianity and Islam can be achieved. It is through an understanding of peace for each tradition that the beliefs can be compared in relation to the respective principal teachings. In conclusion Christians are guided by the New Testament in order to live a peaceful life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus Christ, practicing their beliefs and in turn affecting others. Muslims achieve peace through an understanding of the teachings revealed through the Qur’an and Hadith, this in turn leads to the ultimate goal of Islam: submission to Allah which is the only means of attaining peace with Allah.
Within Christianity, an understanding of peace is derived from the sacred texts of the religion, most notably the New Testament. Christians have come to understand peace as the practice of values from the Gospel such as love and empathy, “Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34).” The Christian scriptures, including the four gospels, build upon the Jewish teaching of “shalom” by presenting Jesus as means of peace. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is emphasized as a model of peace and Christian adherents are encouraged to follow his example. Jesus lived an inclusive life; he sought to achieve peace through the break down of barriers of race and religion using non-violence and forgiveness. Jesus also emphasized the ethical teaching of Agape Love, which refers to how Christian should interact with others, and is therefore a guide to global peace.
The principal beliefs of Christianity and notions of peace are expressed through the sacred text, The Bible, in particular the New Testament. The Qur’an and Hadith are the sacred texts of Islam, which also educate the faith with notions of peace. These sacred texts define the origins and characteristics of a religious tradition, providing the overall foundation for religious interpretations of peace. Therefore, religion and peace is a very integrated ideology as the religious beliefs and principals of a faith form the basis on which further notions of inner and world peace can be formed within a religious tradition. Within Christianity, the adherents are called to display an attitude of peace as they live their lives in accordance to their beliefs and principal teachings which are presented throughout the Bible.
This contributes to world peace as world leaders have the power to prevent war for example the World Council of Churches in 2001 participated in the Decade to Overcome Violence in hope to achieve world peace. Jesus taught people not to escalate quarrels by taking revenge for wrongs. “Turn the other cheek” and “go the second mile” are both teachings about peace from the Sermon on the Mount. Other words of Jesus in relation to peace between people include, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Political leaders and others who heed to this scripture have prayed for Osama and members of Al Queda to help bring peace to the world.
A Christian strives to be content, satisfied, and to know total love. Christians respect and love each other in shalom peace. The kind of peace that Christians believe that Jesus brings is different. Christians now believe that everyone was made in the image of God. Because of this we should all love each other because God loves us and wishes us to be peaceful.
Peace is a state of harmony where there is no violence or conflict between people or groups, especially in own personal relations. Peace is an essential part to becoming closer to God and being a faithful adherent. Islam and Christianity have similar views about achieving inner peace through the actions of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and through the Quran and Prophets sayings (Hadith). Through the sacred texts of these religious traditions the adherent guided to the ultimate goal of achieving inner peace. Christianity’s primary source in guiding the adherent to achieve inner peace is Jesus Christ.
‘A practical guide to biblical ethics’ was written to help Christians follow and understand God’s law, so that they may live a lifestyle that honours God. By using the expression ‘God’s law’, Smith means the moral will of God as to what is right and wrong. This is encompassed in the Ten Commandments and expanded on throughout the Bible. Kevin Gary Smith(2012:6-9) wrote the book for believers whose prayers are to live a righteous life. The book is, however, not written only for academics or full time pastors, but is aimed for all Christians to understand.