A robust value system and profound ethics are the crucial characteristics of a religion or a religious philosophy. While the principal tenets of two religions may seem entirely alien to each other, there might be some similarities in the ethical foundations. The observed phenomenon turns out to be true for Christianity and Islam after considering some of the Ten Commandments’ characteristics with the Pillars of Islam (Ali 11).
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Both principles are believed to reflect the value system and the essential principles based on which each religion is based, and both sets of laws serve as the code of ethics for their corresponding proponents. Representing the affiliation of a man to the Creator, both groups of principles represent the same idea of governing and directing the relationships between a man and God while being distinctively different in the basic concepts that they promote.
The focus on defining the relationships between believers and the connection between a man and God can be seen as the aspect that connects the Ten Commandments to the pillars of Islam. Indeed, both tend to shape the standards according to which interactions within a religious community occur, as well as how a man is expected to relate to God. Specifically, the Ten Commandments provide a series of requirements such as the order not to steal, not to kill other people, and other basic ethical principles. The Pillars of Islam, in turn, also set the standards according to which the Muslim community should function, including the principles that define the affiliation between a believer and God (Gwynne 37).
Namely, Shahadah promotes faith, Sawm encourages fasting, and Hajj requires pilgrimage. Therefore, there are certain similarities between the Ten Commandments and the pillars of Islam in regard to the direction in which they are geared.
However, the rest of the standards of behavior as they are interpreted by the Ten Commandments and the Pillars of Islam are quite different from each other. For example, in detailing the specifics of the affiliation of a man to God, the Pillars of Islam mention the need to avoid creating anything that may symbolize God or bear the slightest resemblance to the concept of a deity (Ali 12).
The described idea is absent from the Ten Commandments, yet it constitutes a crucial part of the pillars of Islam, defining how people view their religious affiliations and the relation to God. Similarly, other aspects of the Pillars of Islam, particularly the one that guides the interactions between the members of a religious community, are entirely dissimilar to those of the Ten Commandments, such as the “Thou shall not kill” one, which makes the two sets of principles quite close in spirit, yet strikingly different in their content. Aside from several ideas such as “Honor thy father and mother,” the Ten Commandments are pretty other from the Pillars of Islam.
Although the ideas that the Ten Commandments and the Pillars of Islam encourage their followers to accept are visibly dissimilar, nature and spirit thereof are pretty close to each other in their focus on governing the relationships between believers and God. The attempt at shaping the way in which the relationships within a community of believers and the individual relationships between a man and God evolve can be seen as the main point of contact between the Ten Commandments and the Pillars of Islam. The messages that the two ethical frameworks convey, however, are strikingly different in a number of aspects. Therefore, the two ethical frameworks within the religions in question can be considered as quite similar in their intended purpose, yet very different when it comes to nuances of religious principles.
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Ali, Abbas J. Handbook of Research on Islamic Business Ethics. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015.
Gwynne, Paul. World Religions in Practice: A Comparative Introduction. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.