Using the Documents, compare and contrast the differences of Christian and Islamic attitudes towards merchants until about 1500.
From a review of the 7 documents presented, it is clear that Christianity and Islam condemned inequitable trade, which led to many Christians and Muslims to look down upon merchants; however, honest business, especially as a merchant, is honored highly. In fact, the Qur'an compares fair merchants to martyrs which were some of the holiest people of all [D2]. However, many Christian and Muslim believers found most merchants to be dishonest and greedy. A Christian scholar describes a merchant's job and then concludes that when a person sells something for more than it is worth, it is "unjust and unlawful" [D4].
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In Christianity and Islam, in later years both hold merchants in low regard, but earlier on had varying opinions of money and merchants. The attitudes towards merchants varied between different sources; the holy books had a different written record of its outlook on merchants than other people recorded. The Bible warns people of the dangers of riches because Jesus claimed that it would be "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man" to enter heaven [D1]. This Holy Scripture is considered to be absolute truth to Christians, so this influenced the Christian mentality toward wealthy people. On the other hand, the Qur'an gives a "blessing" to a "truthful Muslim merchant" [D2]. However, religious scholars judged merchants more harshly. A Muslim scholar scolded merchants because their trade "inevitably affect[ed] [their] soul" [D5]. Aquinas' viewed trade as "unjust and unlawful." Commoners such as a merchants mother scolded her son because he was greedy although he had "aqquir[ed] great riches in this world" [D6]. The Holy Scriptures didn't condemn merchants directly, whereas the writings of other people of faith did. While Reginald's personal account of his friend's life is helpful in understanding a Chrisitian's view on the life of a merchant, it is, however, bias because Reginald was a monk, and monks were raised with a very dismal view