Ap World Dbq Christian and Islam Attitude Towards Merchants Essay

Words: 1413
Pages: 6

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].
…show more content…
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