Attitudes of Christianity and Islam Toward Merchants and Trade.

1397 Words Apr 10th, 2011 6 Pages
From their origins to 1500, the attitudes of both Christian and Muslims toward trade shifted as conditions in the Christian and Islamic worlds changed. In the beginning, Christian attitudes were more negative, while Muslims tended to encourage and respect trade and merchants. Over time, Muslims became more like early Christians in that they were suspicious of traders whereas the Christians became more like the early Muslims, equating merchants (at least honest ones) with doing God’s work, reflecting the changed importance of trade in the high Middle Ages in Europe.
At their origins, Christians and Muslims had different views about merchants and traders. This can be seen in the first two documents which are excerpts from the holy books of
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The Qur'an is considered by Muslims to be "The Word of Allah". This book is different from other religious texts in that it is believed to be written directly by God, through the prophet Muhammad. Cheaters who when they take measure of their dues from men take it fully; and give full measure when you measure out and weigh with true balance. If the two parties speak the truth and make it manifest, their transaction shall be blessed, and if they conceal and tell a lie, the blessing of their transaction shall be obliterated (Document 2, Muslim Qur’an.) Essentially, believing two people with truthful attitude, receive blessings. It is said if it is taken into consideration the objective facts of religious history will be understood. But numerous people can disagree with this statement and take it the wrong way, why would they get “obliterated”? Letters ordering religious paintings for sale discuses how a merchant wants to purchase painting, described as a panel of Our Lady on a background of fine gold with two doors. A merchant’s mother in a letter wrote “God had granted you to acquire great riches in this world, May he praised and you have borne and are bearing great burdens.” Letters placing an order for English wool says “In the name of God and profit, you would have us buy Cotswold wool. With God always before us, we will carry out your bidding”(Document 6, Letters to and from Italian merchants in the fourteenth century.) Transactions invocated to religion come to show

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