How the Outlook of Christians and Muslims Transformed Over Time

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From the first to the sixteenth centuries, merchants and trade played a prominent and influential role in society. Christianity and Islam in their origins had divergent attitudes toward increasingly important trade, but their viewpoints developed over time until 1500. Christianity first had a negative opinion of merchants, while Muslims saw them in a more positive light. Although they were different in this way, they shared some resemblance in that they both agreed that merchants should be virtuous and equitable in their transactions. In order to better comprehend how the outlook of Christians and Muslims transformed over time, one must first examine how they perceived merchants at their origins. While Christians became more lenient in …show more content…
Godric written around 1170 provides further proof of the changing disposition of Christians (D3). After working as a merchant for 16 years, St. Godric sold all of his possessions and gave them to the poor in order to be welcomed into heaven and to have the opportunity to follow Christ more freely. This history may have been partial, however, as it was written by Reginald, a monk of Durham and devout follower of St. Godric. Much the same as with Christianity, Islam experienced shift in how merchants and trade were regarded from their origins to 1500. Whereas Christians enjoyed the considerable profit they received from trade, Muslims developed a more negative inclination toward merchants considering the deceit and malfeasance they brought to trade. The words of a Muslim scholar, Ibn Khaldun, as well as a court decision in the seventeenth century display this feeling, as they point out how merchants underhandedly sold goods for more than they were worth (D5, D7). Ibn Khaldun in the fourteenth century, argues the matter that dishonest trade leads to a decline in morality and integrity, which is detrimental to one’s soul (D5). Of traders buying and selling products, he says “this necessitates flattery, and evasiveness, litigation and disputation, all of which are characteristic of this profession.” Furthermore, the decision of an Islamic court is a fair and unbiased account as it is an official ruling that gives a neutral position in the conflict between a

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