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Compare and contrast the basic tenets of Christianity and Islam. from a historical perspective 

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In some ways, these two religious traditions are not all that different.  Islam recognizes five principles, or pillars, on which one builds one's faith:  belief in the one god, and the prophet Muhammad, daily prayers, commitment to the poor and charitable giving, fasting as a means of self-purification, and at least one pilgrimage to Mecca during one's lifetime.  Despite different denominations, Christianity generally focuses on one god, who sent Jesus of Nazareth to walk among human beings and deliver messages about how they were expected to live.  The crucifixon and resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian faith, as Christians believe it points to the possibility of eternal life.  On a practical note, Jesus had quite a lot to say about how God expects individuals to care for each other, and he spoke often about how the people of the world who are poor, desperate, and made to feel small, will be first in line to the kingdom on the other side.  Jesus made it clear that human beings were expected to assist the downtrodden and give whenever and wherever possible to those in need. 

Although Muslims do not see Jesus as the Messiah, they do respect him as a prophet, and he is mentioned often in the Koran. 

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