From the first to fifteenth century, trade has spread throughout the world influencing people, cultures and governments. Religion, on the other hand, has influenced the impact of trade.
Trade in the two religions Christianity and Islam differed greatly in the beginning, one believed it was sinful, the other embraced it. By the 1500s the two religions started to share the same beliefs toward trade. Christian teachings warned against a life of trade, whereas Muslims support trade as a way of life.
Even with the differences they both talk about the importance of fair trading. These ideas can be seen in high prices and the prosperity of fair and just trade. In the origins both Christianity and Islam had different views regarding trade. Christians spoke out against trade because made people desire materialistic items, on the other hand Islamic believers (Muslims) allowed fair trading. In the bible Matthew talked about jesus’ teachings that were related to merchants , he talked about how wealthy men are less likely to make it into heaven when they die (Doc 1).
This conveys that Christians found trade sinful because it creates a tie to materialistic items. The Qur’an on the other hand gives rules governing trade, stating that if you trade more than the item actually cost you will be punished, but if you are honest you will go to heaven (Doc 2). This conveys that Muslims found trade to be good thing this is likely because the founder of Islam known as Mohammed was married to a merchant and was also a merchant. Reginald’s writing of St. Godric’s life talks about how Godric started to enjoy trade less when he became a strong believer in Christianity, then he stopped trading all together and he gave all his belongings to the poor which made him a saint and most likely granted him getting into heaven (Doc 3).
This coneys that Christianity made people not care for material wealth. Also this conveys that the religion was also becoming more lenient on merchants because St. Godric was a merchant but was able to become a “saint”.
This document however might not be reliable because it was written by Reginald and he was mentored by Godric and it was written right before Godric’s death so it could have been written to pleases Godric and make him seem like he was a fantastic human. Document 6 is a combination of letters regarding trade and there was a letter from a mother telling her son to not be a merchant anymore (Doc 6). The letter conveys how trade was not accepted in Christianity.
All of these documents show how Christians did not accept trade but Muslims did and it was a big part of their lives. Christianity and Islam also shared the value of honest trade if someone was dishonest in trade they were shamed by others. Doc 2 shows that Muslims support honest trade only, and in the Qur’an it states that the truthful merchants will end up with martyrs of faith. Thomas Aquinas quotes Christian religious writers in his theology rebuking dishonest trade.
This conveys that christians were now accepting of trade but only if it was honest trade. Ibn Khaldun writes about how trade is a dishonest practice, but is also a way of life it is needed to make their capital increase but merchants should still enact in honest trading (Doc 5). This conveys that Muslims realized that dishonest trade was needed in order to increase their capital but if they do they become sinful. The islamic court of Anarka judged a case where the Turkish weavers’ guild increased charges against a merchant for unfair purchase (Doc 7). This conveys the resentment that Muslims have for dishonest trading. They found it unfair for one person to monopolize an industry and leave other merchants with nothing.
This is a reliable source because it is a government document so there is a small chance it is bias in anyway. These documents all show that both religions are shown to be against dishonest trading practices. Muslim and Christian attitudes toward trade changed over the years. Document 1 shows how christians were against trade they believed it was sinful. Then in document 4 it shows how Christians were beginning to accept trade as an honest occupation. Document 6 shows how Christians became use to the trading and started to use tactics like negotiation. In Document 2 Muslims have a positive view on honest trading because the founder of Islam was married to a merchant and participated in merchant activity. Then in document 5 Muslims started to have a negative view on trade because in order to increase capital you had to be dishonest.
Document 7 shows that Muslims now had a negative view on trading because were becoming dishonest. All of the documents convey that opinions on trade had switched between Muslims and Christians. Muslims have made more strict laws concerning trade because of the dishonesty. Christians became more lenient and accepting toward trade. All in all, from the first to fifteenth century religion had a huge impact on how people viewed trade.
Christianity and Islam differed greatly in the beginning but then they began to have the same views, as the 1500s arrived though there opinions flipped. Christians despised trade at first and then ended up accepting it. Muslims accepted trade in the beginning and then in the end they had a negative view on trade.