Christianity And Islam

would they should do unto us (Matt. vii. 12, Luke vi. 31) is to be found in the Arab traditions, and many similar points of contact may be noticed. A man's " neighbour " has ever been, despite the teaching of Jesus, to the Christian and to the Muhammedan, his co-religionist. The whole department of Muhammedan ethics has thus been subjected to strong Christian influence.

Naturally this ecclesiasticism which dominated the whole of life, was bound to assert itself in state organisation. An abhorrence of the state, so far as it was independent of religion, a feeling unknown in the ancient world, pervades both Christianity and Mu-hammedanism. Christianity first struggled to secure recognition in the state and afterwards fought with the state for predominance. Islam and the state were at first identical: in its spiritual leaders it was soon separated from the state. Its idea of a divine polity was elaborated to the smallest


details, but remained a theory which never became practice. Yet this ideal retained such strength that every Muhammedan usurper was careful to secure his investiture by the Caliph, the nominal leader of this ecclesiastical state, even if force were necessary to attain his object. For instance, Saladin was absolutely independent of the nominal Caliph in Bagdad, but could not feel that his position was secure until he had obtained his sultan's patent from the Caliph. Only then did his supremacy rest upon a religious basis and he was not regarded by popular opinion as a legitimate monarch until this ceremony had been performed. This theory corresponds with constitutional ideals essentially Christian. " The tyranny," wrote Innocent IV to the Emperor Frederick II, " which was once generally exercised throughout the world, was resigned into the hands of the Church by Constantine, who then received as an honourable gift from the proper source that f 65

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