DBQ Essay - Christian/Muslim Outlook on Merchants
The attitudes of Muslim and Christian people in the 14th century were similar in that they thought practically the same thing, that merchants were cheap and so asked more for their goods, but were different in that the Christians started to like and get used to the merchants, whereas the Muslims started to loathe them, and the Muslims believed they should willingly accept merchants into society due to their religion whereas the Christians thought that they should not.
One attitude that was similar between the two groups was the thought that merchants were cheap and greedy. Author of the Christian Bible (#1), believed that rich men who haggle are very unlikely to get into heaven. He also states that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, implying that they will not go far in life if they barter for their wares. The reason he may have held this belief is because it is deceitful. Another, Thomas Aquinas (#4), a leading theologian, believed that no man should sell things for more than it is worth. He also says that there is no justice in deceitful transactions. Thomas may have held this belief because it is unjust and greedy. Ankara (#7), a Muslim court official, believed that merchants are lying and deceiving. He describes this by giving an example, upon which sewing guild members are not given their cotton yarn when another customer gives a higher sum for it, but still have their money taken away. He may have held this belief because that is an unjust thing to do to guild members, or anyone in particular. An additional document needed for this attitude would be an account from a merchant from either religion, which would be needed because it accounts how merchants live with deceiving their customers.
An attitude that was different toward merchants was when the Christians started to get interested in the merchants whereas the Muslims started to loathe them. Author of the Muslim Qur'an (#2), believed that those who cheat others out of their money will not be chosen come judgment day. The author also states that if the merchants lie about their prices, their transaction will become corrupted. This is when the Muslims start to not trust the merchants because of their slimy ways. A reason he may have held this belief is because it is cheap and downright sinful. Another account, Reginald (#3), a monk of Durham, believed that some merchants are good and help others. He learns this when he writes about his colleague, St. Godric, whom gave away some of his money to charity
Ap World Dbq Christian and Islam Attitude Towards Merchants Essay
1403 WordsApr 12th, 20136 Pages
Using the Documents, compare and contrast the differences of Christian and Islamic attitudes towards merchants until about 1500.
From a review of the 7 documents presented, it is clear that Christianity and Islam condemned inequitable trade, which led to many Christians and Muslims to look down upon merchants; however, honest business, especially as a merchant, is honored highly. In fact, the Qur'an compares fair merchants to martyrs which were some of the holiest people of all [D2]. However, many Christian and Muslim believers found most merchants to be dishonest and greedy. A Christian scholar describes a merchant's job and then concludes that when a person sells something for more than it is worth, it is "unjust and unlawful" [D4].…show more content…
Ibn Khaldun, in the 14th century, also explains why he and other Muslims view merchants are not worthy of respect. Aquinas and Khaldun clarify why their faiths look down upon merchants. Also, a merchant's mother gave the perspective of a common Christian's view of merchants. Her obvious chastisement and command to "crave not for all; you already have enough to suffice you!" [D6]. Common people also thought merchants craved for money, as seen in this mother's letter. Islam and Christianity always to commended honest business and condemned greedy, inequitable trade; however, Islam did have a high opinion of merchants but came to agree with Christians that merchants were not respectable. Between 70 CE and 1500 CE, Christians and Muslims changed in their opinion of merchants, but stayed the same in their view of equitable transactions between people. Matthew, in the New Testament, records Jesus commenting on how hard it is for rich people to have their hearts in the right place, but he doesn't condemn the people for having money [D1]. Christians didn't specifically revile merchants specifically at this point in 70 CE. The "honest, truthful Muslim merchant" was praised for his reputable work, even being compared to martyrs in the Qur'an [D2]. As time went on, educated Christian and Muslim scholars began to voice why they both believed