Black Death Muslim and Christian Responses

1 January 2017

Imagine yourself alone on a street corner, coughing up bloody mucous each time you exhale. You are gasping for a full breath of air, but realizing that is not possible, you give up your fight to stay alive. You’re thinking why is this happening to me? That is how the victims of the Black Death felt. In five short years, the plague killed between 25 and 45% of the populations it encountered. So how different were the Christian and Muslim responses?

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In 1348 Christians who were followers of Jesus Christ and Muslims who followed the teachings of Muhammad came face to face with the Black Death. In truth, Muslims and Christians responded in many different ways. Even the way the blamed others for the cause of the plague and religious views about the disease were very much different. In a similar manner both religions acted completely out the norm, they basically set aside their spiritual beliefs for a moment. One of the similar responses between the Muslims and Christians were acting out of the ordinary.

According to document five both religions were finding non-religious alternatives to prevent the Black Death. In some cases, the Christians would try to sleeping on their backs to prevent the plague, while the Muslims would even avoid going outside. In addition they both drank a solution of Armenian clay to cleanse the body and built fires hoping that this would purify the contaminated air. Based on document nine both the religions united together to pray and they went back to their religious ways.

These documents prove that each religion in some cases stepped out their religious backgrounds to try to prevent the Black Death. Religious views played a big part on the different ways the Christians and Muslims responded to the Black Death. The Christians basically thought the plague was their fault. They believe that they’re being punished for their sins they’ve imputed against God. On the other hand the Muslims are taking the plague lightly. They believe that “a Muslim should devoutly accept the divine act. The Muslims also believe that this occurrence is a blessing from God. In addition document two explains the Black Death Mortality by comparing each religions death rate.

The mortality estimate Phillip Ziegler calculated for the Muslims shows that about 33% of the Middle Eastern population have deceased. While the Christian population in Europe mortality rate was only 31%. This document proves that the Muslims population decreased greater than the Christians. During the era of the Black Plague, the Christian community held a lood-thirsty lead hand in the fact of the matter, while the Islam society didn’t blame the epidemic on others and or try to solve the rampant disease with violence.

According to document seven the Christians blamed the Jews for causing the Black Death; they believe the Jews poisoned the wells. The Muslims didn’t blame anyone for the occurrence of the Black Death, based on document ten. This proves that the Muslims believed that the plague was meant to happen, like document four said, “the plague is a blessing from God. ”

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