Christian And Muslim Views On The 14th Century Plague, Known As Black Death
The infamous plague, known as the Black Death, was a deadly disease which managed to spread throughout Europe and the Middle East in the 14th century. Although both the Europeans and the Empires of Islam experienced the Black Death, each region had different responses and reasons for the causes of the disease. Empires of Islam viewed the plague as a blessing from God while Europeans believed it was a punishment from Him. As a result of the Black Death, Europeans rebelled whereas Empires of Islam respected authority. Europeans used other religions as an explanation for the start of the Black Death while Islamic empires did not blame other religions, but rather had other explanations that caused the disease.
The Black Death was God’s blessing from Muslims’ point of view, but from the perspective of Europeans, the plague was said to be a punishment from Him. Empires of Islam saw this deadly illness as a gift from God. Muhammad al-Manbiji, an Islamic scholar, believed praying to extinguish the plague was unnecessary due to the belief it was a gift from God (Document 4). Although Muslims were aware the Black Death was a deadly plague which greatly decreased the population (Documents 2, 3), they responded peacefully. Rather than looking at the plague as life-threatening, Muslims viewed the disease as a blessing sent from God. Europeans viewed the Black Death as a punishment for the sins of all Christians. Gabriele de Mussis, a Christian Piacenzan chronicler, implied that the plague appeared due to the sins of Christians (Document 4). Christians blamed themselves and believed they were deserving of the plague. This made Europeans seem like they were the ones responsible for the entire plague itself. The Empires of Islam and the Europeans may have both used religion to relate to the cause of the Black Death, but the Europeans perceived the plague as a punishment for their sins and Islamic empires saw the plague in a more positive, non-blameful light.
As a result of the Black Death, Europeans rebelled while Empires of Islam did not react unmanageably. As the disease became increasingly prominent, Europeans acted rebelliously. According to William Dene, a European chronicler, laborers and skilled workmen had such a spirit of rebellion that no higher authority could curb them (Document 6). This demonstrates how the Black Death changed the lifestyle of Europeans,...