After Christ's ministry, Islam and Christianity went two separate directions. I'm Christian, from Christian teachings, Mohammed founded Islam around 600AD, but it is my understanding that Muslims believe the same as Christians, the they are the same Church of the ancient prophets. How do Muslims view their relationship to Christians? How are the faiths related and when or how did they go their separate ways?
Muslims believe that Christianity today is a corrupted form of the original religion of One God. Because of this, Quran was revealed to Muhammad(puh), just like Bible was revealed to Jesus(puh) to correct the corruption of his time. But Muslims also believe that today's Bible is not the same Bible revealed to Prophet Jesus(puh). Today's Bible is a corrupted form by mankind. Muslims also believe that Jesus(puh) was a man, a prophet only, not the son of God. Because in Islam, there is no relative of God. Here is the claim of chronology of Islam:
- The first man and prophet Adam(puh) was created.
- Mankind reproduced.
- Mankind corrupted the belief.
- A prophet among them was sent.
- Mankind corrupted again after some time.
- This process repeated through numerous prophets.
- Jesus(puh) was sent as a prophet, but with a miracle. He was born without a father.
- Mankind corrupted the religion again.
- Muhammad(puh) was sent as a final messenger with Quran.
As you see, the separation begins at the very beginning. Muslims believe that there maybe (possibly) remain some real verses in today's Bible. But, we can't differentiate them from manmade ones. Thus, we shouldn't make comments about them much and follow the final revelation, which is Quran.
There are some prophets who has successful (at least for a time) like Moses(puh) or Muhammad(puh); and there are some prophets who hasn't much successful like Lut(puh) or Noah(puh). Successful here means convincing their people. It seems like Jesus(puh) was one of the unsuccessful ones. Because he couldn't convince lots of people during his life and his followers corrupted the religion in the very early times like allowing to eat pork etc.
Muslims view Christians and Jews a little closer to them rather than atheists, other religions or idol worshipping. Muslims think at least they have a part of the truth. For example, a Muslim man can marry a Christian or Jewish woman if the woman doesn't believe trinity. But a Muslim can't marry with someone who is atheist or believing any other religion.
By the way, these are the thoughts which should be. Today some Muslims think bad about Christians and Jews because of politics.
Well, if you say eating food, drinking water, breathing air like other Christians and Jews did of the past as 'Copying', then yes, Islam derived most of the roots from Christianity and Judaism. This way...
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Mat 22.
And there is nothing astonishment in it, because Jesus (pbuh) already said the same thing pretty clearly...
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
analogues to saying, "this is the way man lives by eating food, drinking water and breathing air and this is common sense".
How did they depart?
Well the basic understanding of Islam and with intellect given to the Muslims, we believe, there is something wrong with Gospel of John especially John 3:16-18, but Christians say 'no, we believe this to be perfectly authentic and on this we rely'.
This is how Islam and Christianity departed, else and otherwise, they're pretty similar.
May the creator guide us all.