World religious: different and common
There are many different types of religions in this world today. All these different religions have differences between them. Some religions believe in more than one God while others believe that there is only one God. There are even some religions that don’t worship a God. However, there are things that most religions agree upon. Many religions agree on the fact that a person’s spiritual development depends on that person and their commitment to striving for spiritual perfection. For the three great monotheistic religions, there are many differences between them but similarities can be found amongst them. For Christianity, Judaism and Islam, they have similarities that connect them to one another.
For one, they all are Abrahamic religions. The commonality between all three of these religions is Abraham. Abraham left his land Ur to go and found a new nation in Canaan, land given to him by God. God made promises to Abraham and also said that his “seed” would inherit the land. All three of these religions believe in the prophet Abraham and they all hold him as a significant person in their spiritual development. Though Abraham is their common forefather, he is seen in different ways by each of the religions. For Islam, he is considered to be a part of a line of prophets that starts with Adam and is also seen as the “first Muslim”. He was the first to believe in only one God, while others believed and worshipped many. They also believe that the Jewish people are the promised offspring that descended from Isaac.
For Christians, Abraham is seen as a model of faith. They believe that his offering up of Isaac to God was foreshadowing to his son Jesus. In Judaism, Abraham is seen as an ancestor who God made many promises to. He is also seen as the first person after the flood to believe that there is only one God while others believed and worshipped many idol gods. Abraham is a fundamental figure to all those religions. As all these religions believe in Abraham as a common forefather, all these religion are monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief in one God. They all believe that they worship the same God. As they all believe in one God, there are some differences. While both Judaism and Islam worship a Supreme Deity, Christians believe in the Holy Trinity. Christians believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There are some denominations that don’t believe in this, but this is believed by most Christians. This is not shared by the other religions. In Islam, God is referred to as Allah and believe Jesus to be merely a prophet and not God. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the true word of God and believe Muhammad to be the final prophet. He is viewed as the final messenger of God.
All these religions have scriptures and that some of these scriptures are the word of God and some are the inspired word of God. For Islam, the holy scriptures are in the Torah. The Torah is considered to be holy in Islam and is believed to contain the words of God. The Torah is made up of the oral traditions as well as rabbinic writings. For Christians, the sacred scriptures are contained in the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is made up of the Old Testament and the New Testament. For Islam, the holiest book is the Qur’an. The Qur’an is made up of 114 surahs or chapters. The revelations in the Qur’an were written down and collected during the lifetime of Muhammad and was given in order by the third Caliph. Muslims believe that the Arabic text of Qur’an contain the uncorrupted words of God. Now since all these religions believe in the same God, they also believe that an individual will bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. They are all waiting for that individual to come. In Judaism, they are awaiting the arrival of the Jewish Messiah while Christians await the second coming of Christ. Muslims are also await the second coming of Christ, as well as the coming of Madhi.
Another similarity between these three monotheistic religions is that they believe in something like an afterlife. They believe that when you die, the body just dies and that the soul lives on so that it will be judged by God. Both Christianity and Islam believe in a continuation of eternal life while Judaism have diverse views on afterlife. In Islam, there is a belief that those people that remember and worship God will get their Paradise, a place that once you get there you will stay there forever. Now for the methods of worship, they all follow the seven day, with one day out that cycle being reserved worship and praise. For Judaism, the men are required to pray three times a day, four times on the Sabbath day and five times on Yom Kippur. For Christianity, they don’t really have any sacrificial rituals but offerings to the church and helping the poor take the place of a sacrifice. Lent is seen as a form of self-sacrifice and is viewed as appealing to God. For Muslims, they follow the Five Pillars of Islam. The Pillars go in order of the following:
First Pillar – belief in oneness with God; Muhammad is the final prophet,
Second Pillar – Pray five times a day,
Third Pillar – giving portion of money to the poor,
Fourth Pillar – fasting and the Fifth Pillar – pilgrimage to Mecca.
Another similarity is that all three believe Jerusalem to be a holy place. For Judaism, Jerusalem is known as the homeland of the Jewish people for centuries. For Christians, Jerusalem is the place where Jesus preached and healed in the Temple courts. Jerusalem also holds an important place in the Old Testament. For Islam, Jerusalem is a significant place because it is the place where the prophet Muhammad took his Night Journey. Muhammad is said to have rode a steed to Jerusalem and to have visited heaven.