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Research paper topic: Comparison Of Judaism And Islam - 1007 words
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.. and ritual law might seem to suggest they be. They have summed up as follows: "Man can, therefore, unaided, achieve his own redemption by penitence. Prayer having replaced the sacrifices of the Temple, no extra substitute for them is needed .. The world is not regarded as inherently bad and Judaism consequently repudiates those Gospel sayings and teachings which, inspired by the conviction that the end of the world was at hand, maintained that the pious should abandon the ordinary conditions of settled social life and concentrate on the approaching change in the order of things." (Encyclopedia Britannica, p.166) Rabbis, for example, can marry and have children, and Judaism in general accepts the world as it is. This is because the end of the world and the coming of the Messiah to reveal the Kingdom of God to man is looked forward to; in other words, Judaism " .. places the Messianic age in the future, some authorities holding that this consummation will be non-catastrophic, but the outcome of the gradual development of the human race, Judaism believing essentially in progressive evolution, while others hold that a personal messiah, sent by God, will bring the Golden Age to pass" (Encyclopedia Britannica, p.166) More than Judaism, the Islamic religion is the product of the genius of one man, Mohammed, regarded by the Islamic peoples as the true prophet God.
Mohammed was born approximately 570 years after the birth of Jesus, at Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula. With the general collapse of the Roman Empire, paganism had overtaken much of the Middle East, and the peoples of Arabia were largely dissatisfied with the teachings of Judaism and Christianity. The inclination to monotheism was well founded in the region, and the people of Mecca already recognized Allah as the one God. It was in this atmosphere that we are told Mohammed received direct inspiration from God: "He was almost forty years old when he received his call. We are told that a voice called to him, "Recite!" The frightened man could not respond and felt himself being strangled.
He mustered the strength to ask what it was that he should recite. The commanding voice, that of the angel Gabriel, answered, "Recite!" three times, and then said, "Recite in the name of your Lord who created all things, who created man from clots of blood .. .". It was night in the month of Ramadan in the year 610 of our era. That night was later named the Night of power." (Chaim Potok, p.251) The modern Islamic era, however, dates from 622 A.D., the date of the beginning of Mohammed's "hejira" or pilgrimage from Mecca.
The teachings of Islam are primarily the teachings of the Holy Koran, which is the record of Mohammed's oral teachings during the latter part of his life. The Koran is based on the acceptance of certain scriptural authority from the patriarchs, but it is by and large the original work of Mohammed: "On the question of originality there can hardly be two opinions now that the Koran has been thoroughly compared with the Christian and Jewish traditions of the time; and it is, besides some original Arabian legends, to those only that the book stands in any close relationship. The matter is for the most part borrowed, but the manner is all the prophet's own .. ." (The Koran, viii) There are direct references to the patriarchs in The Koran, as when Mohammed says of the infidel, "Hath he not been told of what is in the pages of Moses? And of Abraham faithful to his pledge? That no burdened soul shall bear the burdens of another, and that nothing shall be reckoned to a man but that for which he hath made efforts .. " (The Koran, p.71) Thus Islam accepts as truthful the basic origin of man as described by Jews, but holds Mohammed's teachings to be later and authoritative. The monotheism of Islam is absolute, as expressed in the teaching, "There is but one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." The ethical teachings of Islam have remained strongly intact, and resemble in many ways the Judaic teachings of the Old Testament, but with some differences.
The sins of alcohol, prostitution, adultery, idolatry and theft are still strongly proscribed, and there is a greater degree authority granted to the man and the mullah than to the rabbi in Judaism. The Islamic faith emphasized man's moral behavior in this world, accepts the conversion of infidels to the faith, and recognizes the divine inspiration of other prophets of God, including Moses and Jesus. There is even a paraphrase of Moses that is spoken by Mohammed in Sura II, (The Cow): "Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites - whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved." (The Koran, p.344) Ultimately, however, Muslims must accept the authority of Mohammed as supreme, and his teachings in the Holy Koran as the final expression of God's law for all mankind. Because of the history of political and religious warfare that has separated them, the underlying unity of Judaism, and Islam is seldom recognized except by scholars. Yet these two great world religions have the same origins, the same central belief in one God, and to a large extent the same genealogical and scriptural authorities.
It is in a greater sense a tale of two sons or two brothers. In he beginning of Judaism and Islam you find two sons that share their birthplace, yet fight for their birthright. It is hard to imagine the unity of these two very similar religions in light of this ancient sibling rift. Two brothers who can not get along. References Chaim Potok, Wanderings, p.23. Ibid., p.32.
Potok, p. 251. The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. 13, p. 165.
Ibid., p. 166. Ibid. The Koran, Intro. By G.Margoliouth, viii. The Koran, Sura LIII, "The Star," p.71. Ibid., p.
344. Religion Essays.
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