Essay: Jesus &amp Mohammed Comparison and Contrast

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Jesus & Mohammed

Comparison and Contrast: Jesus & Mohammed

Jesus & Christianity

Christianity has many similarities to older religions such as Judaism, but it is not the same, and most of the reason for that is the way that the two religions feel about and designate Jesus Christ. In fact, the term 'Christian' was originally used in Syria to give a name to an emerging religious movement which was made up of Jews and Gentiles together (Momigliano, 1987). These individuals worshipped the one they called the messiah, which was the title that they gave to a Jewish teacher called Jesus of Nazareth. The Romans had Jesus executed as a political criminal in Judea when he was in his thirties, but before that time he had performed many miracles (Momigliano, 1987). Today, Christianity is seen as the most widely recognized religion anywhere in the world. It is more popular in America and Europe than it is elsewhere, but there are also a lot of Christians in Africa.

Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is the one and only true Son of God, and that he came down to this earth over 2000 years ago and was made man so that he could die for the sins of the human race (Momigliano, 1987). This allowed all human beings who believed in Jesus as their savior to receive eternal life and salvation through God. Because Jesus paid the ultimate price for the sins of humankind, human beings could go to Heaven to be with God when they left this earth, instead of being condemned to go to Hell for their sinful and deviant nature (Momigliano, 1987).

To believe that Jesus is the only son of God, died for our sins, and must be believed in order to go to heaven when this life is over is the basic and most fundamental belief that belongs to all of those who call themselves true Christians. Depending on whether Christians are Catholic or Protestant, they often have different names for their religious leaders (Momigliano, 1987). In Catholicism, the religious leaders are always priests. In every Protestant area of Christianity, religious leaders are often called Pastor, minister, or brother. Despite the difference in names, they are all religious leaders who help the church find the proper pathway to Jesus and follow his teachings (Momigliano, 1987).

It is the goal and desire of most Christians that they find those who are not Christians and bring them into the faith. Christians are not taught to rise up against nonbelievers or treat them cruelly. Rather, most Christians have great pity and compassion for those that they believe are not saved (Momigliano, 1987). There is some difference between Catholics and Protestants in this way, as for quite some time Catholics believed that they were the only true Christians, and therefore the only ones who were truly saved and would go to heaven.

They believed that Protestants do not follow the one true church, that being the Roman Catholic Church, and therefore are not any more saved then a heathen tribe in Africa. Times have changed in the Catholic Church, and while there are still some traditional Catholics who hold extremely strict beliefs, there are also more liberal Catholics who believe that those who believe in Jesus and perform good works throughout their lives will go to heaven when they die (Momigliano, 1987). This is a difference between the Catholics and Protestants as well, as many of the Protestant areas of Christianity believe that the faith in Jesus Christ and repentance of sins is all that is required to arrive in heaven. Good works in the name of the Lord or anything else are not compulsory (Momigliano, 1987).

The Islamic Religion & Mohammed

Islam sees the world much differently than many of the other religions. While Judaism and Christianity have many similarities, and both recognize the importance of Jesus Christ, Islam instead puts faith in Mohammad. According to Islam religion, in the year 610 an Arab was in a cave near Mecca and was told by a voice to 'recite' (Rogers, 2006). This Arab, Mohammed, did not know what he should do and consulted with his wife. Eventually, Mohammed's wife talked to her cousin, who ironically happened to be a Christian, and was told that the voice that Mohammed had heard had been sent down by God through the angel Gabriel (Rogers, 2006). It was in this way that the Islamic religion teaches that Mohammed was declared to be a prophet to his individuals.

The Islamic religion does not recognize Jesus Christ as the son of God like Christianity does. Instead, it sees Jesus as a prophet and a holy man similar to Mohammed (Rogers, 2006). Nothing is really known of the religion that Mohammed was born into, because there were many different types of Arabic religions during that time, and most of them had a variety of gods and goddesses, superhuman entities, and demons. The Arabs did have one word, Allah, which was the word that they used for God (Rogers, 2006). Like Judaism and Christianity, God was believed responsible for creation. In Mecca there were many statues of other gods and goddesses at the temples (Rogers, 2006). Mohammed believed that there was no God but Allah, and when he returned to Mecca he cleansed all of the temples of figures and statues and turned them into pilgrimage sites for the Muslims (Rogers, 2006). There were also both Christians and Jewish individuals living in Arabia and surrounding areas during the time that Mohammed was born (Rogers, 2006).

He knew some stories from the Torah, especially about Abraham and other prophets, and he knew about Jesus. Mohammed believed that he was the last in a long line of prophets that extended back through Jesus all the way to Adam (Rogers, 2006). He also believed that God had spoken to him so that he could continue the divine message that these prophets had delivered, and he believed that teachings like the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus had corrupted the hearts and minds of many of those who previously had worshipped Allah. Mohammed was 40 years old when he became a prophet, and the brook that teaches about Mohammed and the Islamic religion is called the Qu'ran (Rogers, 2006). It is extremely important to the Islamic religion and helps with education, legalities, and moral expectations, among other things (Rogers, 2006). Muslims believe that submission to the will of Allah is what the Qu'ran teaches (Rogers, 2006). There cannot be peace and harmony when individuals do not submit to the God that created them. Those who believe in Islamic law and the Qu'ran are called Muslims, no matter where they are found.

While many think that all Muslims live in countries such as Iraq, the Muslim religion is actually worldwide. About 85% of these individuals call themselves Sunni Muslims, and the rest identify themselves as Shi'ites (Rogers, 2006). Both Sunnis and Shi'ites are nearly identical, but they have some interpretational differences that are based on what they read into the Qu'ran. Until the latter part of the 20th century there was not a lot known about the Islamic religion if one was not a part of that religion. Because of conflict in the Middle East and unrest in the Muslim world, many of those who were not Muslim took an interest in it after 9/11. Unfortunately, the difference between believers and nonbelievers is very great for Muslims. This has not been helped by operation Desert Storm in 1991 or by the current war with Iraq (Rogers, 2006). It has caused those who do not believe in the Islamic religion to see Muslims as cruel individuals who believe those who are not Muslim should be killed.

Many believe that the Qu'ran teaches… [END OF PREVIEW]

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