Salvation in Hindu and Islamic Traditions Essay

Pages: 3 (1078 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Salvation in Hindu and Islamic Traditions

One of the main components of most religious traditions is the idea of some type of release or rebirth that comes with death. For most Christians and Westerners this notion is defined by the idea of heaven and everlasting life, but it is a concept that is found in almost all world religions. For Hindus, the final state is something both more and less than heaven; it is a release from the cycle of death and rebirth that is referred to as moksha (Kinsley 1982, p.110). There are a number of different ways that Hindus can reach salvation. Likewise, there are different Islamic traditions that can shape the path to salvation. Even more critical is the fact that these religions have developed largely in overlapping regions of the world, so that they have existed in tension and in harmony, helping shape cultural and religious traditions, including opinions about salvation. What it means to be Islam or Muslim "are implicitly defined in relation to other religions and human communities" (Gottschalk 2006, p. 202). Therefore, the cultural influence may impart similar elements to the religious traditions, despite the fact that Hinduism is not one of the Abrahamic religions, with which one would expect to find overlap with Islam.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Salvation in Hindu and Islamic Traditions One Assignment

Generally, Muslims believe that they will go to Paradise on judgment day, if they have lived a righteous life. The determination of whether life has been righteous is a posthumous one, but the behavior that is considered spans a person's entire lifetime. This Paradise is similar to traditional concepts of Heaven, although not identical. Muhammad's night journey on a winged horse, in which he traveled to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and ascended a multi-layer ladder into Paradise, was a precursor to what many Muslims believe will occur, not at their death, but at sometime after their death. Instead, worldly events have to occur to trigger this day of judgment. These events are outside of the control of the individual and cannot be considered a self-directed part of the journey to salvation, though they are important to salvation. In most Shia and many Sunni Muslim religious traditions, a spiritual leader known as a Mahdi will return to earth to lead the faithful after the Earth has fallen into a decline (Gottschalk 2006, p. 210). Then a dajjal or deceiver will come and try to lead the people astray. The Madhi will reveal the deceiver and then Jesus will return. It is then that the individual's behavior in life will become critical to the person's salvation. "Those whose good deeds outweigh their bad enjoy an eternal paradise; those who do not, face one of the seven levels of the inferno" (Gottschalk 2006, p. 210).

How one determines good deeds is something that varies tremendously in the Muslim community. In many instances, Muslims are expected to live as separately from non-Muslims as possible. These societies are more likely to be conservative and follow traditions that one may anticipate from Muslim stereotypes, such as requiring women to wear a headdress or other form of religious clothing, requiring Muslims to live separately from non-Muslims (Desker 2002, p.385). Critics suggest that this is an emphasis on form rather than the substance of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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