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Religion is an Integral Part of Human Society

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1714
  • Category: Ramadan

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Religion is a fundamental part of human society and is integral in day to day life. Christianity, Islam and Judaism are the three most widely followed religion in the world and thus are incredible influential in the running of society. All three religions have run hand in hand throughout history with interaction between practitioners being common place for thousands of years. Inevitably as is human nature conflict followed the spreading of these religions with many wars and battles being fought over which one was the true religion. This also culminated in mass discrimination, prejudices and violence against practitioners of a different faith with many heinous act being committed in the name of conversion and faith. However even though these religions differed in many ways they were all monotheistic meaning belief in only one God, as well as all holding the belief that they were worshipping the same God just in an incorrect manor. This single God worship and ideal therefore led these differing faiths to have many of the same teaching and practices and therefore followers of these religions conduct themselves in somewhat similar ways. So even though on the surface these religions look drastically different due to how they are practiced and celebrated, once delved further into the underlying message of betterment of oneself and the world becomes clear to see.

Christianity and Islam are the two of the oldest and most heavily followed religions in the world with almost half the world’s population following these two faiths. Christianity is the older of the two religions originating with Jesus Christ in 4 BC to 30 AD, and finally being legitimized by Roman Emperor Theodosius in 380 AD once he made in it Rome’s official religion. Islam however did not come to fruition until 570-632 AD when the prophet Muhammad began spreading the word the word of God and as Muslims believe bring humanity back to the correct faithfulness. Both Religions originated in the middle east with Jesus being mainly based in modern day Israel whilst Mohammed originating from modern day Saudi Arabia. Therefore, both religions can there heritage back to very similar location and thus many wars were fought over these historical locations. The most notable of these conflicts between these faiths are the crusades which lasted from 1095 to 1291 which were a series of religious wars conducted by the Christian church against the Islamic states that controlled the region. These crusades ended up being incredibly bloody and destructive towards the relation between the catholic and Islamic world and thus led to centuries of tension between these two opposing faiths. This tension further escalated in 1453 when the Ottoman Empire conquered the home of the Orthodox religion in Constantinople and official ended the Eastern Roman Empire. This loss of Constantinople was catastrophic for the Christian world due to it allowed Islam to gain a foot hold in the Balkans and thus many former Christian kingdoms fell under the rule of the Islamic Ottomans and slowly started to convert. Furthermore, with these two faiths being in such close proximity to each other for centuries they both began adopting traditions and practices of one other and consequently ended up sharing many of the same characteristics.

Christianity and Islam are both viewed as being Abrahamic religions due to their monotheistic beliefs meaning belief in one God. Even though both respective religion follows different holy books, Christianity being the bible whilst Islam following the Quran both acknowledge the spiritual teaching and tradition of the Jewish faith due to its close tie to Abraham. Jerusalem is also a central location to both faith with, it was where the majority of Jesus’s life occurred as well as being the location of his crucifixion. Therefore, it is held in high regard by the Christian world and was the cause of many wars between the two faiths. Whilst in regards to Islam Jerusalem holds high importance due to it is the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is regarded as the third holiest site is Islam. The first Muslims also prayed in the direction of Jerusalem until 624 AD when they finally started praying towards Mecca.

Both religions both belie that angles and prophets have been sent by God to convey his message. This become prevalent in how Muslims view Jesus, they view him as a prophet and agree that he was sent by God to spread his message. Continuing on, fasting is also prevalent in both faiths, Christianity has many different variation buts Lent being the most prevalent. Lent is a period of 40 days in which Christians give up something in their daily life in preparation for Easter. Islam has a similar characteristic with the most notable being Ramadan. Ramadan is celebrated in the ninth months of the Islamic calendar and is observed by not eating or drinking from dusk till dawn as a commemoration of the first writings in the Quran by Muhammad. Finally, both religions also believe in a judgment day in which God will judge every individual and determine whether or not they are deserving of eternal life depending on how they have conducted themselves throughout their lifetime. However, even though both do have similar characteristics they are both very individual faiths and therefore conduct themselves quite differently.

One of the core differences between the two faiths is how Islam completely disregards Jesus being the son of God. They do believe that he was a prophet sent by God and was therefore doing his work however the notion that he was God in human form is unanimously denied and therefore view the proclamation of Christ being the son of God as blasphemes. This view is further enforced by the writings ‘Praise be to God, who begets no son and has no partner… He does not beget, He is not begotten, and He has no peer.’ Which was inscribed on the Dome of the Rock a Islamic shrine located in Jerusalem around 691–692 AD. This view also stems to the Islamic view of the holy trinity, that being the father, the son and the holy spirit. Muslims view this as being against their monotheistic views and a clear contradiction of the revelations found in their scriptures. On the Christianity side the church hole heartily rejects the teaching of Muhammad believing him to be a false prophet, due to the Biblical passage “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many….” “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

See, I have told you beforehand.” (Matthew 24:4-5; 23-25) delegitimizing Muhammad’s claims. The views of Jesus’s birth and death are also points of contention between the two faiths. Islam does acknowledge that Jesus was conceived under Immaculate conception but due to their belief of God being one entity they reject the idea of the holy spirit role in Jesus’s birth, they believe it was through the Angel Gabriel’s decree that Jesus was conceived. In regard to Jesus’s crucifixion Christians believe that Jesus was crucified for our sins and was then resurrected three days later before being raised to heaven forty days later, Muslims however believe that Jesus did not endure crucifixion and that someone took his place upon the cross. Furthermore, Christians believe that the bible is Gods teachings in literary form and therefore should be followed. Muslims on the other hand accept this view however they believe that it has been corrupted over the years to fit people’s interests.

Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world stemming all the way back to the bronze age. Due to the age of the religion it has had an integral effect on many they have come after it. Judaism and Christianity have a very close relationship due to many of the first Christians even Jesus himself being Jewish. With Christianity originating as a sect of Judaism many of the same ideas are prevalent in its teachings. The relationship with God is fundamental is both faiths with both believing that God should be praise every hour of the day. Sin is also a huge factor with both religions viewing it as rebellion against God and his teachings and thus there will be consequences for this act of rebellion against God, with Christians believing that you will be subjected to eternal suffering in hell whilst Jews believing that you will not be a part of the return to the Garden of Eden. Both religions a Monotheistic, believing in one God and both view him as being all powerful but allowing us to sin due to it is able to demonstrate his love towards humanity and being able to deliver salvation if we so deserve it.

This makes God is both faiths a merciful God because he is able to provide salvation as long as people reconcile for their sins, demonstrating there is a meaning to suffering in this life time. Furthermore, the teaching both faiths use are very similar due to the Old testament being the exact same as the Hebrew bible. The Old testament holds all the scriptures from the Hebrew bible meaning the Torah, the writings, the Prophets and the twelve minor prophets writings all feature in it. Finally, Jerusalem is again a center point for Judaism and it is in Islam and Christianity with much of the Jewish faith being traced back to this location. The history of Jerusalem in detailed in the Hebrew bible with it being alluded to by Abraham as he it told to travel to the promised land. It was also the location of the first and second temple in which hold heavy historical importance and where the traditional Judaism was practiced. Consequently, Judaism was caught up in many of the religious wars fought in the region with many Jews meeting their ends in these conflicts. This close tie to Christianity slowly began do diminish as Christianity spread across the known world whilst Judaism remained in the Palestine region and therefore many differences began to come forth.     

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