Comparison of Hinduism vs Islam

Topics: Hinduism, Islam, Religion Pages: 9 (3447 words) Published: April 26, 2013
Defining Religion
We are asked to make a comparison of a monotheistic religion and a polytheistic religion. I will endeavour to compare and contrast the religions of Hinduism and Islam. Religion is a system of beliefs, practices and philosophical values shared by a group of people which originated out of the need to recognize the importance of society and serves to maintain social order, solidarity or integration and provides meaning to social life. Religion is highly considered as one of society’s important institutions. Theorists such as Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx had different opinions with respect to religion and society. Weber believed that religion had an influence on social changes in society whereas Durkheim who was a functionalist theorist said that everyone has a part to play and there must be social consensus to obtain solidarity. However Marx, the Conflict theorist believed that religion enhances disorders in society, creating division and is not integrated. He believed that it also produces conflict instead of consensus, dictating rules and a mechanism of social control. Ultimately, Durkheim observed that all religions divided the universe into two mutually exclusive categories, the profane which consists of things which are commonly known in everyday experiences and the sacred which consists of things which are known through only extraordinary experiences.

Islam is the name given to the religion preached by the Prophet Muhammed who taught from A.D. 612 until his death in 632. In about 570 CE, a new prophet was born. God is the focus in Islam, the sole authority, not Muhammad, however, this man, Muhammad, is considered by Muslims to be the last of a continuing chain of prophets who came to restore the true religion. They regard the way revealed to him, Islam, not as a new religion but as the original path of monotheism which also developed into Judaism and Christianity. Islam is the world’s second largest religion.

Shiite Muslims attending a prayer outside the party headquarters of the Supreme Islamic Council in Baghdad

Doctrines are the teachings, contents and history of the religion Islam is derived from the Arabic root word "salaama," meaning peace, obedience, purity, and submission. Islam means abiding peace and unconditional obedience to the will of God and His divine law. Islam derives its name from its central doctrine of peace and submission to God. Thus the chief message of Islam is hidden in its very name. Followers of Islam refer to themselves as Muslims or Mussalmans, but never as "Muhammadans". Muslims are known as monotheists because they worship and submit themselves to none but Allah, the one and only God, who is Merciful, Eternal, Mighty and Infinite. He is the Creator, the Provider and Sustainer of all creatures and the entire creation. He is considered to be not just the highest God of Muslims, but of all the people in the world, including the Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics and others. Allah is the ruler of the heavens, the earth and all that is between them. Muslims beliefs follow the Five Pillars of Islam, as outlined below: (1)Shahadah is believing and professing the unity of God and the messengership of Muhammad: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God; (2)Salaat is where prayers are said five times a day, the faithful are to perform ritual ablutions with water or sand or dirt if necessary), face Mecca, and recite a series of prayes and passages from the Qur’an, bowing and kneeling; (3)Zakat is payment of charity tax as a specified percentage of one's earnings to the poor and the needy in order to accomplish inner growth and purification of ones possessions.; (4)Frequent fasts are recommended to Muslims, but only one is obligatory during Ramadan which commemorates the first revelations of the Qur’an to Muhammad. For all persons...
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