Hinduism vs. Islam
I will be showing the similarities and differences of two of the world’s oldest religions Hinduism and Islam. Hinduism and Islam are the third and second most popular religions in the world respectively. They differ in many ways including idol worship, monotheism and their history. Islam originated in Arabia as a reaction towards prevailing native traditions and is based on the revelations formed by Muhammad the Prophet. Hinduism originated by a result of the synthesis of different indigenous and foreign traditions. In Hinduism you will find the patience and tolerance of ancient traditions which Is willing to let the world take its own time to appreciate its wisdom and understand its universal appeal, and In Islam we can find the vibrancy of a religion that is intent upon conquering the world in its zeal to embrace humanity. Both religions have aspects about them that can relate and not relate to each other and in the paper I will be examining what those aspects are.
Islam is a religion founded by the prophet Muhammad and means submission to god, Islam or Muslims as they are called believe that god is the one true creator. God has always existed none existed before him and he will exist forever and that he transcends life and death. This contrast to Hinduism because Hindus have multiple beliefs depending on a person’s school of thought. (Char 123) It can be seen as polytheistic as most people see them or monotheistic or pantheistic in some cases but the overall goal of the religion is to break the cycle of reincarnation at attain salvation. (Char 125) Hinduism was built on a foundation of a group of religious traditions established over a period of time, through the revelations received by innumerable saints, seers, incarnations, and emanations of god. In Hinduism personality does not count as much as divine law or the dharma. In Islam the message of Islam is more important than the person of Muhammad himself this means Muslims do not worship their prophet like religions like Christianity do. (Adlakha 69) Another major defense is the fact that Muslims are not permitted to depict the image of god or any prophet where as there is no such rule in Hinduism where statues and pictures are encouraged.
Both Islam and Hinduism have multiple religious scriptures Islam has the Quran and the Hadith and Hinduism has the Vedas, Upanishad, vendanta, and Gita. ( Adlakha 179) The messages of Islam came from Muhammad by the angel Gabriel when he was 40 years old on mount Hira in a cave where he would normally meditate. As he continued to receive these messages throughout his lifetime those revelations where compiled into the Quran which is the chief holy book of Islam. The word Qur’an means something that is recited or read for Muslims, it is the inviolable and unchangeable law of god. Every word in it is believed to be the literal words of god and they cannot be interpreted to anything other than what it says. The Qur’an is divided into 114 chapters with around six thousand verses written in poetic Arabic. ( Adlakha 144) The other important religious text in Islam is the Hadith. The Hadith contains the sayings and deeds of Muhammad. The Hadith often poses problems to Muslim scholars when regarding the interpretation of the text.
Hinduism considers their religious text the Vedas which means knowledge to be the revelations of god and those revelations are inviolable and eternal and revealed to mankind in every age for their welfare and spiritual liberation. It constitutes the very foundation of dharma upon which rests the entire creation. (Niak 49) The end of the Vedas is the Upanishads which constitute the philosophical base of Hinduism this is known as Vedanta. They contain the elements of monotheism and descriptions of god as lord of the universe. One religious text of Hinduism that sums up the vision of Islam concerning god is the Vedanta. ( Niak 55) Other important religious text form Hinduism are...
Bibliography: / works cited
1. Char, Desika. Hinduism and Islam in India: caste, religion, and society from antiquity to early modern times. University of Michigan: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1993 print.
2. Adlakha, S.K. Religious Mysticism: Hinduism and Islam. New Delhi: Mittal Publications 2005 print.
3. Niak, Zakir. Similarities between Hinduism & Islam. Adam publishers and distributors 2007 print
4. Sandeela, R.M. Islam Christianity and Hinduism: Taj Publishers 1998 print.
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