Islam Compared to Judaism
Islam is a religion that was founded by Prophet Muhammad long time ago. Muslims believes that God chose and sent Muhammad to be his servant and reveal to human beings that he is the only God. As a result, Muhammad recorded the revelations he believed came from God into a holy book called the Quran. Judaism on the other hand, is among Abrahamic religions whose founding prophet is Moses. Jews believe that Moses was chosen by God to serve him and his people. For instance, he delivered Israelites from bondage in Egypt. After roving in desert for forty years, Moses was given the Torah which they were to follow.
Islam basically refers to total submission to the will of Allah or God. Muslims believes that there is only one true God who is all knowing and powerful, and has no end. In addition, they believe that any person, who submits to the will of God, exalts and worships him, will be rewarded in eternity. Similarly, in Judaism, they believe there is only one true God, he is the creator of Universe and has always been there since nobody existed before. More so, those who follow the will of God will be rewarded unlike evil doers who are destined to punishment by death.
In Islam, all material possessions such as cars, houses, clothing and furniture are valueless than one true God. All things and pleasures that we have as humans are fine if they lead to satisfaction of what God requires. Muslims believes that God is the one who gives and takes life thus; he has predestined all human activities (Goldschmidt, 2001). Muslims also believes that all world religions were sent by God but, later they were corrupted by human beings. Jews believes that God is giver of life. They view people of all world religions as equal and children of God and that they are just distinct ways to serving the same God whom they must obey and adhere to his law. It is the responsibility of the Jews to adhere to the torah and cement presence of God.
Muslims believes that God is everywhere and that he works in a universe in which lives diverse creatures, not all of whom can be felt, heard, or seen by humans. The Quran, for instance, argues that jinns, can do good or bad, but God’s Angels are more powerful and they respect his divine will. God sent Angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad how to pray. As Robinson (2001) argues, similarly, the Jews believes that Angels are God’s messengers and that they exist in the universe but, cannot be understood or seen by human beings. Muslims believes that God existence and presence was revealed to humans by words from righteous people like Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, these words were turned into books so that other people yet to be born could have an opportunity to read and understand his existence. For instance, Muslims have the Quran as their holy book while Jews have the torah. In addition, they believe that revelation of God to humanity was corrupted, and had to be corrected by the Quran.
According to Esposito (2010), Islam has five pillars that it strictly follows. The first pillar is Shahada (witness) whereby, people have a testimony that there is God and that prophet Muhammad was his messenger. Therefore, anybody who is apostasy will definitely be punished by death. The second pillar is the salat (worship) or prayer. This is a series of prostrations and motions done facing Mecca and followed by recitation of the Quran. It reminds Muslims of their relationship to Almighty. The third pillar is the Sawn (fasting) which is done during the month of Ramadan. From morning until evening, all Muslims refrain from drinking, eating and sexual intercourse. Fasting gives time to rich Muslims to reflect on what it means to be poor. In addition, during the month of Ramadan, all Muslims are not expected to make long trips until the Holy month of Ramadan is over.
The fourth pillar is Zakat (tithing) or purification where all Muslims are expected to give a certain portion of their property or income to assist the needy in society. Zakat, just like prayer, shows their worship and thanksgiving to God by providing for the needy. The last and fifth pillar is the Hajj (Pilgrimage). The pilgrimage to Mecca takes place during the twelfth month of Muslim year. All Muslims should perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lives if they are in a position to do so. Contrary to this, Jews are expected to recite prayers three times in a day. During holidays and Shabbat, a fourth prayer should be performed. The Morning Prayer is referred to as Shacarit, the afternoon prayer is called Minch, and the night prayer is referred to as Arvit while the fourth prayer is called the Musaf.