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Islam and Christianity

Updated on March 30, 2014

World Religions

There are many religions in the world a person can choose to have faith in. From polytheistic religions that worship many Gods or Deities; monotheistic religions that worship only one God, to agnostic religions that seek enlightenment rather than answers. There are icons to symbolize the heart of some religions, sacred texts that explain how the religion came about, stories of prophets to indulge in, rituals to partake in, and prayer centers to worship at, in the many religions available. Having learned about many religions, one religion that intrigued me most was Islam because of the misconception that Islam is a violent faith due to the Twin Tower attacks by Muslims on America’s Trade Center.

Muhammad

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Islam Fundamentals

The central belief of Islam is that there is only one God, and no other. Islam’s foundation seems to rest on peace, unity, social organization and order, helping those who suffer, and not partaking in, or advocating, violence.

Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last of the prophets and that he heard and wrote the word of God in the Qur’an. They believe in this unedited, authentic compilation of revelations heard by Muhammad. In addition, they believe in the Sunnah, or live/teachings of Muhammad captured in the Hadith. However, they do not worship him nor any other prophet as it is considered blasphemous.

The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars in which Muslims live by are:

1 Shahadah “There is no god but One God, and Muhammed is his messenger.” This is a belief that it is a sin to worship other idols, people, and even nature. God should be the only being worshipped as Divine.

2 Daily Prayers. Muslims pray 5 times per day, partaking in ablution with water, facing Mecca, and reciting a series of prayers.

3 Zakat. Muslims believe in giving to the suffering. For zakat they must tithe two and a half percent of their accumulated wealth yearly to suffering Muslims.

4 Fasting. Muslims believe fasting is cleansing of the body, mind and soul, producing a cleaner, lighter body to transcend to God. Although the only month during Ramadan is required they fast, it is recommended they do it often to remind them of how others suffer without. They will go without food, drink, intercourse, and more between sunrise and sunset, during an average of 30 day period.

5 Hajj. Finally Muslims believe they are commanded to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, where Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka’bah, to worship God (Fisher, 2005).

The Five Pillars Of Islam

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Interview With a Muslim

During an interview with Amir Khatri, a friend and a Muslim, I asked him about the history of his religion. I asked about his religion’s holy book and how it was said to be written, he replied “ The Quran is the holy book of Islam. Muslims consider the Quran to be the exact word of God. Muslims believe that it was spoken by the Angel Gabriel through the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran teaches monotheism, but it also provides guidance for every part of a follower’s life, including aspects that in the West would be considered social, political or legal, and not religious. The Quran is considered by Muslims to complete God's earlier revelations and is meant for all humanity, not for any exclusive group” (Khatri, 2011).

Amir stated that of all the books in religion the Quran was the only that had not been revised, edited, or in circulation with any differences between one or another. It was a pure book, proven to be unadulterated. For this reason, he believes everything it contained and for that reason, it is also used in legislation for guidance of civil expectations and laws (Khatri, 2011).

I then asked Amir, if he had not been born into Islam, would he choose it as a religion, he responded “Absolutely, because when I read about the way of life it prescribes from the general to intricate details, it makes sense to me. It feels right to me and gives me a sense of feeling whole with the earth/world” (Khatri, 2011)

When asked what religion most closely relates to Islam Amir (2011) stated “The original message brought by Jesus, so Christianity in its pure form, not the Christianity that has evolved into what it is today. Judaism is also close in terms of common beliefs as all 3 religions are “Abrahamic faiths”. Islam validates the original messages brought by Moses and Jesus. It reinforces those original beliefs and expounds on them, prescribing a way of life as opposed to a religion or practices” (Khatri, 2011).

I asked Amir, since Muslims seem to vehemently remind its followers that no one shall worship any other God, and that Muhammad was only a prophet, why when they make their pilgrimage to Ka’bah, are so many of the rituals in honor of Muhammad. For instance, they walk through the Ka’bah in circles 7 times, they trek the city the same number, in honor of the story that Muhammad traveled 7 planes during his enlightenment to meet and speak with God, Jesus and Moses (Fisher, 2005). I also asked why fast for 30 days in honor of Muhammad’s receipt of the revelation, is that not honoring him more than just a person to make such a sacrifice for someone other than their God? Although , only a brief summary of our discussion, Amir appreciated my questioning and replied that all things should be questioned, and I raised some good points, that he too would take away an open mind and more readily question the origin of the faith, but not take away from it.

When I asked Amir how religion shaped his life, he responded that it literally shaped every portion of it. Islam does not have separation from religion in their daily lives. Islam is part of every task and every duty and it has taught him to be a good person in all he does. The challenges he faces are the misconceptions of his religion after 9-11 as well as living in a community that expects you to be with only Muslims. In turn, the judgment he faces from the community when dating outside his religion, is difficult.

Islamic Center of America

Source

My Visit to an Islamic Mosque

After meeting with him to discuss his religion and belief system, during the month of Ramadan, no less, I joined him at his Mosque to experience prayer.

I arrived at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati located in West Chester, Ohio. Upon entering the Mosque, I walked into the main lobby. With highly vaulted ceilings, the lobby was ornately decorated in marble and tile. It had a few sitting benches in the middle of the room constructed from meticulously designed tiles forming geometrical designs centering around a sun. Above was a stained glass ceiling with yellows and maroons used to shape small suns as well, with other geometrical shapes. As I walked straight ahead a doorway led to an open room with red carpeting. Upon the carpeting were several smaller rich rugs for prostrating while praying. The Mosque was very spacious. It was unique to see a church that lacked a stage, a podium, a cross, candles, statutes, and even pews. It was not overly decorated with gaudy statues and icons like most Christian churches I have been to. The upstairs is designated for women only and much smaller as they are not required to pray on Fridays. There was no service on the day I visited. This is the month of Ramadan for Muslims, they pray on Friday, but because of my choice not to believe in any scriptures, books, or rituals, I informed Amir I did not want to disrespect his faith during what Muslims feel is a very holy time commemorating the speaking of the Quran to Muhammad.

I personally do believe in God, and that we were created by a higher spiritual divinity, however; based on my research in theology, although many religions are extremely inspirational, I am not bound by a book or papal power. This is not to disrespect anyone who chooses to do so. It is a choice, and in that, we have our freedom in religion.


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Islam and Christianity: A Comparison

As Amir stated, Islam and Christianity are similar. Let's take a look at the similarities:

Christianity and Islam both have a “prophet”, although Jesus was said to be the son of God, he, like Muhammad, came to spread the word. Both religions believe in Abraham and his sons’ legacy which relate closely to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam religions as the beginning of their religions. Islam acknowledges both Abraham and Jesus. Although Islamic followers believe Jesus was a prophet, like Muhammad, but not the son of God. Both religions have a set of “rules” to live by. Christianity lives by the 10 commandments handed down by Moses, and Islam believes in the 5 Pillars of Islam mentioned above. The differences in the religions are as numerous as the similarities. Christians typically attend church once per week. Islamic followers are to pray daily. Islam does not believe in papal power, or a man having spiritual authority over another, and Christians typically have priests or pastors (Fisher, 2005). Muslims have rituals such as ablution and prostration when praying, while most denominations of Christianity typically do not perform rituals. Christians use icons such as the Cross and Jesus, where Muslims have no icons to worship. The prophet Muhammad and Jesus are also comparable.

Jesus and Muhammad: A Comparison

After reviewing the similarities in the fundamentals of both faiths, let's look at a comparison of Jesus and Muhammad:

Jesus Christ was born about between 3-6 BC, in Bethlehem, in Palestine, others say he was born in Nazareth. They state he was born of the virgin, Mary. (Fisher, 2005). He was a carpenter, and at 30 he began teaching God’s Word and performing miracles. Jesus was said to be sinless, and allegedly turned water into wine, healed the sick, and brought back others from the dead. This was convincing enough to many that he was the Son of God, as he claimed (God Resources, 2010).

Jesus taught love, non violence, peace, and compassion. Known for his forgiving nature he was quoted as saying “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:26-49).

God Resources (2010), states “Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of his 12 disciples, and turned over to his Jewish enemies. The Romans then crucified Jesus on a cross and certified his death. After verifying his death, his body was placed into a rich man’s tomb in Jerusalem. Jesus had told his disciples he would rise from the grave three days after his crucifixion. His disciples didn’t believe his words at first, and they fled the scene, afraid they would be killed like their leader. But three days after Jesus' crucifixion, they were suddenly changed. In a dramatic turnaround, they began proclaiming that Jesus had risen, and eventually died as martyrs for what they believed to be true” (para. 5).

Thus his life and death had an impact on all believers and non-believers. His death was mourned, but was said to give all people forgiveness for their sins so they could live righteously. His subsequent resurrection solidified many people’s beliefs in him as the son of God.

About 600 years later, a man named Muhammad was born. Muhammad was born in 570 in Mecca, an orphan; he was raised by his uncle (Fisher, 2005). Around age 40, he reportedly heard from the angel Gabriel in a cave in Mecca (God Resources, 2010). He was scared and ran when hearing the Angel speak to him. He claims the sound of the angel’s voice was like a loud bell, maddening. After the ringing stopped, he remembered every word (Fisher, 2005).

His wife convinced him he was sane, and that he was a prophet. He then began his belief, and preaching of Islam and his prophecy. According to God Resources, (2010), “Muhammad was illiterate and recited his revelations orally. It wasn’t until after his death that they were compiled and written down in the Qur’an. Muslims accept the Qur’an as a miracle, believing it is 100% inspired with no human error. Much of what we know as Islam — the lives and sayings of the Prophet — is based on texts from between 130 and 300 years after Muhammad's death” (para. 5).

He then began a crusade to convert those to Islam, or conquer those who did not believe, otherwise referred to as infidels. Stories are conflicting whether he was cruel and murderous in his quest to spread Islam, or whether he was peaceful and compassionate in his message.

God Resources, (2010), continues “Prior to his death, Muhammad led several military campaigns. He proved to be a courageous and capable military leader. By the time of his death in 632, Muslims ruled only in Arabia. But within ten years the Arab Muslims conquered Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and then Persia (Iran). In one generation Muhammad and his followers had changed the political landscape of the Eastern world. Today Muslims around the world honor Muhammad as Allah’s one ‘True Prophet’ (para. 8).

Muhammad’s message is carried out today, with Islam being the second largest religion next to Christianity. Many live by the Five Pillars, give generously, and in the middle East, laws are drawn off the Quran and Hadith as ways of life.

God Resources (2010) reports “Jesus and Muhammad established the world’s two largest religions, Christianity with 2.1 billion, and Islam with 1.8 billion people, together half of the world’s population” (para. 1).

The differences between the two men are far greater than the similarities.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and Muhammad claimed only to be a prophet (Fisher, 2005). Jesus was said to be free of sin, and Muhammad was a man who sinned (God Resources, 2010). Jesus was said to have performed Miracles, while Muhammad did not.

According to God Resources (2010) “Jesus fulfilled ancient Hebrew prophecies; Muhammad did not. Muhammad offered no credentials but his revelation. Yet, nearly 300 Old Testament prophecies with 61 specific details were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Only God could have brought all those details to pass. Thus, Jesus is a perfect match for each of them. Jesus’ divine credentials were established by his fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word” (para. 6).

And finally, different messages were brought by each man. Jesus taught love and forgiveness while Muhammad taught to be structured in living and subservient to Allah/God.

Muhammad is honored during Ramadan. Muslims fast for 30 days as they commemorate the delivering of the Qur’an by the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad. When Pilgrimages are taken, Muslims walk around the Ka’bah 7 times in honor of Muhammad’s transcendence 7 planes to heaven to speak with God, Moses and Jesus before returning. His Five Pillars of Islam are honored daily.

As you can see the similarities between Islam and Christianity are very similar. The monotheistic belief, charismatic leaders who spread the word, the belief in the Old Testament, and the original message of: “live in a good way.”


Conclusion

Although there may be thousands of religions to choose from in this world, and many different ways to worship, one message in all religions is the same: be a good person, treat others fairly, love deeply, and be compassionate. If the followers of these many religions would stop drawing lines in the sand, and think about the foundation of their religion, they would find their neighbors are not their enemy, but the same as them; a person in need of Faith.

9/11's Impact on Amir

After my experience, the association many non-Muslims Americans have when seeing the golden roof of a Mosque is fear and anger, associating the attacks with all Muslims. I was compelled to ask about 9/11 and how it affected his treatment by non-Muslims in America. Amir responded

“The opinion of Islam went from a respected, peaceful religion to violent, intolerant and barbaric one almost in a matter of hours. My family and friends who are Muslim were subject to countless comments that displayed others’ ignorance. This ignorance came from all walks of life….from professors, to police officers, to peers. I never hid the fact that I am Muslim, but maybe I wasn’t as willing to make it voluntarily known in the immediate aftermath of the tragic day. Life has become different since. Legislation has been enacted across the world to ensure this. Muslims are no longer able to pray in public without being looked at with suspicion and in some countries, it is simply illegal to practice the way of life in public. Ironic, we’re able to display (semi) nude images in public and become intoxicated in public, yet praying to God is looked at as wrong. Christians are mostly behind the condemning of the Muslim faith. Whether it is because of a misunderstanding of the religion, or loss of a loved one in the terrorist attacks by extreme Muslims, the prejudice is thick in America. It is disheartening that so many judge the Muslim faith with the misconception it is a faith of violence. When, in actuality, Christianity and Islam are very similar"

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    • Taalib Pugh1 profile image

      Theodore Pugh 3 years ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

      Thanks for trying be fair with Islam. Unfortunately not many non-Muslims have a fair outlook of Islam.

    • Tara Mapes profile image
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      Tara Mapes 3 years ago

      If more people would educate themselves on religions, they may find they have more in common than not. Unfortunately, most people are so blinded by their own judgments, they become exactly what their religion denounces

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      You have written a complex and fair explanation and comparison of Islam and Christianity, Tara. Though there are many differences, love and helping one another is at the heart at the heart of both religions. Excellent Hub.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      The huge difference between Christianity and Islam is Christianity provides for a savior and Islam doesn't. The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob requires perfection in order to be with him. The only perfect Son of God came down to earth and took the punishment of our sins upon himself on the cross in order for God, the Father to legally allow those that will accept His son's sacrifice to enter heaven. Because when one accepts the Son's sacrifice one also receivs His sinlessness in exchange. No one will enter heaven based upon their own righteousness because no one is good enough. It is only upon accepting the finished work of the cross that one can know God and enter heaven.

      That is the difference between Christianity and Islam and all other religions of the world.

    • Pool Of Thoughts profile image

      David Steffy 2 years ago from Southern Ohio

      Jesus Christ is the living Word made manifest in all times. There is no three gods making up One, nor is there only one form in which God manifests Himself. There is only One God and He is an eternal Spirit or Holy Ghost, the Logos, and made Himself flesh to redeem us back for His Own good pleasure.

      Nice article, especially about Christ fulfilling all of the prophecy spoke of Him. He is still fulfilling prophecy today. Heb 13:8 ")

    • profile image

      Taalib Pugh 2 years ago

      I want to comment on what Brie Hoffman and Pool Of Thoughts said. Jesus is believed in Islam differently as Brie said yes we don't have Jesus as a savior because when it comes to our belief it is based on pure monotheism without symbolism or dogma like interpretations, of what we believe Allaah (The One God in arabic) to be. The belief of Islam is based on the tenets of Tawheed( Islamic Monotheism/to single out God only in worship) to Muslims and others who have this belief. That only God alone is worthy of worship, that he has no partners no parents, no children (literally/ son nor daughter), no siblings or family of any kind. He is above His creation and He does not lower Himself for His creation. He not and will never sacrifice Himself, He is All-Powerful, He has no need for that either we believe in Him and submit to Him or we don't He has no needs at all from us He is Perfect in every way that we can explain or know from what He has revealed to His Prophets of Himself. Also we believe that Isa (Jesus) was sent as Prophet to his Mother's (Mary/Maryam) people (The Jews), to reconfirm the Torah (Old Testament/Commandments) and to give good news our true salvation in God not in him (Jesus) but Only in the One God of Abraham.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

    • Pool Of Thoughts profile image

      David Steffy 2 years ago from Southern Ohio

      Not to be disagreeable Taalib, but please consider the Torah in this:

      DEUTERONOMY 18:15

      » 15 † ¶ The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

      DEUTERONOMY 18:16

      » 16 † According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

      DEUTERONOMY 18:17

      » 17 † And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

      DEUTERONOMY 18:18

      » 18 † I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

      DEUTERONOMY 18:19

      » 19 † And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

      NUMBERS 24:17

      » 17 † I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

      Please consider this also out of the prophet Isaiah whom the Lord Jesus quoted often:

      ISAIAH 9:6

      » 6 † For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

      ISAIAH 9:7

      » 7 † Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

      ISAIAH 9:8

      » 8 † ¶ The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.

      Now hear the Lord Jesus Himself speak:

      JOHN 8:53

      » 53 † Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

      JOHN 8:54

      » 54 † Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

      JOHN 8:55

      » 55 † Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

      JOHN 8:56

      » 56 † Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

      JOHN 8:57

      » 57 † Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

      JOHN 8:58

      » 58 † Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

      JOHN 8:59

      » 59 † Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

      LUKE 24:44

      » 44 † And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

      LUKE 24:45

      » 45 † Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

      LUKE 24:46

      » 46 † And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

      LUKE 24:47

      » 47 † And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

      LUKE 24:48

      » 48 † And ye are witnesses of these things.

      LUKE 24:49

      » 49 † And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

      Many, many things could be said but suffice it to say that the Lord Jesus Christ IS the Word. All of the prophets and sages of all ages, and all of the Word of God is about Him and is the revelation of Him. There is no god the Father, then another god we call the Son, and then another god we call the Spirit. The name of the father, son, and holy ghost IS the Lord Jesus Christ or Peter and all the apostles went and did exactly what Jesus told them NOT to do. God is a Spirit and He is Holy. The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit and the Father are the self same Being. Likewise, the manifestation of the great all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God in flesh is the same Being. Read Is. 9:6 again very slowly.

      God DOES humble Himself. God DOES hide Himself in humility and then reveals Himself in the same. THAT'S why only 8 souls were saved in the days of Noah. They had it all figured out just like they do today.

      God bless you.

    • Taalib Pugh1 profile image

      Theodore Pugh 2 years ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

      Well if God according to what you say that He's all these things God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy spirit. These are three parts of God "Morphing" into one, so then to you and those who believe in God this way, don't you see that they don't have a stable understanding of the completeness of God being ONE! In Islam "Tawheed" (Pure Monotheism / singling out Allaah for worship) clearly shows how Allaah (The One God in Arabic) is alone in His Divinity, alone as a Creator, alone as All Knowing, Most High, there is no relative or offspring that share this Greatness, this Majesticness, Perfection, Eternal, Everlasting Attributes that only He possess. Some of these verses you just quoted contradict some other verses in the bible like:

      John 17:3 " And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee (being God) the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent."

      Mark 12:28-30 "And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, 'which is the first commandment of all?" And Jesus answered him: 'The first of all the commandments is; hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is One Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.' "

      Mark 12:32 " And the scribe said unto him (Jesus), 'Well Master, thou said the Truth: for there is One God; and there is none other but He.' "

      There is plenty of those types of verses but even these scribes made a great afford to direct Jesus to the First Commandment they had a great focus on the great significance of this Commandment. Do you think that Jesus would have included himself as a component of that oneness as according to the Trinity doctrine which you base your creed belief in God. As far as Pure Monotheism that was taught by all of the prophets Of Allaah or God as you say, is clear within these verses. I don't believe Jesus would have tried to add himself into such a great Position such as Allaah or God the Creator of all things.

    • profile image

      Neha 2 years ago

      "my god is a powerless non-entity" betetr than his followers thinking they have to do his vengeance for him. A *real* god would set those blasphemers straight himself.What a piece of shit trailer, though, I must say.Steve Weeks

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 23 months ago from United States of America

      Great insight, analysis, and detailed. Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 22 months ago

      Just for clarification, yes all Muslims feel a responsibly to make the hajj. However, that pillar is only for people who can make the trip financially and physically.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 15 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      My wife did what you did. She attended worship services at a Mosque and interviewed people. Before I converted to Christ I wanted to study Islam. The Koran talks more about Jesus and supports all the claims regarding Him except Him being the son of God.

      I am glad you were able to experience this cultural exchange. After 911 I feared all stereotypical Muslims. I served as a religious missionary in South Africa and we were not allowed to teach Muslims about Christianity because they would be killed if they converted. I started to fear Arabs because of this and allowed my prejudice to grow. When 911 came and passed I though every Arab Muslim was about to blow things up.

      One young man, Arab Muslim, had me in his house talking to him for almost an hour. The entire time I was afraid of him because I though he would kill me for being a Christian, and a Mormon at that! Mormons believe in Three Gods--the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We call it a Godhead. We worship the Father in the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a messenger and revelator.

      I had to learn to overcome my fear and reach out to my Islamic brothers and sisters. I am hyper sensitive to true Islam versus cultural Islam. I do not believe that Muhammad intended for all of this cultural apostasy with clothing and rituals. True Islam is about the teachings. Everything else in my non-Islamic opinion is undoctrinal--the treatment of women in some places especially!!

      Islam has cradled education and progress in the beginning. It seems as though many nations who support a religious state enforce derelict Islam. Islam practiced in free nations seem closer to the Koran as I understand the teachings.

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 15 months ago

      Wow, I love the personal story about your perspective and experience. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Did Mohammad (peace be upon him) ever command or condone violence (as in battle)?

      Did Mohammad (pbuh) ever personally kill anyone?

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 12 months ago

      I believe both religions and their books condone violence. I know there are debates regarding both Mohammad and Jesus killing people, but I cannot answer that question.

    • Taalib Pugh1 profile image

      Theodore Pugh 12 months ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

      Please science, condones violence, philosophy condones violence, tell what kind of social order, tradition, or cultures doesn't. Violence is simply a part of our lives ask the animal kingdom.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      "I believe both religions and their books condone violence. I know there are debates regarding both Mohammad and Jesus killing people...."

      Yes, if you read the Old Testament and the Quran one could conclude they both condone violence. My question dealt with Muhammad (pbuh) personally. I do not know of any story where Jesus picked up a sword. Was Muhammad (pbuh) coerced into violence?

      "...tell what kind of social order, tradition, or cultures doesn't. Violence is simply a part of our lives ask the animal kingdom."

      Yes, violence is a part of life, that is why we have Peace Officers. Peace Officers arrest without intent to harm; take the criminal into custody; bring to a Judge for trial where he may be tested for mental illness. Peace Officers use only the least amount of force needed to make the arrest. If they do not, they are held accountable. My question dealt with commanding or condoning violence in battle. As individuals we may choose to avoid battle. It is the military which is the problem, not Peace Officers. Now do you understand?

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 12 months ago

      In that regard, I would say religion is not so much the problem as government is. But like you stated, we are naturally violent beings. Thus, the need to protect ourselves by social contract and military is necessary. Regardless of religion, man will always threaten another.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      So the questions remain for any of your readers who know:

      Did Mohammad (peace be upon him) ever command or condone violence (as in battle)?

      Did Mohammad (pbuh) ever personally kill anyone?

      As individuals we need not join the military or become involved in combat or killing anyone for any reason. We can choose to use our more developed part of our mind. We can walk away from a fight.

    • Taalib Pugh1 profile image

      Theodore Pugh 12 months ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

      First and foremost Muhammad salalahu alaihi wa salaam (may the peace and blessings be upon him) was a peaceful man he did not like violence as a solution to a problem but of course he was a Prophet and leader of a people believing and worshipping One God (Allaah) singling Him out in worship alone. Those that were not peaceful, violently to him and his followers Allaah of course saw this and gave Muhammad the permission to fight them (military, warriors, fighters) not innocent women, children or the elderly. His fighting or violence was legislative from by Allaah which made a controlled direct violence. A needed violence. As I mentioned before violence is a part of our lives so stop trying to label a person or people, generalizing or stereotyping the as condoners of violence. As you mentioned peace officers are men first off they must use controled violence, but even they commit unlawful acts of violence against people especially people of color. So are they all the same no does this make people who condone violence now so what is your point or what are trying to get at?

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Did Mohammad (peace be upon him) ever command or condone violence (as in battle)?

      From your answer I understand the answer is, "Yes."

      Did Mohammad (pbuh) ever personally kill anyone?

      Please answer this question.

      It is my understanding that you say Allah gave Muhammad the permission to fight them (military).

      How do you know?

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      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Let us try to have a higher vision of God/Allah. He is Good and always Good and does not have the vices of humans. All vices are a projection of Man and Not of God/Allah. By vice I mean negative human emotions such as: anger, hatred, jealousy, etc. God/Allah is always peaceful and has never authorized the killing of one person by another. Killing is a result of condemnation in the mind of Man. See the enemy, here is the enemy, there is the enemy. Instead of condemning first and killing as a warrior does; become a trained Peace Officer and arrest without harm and take the alleged criminal to trial. People who harm themselves or others in the name of God/Allah are generally mentally ill. Treat them for mental illness. Can you have a higher vision of God?

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      Taalbpugh 12 months ago

      My Vision Of Allaah/ God is already high because, I take my knowledge of Him from His Word (Qur'an) and His Last Messenger and prophet Muhammad (Salalahu alaihi wa salaam / May the peace and blessings be upon him) interpretation of Allaah's Word and guidance. I don't just believe I study and learn from the knowledge taught by the scholars of Islam of the Qur'an and The Prophet's guidance of this faith know as Al Islam.

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      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Taalbpugh, thank you for staying with me for so long. I have asked the above questions because I get different answers from different people (Muslims included). I ask because I do not know.

      What is the difference between offensive and defensive fighting to the individual?

      Did Muhammad (pbuh) ever kill anyone personally?

      Did Muhammad (pbuh) command anyone to be killed?

      I suggest that Man stop killing other Men for any reason. Instead learn Peace Officer techniques. I am a retired Peace Officer and in my experience neither I nor any of the men I supervised needed to kill anyone. What is your experience?

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      Theodore Pugh 12 months ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

      First the difference to me between offensive fighting and defensive is offensive you are the aggressor the one who starts a fight or war as for defensive it is the opposite the person or people defend themselves against the offensive.

      Secondly I never heard of Muhammad salalahu alaihi wa salaam kill anyone this no clear record of this.

      Thirdly Muhammad never commanded people to be killed until Allaah's Laws (Shariah) was established within the Faith, It's called the death verdict or penalty here in America. This was especially for those who killed another person unjustly meaning on purpose for evil reasons. To conclude our corresponding I rather be discussing the difference between Christianity's way of believing in Allaah/God and how Islam concept and belief in Allaah. This was what this article was based on anyway.

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      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you. I ask questions because I do not know the answer. I get different answers from different people (including Muslims).

      I suggest that Man stop killing other Men for any reason. Killing is just not necessary based on all my experience. Teach children to walk away from a fight. There is always another way.

      People and governments have used all sorts of reasons to kill or harm one another. All these reasons are false. God/Allah (my opinion) does not want Man to harm Man. Depict Allah as Good, Not a War God.

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      Taalib Pugh 12 months ago

      Your welcome. If you have curiosity about the "Foundation and Tenants" of my faith Islam feel free to ask questions about it, this is the area I prefer to discuss. As for violence and man, that is an issue that is not in religion but it is a part of our lives. Unfortunately mankind has made it for evil gains mainly then for consuming food or protecting ones self from evil or wild life predators (Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves, Sharks, Alligators, Etc). We can resume our discussion on the topic of this article, Christianity and Islam.

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      Jay C OBrien 12 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Article:

      "The central belief of Islam is that there is only one God, and no other. Islam’s foundation seems to rest on peace, unity, social organization and order, helping those who suffer, and not partaking in, or advocating, violence."

      All above sound good, but was Mohammad (pbuh) peaceful? What role did Mohammad play in the battles of Islam during his life? Did he condone them? Command them? Participate in battle? Kill during battle (one Muslim answered yes)? Is it your understanding in Islam that Allah authorized a battle or killing someone? What is the difference between preemptive, offensive and defensive fighting?

      Jesus said, "Love your enemy." Unfortunately, Christians of today do not follow what Jesus taught. Today's Christians seem to believe in Judaism rather than Jesus. Jesus never picked up a sword... Ever.

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