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Jesus and Muhammad: A Comparison
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).
According to God Resources (2010) “Although the crowds that followed Jesus loved and accepted him, Jewish religious leaders were jealous of his fame and wisdom. In their envy, they continually sought to trip him up or catch him in a violation of their law” (para. 3).
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 verifing 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 2nd 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.
Similarities: A Snapshot
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).
But that is not their only similarity. They were both great leaders. They taught about God. They believed in monotheism. Both men acknowledged Abraham and his legacy of having son’s that spawned the religion of men in both Christianity and Islam. Both men have Holy Scriptures that detail their lives and the Word of God. Jesus has the New Testament, and Muhammad has the Qur’an. Finally, Muhammad adhered many separated Arabs together giving them direction on how to live under the Five Pillars of Islam. Jesus unites his believers under the 10 commandments as the way of life.
A Video of Comparison: Jesus and Muhammad
Differences: A Snapshot
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.
How Their Religions Are Practiced Today
Today, each individual is worshipped differently. For Jesus, he is worshipped by many denominations. Each have their own way of worshipping, however the foundation is the same. A cross is the symbol of his death in exchange for forgiveness of our sins. A Eucharist is given to believers, a host and wine are consumed to symbolize his body and blood and what he gave up for God’s children. Mass is attended and Christmas is celebrated in remembrance of his birth, and Easter, in remembrance of his resurrection.
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.
Their messages are carried out today the same way any religion carries messages. The ‘Selling of God’, or the endeavor to convert others to their religion. The messages are no longer pure, but rather a foundation for hatred, judgment, and more numbers on “their team”. Neither religion is true to the original message of their founders. Both religions are born of love, but both religions use their differences as reason for hatred of each other. Individual followers may not feel this way, but in our world today, we cannot deny that there is no separation of church and state, but rather religion is so influential and not pure in its endeavors to recruit people for a good life, but rather for money, and bigger numbers than their competitors.
Do You Absolutely Believe In The Histories of Either Man?
Fisher, M. P. (2005). Living Religions. Prentice-Hall.
God Resources. (2010). Muhammad and Jesus. Retrieved August 16, 2011 , from Facts and Insights for your Journey with God: http://www.godresources.org/compare-jesus-muhammad/conclusion-jesus-muhammad.shtml