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Hum 130 Jesus and Muhammad

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Jesus of Nazareth and the Prophet Muhammad were key important figures in the respective religions. Jesus Christ was important to Christianity and was seen as a messenger, teacher and the living embodiment of God. The Prophet Muhammad was also seen as messenger for God, and he united Arabia under one polity, which was Islam.
Both Jesus of Nazareth and the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings are followed in the current era. Their lives and the manner of their deaths have brought inspiration to literally millions world-wide. Each of these historical individuals is considered the greatest prophet of their own religion. They were each were radical leaders of their people during their lives and are still highly regarded by followers today.
It is believed that Jesus was born a few years before the beginning of our current Christian’s calendar Year One. He is said to have been born in Bethlehem in current day Israel. The New Testament of the Bible tells the story of Jesus’ life as beginning with a virgin birth by Mary. He worked as a common carpenter, following in his father Joseph’s trade. 18 years of Jesus’ life are unrecorded in the New Testament. His story picks up when he is 30 years of age and begins preaching among the people. He gathers disciples during this time who follow him throughout the region. His teachings include the basic precepts of living in humility, faith and forgiveness. He also taught of God’s mercy and forgiveness to man. He is said to have performed miracles during his travels. Some of these are turning water to wine at a wedding ceremony, healing the blind and sick and raising the dead. He was considered a threat to the prevailing power structure in his time, so as he gained popularity he began to experience repression. He was arrested by the Roman Pontius Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus if he believed he was the Son of God and the King of the Jews. Jesus answered that he was. It is recorded that this led to the crowd demanding his execution on the basis of his being a threat to the emperor Caesar. Subsequently, Jesus is said to have been brutally crucified. He was removed from the cross and interred. He is said to have risen from the tomb after three days. This resurrection is celebrated at the Easter ceremonies. After his death, his apostles and various disciples continued to preach his teachings. Muhammad was born into the tribe the Quraysh in Mecca in 570 C.E. Muslims say that he is the last of a chain of prophets who came to them to bring the true religion back to the people. He worked as a prosperous merchant and trader. He went into caves outside the city of Mecca to meditate and become closer to God. He says he was given his first revelations that later became the Quran during these meditations. He experienced a series of religious revelations and saw himself as Allah’s messenger. In the beginning he only shared these revelations with his close acquaintances and his family. Finally, after three years of these experiences, he brought the word and its teachings to the people. He was driven out of Mecca into Medina because of this work. His teachings were very unpopular. In 624 C.E., after having risen in the political arenas in Medina, he returned to Mecca. He became a widely regarded teacher over much of Arabia before his death in 632 C.E. Muhammad’s life is of great importance to Muslim’s worldwide. Followers of Islam celebrate his birthday much as Christians celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday. Muhammad’s inspired prophecies still influence his followers in many ways. The followers of each of these great teachers praise and venerate these two all over the world. Christians do so in Sunday masses and daily prayers that honor all God brings to them. Christians honor Sunday as their holy day each week and follow the Ten Commandments. Many Christians practice the ritual of communion as a symbolic feast on the body and blood of Christ. Christians also hold the belief that their lives on earth will be mirrored in their life after death. They are told in the Bible that Jesus will return on judgment day and all the people of the earth will be accountable for their sins on that day. As a whole, Muslims follow rituals more closely than Christians. Muslims attend worship each week in the mosque and also pray five times daily with the instruction that they must face Mecca from wherever they are, since Mecca is the center of their faith. In accordance with the Five Pillars of their faith, they fast during Ramadan and make a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca at least once in their life. The Five Pillars are the commandments of Allah as handed down to Muhammad and must be followed. In the First Pillar the unity and divine nature of God is professed and the Prophet Muhammad honored. The Second Pillar mandates the five times daily prayer and its stance. The Third Pillar mandates the donation of 2 ½ % of each Muslims yearly earnings to other Muslims in need. The Fourth Pillar mandates fastings. The Fifth Pillar calls for the pilgrimage to Mecca. Each of these teachers has provided inspiration and wisdom to millions around the world. They each suffered greatly at the hands of their fellow men to bring the word they believed was God’s word to the people. These messages are still taught today and the practices that arose around their teachings are practiced in countries all over the world. Their works will continue far into the future as man has great need and use of faith and these two faith-based religions have brought solace and order for many people for centuries.

Reference Page

Fischer, Pat (2005). Living Religions. Prentice Hall.
Fischer , Pat (2005). Islam. Prentice Hall.

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