Commonalities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity

There are common roots and elements to that of Islam, Judaism and Christianity – the so-called Abrahamic religions. All three are monotheistic in belief at least that is the way it was meant to be, i.e. there is only one God. Jews and Muslims greatly stress the oneness and unity of God. The affirmation of the oneness of God by Christians is sometimes misunderstood because some Christians believe that the on God is triune (the Holy Trinity).

All three religions believe that this God is the origin and source of all that exists. God is just and has provided basic rules for our guidance so that we may be good and righteous. God is also merciful; by means of God’s grace, we are given strength to be more like what we ought to be. While there are theological differences, some of which might be significant, there are nonetheless other important areas of belief that are shared by Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

Jews-Christians-and-Muslims-CommonalitiesAll three believe that human beings are the highest creatures here on earth. We are the children of Adam. God creates us full of mystery, which means potential for continuous growth, both as species and as individuals. We are capable of both good and evil. When we grow in goodness, righteousness, and love, we become more like what God intended human goodness to be. When we abuse our freedom and do harm to other people, ourselves and the environment, it means that we are going against God’s plans as we become evil-doers. Each person is capable, with God’s help, to turn away from evil, repent, and do good. We owe God our devotion, glorification, and obedience.

Evil and suffering cannot ultimately prevail. God has provided a condition (or state of being) for which our three religions have different names, but we agree on term Paradise. This future will bring about God’s unchallenged rule; unconditional bliss for all who obeyed God.

The three Abrahamic religions believe that God and human beings can and should communicate with each other. By revelation, God communicates to people, among which the most important are revelation through Prophets. These revelations are recorded in the Holy Scriptures of each religion. While the Scriptures of these three religions are not identical, nevertheless they encourage respecting all other Scriptures. The duty of people is to read or listen to these and to respond with prayer, praise, and an appropriate acceptance of God’s commandments in our lifestyle.

God did not leave us without guidelines for behavior. God provided us with sound basic rules to live by as well as a rational mind to learn how and when to apply those rules to our everyday life. All three religions, for example abhor murder, the arbitrary killing of innocent people. Likewise, God wants us to tell the truth and not to take from others what rightfully belongs to us to them. We are to respect the dignity of every person and help especially those are not capable of helping themselves, such as widows, orphans, and the poor. All three religions believe in the Golden Rule of doing to what we wish others to do unto us. All three religions foster modesty, moderation, and honest work. We are to submit ourselves completely to the will of God. All three religions closely link religion morality. It is only fair to say that there are other religions that advocate and have in their doctrine the concept of God and that may share the same understanding as Islam. We see that some are mentioned by name in the Quran. Religion is to be manifested by showing concern for the well-being and dignity of others, in a life of service to others, and in personal and social ethical behavior.

As monotheistic religions, sharing common ancestors, belief in divinely given scriptures, and common rituals and practices, such as regular prayer and charity; valuing pilgrimage and sharing many common holy places; promising that behavior will receive its proper rewards and punishments in the future, on earth and in the life hereafter; balancing and integrating strands of legalism and pious devotion… The three religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam would appear to naturally suit to coexistence and even to mutual reinforcement.

Major Commonalities are:

  1. Monotheism

  2. Torah: “I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6)

    Bible: “The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29);

    Quran: “He is God, The One and Only” (Quran 112:1)

  3. Prophets

  4. Muslims believe and accept all the Prophets mentioned in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran.

  5. Miraculous Birth of Jesus

  6. Besides Christianity, Islam is the only religion on earth that accepts the miraculous birth of Jesus. Jesus is mentioned 25 times in Quran.

  7. The Highest Honor of Women

  8. Is given to Mar, the mother of Jesus in the Quran (chapter nineteen which is named after her).

  9. Greetings

  10. All prophets had customs to greet believers with the words: “Peace be with you”. (‘Asslamaualaikum for Muslims)

  11. Taking off Shoes

  12. God ordered Moses to take off shoes “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5); “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so “(Joshua 5:15). Muslims take off shoes when they enter Mosque.

  13. Purification before Prayers

  14. “And Moses and Aaron and his sons used to wash their hands and feet. They washed whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the Altar, as the Lord commanded Moses.” (Exodus 40:31-32), (Exodus 20:31). “St. Paul…purified himself…went into the temple….”(Acts 21:26), “Then David rose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and put on fresh clothes and entered the house of Lord and prostrated…(2 Samuel 12:20). Muslims purify themselves by performing ablution before each prayer, five times a day.

  15. Fasting

  16. Jesus fasted forty days. (Matthew 4:2). Muslims fast the whole month of Ramadan each year.

  17. Humbling while Praying by Bowing Heads to the Ground

  18. “Abraham fell his face…” (Genesis 17:3). “Moses bowed at once to the ground and worshipped” (exodus 34:8). “Jesus…fell on his face on the ground and prayed…” (Matthew 26:39). Muslims bow their heads to the ground while praying.

  19. Not Bowing to Statues/Images

  20. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20 3-6), “ Be careful not to not forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden” (Deuteronomy 4:24). Muslims do not bow to statues, images or anything except God.

  21. Decoration of Trees

  22. It is forbidden in the Bible (Jeremiah 10:2-25). Muslims do not decorate trees.

  23. Everlasting Covenant

  24. God made everlasting covenants with Abraham and his descendants. “You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of covenant between me and you” (Genesis 17:11), (Acts 7:8), (Romans 2:25,27-29) (Philippians 3:3), (Colossians 2:11). Muslims still keep this covenant; they circumcise their sons at birth.

  25. Abraham’s Son Ishmael

  26. The name Ishmael was chosen by God Himself. “And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction” (Genesis 16:11). Muslims respect Ishmael like Isaac as a son of Abraham.

  27. Wine Drinking Prohibited

  28. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15), (Genesis (:20-26), (Ezekiel 44:21), (Daniel 5:23), (Hosea 4:11), (Nahum 1:10), (Isaiah 5:22), (Isaiah 28:1,3,7,-8), (Timothy 3:2-3). Muslims do not drink wine or alcohol.

  29. Pork Forbidden

  30. God ordered Moses: “..And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you” (Leviticus 11:7), (Deuteronomy 14:8), (Isaiah 65:2-5). Jesus never at pork in his life. Muslims never eat pork.

  31. Usury / Interest Forbidden

  32. “Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you” (Leviticus 25:36). “Do not charge your brother interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest.” (Deuteronomy 23:19), (Exodus 22:25). Interest is forbidden in Islam

  33. Disapprove Homosexuality

  34. “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them have committed an abomination (to’evah); they shall surely be put to death, their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). (Leviticus 18:22), (1 Corinthians 6:9). Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam

  35. No Original Sin

  36. The person who sins is the one who will die. A child will not be punished for a parent’s sin, and a parent will not be punished for a child’s sin. Those who do right will enjoy the results of their own goodness; evil people will suffer the results of their own evil” (Ezekiel 18:22). Muslims believe that sin cannot be transferred or inherited from person to person.

  37. Accountability

  38. “The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and each will be rewarded for his own work.” (1 Corinthians 3:8). Muslims believe that every person is accountable for his/her deeds and will be punished and rewarded accordingly.

  39. Head Covering

  40. “If a women does not cover her head, she would have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she would cover her head” (1 Corinthians 11:6 NIV), “Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray To God with her head uncovered?” (1 Corinthians 11:13). Muslim women cover their hair and body in a modest way

  41. Fornication

  42. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sinneth against his own body” (Corinthians 6:18), “But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood”(Acts 15:20). Fornication is forbidden in Islam.

  43. Murder

  44. “If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. (Numbers 35:15-17), “and the avenger of blood finds him outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder” (Number 35:27), “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Murder is forbidden in Islam and although punishable by death, it strongly encourages forgiveness. “Whether open or secret, take, not life, which Allah has made sacred” (Quran 6:151)

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