Comparison of World Religions

Kwanza Ross

Islam

  • Started by Muhammad
  • Monotheistic: God (Allah)
  • Began in the Mecca (Saudi Arabia) of 610 A.D.
  • 1.2 billions followers worldwide
  • Qur' an is their Holy Book
  • Was spread by Muhammad when he began to share his revelation given from God (Allah)
  • There are no holy people in Islam.


Parable: "Watermelons and Walnuts"


One day, Hodja was sitting under the walnut tree and mused about how he didn't understand the ways of God. He replied saying “Just fancy letting tiny walnuts grow on such a majestic a tree and huge watermelons on the delicate vines!” A walnut bumped Hodja on his bald head; he immediately got up and extolled Allah (God), wondering what it would be if watermelons were on the tree instead of walnuts.


Basic sets of beliefs:


  • Persons achieve salvation by following the Five Pillars of Islam and living a just life.
  • These five pillars are: faith, prayer, almsgiving/charity, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca.

Hinduism

  • No founder
  • No holy book
  • Polytheistic: (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva)
  • Began in about 551 A. C.
  • 840 million followers worldwide
  • Originated from India
  • Special or holy people: nobody except the Gods
  • Didn't spread that much because people who practice Hinduism believe that you have to be born into Hinduism


Parable of the King and the Humble Man


Once upon a time, there was a king who told his subjects that he would give them anything they asked for. A man asked the king for money so the king gave him ten thousand gold pieces. Then, a man asked for a house so he sent his men to go built the man a new house . The third man asked he king to build a proper road in his village so the king sent some workmen to go build it. The fourth man asked to be his friend so he said he would be.


The king's chief minister told the king that since he was the man's friend he should go see him. There wasn't a proper road to get there so he sent his workmen to build it. The man had a small house and if the king visited him, the king would have to stay for a few day because of the long ride. Later on, the king sent some men to built him a new & bigger house. Also, since the man was supposed to serve the king, he needed some money because he barely had food for himself. The king gave the man ten thousand pieces of gold. when the king visited the man, he ended up liking him and asked him to marry his daughter. The king ended up splitting the kingdom in two and giving it to his friend. The friend married the king's daughter and eventually ruled as the next king.


Basic set of Beliefs


  • The soul never dies but is continuously reborn.
  • Persons achieve happiness and enlightenment after they free themselves from earthly desires.
  • Freedom from earthly desires comes from a life time of worship, knowledge, and virtuous acts.
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Confucianism

  • formed by Confucius in 500 B.C. E.
  • Origin: China
  • Monotheistic: 'Ti'en (Heaven).'
  • Holy Book: None but The Five Classics (four separate books as one)
  • Those separate books are The Analects, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Man, and Mencius
  • 6 million followers
  • Spread by the emperors sponsored shrine honoring Master K'ung which were popular pilgrimage sites for scholars.


A Man who Loves Sea Gulls

One there was a man who loved to play with sea gulls. At daybreak every morning, when he played with the sea gulls. Hundreds of gulls came to him and none of them flew away. His father asked him to catch a few seagulls so he could play with the gulls as well. The next morning, the seagulls would swoop in the skies but not one came to him. You can try to hide your inner thoughts or feelings but animals can sense your true feelings.


One may try, but unable to, hide one's inner thoughts. Even birds and animals can sense one's true feelings.


Basic Set of Beliefs

  • Social order, harmony, and good government should be based on strong family relationships.
  • Respect for parents and elders is important to a well-ordered society.
  • Education is important both to the welfare of the individual and to society.
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