Judaism, Christianity, Islam Essay
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The three oldest religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Judaism is a one of the oldest religions known to people. Judaism is a monotheistic religion, which means that Jewish people pray to only one g-d. There weren’t too many religions like this when it originated which made Judaism very unique at the time. Moses was one of the most famous Jewish prophets. He led the Jewish people out of slavery, led them to Mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments, a set of rules that people even today still follow.
The Jews have many customs and traditions.
Among them are circumcision, bar or bat mitzvah, special rituals and prayers to be said during a wedding and during death and mourning. Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin of the penis. The rite of circumcision is one of the most ancient practices of Judaism. Circumcision is done because of a Commandment by God to Abraham as it is written in the Torah and as a sign of commitment of Jewish people.
The Torah is Judaism’s most important text. It contains the Five Books of Moses and is the source of the Ten Commandments. Bar or Bat mitzvah’ is when a child reaches the age of maturity, 13 for boys, and 12 for girls, and is ready to become an adult their community. At that age, a child becomes responsible for his actions and is obligated to observe the commandments. This ceremony is incorporated into an ordinary Sabbath service. During a Jewish wedding, the bride and groom get married under a special cloth called a “chuppah” or special canopy. Another tradition that is followed during a Jewish wedding is the breaking of a small glass at the end of the ceremony.
This is to symbolize that even though this is a happy event, people should still remember the hardships that were faced before the Jewish people got to that place in time. During death and mourning, a Jewish family will sit “shiva” which is sitting in mourning for seven days after the death of a loved one. Some other customs are wearing a kippah on the head in a synagogue or wearing a tallit, a prayer shawl, while praying. Christianity is one of the world’s major monotheistic religions. Christianity takes the beliefs and practices very seriously. The central figure in Christianity is Jesus Christ.
As the Son of God, he came to earth to teach about love and fellowship. He represents the person that all Christians must strive to be. Christians believe that he is the only one that ever lived on earth that can be called perfect from all worldly sins. The important thing to understand was that Jesus was God. He was here on earth to teach of God’s plan for all of humanity and to save the people of the world from their transgressions. In Christianity, God is almighty and rules over all of heaven and earth. He is the one that created the earth and one day will cast judgment over the entire earth.
Christians understand that through Jesus Christ, people can be saved from this judgment. By believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God is exists in all believers, and that God is almighty in power. A person can be saved from this judgment. Christians believe in heaven and hell. Heaven is the place where believers would enjoy the presence of God and other believers and freedom from suffering and sin. Hell is where unbelievers and sinners are punished for their sins committed during the course of their lives. Baptism is one of the most important sacraments in Christianity.
It involves application of or immersion in water, a blessing, and the pronouncement, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ” Most Christian churches baptize both infants and adults, but some believe that baptism is only rightly performed on adults. Views of baptism vary, but common views of the rituals include: it grants or symbolizes salvation, commemorates Christ’s death and resurrection, fulfills the command of Jesus to baptize, cleanses away sins, confers grace, and publicly expresses one’s faith.
Christianity also teaches about the importance of attending Holy Mass. It’s important for Christians to keep their Sabbath according to the commandments. It is observed on the seventh day which usually falls on a Sunday or Saturday and is considered a weekly day of rest from work. The day is spent fasting and praying and attending Holy Mass. At Mass, followers are taught about the teachings in the bible through scripture readings. The celebration of Mass would conclude with the sharing of communion.
Communion represents the Passover that Jesus celebrated with his twelve disciples on the eve of His death. It is an integral part of Christian worship. It causes Christians to remember the Lord’s death and resurrection and to look for His glorious return in the future. Holidays, feasts and fasts are a significant part of Christian religious practice. The feast days celebrate joyous and sorrowful historical events such as the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, while the fast days provide a special opportunity to focus on self-reflection, self-discipline and repentance.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and it runs for forty days. During the forty days Christians fast and pray which represents the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying. Lent is followed by Easter which represents the return of Jesus from the wilderness. Easter starts from Palm Sunday. His death and resurrection is observed during Easter. Special Services are kept in the church during this week and ends with Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus rose from the dead.
Islam is a simple and practical religion. It has established, clear, and easily understandable beliefs and laws that any follower or student of the religion can easily understand. Islam affirms belief in a decent, civilized society. Islam also does not demand impossible goodness of its followers, but it recognizes that all human beings make mistakes and sin. No one is exempt. Islam preaches peace, mercy, justice, tolerance, equality, love, truth, forgiveness, patience, morality, sincerity and righteousness.
Islam is the religion that preaches the Oneness of God, the Oneness of mankind and the Oneness of the Message. Muslims believe that there is only one supreme God, Allah. In Islam to believe in Allah is not only to believe in Allah’s existence but also to believe in all Allah’s attributions, to worship Allah alone, and to obey all Allah’s commands. Islam teaches about the five pillars: Shahada, Salah, Seyam, Zakat and Hajj. Shahada is the verbal commitment and pledge that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
It is the duty of every Muslim, male and female, after reaching the age of puberty, to perform five Salats or prayers at specific times during the day and night. These five specific times are: – Dawn, Noon, Afternoon, Sunset, and Night. A ritual called Wudu, which is the cleaning several parts of the body with water, is a prerequisite to Salat. Fasting during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, is from sun up to sun down only and is an obligation on every healthy adult Muslim, male or female.
Fasting is total abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking, gum chewing, intimate relations, and taking anything into the body. If a person is ill and needs to take medication, he/she cannot fast. Fasting is also a time to discipline one’s self from bad behaviors, such as; arguing and saying mean things. Those who are ill or unable to fast for health or reasons of age are exempt from fasting. However, they should feel the poor one meal for every day they miss of fasting. Women who are pregnant, menstruating, or nursing, or any who are traveling, are also exempt from fasting.
However, when their situation changes, they make up the days of fasting or feed the poor one meal for each day of fasting they missed. Zakat is an annual obligatory charity on every Muslim, male or female, who possesses over the last year money or property that exceeds their minimum needs. The requirement is 2. 5% of one’s excess wealth. The performance of the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia is required once in a lifetime of every Muslim, if financially able, as well as physically able. Hajj begins every year during the month of Dul Hejja. Dul Hejja is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar year.
The Hajj is a spiritual journey where a Muslim forgets all worldly things and devotes his/her attention and time to Allah alone. Islam looks at the woman as an equal, mature and capable partner of a man, without whom a family cannot exist and teaches that men and women are all the creation of Allah, existing on a level of equal worth and value. In some societies women are treated according to ancestral customs and tribal tradition, but in Islam they are treated with full respect and honor. Islam preserves women’s honor and dignity, and requires that she must be treated with respect and honor.
Her femininity should not be exploited in any way, rather she is to be regarded and treated as human individual whose sexuality does not enter into her relationship with any person other than her husband. In Islam marriage cannot take place unless the female freely agrees to it and a dowry is given to her. Islam puts priorities for the husbands and wives. The responsibility for providing for the family is on the husband, while the responsibility to care for the house and raising the children is on the wife. These are the main priorities, but cooperation between the husband and the wife is required and highly recommended.