Meccan people Essay
Zoroaster’s miracles are often very similar to Jesus’s, although most of Zoroaster’s miracles focus on healing others, rather than displaying power. He often healed people of blindness, lameness, and other physical conditions suffered by those he encountered. One particular miracle proved to be very significant for Zoroaster’s role as a prophet. When called before a king of a neighboring country, Zoroaster was asked to cure the king’s horse, which had fallen lame. Zoroaster agreed to perform this miracle if the king agreed to convert to Zoroastrianism and provide his army to protect the faith.
The king agreed to this provision, as long as Zoroaster was able to assure the king where he would reside spiritually after his demise. According to the Zoroastrianism followers, Zoroaster healed the horse and the king was immediately visited by a group of angels who showed him the true way of Zoroastrianism. The king converted and spent his life protect the faith of Zoroastrianism (Quinn 116-118). Unlike Jesus and Zoroaster, Muhammad never performed any miracles. He instructed his followers that such displays were counterproductive to understanding the true nature of God.
He also suggested that the vast majority of miracles performed by numerous other prophets, other than Jesus, were artificial productions (Fatih 156). The three prophets are also said to have had similar instances were each was tempted by the Devil. Zoroaster met Ahriman, or the Devil, while having a vision where he traveled both to heaven and to hell. He was tempted many times to renounce his faith in Ahura Mazda, but Zoroaster resisted this temptation through his prayers to Ahura Mazda (Hambartsumian 34).
Jesus was tempted three times by the Devil after having fasted in the desert for forty days. For the first temptation of Jesus, the Devil told him, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (NIV, Matt. 4:3). Jesus was also tempted to jump for the roof of the temple, and, finally, to worship the Devil. After each of these temptations, Jesus rebuked the Devil and reaffirmed his commitment to God (Anwar 155). The temptation of Jesus and Zoroaster are well established traditions within the literature of both religions.
While there are literary records of Muhammad’s temptation, most Muslims refuse to acknowledge these reports as being true. According to these accounts, known as the Satanic Verses, Muhammad was “tempted to acknowledge another polytheistic religion in order to convert the Meccan people” (Najmi 12). The account given by the Satanic Verses states that Muhammad succumbed to this temptation and acknowledged the polytheistic deities. The angel Gabriel then appeared to Muhammad and chastised him for giving in to such temptation.
Muhammad then recanted his statement and asked for forgiveness. Various reasons have been given to deny this account. Prominently, most Muslims agree these verses were added by unhappy Meccans to discredit the message of Muhammad (Anwar 156-157). Another substantial dissimilarity between these religious figures is their use of the word “prophet” went describing their own actions. Muhammad was the only figure to actively refer to himself as a prophet. He believed that he was a continuation of a long line of prophets that included Abraham, Moses, and Christ.
Even though Muhammad elevated himself to the standing of prophet, he never considered himself divine in any way (Beki 209). Jesus, on the other hand, never considered himself a prophet, but promoted himself as being a combination of divinity and mortal and as being the one true son of God (Eve 44). Zoroaster refused to refer to himself as even a prophet. He claimed that he has a learned man who had been able to achieve some connection with God, and was used, by God, to relay His messages (Quinn 115).
While each of these religious figures is held as prophets or deities in their own religion, their ultimate successes and failures seem entirely unrelated to their similar experiences in life. Muhammad successfully united his followers in order to conquer Mecca and convert its people. Jesus was thought to have been crucified by the Roman government, and then resurrected as a fulfillment of Judaic prophecy (Anwar 158). Zoroaster was murder in his old age by a disgruntle member of an opposing religion (Quinn 153).
Ultimately, Christianity and Islam, the religions inspired by the lives of Jesus and Muhammad, succeeded in attracting vast masses of people to the teachings of their leaders. The two religions globally dominate as two of the world’s largest organized religion. Zoroaster, on the other hand, has gradually faded throughout history. The religion is currently only practiced by a few devout followers in Iran and Northern India. Although it has seen a slight resurgence in recent years, Zoroastrianism will probably never reach the level of popularity enjoyed by both Islam and Christianity (Choksy 430)..
All three religions have many characteristics in common, but these similarities have not been enough to create a similar success for each of these religions.
Works Cited: Anwar, Etin. “Prophetic Models in Islamic and Christian Spirituality. ” Islam & Christian- Muslim Relations 15. 1 (2004): 142-162. Beki, Niyazi. “The Concept of Revelation According to the Bible and the Quran. ” Journal of Academic Studies 7. 26 (2005): 191-210. Choksy, Jamsheed K. “Hagiography and Monotheism is History: Doctrinal Encouncters Between Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity. ” Islam & Christian-Muslim Relations 14. 4 (2003): 407-432.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 May 2017