Jesus and Mohammad Paper Two of the most prevailing figures who influence modern religions are Jesus and the prophet Mohammed. Although both religious figures have numerous detractors, they are also highly revered by many. Regardless of one’s stance with regard to religion, the fact remains that both Jesus and the prophet Mohammed are central figures of Christianity and Islam respectively. Their teachings and doctrines manage to influence both the secular and sacred aspects of society in the past and continue to do so today.
There are people tend to see the differences between these two monotheistic religions; however, closer scrutiny reveals remarkable similarities as well historically the lives of these two influential figures of Christianity and Islam; compare the impact their deaths had on their respective religions; and describe the way in which each individual was or is worshipped. In addition, the purpose is to explain how their messages carry out in the world today. Jesus Christ of Nazareth
The prophecy of the coming Messiah, who was sent by God and sacrificed for all the sins of the world as well as the Immaculate Conception of the virgin Mary are two of the most popular stories of the Bible. The story of Jesus’ journey on earth began with the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary as she was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. The angel informed Mary that God chose her to be the mother of the Son of God (History of Jesus Christ, n. d. ). Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born to Mary and His earthly father Joseph in Bethlehem in about 6 B.
C. (History of Jesus Christ, n. d. ). As the story goes, toward the end of her pregnancy, Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to register for census. Upon their arrival, they realized that there was no available room for them to spend the night. Subsequently, the couple was offered refuge in a stable, where incidentally, that same night, Mary gave birth to a baby boy. The couple named the child Jesus, which means God Saves (History of Jesus Christ, n. d. ). Extraordinary signs appeared that night as if in recognition of His Divine presence in the world.
These signs help to confirm for those who believed in the prophecy that the baby Jesus was indeed the Lamb of God. One such signs was the appearance of a host of angels to shepherds in a nearby field. The angels informed them of the birth of the Messiah in the city of David. These shepherds helped to spread the word of Jesus’ birth, and wise men from the east who knew the significance of a certain star, followed the star and brought gifts and paid respect to Mary and the baby (History of Jesus Christ, n. d. ). Even as a child growing up around his father’s carpenter shop, people could see that Jesus was no ordinary child.
People would remark upon the fact that Jesus was wise beyond His years, based upon His teachings about the word of God. On a trip with his parents to Jerusalem at the age of 12, Mary and Joseph found Jesus at the Temple in discussions with Rabbis about the Torah. The rabbis found it perplexing that a child so young could be so knowledgeable about Jewish laws. At His parents query about His presence at the temple, Jesus pointedly asked them if they did not know that He was suppose to be in His Father’s house (History of Jesus Christ, n. d. ). This proclamation by Jesus explains His close connection with God that would reveal later in His life.
No written account is available with regard to the young adulthood of Jesus; neither is there any record to suggest that He ever had a wife or children. However, He emerged again at 30 and it was at this age that He asked His cousin John the Baptist, who was performing baptism in the Jordon River to baptize Him. John the Baptist was reluctant at first because he believed he was unworthy to baptize the Son of God. However, Jesus was adamant so John fulfilled the last of his mission as Jesus’ forerunner and baptized Him (History of Jesus Christ, n. d. ).
Some religious scholars believed this baptism was symbolic as it solidified Jesus’ commitment to the mission His Heavenly Father gave Him; and this was in preparation for the daunting task ahead (Ross, n. d. ). Jesus went on to perform miracles as He traveled throughout the land spreading God’s message of love and forgiveness. He healed the sick, performed exorcisms, resurrected the dead, changed water into wine, and symbolically fed thousands of people who came to listen to one of His sermons with a few loaves and fishes (History of Jesus Christ, n. . ). Along with His teachings of love and forgiveness, many people were drawn to this calm, enigmatic, and charismatic man, who claimed to be Son of the living God. He had disciples of different socioeconomic backgrounds, and even had a female disciple name Mary Magdalene who later became one of the witnesses to His resurrection. Although Jesus’ message attracted many believers, the Roman Empire and the religious establishment of that period saw Him as a threat. They sought to destroy him and subsequently, succeeded in killing Him.
It appears that the prophecy came to fulfillment when three days after His death; Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. The Prophet Mohammed Just like Jesus, the prophet Mohammed came from humble beginnings. He was born around 570 A. D. and raised by relatives. While visiting Syria as a teenager, Mohammed was pointed out by a Christian monk as bearing the birth mark of a prophet (Handbook of Today’s Religions, n. d. ). He grew up as honest and hardworking, led a normal life, and engaged in business that required extensive traveling by caravans.
As the story goes, it was during this time when he met and married a wealthy woman named Khadijah. She became one of his staunchest supporters and gave him encouragement at times when he lost confidence in himself and his mission. Her understanding gave him opportunities for contemplation and solitude. His mission started a little later in life at 40, as he was on a retreat during Ramadan. The angel Gabriel appeared and informed him that God chose him to be the last prophet and his mission is to preach submission to Allah’s will; this marked the commencement of the continual revelation of the Qur’an (Handbook of Today’s Religion, n. . ). The Qur’an was not written immediately after the revelation because even though Mohammed was an eloquent speaker, he was also illiterate (Handbook of Today’s Religions, n. d. ). For a period Mohammed and his followers would recite and memorize the messages relayed by the angel. They later compiled the Qur’an out of concerns that the teachings might become lost because of the killings of his followers during the persecution as well as their dying from old age. His mission was no easy undertaking as he encountered oppositions to his message.
In retaliation against persecution, Mohammed organized an army to protect his followers and to complete his mission. He taught his followers self-control and discipline; fought against racial and social class distinction, and even encouraged prayer on the battlefield. Mecca failed to acknowledge him and his mission and he and his followers were exiled to Medina. He built the first mosque as an exile in Medina, so that Muslims could have a place in which to worship. For his accomplishment Allah gave Mohammed permission to wage war in an effort to reunite the people in the region of Mecca and Medina.
It is believed that this act was the foundation of the Islamic ideology of Jihad (Handbook of Today’s Religions, n. d. ). Mohammed’s doctrine of equality for all humankind and his proclamation of universal brotherhood are also two of his most important accomplishments. Mohammed became the central figure in Islam and he is seen as a person who embodies what is good and righteous. He was an orator, a businessman, a warrior, and a prophet. His teachings create an atmosphere that allows people, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds or status to remain neutral as they bow down side-by-side and proclaim, “God alone is great. Jesus’ death became a central and pivotal point for Christian adherents. His death symbolically cleansed the sins of the world, and essentially made sacrifices of burnt offerings for the atonement of sins unnecessary. His death also meant salvation and redemption. Adherents believe that God’s sacrificing of His Son represents His love for His people, which only help to strengthen the Christian belief. Subsequently, divisions within Christianity resulted in the formation of many denominations. On the other hand, Mohammed’s death was considered a loss of a significant leader.
Disunity erupted among his followers shortly after his death. Some revert to idolatry, giving the Caliphs leadership of the Islamic religion. This split led Sunnis to recognize the succession of the Caliphs to lead the religion, while Shias resisted, believing that the Islamic religion should be led by direct descendants of Mohammed (Amin, n. d. ). To a certain degree, Jesus was treated as an ordinary person and respected by his followers on earth. However, He gained more acceptability after His death and resurrection, and was ever since divinely worshipped as part of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to this day.
On the other hand, although Mohammed was highly esteemed, he was never divinely worshipped by his followers. He is still regarded and acknowledged as the last prophet of God in the Shahada and daily prayers to Allah. Both the teachings of Jesus and Mohammed are memorialized in the Holy Bible and the Qur’an respectively. Both the Bible and the Qur’an are available in print and electronic devices. The respective messages of Jesus and Mohammed remain alive today, taught ceaselessly throughout many generations, and account for two of the largest religions in the world today. References Amin, H.
A. (n. d. ). The Origins of the Sunni/Shia Split in Islam. Retrieved July 25, 2011 from, http://www. islamfortoday. com/shia. htm Handbook of Today’s religion (n. d). Islam. Retrieved July 25, 2011 from, http://www. greatcom. org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/03chap09/default. htm History of Jesus Christ (n. d. ). Jesus Christ. Retrieved July 25, 2011 from, http://www. historyworld. net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories. asp? historyid=ac34 Ross, A. (n. d. ). The Baptism of Jesus. Retrieved July 25, 2011 from, http://bible. org/seriespage/baptism-jesus-matthew-313-17