When you look at Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism are the three main religions that fall into this category. They all believe and worship in the same God and accept God as the one to have created the world out of love for us and revealed himself and his will through different religious scriptures. God has told us the rules of morality and we can be moral because God created us with the abilities to know the difference between right and wrong. Choosing between right and wrong can be difficult, but for all three Abrahamic religions you have the ability to feel gratitude for the chance to be in this world and share your love with others and to do right over wrong. With this duty of right and wrong come the punishments and rewards and we are pushed towards our destiny of eternal happiness and reaching heaven.
Similarities between the religions
As an interfaith group that wishes to bridge gaps between the three Abrahamic faiths, we look at the different ways that the religions are similar to each other and how this can help to bring us together as one.
The Jewish and Islamic communities have common grounds:
- Both eat ritually slaughtered meat
- Prohibit idolatry
- Grant equal status to women
- Perform male circumcision
- Agree on the tablet which was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, amongst many other issues.
The Christian and Muslim communities:
- Believe in the miracles performed by Jesus
- Believe in Jesus (as)
- believe in the concept of charity
- Belive in Judgement Day
- Believe in the return of Jesus near the End Times
- Believe in heaven and hell, and angels and prophets of the Old Testament.
All three religions have a strong basis in brotherhood and community running through it.
In the Bible, Matthew 7:12, God demands, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.’
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as his final sermon states: ‘Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any claim to superiority over one another. You are as brothers.’ The Jewish tradition imparts, ‘God has made all men brothers and they should live together as brothers at all times. It is good for men to act in unity as brothers. Such action will be blessed by God and will prosper.’
Judaism, Christianity and Islam share:
- Believe their religious scriptures are divinely guided
- Share practices and rituals such as charity, prayer and pilgrimage.
- Share some common holy sites
- Acknowledge that good deeds will be rewarded in the afterlife whilst bad ones shall be punished.
However, despite all these wonderful similarities to each other, rather than bringing the faiths together they are consumed by hatred for each other. This hate is usually steeped in or is driven by a nationalistic or political ideology. A good example of this is the years old conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. Rather than attempting to get together and resolve the root cause of their problems and to finally find a common ground they seem to be pushed into further conflict which is not beneficial for either country. Both are not attempting to find a way to make things work and are instead more interested in ignoring each other, hurting each other and taking lives of innocents when their scriptures clearly state not to take the life of innocents.
On a final note
If we look at years gone by we see a rich history filled with traditions. As an interfaith group we are hoping to bring together this rich diversity to help make people realise that we are all the one and same. We believe in the same God and therefore it is only when WE have a level of mutual understanding, a tolerance for each other and respect one another that we will create a world that is going to benefit the generations of Jews, Christians and Muslims to come. We are striving hard to bridge this gap between these interfaith groups through regular meetings. We hope to bring together the common goals and beliefs of the Abrahamic faiths and to finally have a community that is in harmony with each other.