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The Abrahamic Faiths: Three Religions, One God

Shared Beliefs

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are called the Abrahamic Religions because of their common origin through the prophet and patriarch, Abraham. They share other common threads, such as:

 

  • They originated in the Middle East

  • They are monotheistic faiths that believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe, God of Abraham.

  • They recognize The Prophet Abraham is patriarch.

  • They believe Adam, Abraham, Moses are part of a chain of prophets from God.

  • They believe Torah is God’s word; Moses is a key figure in all three holy texts.

  • They all believe that sinners can face punishment in the afterlife. While Christians and Muslims believe in similar, eternal versions of Hell, Jews believe that punishment in the afterlife might be temporary.

  • Much of the moral code in all three is shared, as are shared practices like prayer, fasting, and weekly worship services. Christians attend church on Sunday, Jews go to the synagogue on Saturday, and Muslims go to the mosque on Friday.

 

One God

There is a misconception that Muslims worship a different God. Just as “Yahweh” is Hebrew word for God, “Allah” is the word for God used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Muslims. For example, if you are a Christian who lives in Egypt and speaks Arabic, you would use, “Allah.”

 

Comparing Christianity and Islam

Many Americans associate Islam with the Middle East, but, like Christianity, the religion has spread across the world. And like with Christianity, Islam is not associated with one particular race or nationality.

 

  • Christianity and Islam are the largest religions in the world, with 2 billion followers and 1.5 billion followers respectively.

  • Christians and Muslims revere the Virgin Mary as the mother of Jesus.

  • While Muslims respect Jesus as a prophet, they do not believe he was the son of God.

  • Jesus is one of the most referenced prophets in the Quran, mentioned by name 25 times.

  • Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran.

  • Both Christians and Muslims believe that Judgement Day will be marked by the second coming of Jesus.

 

Where do these faiths diverge?

 

  • Jews believe that God’s revelation ended with the Old Testament, and they now await the coming of a Messiah. Christians believe God’s revelation ended with his son, Jesus, who was that Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified but was raised to heaven by Allah.

  • Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad received the final revelation from God through the angel Gabriel to complete prior revelations that shaped the belief systems of Judaism and Christianity.

  • Muslims respect Jews and Christians as “People of the Book,” whose revelations are not yet complete.​

 

 

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"The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

— The Catechism of the Catholic Church