"A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding" Kahlil Gibran (Lebanese-American philosophical essayist, novelist and poet 1883-1931)
If you have or haven't faith, you have to open your mind to the tenets of other religions, only to have knowledge. There are five Major religions in the world. These religions are categorized into" Western Religions" and "Eastern Religions". Western religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.These three religions recognize the same single God, Who was recognized first by Abraham who called the “Father of Nations” by the three religions. Eastern Religions are Hinduism, Buddhism and others, including the Tao and Dharma faiths. These religions recognize several gods.
First: Western Religions (Monotheistic religions).
1800 BC: Judaism, Believers: Jewish.
ü Founder: began around 1800 BC with Abraham. It was Moses who is said to have been eventually sent by God to free the enslaved Jews in Egypt.
ü God: believe in one God (Yahweh). He is the creator, transcendent, immanent, lawgiver, personal
ü Holy book: is "the "Torah", also the first five books of the Christian Bible.
ü House of worship: Jewish house of worship is called a "synagogue".
· Jews think that God will send a Messiah (a deliverer) to unite them and lead them to His way. Christians also believe that Jesus was the Messiah, but the Jewish people do not agree; as they anticipate His arrival in the future.
· Judaism teaches that death is not the end and that there is a coming world (hereafter).
1 AD: Christianity, Believers: Christian.
ü Founder: Began with the birth of Jew named Jesus or Messiah about 2000 years ago. His Jewish followers claimed that he was the son of God.
ü God: Believe in one God (God is the Creator of the universe. There is one God, Who is Three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit)
ü Holy book: The holy book is "the Bible"
ü House of worship: Christian's house of worship is called a "church".
· Christians think that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, to earth in a human body to live the perfect life and (to take the just punishment for sin upon)to sacrifice himself by dying on the cross to forgive people for their sins. They also believe that he came back to life and returned to heaven.
· They also believe that God hates sin, but He loves those whom He created even though they are sinners. If they receive His gift of salvation in faith, God will forgive sins and accept his believers into His family once again.
650 AD- Islam, Believers: Muslim.
ü Founder: Began with Prophet Muhammad in Saudi Arabia, more than1400 years ago.
ü God: Believe in one God Allah (God is the creator and sustainer).
ü Holy book: The holy book is "the Qur'an".
ü House of worship: Muslims' house of worship is called a" mosque".
• Muslims believe that life on earth is a period of testing and preparation for the coming life and that Allah grants paradise to those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Salvation is based on human effort because humans are good by nature. However, Allah does not love those who do wrong.
• Muslims believe in Allah,(and) His angels,(and) His scriptures and His prophets and no distinction between any of His prophets.
• The Five Pillars of Islam are: 1) the profession(the testimony) that “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet”; 2)a prayer to Allah five times per day; 3) the sharing of one’s income through almsgiving; 4) fasting from food, drink and intimate intercourse during the daylight hours of Ramadan (the ninth month of the year); and 5) going to Mecca during one’s lifetime if, physically and economically, possible.
Second: Eastern Religion (Polytheistic Religions).
Approximately 3000-2000 BC-Hinduism, Believers: Hindu.
ü Founder: Hinduism is a religion that began in India. No one could point a finger at a specific founder or its date of origin. It has developed out of Brahmanism.
ü God: Hindus believe in many gods, representing many forms both earthly and divine. They recognize one supreme spirit called Brahman "the Absolute". "Brahman" has three manifestations—(the gods) Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).
ü Holy book: Hinduism has many sacred books, the oldest being a series called the "Vedas“
ü House of worship: Hindus house of worship is called a "Mandir".
· Hindus believe that life is Karma (good and bad actions in this life affect future life) and reincarnation (people are rebirth based on their Karma). If one has a lot of bad karma, they will be reborn as a bad person, or even as an animal. Hindus also believe that we are reborn into a form of life which expresses the karma from our past lives. But if people have a lot of good karma, they will be reborn as a person in one of the highest castes.
· Reincarnation until soul achieves enlightenment. The goal of Hindus is to, someday, join with Brahman.
486 BCE Buddhism, Believers: Buddhist.
ü Founder: Founded by Siddhartha Gautama or “Buddha” a prince in India.
ü God: Buddhists do not believe that the matter of God’s existence is important. Thus, if God exists, He is impersonal and without attributes.
ü Holy book: Buddhism is not based on a single book. Sacred text is called "Thripitaka"
ü House of worship: Buddhist's house of worship is called Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas, and pagodas.
· Buddhists believe in karma (good and bad actions in this life affect future life) like Hinduism.
· Buddhists believe in four Noble Truths which are Pain is universal, Desire causes all pain, ceasing desire relieves pain, and Right conduct provides escape from pain.
· Also they believe that the goal of life is to understand and eliminate suffering by following the Eightfold Path. This path involves right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness, and right meditation. The eight points have three themes wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental discipline.
· Buddhism teaches that meditation and the practice of good religious and moral behavior can lead to Nirvana (the state of enlightenment).
In conclusion, Faith is a belief in the trustworthiness of an idea. Formal usage of the word "faith" is usually reserved for concepts of religion. This article presents the Major faiths while the information is gathered from many references. It may have misunderstanding of the faith.
So if you are one who believes in such a faith and you have seen in what written lacks facts, you are welcome to give us more illustration about your faith.
By: Nouran Radwan