Islam and Hinduism

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Many religions vary in different ways, ranging from their practice method to the amount of idols or gods they worship. Islam and Hinduism are two very popular religions that have major aspects that separate them from one another.

One major difference between the two religions is that Hinduism is a polytheistic religion and Islam is a monotheistic religion. A polytheistic religion is one that believes in or worships more than one God. Although Hinduism has a belief of multiple gods, they do have some higher than the others such as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Sometimes above the many gods a polytheistic religion will have a supreme creator and focus of devotion, (Smart). In many polytheistic religions, it is also common for there to be a belief in ghostly and demonic figures in addition to the gods. Some who believe in a polytheistic religion may choose just one god that they greatly correspond with and only worship it. This is so common because these gods often have human-like characteristics and so some people may connect to certain gods more than they do the others.A monotheistic religion is the belief in only one god. God in monotheism is conceived of as the creator of the world and of humanity; he has not abandoned his creation but continues to lead it through his power and wisdom; (van Baaren). This quote is saying that in monotheism, one God does everything. He creates the whole world, everything in it, and the humanities of it. Islam is monotheism because the religion focuses on only one god, not many. This in comparison to polytheism is extremely different because in a polytheistic religion there is typically a god for everything starting with how Earth began to the humanities while in monotheism one god does it all.

Hinduism is the oldest religion dating back more than 4000 years ago. It's hard to find the direct origin of Hinduism but it is known that 95% of all Hindus live in India. This is believed to be because of the Aryans bringing hymns they created to India. These hymns were said to be based off real historical events. Vedas are ancient Hindu scriptures that contain philosophy, priests rituals, and the hymns mentioned before that were all originally spread by word of mouth for a long period of time until they were, finally, written down.Different from Hinduism, Islam began in a place called Mecca which is now known as Saudi Arabia. There are over 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world which is extremely crazy considering it's the youngest out of the top most popular religions. Islam originated because of the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad was said to be the last in a long line of prophets that included Jesus and Moses. It is said by Muslims that Muhammad started having visions and hearing voices, this led to the Qur'an which is the holy book of Islam. Many Muslims believe the Qur'an was made of the pre-existent words of Allah, who is the Islamic God.

Even the ways both Hinduism and Islam began are both disparate. As mentioned, Hinduism was originated by word of mouth of people over many years while Islam had one man who claimed to have angelic visions. Both religions vary in places too, such as Hinduism remaining mainly in India as many muslims remain in Saudi Arabia. Even the places of where these religions are located will greatly affect the culture and beliefs they have and that can be another cause as to why they are so different from one another.Both religions are practiced in different ways with few similarities. Hindu worship is typically called puja. In most cases, worship for Hindus takes place at home at the family shrine or at a temple. Most worship is individual or family based. A worshiper may go to the temple to give thanks or to ask for assistance. While, Muslim worship is crucial as they believe worship is the main reason for their existence. Muslims worship Allah to show their love and submission. People who follow Islam typically attend Friday prayers where they listen to a sermon and pray with each other. They also commonly use fasting and praying as ways to worship. Fasting is one thing both religions have in common. This is one of the few similarities the two religions have within their worshiping.

The afterlife beliefs of Hindus and Muslims is also different from one another. Hinduism believes in the rebirth, or reincarnation of souls. They believe souls should continue being born again until they overcome the state of delusion. The cycle of death and rebirth will end when the soul finally realizes its true nature. Hinduism does believe in heaven as mentioned in sacred text, there are 14 levels of existence. The highest realm being the world of Brahman (god) and the lowest being the nether worlds where the sinners are punished. These worlds are called Yamaloka after Yama, the Lord of Justice. On the other hand, Muslims believe that their deeds in life and on earth will be what decides if they go to heaven or not. They believe that there will be a day that they will be placed in front of god and judged, god will weigh their good and their bad deeds. If the they have more good than bad then they will make it into their heaven. Those who have bad deeds that outweigh their good will be punished and won't enter heaven. Also, some bad deeds their god will forgive them for before being judged. Both religions do believe in some sort of after life and neither believe that the only life is here on Earth but they do believe in different things happening after death.

The goals both religions have are also different. Hindus believe that their goal is to break the cycle of reincarnation. They believe once their cycle is broken, they've attained their salvation. The goals of Islam is to serve all humans, using their love and compassion. Then their goal is to commit more good than bad so they can make it into their heaven.

As its known, Hinduism is slightly based off mythology. Within mythology is very common to see a mythological king with more than one wife, which is contradicting Hindu men are to only marry one woman. This is different from islam where a muslim man may have more than one wife, yet women are to only have one husband or else it's a sin.

Confessing sins, or asking for repentance is also different for both religions. For Hindus, unintentional sins are forgiven, but if a Hindu commits a sin on purpose they get punished. This punishment is called karmic consequences and it's where bad things happen to the person who commited the bad deed to basically even out what they have done. For muslims, the belief is that only god can do forgiving. He should be the first one asked for forgiveness unless the bad deed was done to a person or thing, then forgiveness must be obtained from them first.

Overall Hinduism and Islam are two very different religions. Down to the basics of where they both originated to their views on an afterlife, forgiveness, and their goals they each have. With both of them being such large religions it's hard to believe the amount of differences they have.

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Islam and Hinduism. (2019, Jun 24). Retrieved February 29, 2024 , from

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