Religion is a hard word to define. Some might define religion as believing in a high power, deities, or a single God. Others define it as a belief system that has more to do with culture and traditions being past down from generation to generation than anything. According to Ask.com (n.d.), religion is define as the belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. No one knows what the first religion was or when it was founded, but today there are countless religions that people are associate with. The top five religions of the world today are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hindu. Over 33% of the world population consider themselves Christians, 21% Islam, Hindu is 14%, Buddhism 6% and Judaism 0.22% (Adherents.com, 2007).
The word Islam means “peace and to be in submission to God”. Islam is a religion that I have always had interested in, but have never done thorough research on until now. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and the second largest religion behind Christianity. Of the five major religions that are practiced today, Islam is the youngest one and did not come into existence until 622 CE. The founder of was a man name Muhammad who was born in Mecca which is located in Saudi Arabia. His name means the “The Praised One” (Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2007).
Mohammad’s father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was six years old. At the age of 25 he married a name Khadijah who was 15 years older then him. At the age of 40 years old, he claimed and tells a story of how he received a revelation from Allah (God). He says that Gabriel an Angel of Allah appeared to him one day while he was in a cave meditating and praying. The reason that Allah revealed this message to him was because Allah wanted him to re-establish the current religion that man had distorted by making changes to it (Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2007).
I had a privilege to meet with someone from the Islam faith whose name is Shirin pronounced Shir as in Sheryl rin as in reindeer. I also had an opportunity to visit a mosque here in Arlington, TX, name Islamic Society of Arlington Texas (ISAT). This mosque was built in 1989 so the growing Muslims population in the area could have a place where they could come together under on roof to meet others Muslims in the area. It is a place for them to worship and pray to Allah. The learning experience was very educational to me. This young female was very pleasant and was willing to assist me in any way that she could. She was born in Iran in 1984 and came to the United States at the age of five. She was born a Muslim meaning that she did not later convert to this religion. I asked her what did it mean to be a Muslim, and she explained to me that being a Muslim meant that you believe in Islam, the Qur’an, and the Prophet Muhammad. She compared the Qur’an to the Christian’s Holy Bible. She says that all Muslims whether they are born one or converted later into the religion must believe in Allah who is God and that there are no other God but him. As a Muslims you must also believe that the Prophet Muhammad was a messenger from Allah, and you must submit and believe in his teaching. Another question I asked Shirin was could anyone become a Muslim, and her response was “Yes, all you have to do is believe in Allah, the Qur’an, the teaching of the Prophet Mohammad and that he was a messenger from Allah.” She said that anyone who believe in these things and wish to submit to Allah and the teaching of the Qur’an can become a Muslim. She explained that believing these things is a start to accepting the one and true religion, which is Islam.
One thing I learned from my interview, even though I have heard these two names over and over again on television was that Shiites and Sunnis were two groups within the Muslim and Islam faith. Shirin explained it like being Baptist or Roman Catholic, both groups...
November 3, 2014
Comparing Hinduism and Judaism
Hinduism and Judaism are the two oldest religions to this day. This would make them very similar due to them being the first two religions to come into existence, Hinduism being a dharmic religion and Judaism being a monotheistic religion which would give them different religious rules and views. The similarities and differences between Hinduism and Judaism are striking and they deserve to be thoroughly examined. These similarities and differences between the religions occur in their daily rituals, their beliefs about god, and in their views on life and death
Daily rituals are series of acts that are done the same way every day. Hindus pray to an idol where they are suppose to pray three times a day by themselves or with family. “The majority of Hindu homes have a shrine where offerings are made and prayers are said… Family members often worship together. Rituals should strictly speaking be performed three times a day.”(Professor Gavin Flood, 2014) Hindu families are often seen worshiping in a group, this is supposed to help in receiving presences from god due to many people worshiping. These prayers are usually said in early mornings, afternoon and in the evening so they can maximize their chances of experiencing god. Likewise, the Jewish also pray three times a day. “Jewish Law makes it our duty to pray three times...
...WorldReligions and the Masses
By: James Hannah
What is religion and why do so many in the world follow a form of it. The masses are so easily moved to follow something. Religion is a way to control the masses, but also we can look at that further that internet controls the masses, as does cell phones. That is my feeling on the subject. I did learn a lot by the religions that we looked at. I happened to go to the Sikh Temple, The Synagogue and to the Cathedral of the Madeline. I will say all three where awesome to go on and I did learn a lot. Moving from East to West try to see how they all seem to work together.
Sikhism was very interesting religion to look at because of their belief in one god in a Hindu dominate area of the world. They are a warrior class within India, protectors of all that are oppressed. Their first guru was Nanak and he emphasized that God is within the heart. So one does not need the Vedas or the Qur’an to find God, and regardless of one’s caste or gender, God is within, Truth immanent. This is symbolized by its openness to both Hindus and Muslims. Nanak wore Hindu-style clothing on his lower body and Muslim-style on his torso and head. 6 centuries later the guru then wore two swords, one representing spiritual power and the other temporal power, to signify the defense of the...
...Reading Response: The World’s Religions
All around the world, religion is a dominant idea for many cultures; exemplifying a certain way of life, serving as a basis for faith, and bringing charity to the world, religion is an extensive concept. For several cultures and countries religion may vary according to demographics, socio-economical class, and ethnicity. Many people seekreligion as a way of life, for others religion simply means going to church or temple and seeing religious festivals. One religion is Christianity. Christianity is basically an historical religion. It is founded not on abstract principles but on concrete events, actual historical happenings. When Huston Smith stated that: “Jesus’ life is so meager that many investigators believe he had never lived”, this is really not that smart to say as investigators because if Jesus had never lived than why were many people after him and symbolized him as the son of god, and as part of the holy spirit, if he had never existed why are so many individuals drawn to him in every religion such has Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The biographical details of Jesus’ life are very minimal. Huston Smith summarizes that he was a charismatic wonder-worker who stood in a tradition that stretched back to the beginning of Hebrew history. The prophets and seers...
6.Purity and Monasticism
Time when religion developed a sense of purity and order to be observed.
If you violate the order, you are considered sinful
For example, pork is impure to some religions; to others it is a delicacy.
Ex. Indians see cows as a sacred picture. Eating cows are not considered pure
Ex. In Christianity, you shall not worship other deities.
Follow the prder wthin yourreligion.
7. Mystery religion
Meditate to attain an experience.
Mystical experience: be one with everything else.
8. God on earth
Reincarnation of a god on earth.
Ex. Jesus (Christianity), Dalai Llama (Buddhist)
Humans could be more than humans. More divine
9. Scriptural religion
All these religions began with oral religion
First scriptural was a decade after Jesus died.
Disciples try their best to remember the word of god and write them down.
Objects of worship. Thought to carry sacred powers.
Similar to spiritual religion
People take these literatures literally
“Hinduism is the dominant religion of India”
Problematic because of the three statements: Hinduism, religion, India.
They’re not terms that originate from India.
Each one of them suggests uniformity and consistency that does not actually exist.
When we study the religious traditions of...
Hinduism is a way of life, not a particular belief system. Hinduism, also known as Santana Dharma, is a set of traditions and beliefs that have developed over many centuries. Dharma embraces duty, natural law, social welfare, ethics, health, and ideal realization. The foundations of Santana Dharma are the Vedas and Upanishads; the sacred texts of Hinduism. “Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Westernreligions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization” (Robinson, 2001). Hinduism is believed to originate in North India, and is the world’s third largest religion. Hinduism is primarily monotheistic, with many different names given to the Supreme Being. The spiritual goal of Hinduism is to become one with the Supreme Being; Brahma, the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer. Hinduism is a unique religion in that God is one, yet there are also many Gods. Due to assimilation and evolution, Hinduism now has a tremendous diversity of religious traditions. Of the denominations, Smartism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Vaishnavism are the main divisions. Hindu beliefs include reincarnation, karma, samsara, moksha, yogas, and dharma. Rituals are a normal, daily observance, or performance, but vary among different individuals. Some of these rituals are comprised of meditation, chanting...
...Running head: WorldReligions Report 1
Samantha R Wright
June 20, 2010
WorldReligions Report 2
Judaism is the religion that is practiced by the Jewish people and it is one of the oldest religions in the world. Judaism was founded around 1300 BC in Mesopotamia by Abraham and is still followed today by 14 million people and nearly 3.5 billion others follow belief systems directly influenced by Judaism including Christianity, Islam and the Bah’ai Faith (religionfacts.com). Judaism is a monotheistic religion meaning that the central religious belief is that there is only one God. Monotheism was not a common belief during the time that Judaism was founded, but according to Jewish tradition God revealed that there should only be one superior being that is worship and that he is the one to Abraham, an ancestor of the Jewish people. After rescuing the Hebrews, who later become known as Jews from slavery in Egypt God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses on top of Mount Sinai around 2000 BC. The Ten Commandments are considered the most important commandments of the Torah, which is Five Books of Moses: Genesis,...
Review for final exam
Definition of religionReligion is belief that social norms, traditions, myths and symbols will impart wisdom, comfort, hope and balance and enable one to transcend death
Definition of church, denomination, sects, cults
An official religion of a country or state
Is a major societal religion in a country or state
A small, anti socialreligion with a closed membership
A small, anti social religion with a closed membership, and a living charismatic founder
Founders of religious studies
Sigmund freud- religion in a mere illusion
Are people who are attuned to the spirit world of animals and people and deal with that world on behalf of others
Tocaboga's belief in three souls
Their shadow, their image in a pond, and the pupil of their eye
Burial customs of Neanderthal
Food, tools, and weapons left for the afterlife
Burial customs of Cro-Magnon
Ornaments such as shell bracelets and hair circlets, stone tools, weapons, and food. Deceased were painted with red ochre
Bear cult of Neaderthal
Setting apart the skull for possible reverence
Founder of islam, angel Gabriel, the last prophet
reciting, only be read in Arabic, holy scripture
Was built by Abraham, was a big black metor and landed in mecca
Meaning of the...
...One World, Many Religions.
Being a strong believer in science, I find the concept of religion very interesting. When getting taught about Hinduism, Buddhism and other ‘major’ religions I thought that some religions were very closely linked and not all that different from each other. So, I thought, why not take two religions, as different as possible, and compare them. See what they have in common, what they don’t. And, after much consideration I settled upon Scientology and the Fundamentalist side of Mormonism.
So, first of all, to understand both groups, you need to understand: what exactly is a religion? Well, in a dictionary religion is defined as;
“a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.” 
Now, believing in science, I believe that the universe was created by the Big Bang, but nevertheless, I respect other people’s beliefs and in conducting my research into each of these religious groups, I could find various doctrines that I could appreciate and understand why they are practiced.
I selected Scientology because it is a modern day religion that has spread globally over the last 5 or 6 decades. Founded by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature.
Mormonism on the other hand was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. at the...