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The word Islam is derived from the root word “salaama” means peace, obedience, purity, and submissions. Islam means abiding peace and obedience to the will of God. While other religions derive their name from either a tribe, or a geographical area or a founder, and Islam derives its name from the central ides of peace and submission to god. The followers of Islam call them as Muslims or Musalmans. The word “Hindu” is derived from the Sanskrit root word “Sindhu” and used by Persians, ancient Greeks and many foreigners to denote the people who lived beyond the river Indus. The word Hinduism was invented by the british scholars in 1830s to denote the religious traditions of the native Indians to distinguish them from the other recognized religions.
The message of Islam came to Muhammad for the first time through the angel Gabriel in 610 A.D., in a cave on Mount Hira. He kept on receiving the answers to his questions rest of his life and then he put all together in the book called Qur’an, which is the only holy book of Islam. Qur’an is the only book in the world which cannot be ever translated. Hinduism considers Vedas as their teachings of God. The Vedas are the earliest sacred books of Hinduism. The end part of Upanishads, which constitutes the philosophical base of Hinduism known as Vedanta and contains the elements of monotheism and description of God as the supreme deity of universe. Other important sources of Hinduism are the Vedanta’s, the Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita, Tantric texts, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. As Aldous Huxley once said “The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.”
The muslims practices the following so called Five Pillars, which are mentioned in the Qur’an. Shahadah is also known as the daily recitation of “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger” (Qur’an). Salat is the rituals performed Five times a day: dawn, at midday, mid afternoon, sunset, and nighttime. Zakat which is the amount of money from a person’s total income donated to the poor and the needy. Sawn which is a period of fasting from dawn to dusk in the ninth month of muslim calendar. During this fasting muslims avoid all food, liquid, sex and tobacco. The final pillar is called Hajj which is the pilgrimage to a sacred city of Mecca once in their lifetime. In Hinduism God is worshipped in many different ways. The daily rituals are performed by an individual several times a day in which offerings are made to gods, the elements, ancestors, animals and the humans. Many people also worship by visiting the temple everyday in the morning. Ramayana states that “Wealth springs from dharma, from dharma comes happiness and one gets everything from dharma. Dharma is the essence of this world”(Valmiki). Pooja is the popular form of worship in which prayers, chants, flowers, incense sticks, and others things are offered to gods, like said in Ramayana “Whatever is one’s food, the same food shall be offered to one’s gods” (Valmiki 2.103.30)Some Hindus also participate in satsangs or religious gatherings and perform the singing and chanting of the names of gods. Many Hindus practice fasting on specific days of the weeks or on some festivals. Hindus also visits certain sacred places and temples for their own beings. A visit to Varanasi for a dip in Ganges is considered very purifying and spiritual uplifting. There are many festivals celebrated by hindus out of which some are Diwali, Navaratri, Uttarayan, Ganesh Chaturthi and many more.
Muslims deny believing or worshiping any other god but Allah, who is their almighty. He is not only the highest god of muslims, but also of all the people in the world. He is close to his loyal worshippers, whom he forgives their sins and blesses them with peace and happiness. They believe in free will and fate. According to muslims, Allah knows everything that happened, that has been happening and that will happen. He made humans responsible for their actions and choices. Anyone can convert to Islam easily. According to their traditions, anyone who follows Allah and takes Muhammad as his messenger becomes a muslim because Qur’an says that “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah” (al-Nisa’ 4.80). Hinduism believes in existence of Brahman, the supreme Lord of the universe who is eternal and stable. Three gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are his three main forms which are endowed with their work of creation, preservation and destruction. According to Hindus, god can be worshipped in too many different ways. Many Hindus worship gods into their personal forms chosen by themselves. Hinduism believes in worshipping god as in the image or the statue or an object. They also believe in peaceful life lived with truth and honor, like once said in Mahabharata, “Should even one’s enemy arrive at the doorstep, he should be attended upon with respect. A tree does not withdraw its cooling shade even from the one who has come to cut it” (12.146.5). And Mahatma Gandhi also said “I have no other wish in this world but to find light and joy and peace through Hinduism.”
Hinduism and Islam believe in the God as a supreme Lord of the universe, and as a creator of the whole system. Both religions believe that god has blessed humans with free will which make themselves responsible for their actions and choices. Allah is known by 99 names and the person who learns them all by heart goes in the heaven. The Brahman of Hinduism also has many names and by chanting them a person can attain him. Both believe that god responds to all the people who worship him and blesses them. Hinduism believes in karma. Islam believes that good rewards for good deeds and punishment for bad dreams. And Qur’an states “Whoever does good deed, he shall be repaid ten-fold; and whoever does evil, and he shall be repaid with evil” (5.32). Both religions believe in non-violence and killing no human life. In Hinduism the path of truth is far more important than the belief or disbelief in god. Islam does not recognize any other religions other than they are specifically mentioned in Qur’an. ” We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to him do we submit” (29.46). Muslims believe that they in something that is been revealed to them and believe that everybody’s god is same. Both religions believe in praying gods and reciting their name and ask for god’s forgiveness.
Muslims believe in praying only one god Allah, where as Hindus pray to one god but in different forms and incarnations. A person can be converted to Islam by praying to Allah or by taking Muhammad as their own messenger. Whereas in Hinduism a person becomes a Hindu by birth or by personal choice, without taking any messenger or following particular god permanently. Islam does not accept anyone between humans and god and in Hinduism there is a presence of priest for the right directions. Islam does not have any high priest or gurus, whereas Hindus has like the highly respected gurus who people follow and seek for more knowledge from them. Islam does not believe in rebirth. Hindus believe going in heaven or hell but they believe that the soul gets its freedom back through rebirth. Hinduism does not have the concept of messengers like Muslims have Muhammad as their messengers to god. Muslims laws are well versed in Qur’an as to punish the one who oppose the commands of Allah, and in Hinduism the laws are not imposed by the religious groups or people but are through the government. Islam does not accepts god as his own creation where as Hindus accept that god is a supreme Lord of his creation and also as an individual as atman in every human-being as it is stated in The Bhagwad Gita, “The power of God is with you at all times; through the activities of mind, senses, breathing, and emotions; and is constantly doing all the work using you as a mere instrument.” Hinduism does not see any difference between god and other living beings. In Islam man can only be the true follower of god and the others are made just to benefit man. In Islam there is no concept of Trinity. They believe that god is one and only. Hinduism has three highest forms of god known as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
The belief system in Hinduism and Islam has a great effect on the present day society. There is a great development and change in Hinduism over the centuries and has spread all over the world. Islam has also spread over the years and has mostly spread by trade and the people conquered by them. Hinduism and Islam are two major religions in modern world with a great amount of people following in the various parts of the world.
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Gandhi, Mahatma. “Hinduism Quotes.” Refspace.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2012.
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