Similarities and Differences: Islam and Judaism



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Dorian Miller

Mr. Preston

Humanities

13.1.13


Similarities and Differences: Islam and Judaism

Islam and Judaism are two of the world’s most popular religions. There are more than one and a half billion Muslims in the world. These religions have many similarities, but also many differences. Some of these similarities are that they both believe in one God that they believe created everything in the universe. They also both have sacred texts, symbols, holidays, and special religious clothing. While there are all these similarities, there are also many differences, such as the way they pray to their Gods or the things that they believe will happen after death.

The first similarity is that both religions believe in one God that they believe created everything known to mankind. To Muslims, God is known as “Allah”, and to Jews God is simply God. In both of these religions, God is known as the highest and most powerful figure in the world. They also both believe that every human that follows their religion has a special relationship with their God. To show respect to their god, they pray to ask him for favors or forgiveness for past events. In Islam, God is the one who gave Muhammad the Quran, which is their holy book, because he was the chosen one. God is also the one in these religions, who was known for choosing the person that founded or created the religion. In Islam, Muhammad was chosen, and Abraham was the chosen one in Judaism.

Another similarity between these two religions is that they both have special celebrations and holidays. These are always celebrated on certain days. Both religions celebrate many of these holidays to either remind them or honor God, or to remember a special religious story. For example, Jews celebrate Hanukkah to remind them of a special point in their religious history. This was when a group of Jews had reclaimed their homeland from the Syrian-Greeks, and they only had enough oil to light the Menorah (a special 7-9 branched candlestick) for one day. Amazingly, the candles lasted for the next eight days. That is why Hanukkah is celebrated over an eight day period. An example of a Muslim holiday is Ramadan, which is celebrated throughout September. During this Month, Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink until the sun sets. On the 27th of February, Muslims spend the evening praying because this was the night that God gave Mohammed their holy book, the Quran. This is done to honor Allah, their God. It is good to have holidays in religions because they can help them remember things and to remain loyal to God.

Both of these religions also have special clothing, although they have different rules. In Judaism many men wear a special article of clothing called a Yamaka. It looks like a small hat that Jews wear on their head. It is used to symbolize that God is lives above the humans and that he is and will always be more powerful than them. That is why the Yamaka is worn on the head of a Jew. A rule that comes from the Torah, which is the Jews sacred book, says that you can’t wear a mixture of flax or wool. The actual statement from the Torah is, “You shall not wear combined fibers, wool and linen together.” This mixture is known as Shatnez. Muslims don’t have much special clothing, but there are many rules that they have to follow in terms of what they have to wear. Women are supposed to cover their entire bodies except for their hands and eyes in clothing, while men only have to wear a minimum of clothing that covers the area between the naval and the knee. Some Muslim women wear something called a hijab, which covers their hair and head. Not all Muslims follow these rules, but they are very commonly found being practiced in the areas of the world where Islam is more popular. Many Muslims wear noth8ing more than their regular clothing.

All though there are many similarities between Judaism and Islam, there are also a few differences. One of the differences is that Islam is a lot more popular than Judaism. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and only around 14.5 million Jews. This is most likely because to be Jew, you have to be born as one. Muslims do not have to be born Muslim, because anyone can join the religion. Jews are mostly found in the United States and Israel, but not in many other places. Islam on the other hand, is mostly practiced throughout Africa and the Middle East. This means that Islam is a more of a major religion than Judaism is. Another difference is what these religions believe will happen to you when you die. In Judaism, the holy books do not say much about what will happen when you die. They say more about enjoying the time that they have in “this world.” Therefore, not many Jews know what will happen to them when they die. They focus on the present and try to enjoy and make the best of it. However, in Islam, Muslims believe that when they die, they will be given a choice of whether or not they want to go to a heaven-like area. They also believe that if a person is not, Muslim, they will be severely punished after death. As stated before, Islam and Judaism are not only similar, but are also different in some ways.



In conclusion, Judaism and Islam have many similarities, although there are also many differences. This proves that people can be very different depending on the religion that they practice, but can also still be similar because many religions are founded off of one another or have similar beliefs and ideas. Islam and Judaism both have a God that they believe is the highest and most powerful figure in the world. Although this is the case, they have different ways of praying to this god or showing respect to him. They also both have special holidays and special clothing; both of these things are very different from one another in each of these religions. Religion is a big part of the people around us, and what they do or believe in.


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