Comparison of Judaism and Islam

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Comparison of Judaism and Islam Because of the history of political and religious warfare that has separated them, the underlying unity of Judaism, and Islam is seldom recognized except by scholars. Yet these two great world religions have the same origins, the same central belief in monotheism, and to a large extent the same genealogical and scriptural authorities. It is in a greater sense a tale of two sons or two brothes. It is not surprising that these religions should share a common belief of creation and patriarchy, since the roots of these two are to be found in the basin of Mesopotamia, in the “Fertile Crescent” of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. There, in the ancient civilization of Sumeria, the descent of the Patriarchs of the Bible can be traced to an historical basis: “Abraham was probably born in the Sumerian City of Ur four thousand years ago a scholar invented a label for the descendents of Shem; he called them Semites.” (Chaim Potok, p.23) The story of Abraham and Sarah is the basis of the real distinction between the religions of the Semitic peoples; from their two sons are descended the patriarchy of the Hebrew and Arab peoples. The question of descent and the patriarchy is basic to any understanding of the origins of Judaism and Islam. God promised Abraham that he would have a son. In their old age Abraham and Sarah had yet to conceive this promise. According to ancient Mesopotamian law, a man could have many wives, and if a legitimate wife could not bear him children, he could take a servant as a wife. Sarah was barren, so according to custom and law she gave her Egyptian servant Hagar to Abraham to bear his children; and a son was born. However, this went against the promise of God ... ... middle of paper ... ...Because of the history of political and religious warfare that has separated them, the underlying unity of Judaism, and Islam is seldom recognized except by scholars. Yet these two great world religions have the same origins, the same central belief in one God, and to a large extent the same genealogical and scriptural authorities. It is in a greater sense a tale of two sons or two brothers. In he beginning of Judaism and Islam you find two sons that share their birthplace, yet fight for their birthright. It is hard to imagine the unity of these two very similar religions in light of this ancient sibling rift. Two brothers who can not get along. Bibliography: Chaim Potok, Wanderings, p.23. Potok, p. 251. The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. 13, p. 165. The Koran, Intro. By G.Margoliouth, viii. The Koran, Sura LIII, “The Star,” p.71.
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