Human 130

In the contemporary world, there are three major Abrahamic religions that are at the forefront of social, political, and cultural events worldwide: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All are called Abrahamic religions because each utilizes the teaches of Abraham in its central historical view of the world. Each of the three Abrahamic faiths are monotheistic, and actually account for over 50% of the world’s population, or almost 4 billion people (Christian Science Monitor, 8/4/98).   Note, too, that besides the three major traditions, other religions cite their traditions from Abraham: Mandaenism, Rastafairnism, Bahai, Samaritan, and the Druze (“Why Abrahamic?”) It is also interesting to note that within these three religious teachings, there are considerable areas of commonality, yet the three are often at odds with one another over political and social issues, even in the contemporary world. For this paper, we will examine the basics of Islam, review the origins of the religion and its historical tradition, review a contemporary Islamic website, compare Islam with both Judaism and Christianity, and offer a conclusion as to the nature and direction of Islam within the modern world.
The basic tenets of belief in Islam surround the words Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad within the holy text the Koran (Qur’an in Arabic). Muslims do not believe that Muhammad was the originator of Islam, but that it was he who brought back the original monotheism of Abraham, Moses, Jesus of Nazarthe, and other Prophets from the Christian and Judaic Old Testament (Aslan, 2006, 11-24).   Islam holds that these Prophets were seminal instruments of God’s word, but that both the Judaic and Christian traditions have misinterpreted the meaning of the word of God, altered the texts given to man by the Angels, introduced false interpretations of God and man’s place within the framework of God, or a combination of all (Esposito, 4-5; Lippman, 1995, 3-20).
The basis of Islam falls into...