5.2 Comparison of Jesus and His Followers with the Prophet Muhammad and His Followers

Each unit below contains a clear example related to formal religious activities and then shows how each example is represented in each religion by Jesus and his followers and by Muhammad PBUH and his followers.

EXAMPLE JESUS Followers of Jesus MUHAMMAD Followers of Muhammad
Name of religion? Judaism (Monotheism)[1] Christianity (Monotheism-Trinity) Islam (Monotheism) Islam (Monotheism)
Received religion from? God Numerous sources[2] God God (via Muhammad)
Believe in one God with no partners? Yes ?[3] Yes Yes
Accept all prophets from God? Yes[4] No[5] Yes Yes
Accept all holy books from God? Yes[6] No[7] Yes Yes
Formal worship of God in? Synagogue Church Mosque Mosque
Formal worship in the form of? Read Torah in synagogue Read Bible in church Perform salat in mosque Perform salat in mosque
Primary day of formal worship? Saturday Sunday Friday Friday
Language of formal worship? Hebrew[8] Any language Arabic Arabic
Language of informal prayers? Aramaic (or Hebrew)?[9] Any language Arabic Arabic (others allowed)[10]
Tell others to worship in a church (building)? No Yes x x
Tell others to worship in a mosque? x x Yes Yes
Build a church? No Yes x x
Build a mosque? x x Yes Yes
Speak about the Bible? No Yes x x
Speak about the Qur’an? x x Yes Yes
Read the Bible? No Yes x x
Read the Qur’an (from memory or text)? x x Yes Yes
Receive holy book from? God[11] Numerous sources[12] God God (via Muhammad)
Holy book in what language? ?[13] Any language Arabic Arabic
Believe Holy Bible is the Word of God? ?[14] Yes[15] x x
Believe Holy Qur’an is the Word of God? x x Yes Yes
Pray to Jesus? No Yes/Allowed x x
Pray to Muhammad? x x No No
Pray to Almighty God only? Yes[16] No[17] Yes Yes
Believe only Almighty God can answer prayers? Yes No[18] Yes Yes
Prostrate (bow down) before God? Yes[19] No Yes Yes
Make statues? No Yes No No
Place statues in house of worship? No[20] Yes/Allowed[21] No No
Face statues while praying to God? No Yes/Allowed[22] No No
Males circumcised for religious reasons? Yes[23] Not required Yes Yes[24]
Believe that Jesus was killed? ?[25] Yes No No
Believe in going to Heaven free from sin because Jesus died? ?[26] Yes x x
Believe in going to Heaven free from sin because Muhammad died? x x No No
Celebrate Easter and Christmas? No Yes x x
Celebrate Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha[27] x x Yes Yes

[1] Christians generally refer to Jesus as a Jew. In Islam, Jesus is considered a Muslim just like all other prophets of God. (See Section 2.1. in Chapter 2.)

[2] Mainstream Christianity was created from numerous sources, including the teachings of Jesus, the Bible (written by numerous unknown or assumed authors), Saint Paul, Roman Emperors, Popes, pagan religious customs, and so on.

[3] Islam teaches that the Christian Trinity (3 in 1) is a violation of the belief in the One True Almighty God. In Islam, God has no partners, and He is unique. In Christianity, God cannot be separated from the Trinity.

[4] Jesus never rejected any of God’s prophets, and it is possible that he did inform his followers of the prophet who would come after him. (See Chapter 2.)

[5] Christians reject the Final Prophet and Messenger from God, the Prophet MuhammadPBUH.

[6] There is no evidence that Jesus ever rejected any of the holy books that were given to any of God’s prophets.

[7] Christians reject the Holy Qur’an (the “Final Testament”) which was revealed to God’s Final Prophet MuhammadPBUH.

[8] Jesus read the Torah in a synagogue. (See the Bible, New Testament, Luke 4:14-20.) This is normally done in Hebrew.

[9] A majority of scholars seem to agree that Jesus probably spoke Aramaic as a daily language because it was the dominant language of the Jews in Palestine when Jesus was there. He also spoke Hebrew (for reading the Torah), and some argue that Hebrew was actually his first language. There is no consensus about whether or not he spoke Greek.

[10] Formal prayers in Islam(salat) must be done in Arabic, so Arabic is also used in informal prayers (where people raise their hands at any time and pray to God about any topic). Other languages are allowed and often used.

[11] Islam teaches that the holy book given to Jesus by God was called the Injil (the Gospels). No one knows what percentage of the original Injil might have been preserved in the modern version of the Bible.

[12] The Bible is acknowledged by Christian scholars as having numerous authors, many of them unknown or assumed. The Bible contains a small number of words from Jesus, and the majority of the contents come from various authors (instead of Jesus).

[13] The New Testament says Jesus read the Torah in a Synagogue. (See the Bible, New Testament, Luke 4:14-20.) Jesus was never seen reading or reciting from any other holy book. The Bible in its current, modern form was never directly read, recited or dictated by Jesus. The language in which God gave the Gospels (Injil) to Jesus is unknown.

[14] The modern Christian Bible was not directly transcribed or memorized at the time of Jesus. The process of writing the Bible by numerous authors started about 30 years after Jesus had disappeared (estimates vary). Therefore, Jesus would never have read “the Bible” in its current form, and so it seems unlikely that he would see a book containing numerous errors and corrections from unknown authors as the holy and infallible Word of God.

[15] A minority of Christians think that the Bible is only a historical account about Jesus. However, many ordinary Christians still consider the Bible to be the authentic Word of God even though some scholars admit that the Bible contains errors and corrections.

[16] Jesus often prayed. In his prayers, he prayed to his “Father” in Heaven, also known as Almighty God. (For example, see The Bible, New Testament, John 11:41-42.) Jesus never prayed to “Jesus”.

[17] Some Christians pray directly to Jesus (who they consider God) and some (especially Catholics) also pray to the Virgin Mary (who is neither God nor part of the Trinity) or pray to a variety of Saints.

[18] Some Christians (especially Catholics) believe that Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and also some Saints can answer people’s prayers. Answering prayers is not the sole right of Almighty God.

[19] In the New Testament, it says that Jesus prostrated or bowed down when praying to God. (See the Bible, New Testament, Matthew 26:39.)

[20] Jesus never made a statue of himself to be put on a cross and placed in a synagogue or a church. Jesus never made statues of anyone.

[21] Some churches contain statues of Jesus. They may also contain statues of the Virgin Mary or various Saints. Other churches may have a cross but without a statue of Jesus.

[22] For most Christians (especially Catholics), there is no prohibition against facing a statue of Jesus and looking at it while praying to God.

[23] Jesus was circumcised when he was eight days old. (See the Bible, New Testament, Luke 2:21.) That was a traditional religious ritual for Jewish boys at that time and is still very common among Jewish people until now.

[24] Islam teaches that God first ordered the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) to circumcise himself, which was the beginning of this religious practice. Circumcision is still compulsory for all Muslim males.

[25] I do not wish to answer this question on behalf of Jesus. Islam teaches that Jesus was not killed on the Cross, and he was raised up by God without dying. (See Al-Qur’an, An-Nisa 4:157-158.)

[26] It seems very unlikely that the only way for Jesus to get into Heaven free from sin was for him to die on the Cross. If he had not been crucified, would he not go to Heaven? Jesus is a most holy prophet of God, and so it seems logical to assume that he would enter Heaven regardless of where and how he died.

[27] The two main days of religious celebration in Islam.