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Similarities between Islam and Hinduism
The presence of a huge number of religions as well as ethical systems has become one of the distinguishing characteristics of human being’s civilization. According to the Oxford University, religion is the ultimate belief in supernatural power known as God entitled to worship and obedience. A common characteristic of all main religion is the belief in a universal God that is omniscient and omnipotent. The followers of the main religions believe that they share the same God as other religions.
The two religions differ in the ideas behind their foundation as well as how they originated. The word is “Islam” was derived from Arabic word “Salaama” which means obedience, peace, purity and submission. A Muslim is an individual who submits his or her will to God and words Muslim and Islam are found in Quran. The word Hindu, on the other hand, was first used by Arabs and Persians referring to people living in the subcontinent of India. A Hindu is an Individual living beyond the Sindhu river of India. However, the word Hinduism was first used by British writers referring to religious norms and beliefs of the people of India.
The two religions share certain concepts of God and beliefs. Muslims worship only one God Allah to whom they submit themselves to and believe in His eternity, mercy, might and infinite nature. He is believed to be the Creator, sustainer, and provider of all creatures. They believe that He rules heavens and the earth and closer to His worshippers to whom He responds to with love and peace.

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Islam also recognizes the succession of messengers and prophets of God starting from Noah and Adam, Muhammad is the last of the messengers and prophets. They perceive messengers and prophets normal human beings chosen for the purpose of passing God’s revelations to mankind. The religion also recognizes the presence of angels as invisible and commit themselves in the service of Allah. Some of the essential aspects of Islam include:
Islam believes that the dead will be resurrected on the final judgment day.
They believe in free will and fate, and God is responsible for any occurrences in the world. He knows what is happening, happened and will happen.
The religion also believes in the struggle for divine purpose or Jihad. The struggle involved in building a Muslim community, defending Islam nation and leading a pious life.
Similarly, Hinduism believes in the presence of Brahman, the Supreme Lord, who is eternal, blissful and unborn. They believe that He is both known and unknown, contains everything, high and low, and sustainer and destroyer. He is considered the highest self who is the creator and the only truth. They also believe that one can go to heaven, hell or ancestors depending on their earthly deeds. They believe that the true liberation can only be achieved when one transcend their limitations, accept Brahman and become one with Him.
Hinduism believes that God can be approached and worshiped in different ways. They believe that God can make himself visible to beings in any form they envisage Him. He is thus worshiped as a personal deity form that may include His feminine forms. However, God considers one’s inner purity, self-surrender and minded devotion as the most effective form of worship. They believe that God can manifest himself in various images designed by men to worship out of His unbound love. That such images contain the presence and potency of God depending on who created and where they are installed and hence worthy of adoration and worship.
Both Islam and Hinduism have some common religious practices, such a fasting, and celebrations. The major practices in Islam are based on five pillars namely Shahada, Saum, Salat, and Hajj.
Shahada is a daily recitation of Islamic creed about Allah and His Messenger. The creed is firmly based on a conviction that Allah is the only God and Mohammad is his messenger.
Salat is an observation of prayer rituals to be conducted five times in a day. The prayers are a compliance with their belief that worshipers can communicate directly with God without intermediaries.
Saum is yearly fasting during the month of Ramadhan from dawn to dust and includes abstinence from liquids, food, and sexual union.
Zakat is charity tax payment as a defined percentage of their earning to the needy to achieve purification and inner growth.
Finally, Hajj is making a pilgrimage to Mecca visit the Holy Shrine at least once in a year.
The five pillars together offer an opportunity to the followers to adhere to the Islamic practices and principles as indicated in their sacred books. Islam celebrates their main festival to mark the end of Id al-Fitre and Hajj.
Hinduism God, on the other hand, is worshiped in various ways. They worship mainly by the law of God known as dharma. The law of God consists of conducting obligatory specific to the profession, caste, age or gender, and pursuit of four objectives of human life dharma (virtue), Kama (Sensual pleasure), Artha (wealth) and Miksha (liberation). Domestic and public rituals are recommended for different castes performed either daily or occasionally. The daily rituals are conducted personally at different times of the day. Here offerings are made to the gods, ancestors, elements or humans. Occasional rituals, on the other hand, are conducted by ordained priests based on the scripture.
Many Hindus, however, do not follow such rituals as they prefer following the devotional path and worshiping to their deities in the temples or their houses. Just like the Islam Salat, Hindus also practice Pooja as a form of worship where prayers are chanted and ritual materials offered as a means to communicate with gods directly without intermediaries. Similar to Islam, Hindus also practice fasting on particular days in a week or on specific occasions. Also, Hindus also make pilgrimages to different sacred places and temples that are similar to the Islam Hajj.
Both religions also respect individuals who are pure and believe in God. Hinduism is considered a tolerant religion. They believe that one has a choice to take a particular path based on their religious beliefs, inner inclination and interfering with it renders one responsible their salvation. Hinduism value pursuit of truth far more than belief or disbelief in God or any specific divinity. Islam, on the other hand, does not recognize any other religion unless such religions are precisely mentioned in the Qu’ran. However, the religion respects individuals who believe in God, not evil, pious, regardless of their religion.
The two religions differ in various things based on their religious belief. However, they also share some factors ranging from practices, their sacred books, and their perception of God. These similarities, although they might cancel out the differences, they can be used as pillars to bring unity and peace as well as for solving any religious conflicts that might arise between the two religions.

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