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Muslims believe there is the one almighty God, named Allah, who is infinitely superior to and transcendent from humankind. Allah is viewed as the creator of the universe and the source of all good and all evil. Everything that happens is Allah's will. He is a powerful and strict judge, who will be merciful toward followers depending on the sufficiency of their life's good works and religious devotion.

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A follower's relationship with Allah is as a servant to Allah. Though a Muslim honors several prophets, Muhammad is considered the last prophet and his words and lifestyle are that person's authority. To be a Muslim, one must follow five religious duties: 1. Repeat a creed about Allah and Muhammad; 2.

Recite certain prayers in Arabic five times a day; 3.

Give to the needy; 4. One month each year, fast from food, drink, sex and smoking from sunrise to sunset; 5. Pilgrimage once in one's lifetime to worship at a shrine in Mecca.

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At death -- based on one's faithfulness to these duties -- a Muslim hopes to enter Paradise. If not, they will be eternally punished in hell. For many people, Islam matches their expectations about religion and deity. Islam teaches that there is one supreme deity, who is worshiped through good deeds and disciplined religious rituals. After death a person is rewarded or punished according to their religious devotion. Christians believe in one eternal God who is creator of all that is. He is viewed as a loving God who offers everyone a personal relationship with himself now in this life.

In his life on Earth, Jesus Christ did not identify himself as a prophet pointing to God or as a teacher of enlightenment. Rather, Jesus claimed to be God in human form. He performed miracles, forgave people of their sin and said that anyone who believed in him would have eternal life.

Followers of Jesus regard the Bible as God's written message to humankind. In addition to being an historical record of Jesus' life and miracles, the Bible reveals his personality, his love and truth, and how one can know and relate to God, as you could a friend. Christians believe that all people sin, including themselves.

They see Jesus as their Savior, as the Messiah who was prophesied by all the prophets of the Old Testament, in the Bible. They believe that Jesus Christ, out of love for us, paid for the sin for all of humanity by dying on a cross. Three days later, he rose from the dead as he promised, proving his deity. Are all religions worshiping the same God? Let's consider that. New Age Spirituality teaches that everyone should come to center on a cosmic consciousness, but it would require Islam to give up their one God, Hinduism to give up their numerous gods, and Buddhism to establish that there is a God.

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Of these, only one affirms that there is a loving God who can be known now in this life. In Hinduism a person is on their own trying to gain release from karma. In New Age a person is working at their own divinity. In Buddhism it is an individual quest at being free from desire.

And in Islam, the individual follows religious laws for the sake of paradise after death. With Jesus Christ, you see God offering us a relationship with himself, not based on our efforts, but based on what he did for us. This is what leads to the creation of religions. We also want to feel at peace, fulfilled and having inner strength.

China and India are huge religious outliers

And so we move to practices like meditation, religious rituals, self-help books, fasting, prayer, personal sacrifice, pilgrimages, etc. However, when it comes to connecting with God who is there and created us, our problem is not lack of personal effort. Our problem is our sin. Muhammad also admitted that he was in need of forgiveness. God tells us that our sin stands as a barrier between us and him. We sense that separation, that distance.

God acknowledges this separation between us and him and provided a solution to it. He said the payment for sin is death…eternal spiritual separation from him.

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Yet out of love for us, Jesus Christ, God himself, came in human form to pay for our sin for us. Jesus took all of our sin on himself, suffered on a cross, and willingly died in our place. The Bible says, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us. God is offering us complete forgiveness because of Jesus' death for us. This means forgiveness for all our sins Jesus paid for them all. God, who created the universe, loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. Christ offers us real freedom from our sin and guilt.

He does not leave a person's failures on their shoulders, with a dim hope of becoming a better person tomorrow. Jesus said, "He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty He said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life.

Hinduism and its beliefs

Jesus identified himself as equal to God, and even gave proof. Jesus said that he would be crucified on a cross and that three days after his death, he would come back to life. He didn't say he would reincarnate someday into a future life. Who would know if he actually did it? He said three days after being buried he would show himself alive to those who saw his crucifixion.

On that third day, Jesus' tomb was found empty and many people testified that they saw him alive again.

What is religion? What is a spiritual tradition?

He now offers eternal life to us. This is not a commitment to a method of self-improvement like the Eight Fold Path or the Five Pillars, or meditation, or good works or even the Ten Commandments. These seem clear, well-defined, easy-to-follow paths for spirituality. But they become a burdensome striving for perfection, and connection with God is still distant.

He welcomes us to go to him. But it means that in the midst of life, you can relate to God who is willing to be involved in your life and faithful in his love. For discussion of perspectives on the existence or role within human life of a supreme God or gods, see agnosticism ; atheism ; humanism ; monotheism ; pantheism ; polytheism ; theism. For cross-cultural discussion of religious beliefs, phenomena, and practices, see angel and demon ; ceremonial object ; covenant ; creed ; death rite; dietary law ; doctrine and dogma ; dualism, religious ; eschatology ; ethics ; evil, problem of ; feast ; Five Ways, the ; heaven ; hell ; Last Judgment ; meditation ; millennialism ; miracle ; monasticism ; Moon worship ; mysticism ; myth ; nature worship ; prayer ; priest ; priesthood ; prophecy ; Providence ; purgatory ; purification rite ; reincarnation ; religious dress ; religious symbolism and iconography ; rite of passage ; ritual ; sacrament ; sacrifice ; sacred ; sacred kingship ; saint ; salvation ; scripture ; shamanism ; sin ; soul ; Sun worship ; theology ; worship.

For a review of the efforts to systematically study the nature and classify the forms of religious behaviour, experience, and phenomena, see religion, phenomenology of ; religion, philosophy of ; religion, study of ; religions, classification of ; religious experience. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Read More on This Topic. That need made itself felt ecumenically throughout Europe from the beginning of the 19th century. It had indeed been prepared by the writings…. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. It had indeed been prepared by the writings of Rousseau as early as and in England by the even earlier preaching of John and Charles….