Of all the historical figures in the history of the world, the two most influential have been Jesus Christ and Mohammad as they are the literal and symbolic leaders of the two most populace religions present in the world: Christianity and Islam. While these two figures are highly recognizable in the world, there is still much unknown about their lives to many people. Because of this, there needs to be a clear examination undertaken to provide a generalized overview of their life and teachings. Jesus Christ was born 2,000 years ago in the Middle East.
According to the known about his childhood other than his parents were Mary and Joseph and the family was relatively poor surviving on Joseph’s income as a carpenter. Later in life, Jesus would follow in this profession working as a carpenter until he revealed himself to be the son of God. He started teaching and preaching his own ministry, revealing to the world that he spoke the word of God and was brought to earth to help save humans from original sin and provide them with the method to enter the realm of heaven.
There was controversy in regards to much of what Jesus had stated as he revealed that God’s house was for everyone and not just for the Jewish people. Such a statement proved to be enraging to many of the Jewish leaders as it seemingly contradicted much of their teachings. This turned many against Jesus and they began to plot against him. This plotting would later lead to the Jewish leaders bringing Jesus to the Roman rulers and presenting him as having committed sedition.
The fact that Jesus had referred to himself as the son of God was, in essence, treason because it undermined the role of the emperor in Roman society. Jesus and Mohammad Page 2 Christ was later brought before the Romans where he was flogged and later crucified. According to the New Testament, Christ’s death served the purpose of saving humanity from original sin and that after his death, Christ rose from the dead, returned to his disciples and told them to go out into the world and preach the word of the Lord.
Afterwards, Christ ascending into heaven and the followers and believers of his teachings, known as Christians, would then await the Second Coming when Christ would return to the world at its end and bring the faithful through the doorways to heaven. In the religion of Islam, Mohammad is not the Son of God, but is considered the last of the great prophets. According to the Islamic tradition, Mohammad was provide with the book of the Qu’ran, a book that professes to provide the true, unadulterated teaches of the Lord who is referred to as Allah.
(While the name is different, Allah is the same God of the Christian tradition) What the Qu’ran represents is the true word of God that has not been adulterated in the Christian version. Whether one chooses to accept this or not is a matter of religious faith and there are those who consider such differences to be the root of a great deal of strife and religious conflict, while there are others who are more moderate in their approach and do not use such differences to draw the proverbial line in the sand and create severe conflicts.
One would assume that with the deaths of Mohammad and Jesus, that there would be an eventual decline in the power of their ability to reach the masses and convert them to followers. This has proven wildly incorrect as the death of both Jesus and Mohammad has actually provided the impetus to the great expansion of their religious teachings across the world. Jesus and Mohammad Page 3 In that regard, it can be said that both Jesus and Mohammad were successful in presenting to the world the fact that the true epicenter of their religious teachings was not themselves, but rather God.
Because of this, people have directed their true beliefs toward God/Allah and have dedicated themselves to carrying out Christ and Mohammad’s messages. Similar to Christianity, Islam would later spread through the world from the Middle East. However, the manner in which it initially spread was quite different. After Mohammad had passed away would launch campaigns of conquest into border regions and help develop Muslim states.
From this expansion, there would be the establish of great Muslim empires such as the Sassanid and Byzantine Empire. These empires solidified the Islamic regimes of North Africa and the Middle East. In a similar manner, the Christian religion would spread by military means as well through a series of colonial conquests as the Christian European Empires would expand in the Middle Ages. This expansion was hardly benign and was conducted by the sword, although in later centuries, Christianity would abandon such principles and practices.
Christ is worshipped in the modern era as the Son of God and has followers in a number of Christian factions and denominations. The two main factions are Catholicism and Protestantism, both of which have subdivisions and sub-factions. While there have been disagreements between these groups at various times in history, the problems between the two factions have relatively calmed in recent decades. There are hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide who worship Christ through a series of traditions.
The most common tradition would be attending mass on Jesus and Mohammad Page 4 Sundays as well as honoring major holidays such as Christmas, Easter and many other holidays. From this public acts, the memory and the life of Christ are celebrated and he remains relevant in the world today. Mohammad is revered in the modern world much like Jesus, but there is a clear understanding that he was a prophet and not a deity. In other words, the worship is directed towards Allah and not Mohammad.
Mohammad’s teachings and philosophy, however, remains held in high regard by the over one billion Muslims who live in the world. (There is a common misconception present that Islam is an exclusively Middle Eastern religion, but this is not accurate) Similar to Christianity, there are holidays and traditions that are respected as a means of honoring Mohammad’s teaching. Bowing in the direction of Mecca three times a day as well as making a trip to the city of Mecca once in one’s life is such examples, as are holy days such as Ramadan.