commonalities in world religions

6 Commonalities in World Religions with Islam

The major commonalities in world religions are character, humanity and nobility.

How many world religions are there?

There are 6 major religions in the world: Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hindu Dharma, Sikhism and Judaism and 10 other religions that are considered minor, based on their global influence.

6 Major Religions of the World

The Six major religions based on numbers of followers only and not age are :-

  1. Christianity
  2. Islam
  3. Hinduism
  4. Buddhism
  5. Sikhism
  6. Judaism

Christianity

This religion was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st Century CE. It was initially started as an offshoot of Judaism then formalized into a separate religion. Christianity has over 2.3 Billion followers across the world and the largest groups are found in North and South Americas, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa

Islam

Islam was established by Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century CE and as per his account he completed the teachings of this religion before passing away. Presently, Islam has 1.9 Billion followers across the world concentrated in Middle East, North Africa, South and East Asia.

Hinduism 

The Hinduism religion did not start as a single concept, instead it is an amalgamation of millenniums of thought slowly formalizing into this current form of the faith. Hinduism thought initiated in the Indus Valley of the Indian West 4000 years ago and its 1.2 Billion adherents are concentrated in the country of India and Nepal

Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha introduced Buddhism in the 6th Century BCE. Currently, Buddhism has 500 million adherent concentrated in East and South East Asia. 

Sikhism

Guru Nanak Dev Ji introduced Sikh religion at the end of the 15th Century, as a meeting point between Islam and Hinduism. Presently, 30 Million followers are said to worship this religion, a majority of whom live in Indian Part of Punjab.

Judaism

Judaism dates back 3500 years and began as a covenant between God and his prophet Abraham. This religion has 15 million followers world wide, mostly concentrated in United States, Europe and Israel. Jewish people are said to follow Judaism.

Percentage of followers of 6 major religions

Percentage population of the World of each religion is :-

  • Islam- 23.2%
  • Christianity – 31.5%
  • Buddhism – 7.2%
  • Hinduism – 15%
  • Sikhism – 0.38 %
  • Judaism- 0.2%

World religion chart

World Religions Comparison Chart
World Religions Comparison Chart

Number of followers of Religions of the world

The most widely practiced religion in the world is Christianity followed by Islam

  • Christianity – 2.1 Billion
  • Islam – 1.3 billion
  • Hinduism- 900 million
  • Chinese traditional religion -394 million
  • Buddhism – 376 million
  • Indigenous –Primal religion – 300 million
  • African local religions – 100 million
  • Sikhism – 19 million
  • Juche – 19 million
  • Spiritism religion – 15 million
  • Judaism – 14 million
  • Baha’i – 7 million
  • Jainism – 4.2 million
  • Shinto – 4 million
  • Cao Dai – 4 million
    Symbols of Major World Religions
    Symbols of Major World Religions

Similarities and Differences between Religions

There may be several similarities in world religions with Islam, I would be quoting from the religious texts of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism to prove my point. Only the core principles of all religions are being discussed here. 

Commonalities in world religions are defined as the historical, cultural and philosophical similarities in world religions — and that is exactly my aim. My hunch is that the commonalities in world religions are all centered on teaching disciples the basics of a just, fair, and free community.

  1. Sense of Community
  2. Compassion for others
  3. Respect for Freedom of Thought
  4. Mindfulness or Prayers
  5. Accountability for your actions
  6. Justice and Fairplay
  7. Sense of Community

Sense of Community (Brotherhood)

  • From the Islamic Sunnah, “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself”.
  • The Jewish Talmud says: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man”
  • Hindu Mahabharata declares: “This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you”.
  • Christian’s Old Testament says: “Ye would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise”.
    Religious Symbols
    Religious Symbols

Compassion for others

  • Islamic teaching on this topic are that “The truly good are those who believe in God and the last day, the angels, the scripture, the prophets, who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, the traveler and beggar and to liberate those in debt and bondage (Al Quran 2:178)
  • Then, Buddha’s words are, “Go to your ways, oh monks, for the benefit of many, for the happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, benefit and happiness of gods and men”.
  • The Bible also preaches, “There is a needy person among you…do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman”.
  • Founder of Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak said, “If you want to meet God, serve the poor people,”
    Commonalities of World Religions
    Freedom of thought

Respect for freedom of thought and expression

  • Islam preaches, “You are not a dictator over them. So remind, with the Qur’an, whoever fears my threat. “(Surah Qaf, 45);
  • Christianity says that “It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-” (Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom, 2)
  • Then, Judaism scriptures say “Just as people’s faces are not the same, so their opinions are not the same; everyone has their own opinion” (Numbers Rabbah, Pinhas, 21.2)
  • Furthermore, Buddhism preaches “The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.” (Dalai Lama)
  • Finally, Hinduism says, “Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides”. (Rig Veda)

 

Similarties of world religions
Similarities of World Regions

Mindfulness,” or Prayers

  • The holy book of Islam says, “Those who keep up the prayers and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the true ones, and it is they who are aware of God.  (Al Quran 2:178)
  • The Hindu Svetesvatara Upanishad recommends the “quiet retreat of Yoga”:
  • Furthermore, Jesus told his followers: “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought of the things for itself”

Accountability for your actions – Sins

  • “On those who believe and do good works, there shall be no sin for what they eat, provided they fear God and believe and do good works  (Al Quran 5:94)
  • Buddhism teaches “All beings are the owners of their deeds (karma), the heirs of their deeds”.
  • In the Bible, Job 4:8 says, “As I have observed, those who plough evil and those who sow trouble reap it”.
  • Judaism acknowledges sin as a violation of God’s commandments. Each of these is a black entry in the ledger that may outweigh the red.

Justice and Fair play

  • Quran 5:8 (Asad) “bearing witness to the truth in all equity, and never let the hatred of any-one lead you into the sin of deviating from justice”
  • Bible in Hosea 12:6 says, “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always”
  • Moses said, “Decide justly [tzedek] between each man and his brother or a stranger. You shall not be partial in judgment. Listen to the great and small alike. Fear no one.”

Values Common to religions

It is quite obvious that the emphasis of all these great religious leaders like Muhammad, Moses, Jesus, Siddhartha Buddha, and Baba Guru Nanak was towards a just, compassionate, accountable, fair society where everyone is self-aware of their responsibilities.

There are obviously commonalities in world religious practices revolving around improving society. Therefore, there is no room for inequality, tyranny, segregation, racism, gender injustice, mob justice, and violence.

So, are you true believers people?

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2 Comments

  1. Once hunger is fulfilled, next we have urged for lust, desire, comfort, fear, jealousy, greed, ego, and selfish instincts. All religions address the solution for these emotions. All religion’s answer is be detached. Dont be driven by these feelings, don’t act on these feelings, just skip and ignore them. All religions concur on one point, that is ignored.

  2. FAROOQ HUSSAIN says:

    Very well written. Once again !

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