The religion of
Islam was influenced by the religion of Israel in many ways. One such way is
that the religion of Israel emphasized the Oneness of God. One of the
fundamental beliefs of Islam is Tawhid or the belief of Allah as the one and
only God. So much so that the way to convert to Islam is to state “There is no
God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet” and to live as a Muslim is to keep
this statement in mind. This belief was also fundamental to the religion of
Israel in that God would punish anyone who worshipped another God.
else that the religion of Israel greatly influenced was the rejection of
iconography. Yahweh in the religion of Israel was not to be depicted in any
way. In Islam, the depiction of any human or animal is discouraged but the
depictions of God are outright forbidden. This is also true of depictions of
the Prophet Muhammad and other Prophets. For this reason, you usually do not
find any iconography in a Mosque.
belief in Judgement Day and responsibility for one’s sins is also a major
concept that is similar in these religions. The idea that bad deeds will be
punished and good deeds will be rewarded when one encounters God in the
afterlife seems to also be a huge influence in these religions.
of the elements from the religion of Israel that Islam rejects is the concept
of a hierarchy within the religion. The religion of Israel had priests who gave
sacrifice and they also had the high priest who was the only one allowed into
the holiest place in the tent. In Islam you have an Imam who will lead the
prayer but they are not a priest and it is not a position like a Pope in
Catholicism. In fact, it a Muslim should not become a fanatic of an Imam and
they are encouraged to learn from others as the Imam is mainly there as a guide
and to provide help in spiritual matters.
also is more interested in science and logic than the other religions. While
others saw logic as being against faith in God, Islam stated that reason was
the major function given to humans by God and that it was important to use it.
In Christianity it was believed this was misleading and made you stray further
from God and his Salvation.
Which brings us to
another difference: To Muslims, God is not the path to Salvation. It is one’s
own responsibility to take the correct path and follow Muhammad’s example in
order to achieve eternal life. One can ask for guidance from an Imam but it is
that individual’s actions which will determine if God grants them eternal life
once Judgement Day arrives. If you do not pray and provide charity to those in
need God will not be your Salvation once Judgement Day comes.