Judaism is a monotheistic religion. Jews believe there is one God who created and rules the world. This God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (in all places at all times). God is also just and merciful.
People It is believed that each person is created in the image of one God. Therefore, all people are created equal.
Furthermore, our likeness to God is in our intellectual ability to understand. Judaism believes that people have freewill and are responsible for the choices made.
Judaism is an ethical religion. When the Israelites accepted the Ten Commandments from God at Mount Sinai, they committed themselves to following a code of law, which regulates both how they worship God and how they treat other people.
The Torah is the primary document of Judaism. Torah, which means "teaching", is God's revealed instructions to the Jewish People.
Jews learn from the Torah how to act, think and even feel about life and death. The stories in the Torah teach about God's relationship with the Jewish People. In addition, the Torah contains 613 commandments from God . The Ten Commandments are considered the most important commandments of the Torah.
Land Judaism believes the Land of Israel was part of the covenant made between God and the Jewish People at Mount Sinai. Since the time of Abraham, there has been a continual Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.
Messiah Jews believe the Messiah will be a person (not a god), from the family of King David, who will lead the world to unity and peace. Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.
2. God is one and unique.
3. God is incorporeal.
4. God is eternal.
5. Prayer is to be directed to God alone.
6. The words of the prophets are true.
7. Moses was the greatest prophet, and his prophecies are true.
8. The Torah was given to Moses.
9. There will be no other Torah.
10. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men.
11. God will reward the good and punish the wicked.
12. The Messiah will come.
13. The dead will be resurrected.
Basic Beliefs of Islam The teachings of Islam are comprised of both faith and duty (din). One branch of Muslim learning, “Tawhid”, defines all that a man should believe, while the other branch, “Shari’a,” prescribes everything that he should do. There is no priesthood and no sacraments.
The basis for Islamic doctrine is found in the Qur’an (Koran). Muslims believe the Qur’an is the word of God, spoken by the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. The Qur’an was only in oral form while Muhammad was living, which means it was constantly interpreted by Muhammad and his disciples. It was written down in the caliphate of Abu Bakr. It alone is infallible and without error. The Qur’an is comprised of 114 chapters, arranged from longest to shortest. For Muslims Muhammad was the last and most perfect of God’s seven prophets or messengers to mankind.
Six Articles of Faith
The six articles of faith are the main doctrines of Islam. All Muslims share beliefs in the following:
1. Allah. Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam believes there is one true Allah (The Arabic translation of the word God). Allah alone is the creator of all the universe.
2. Angels. Angels exist and interact with human lives. They are comprised of light, and each have different purposes or messages to bring to earth. Each man or woman has two angels who record his actions; one records good deeds, the other bad deeds.
3. Scripture. There are four inspired books, the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Injil) and the Qur’an. All but the Qur’an have been interpreted and changed by Jews and Christians.
4. Prophets. God has spoken through numerous prophets throughout
time. The six greatest are: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Muhammad is the last and greatest of Allah’s messengers.
5. Afterlife. On the last day there will be a time of resurrection and judgment. Those who follow Allah and Muhammad will go to Islamic heaven, or Paradise.
The Five Pillars of Faith
The five pillars of faith are duties each Muslim performs to demonstrate his or her faith.
1. Testimony of Faith - One must state, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah.” publicly to become a Muslim.
2. Prayer - Prayer must be done five times a day (upon rising, at noon, in mid-afternoon, after sunset, and before going to sleep) towards the direction of Mecca. The call to prayer is sounded by the muezzin (Muslim crier) from a tower (minaret) within the mosque.
3. Almsgiving - Muslims are legally required to give one-fortieth of their income to the needy. Since those whom alms are given are helping the giver achieve salvation, there is no sense of shame in receiving charity.
4. Fasting - During the holy month of Ramadan, faithful Muslims fast from sunup to sundown each day. This develops self-control, devotion to God, and identity with the needy.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)- Each Muslim is expected to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do it and are physically capable of the trip. It is an essential part of gaining salvation, so the old or infirm may send someone in their place. It involves a set of rituals and ceremonies.