The most commonly known monotheistic religions are Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Monotheism is the belief in one God who has nothing before him, who’s able to create everything with great limitless power and who is present everywhere. Hence, there has to be a way of communication between God and humanity. This communication was achieved through the prophets and messengers and their job was delivering Abrahamic principles to their communities and humanity as a whole. At face value, distinct Abrahamic religions may seem different, however, in their inner core lies one thing – the knowledge of a Divine or Higher Reality. The timeline of Abrahamic religions suggests that the distinctness of the religions lies in the voice of God in every age.
How did each prophet receive their revelations?
Moses was born at the time of the Pharaoh, in which he used to kill all male births fearing the appearance of the expected prophet. The divine power wanted Moses to be raised in Pharaoh’s palace. Moses fled the palace into the desert after killing one of Pharaoh’s men. Many events followed him, until the revelation came down to him with the words of God directly giving him the ten commandments that he sought on earth, which he spread with his companions.
Jesus was born from his mother, the Virgin Mary, with divine power, and he spoke the words of God with people while he was a baby. He was known for his tolerance and noble manners. He grew up and struggled to spread the divine teachings that were revealed to him from God for many years, during which he suffered a lot of persecution until he was killed by the Jews.
Prophet Muhammad was born into a poor family in Quraysh and became an orphan when he was a child. He grew up known for his honesty and noble manners. Muhammad received revelations through the angel Gabriel when he was forty years old. After that point, he started spreading the call to God with the help of his companions. When he died, his companions continued on spreading the Islamic call and the monotheism of God.
Judaism is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion that we know, dating back nearly 4,000 years. The founder of Judaism is a Hebrew man named Abraham, who was the first man that God revealed himself to. Moses received God’s laws at Mt. Sinai in Egypt. God provided his laws known as the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Jewish people. People in ancient times (before Judaism) were polytheists—they believed in and worshipped multiple gods. Jews are called monotheists because they believe in a single, all-powerful God.
Judaism came with its sacred book ‘Torah’ explaining God’s laws known as the ten commandments which are:
- There is only one God,
- You shall not worship false Gods,
- No graven images or likenesses,
- You shall never take God’s name in vain,
- Honor your Father and Mother,
- You shall not murder,
- You shall not steal,
- You shall not commit adultery,
- You shall not bear false witness, and
- You shall not covet.
Christianity was found in Palestine, 2,000 years after humanity was introduced to Judaism. Christian values were derived from the aforementioned Jewish values. Jesus was known for being Jewish before receiving revelations and becoming a prophet. The Christian religion appeared in an era of killing, enslavement and turning away from the worship of the God. It called for love and peace and a return to the worship of God.
Islam started in the year 610 A.D. which was the time when Muhammad received his revelations in Mecca. Similarly to Christianity, Islamic beliefs were derived from preceding religions. Muhammad continued on preaching Islam for 12 years in Mecca, until he emigrated to Al Madina Al Munawara in 622 A.D. Society in that region was regressive at the time as there was a dependence on a tribal system which entailed racism and the absence of many common morals. Following the teachings of the Qur’an that call for the worship of the One God, Islam then came to unite people under one banner that is lead by equality and morality.
In conclusion, this illustrates that the core values of the main Abrahamic religions are more or less the same, the only differences lie in the details such as the time and method of introduction, the prophets, and the names. As demonstrated by the Ten Commandments, religions and their books are teachings with the aim of leading humanity to the right path, if they are interpreted correctly. Furthermore, we can find that all Abrahamic religions demand the fulfilment of the values represented by the Ten Commandments.