Islam was founded by Muhammad (570-632 AD). Muhammad claimed to be the final “seal” of many prophets sent by Allah (their god). The Islamic calendar began in AD 622 and is only one example of many major deviations from historical facts (i.e., Muslims deny the Holocaust took place in World War II). This calendar begins the day Muhammad fled Mecca. He was originally defeated when attempting a military coup. He succeeded in Medina where he rebuilt and began his successful military campaigns. The angel Gabriel revealed the Koran to Muhammad. The biblical law of Moses, Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus are accepted with appropriate rescensions. Muslims believe Jews and Christians corrupted the Bible. They seek guidance from Hadiths written by early warlords. Their god (Allah) is singular. The greatest sin in Islam is associating Allah with anything. Muslims think Christians are polytheistic (trinity is 1 God in three Persons). Allah is totalitarian, militant, never referred to endearingly or lovingly. Allah has or is a spirit; that is unclear. Humanity is basically good, but fallible and needs guidance. The balance between good and bad deeds may determine eternal destiny. Humans must perform pilgrimages, pray numerous times daily and give to the poor. Muslims do not know how many pilgrimages, prayers or alms are required. Death begins an eternal experience, either torment or paradise. Muhammad judges the eternal destiny. There are no assurances Muslims will enter paradise. Paradise is a garden populated with maidens designed to provide sexual pleasure for men. There is no paradise mentioned for women. The Islamist goes to mosque for prayer, sermons and counsel. Islam has five pillars: Confess Allah as the one true god and Muhammad is his prophet, prayer, alms and fasting. A pilgrimage to Mecca to worship over the tomb of Muhammad (which is idolatry).
The Nation of Islam is purely a racist religion founded by Wallace D. Fard in Detroit in 1930. Original leader was actually Elijah Muhammad since 1934. Louis Farrakhan, the current leader, is headquartered in Chicago. The Koran is their public text. They also submit to Message to the Blackman in America, Our Savior has Arrived. Other texts include books by Elijah Muhammad, The Final Call and speeches of Louis Farrakhan. They believe that there is one god, Allah. Elijah Muhammad’s teachings are that god is a black man, and millions of Allahs have lived and died since creation. Collectively the black race is god and Fard is the Supreme Allah and savior. The Holy Spirit is not significant, is generally regarded as the power of god or as the angel Gabriel who spoke to Muhammad. People sin, are born sinless and naturally good. As in Islam, salvation is submission to Allah and good works. Fard is the savior, salvation comes from knowledge of self. White people are devils who disposed the black race. In death, there is no consciousness or spiritual existence. Heaven and Hell are only symbolic. Resurrection is symbolic of individuals who are mentally enlightened in true teachings. Farrakhan’s public messages are considered prophetic. Extreme racist doctrines are no longer normally publicized. However, Farrakhan’s public messages coexist with those doctrines. There is a renewed focus on general Islamic themes.
Bahai World Faith was founded 1844 in Iran by Siyyid Ali Muhammad, “the Bab” (1819-1850) and Mirza Husayn-Ali, Bahaulla (1817-1892). It is headquarted currently in Haifa, Israel. Writings of Bahaullah and Abdul-Baha include Most Holy Book and Book of Certitude. The Bible is interpreted spiritually through the prism of Bahai theology. Man cannot know god. He is divine and revealed himself through nine manifestations (religious leaders) Adam, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and Bahaulla. Their holy spirit is a divine energy generated by god. It empowers every manifestation. At death people achieve an undefined immortality through good works and faithfulness. Heaven and Hell are conditions of existence, not places. Bahai, a sect of Islam, is severely persecuted in Iran. Teachings include Unitarianism; all religions have the same source. It stresses oneness and world unity. The “Universal House of Justice” in Haifa, Israel is the ultimate governing body.
Hinduism has no founder but many sects. It began between 1800 and 1000 BC. Wisdom related writings include the Vedas (about 1000 BC), the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita. The Hindu god (Brahman) is “The Absolute,” a universal spirit. Everyone is part of god. The overriding philosophy is that most people are not aware, nor can they have an awareness of Brahman. Hinduism is a highly idolatrous system that believes people should worship representations of Brahman. There are over 10,000 representations and associated idols. No holy spirit exists in Hinduism. Salvation is born through yoga and meditation and can take many lifetimes through reincarnations. Final salvation is absorption into Brahman. If you have behaved well in life, you may come back as a person moving closer to union with Brahman. Bad people reincarnate to lesser creatures to pay for their sins. Good karma = good reincarnation. Bad karma means suffering. Hindus worship stone and wooden idols in temples. Some gurus demand complete obedience. Disciples meditate on a word, phrase or picture. This includes yoga meditation with chanting, postures and breathing exercises as forms of worship.
Man should note all these religious beliefs depend upon man to achieve their own salvation. All of these religions believe man can satisfy, in himself, in his own merit, their individual god’s requirements for paradise or nirvana. That sounds good to us – we control our own destiny. Problem: if one can merit acceptance with a deity, that deity becomes indebted. If a deity needs something from man, that challenges the omnipotence of any deity. It is not self-sustainable. If the deity is imperfect, what other imperfections may develop? Will the imperfect and limited deity be able to deliver on their promises of paradise? There are finite resources with this deity. Will indebtedness to one individual cause a shortfall to your personal merit?