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INTRODUCTION: Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find
'common ground'/principles) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these
notes in an attempt to 'enlighten' (himself and perhaps others). Hope this piece may
be of interest to you too.
The Four Holy Truths: There is pain and suffering in the world - like birth, death,
sickness, old age. Root cause of suffering is DESIRE. Karma is conscious action
that has spiritual results. Karma consists of a persons acts and their ethical
consequences + universal justice, a kind of natural moral law, rather than through a
system of divine judgement. The struggle and suffering decreases as the individual
acquires merit and wisdom during their life. Release from suffering. Nirvana is a
complete detachment from desires and final nirvana is attained at death. Hindus
renounce worldly desires. (Release = moksha)
The 8-fold path:
· views
· resolve
· speech
· behaviour
· occupation
· effort
· contemplation and
· meditation.
People attain a state of perfection. Through self effort one can attain the state of
peace and eternal peace called Nirvana. Buddha ignored the worship of Gods, but
did not deny their existence. What was important to Buddha was not the worship of
Gods or of himself, but the following of his teachings. Nirvana is not a place like
heaven, but a state of being. It's eternal - the end of suffering - no desires and
individual consciousness comes to an end. It's more of a moral philosophy, an
ethical way of life.
The nature of God is completely unknowable - he/she/it is transcendent to the point
of total inaccessibility. Prophets are teachers - not saviours. God cannot incarnate
himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as
one of God's manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution.
The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ's teachings
in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and conviction.
BAHAI work for world peace and believe in freedom of expression.
Definition of the Trinity as 3 separate individuals, God the Father and Jesus Christ
being physical persons united in purpose; also a belief that human beings, can, if
they live the commandments of God to the full, attain the status of godhood in future
The main purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to let it be known that he is supreme
and exercises sovereignty over the universe. Salvation is only for those who believe
in Jesus.
Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Mohammed, mediated by
Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation. They believe that God himself, not Mohammed, is
the author and therefore that the Koran is infallible. Collection of passages revealed
in his prophetic life - 610-632. 114 chapters. Earliest teachings - one transcendent
and personal God. Last Judgement and social and personal justice. God, he
asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history; but having failed to
reform, these nations had been destroyed. Mohamed was the last prophet.
Monotheistic. Well ordered, harmonious whole - everything has its proper place and
limitations. God presides over and governs the universe, which with its orderly
functioning, is the primary sign and proof of God and His unity. Mohammed's miracle
is the Koran, the like of which no human can produce. Last Judgement:
The "successful ones" will go to the Garden (heaven) and the "losers" (the evil) will
go to hell; although God is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness.
Besides the last judgment, which will be on individuals, the Koran recognizes
another kind of divine judgement, which is meted out in history to nations, peoples
and communities. Nations, like individuals, may be corrupted by wealth, power and
pride, and, unless they reform, these nations are punished by being destroyed or
subjugated by more virtuous nations. Islamic Beliefs: ONE God. Thus it's a
monotheistic religion. Muhammad proclaimed that Allah alone is God and that other
idols were not to be worshipped. Muslims believe that the faith of Christianity has
been corrupted and reject the Christian concept of the Trinity. They believe in
angels, who are sinless. God's messages were brought directly to Muhammad by
Gabriel. God is believed to be too exalted to speak directly with men. Belief in God's
prohets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. The Koran is believed to be the exact
revelation of God to humanity. Koran is believed to have taken the place of all
previous revelations of God's will - only the Koran is considered binding. A trumpet
sounds - the dead will be raised and judged for their deeds - going to paradise or
hell. Only those who die as martyrs slain in the battle for Islam are considered to be
granted immediate access to paradise.* (see Christianity below). Prosperous and
evil nations will ultimately be destroyed by God. "Islam" means surrender or
submission to the will of God. Muhammad was closest to God, so his example is to
be followed. Muslims believe in and honour many of the prophets of the Old
Testament. But they also say that the Bible must have been corrupted; because it
points out the errant behaviour of these prophets, and since no prophet of God
would ever err, the Bible must be wrong. Muslims have high respect for Jesus, but
the view that Jesus is divine or the son of God is, to them, the highest blasphemy.
The Koran says that God is not a man, therefore he cannot have a son. He would
never stoop to enter our world. Story of Christ's death reinforces their belief that the
Bible has been corrupted over the years.
Basic tenets - the 5 pillars of Islam:
· Confession of faith
· Ritual prayer
* Obligatory alms - 'zakat' to help those less fortune
· The holy fast of Ramadan: a time where there is no smoking, drinking, swearing,
anger, sex - use month of fasting to draw closer to God and renew their spiritual
· Pilgrimage to Mecca, the "Hajj". Every Muslim who is not sick and can afford must
complete. It is a time when all are deemed equal before God, regardless of social or
financial position. As part of their purification process, participation heightens their
social status.
Mohamed was a prophet, yet he never performed a miracle. He was not a mystic; he
had no formal schooling, consequently Mohamed had no gift with words. In addition,
he did not begin his mission till he was age 40. The impetus for the rise and raid
spread of Islam was three-fold: Based upon the power of words, the efficacy of
prayer and man's kinship with God.
Mohamed observed the decline of Christianity into warring sects (it's the same
today!). The archangel Gabriel appeared to him and said that he was to be the
Messenger for God. Mohamed had invited the Jews and Christians to join him, for he
was not building a new religion - Mohamed was calling all who believed in ONE GOD
to join in a single faith....
but that vision never materialised, as the Jews and Christians did not want to pursue
that path.
Mohamed's legacy is that of persistence. Because after he had been preaching for
ten years, he had nothing to show for it: but banishment, poverty and ridicule. Yet
before another ten years had passed, he headed the rise of a new religion out of the
Arabian desert, a faith spreading rapidly westwards, a flame which would not be
Persistence changes the course of history
From ‘The Last Great Prophet’
Reviewed by Thomas Sugrue (as published in 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon
Christianity and Islam are missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a
monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and
both compete in seeking converts. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal
incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity. Together with the
Jews, they worship the God of Abraham. These three religions have many prophets
in common and consequently have "shared values" that have shaped societies over
the past two millenia.
Most "informed" Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the unintermediated word of God. Simply put, the faith of Christianity exists solely on the
basis that Jesus Christ is the 'son of God'*; whereas the faith of Islam exists purely
on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains
God's actual words.
* (And Christians may take this literally or "metaphorically", symbolically, depending
on their interpretation).
The concept of salvation (instant) coming purely through faith in Christ and not
because of one's life works is unique to Christianity (because there is no guarantee
of salvation with Islam...unless one dies as a martyr). It's the notion of the Trinity
(Father, Son and Holy Spirit), which Islam and rationalists find to be the most
implausible aspect of Christianity.
This debate of religions is really a battle of ideas, a 'clash of ideologies and
civilisations between east and west'. Catholic Cardinal Ratzinberger once said:
"Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres
which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran... insists that the whole
order of life be Islamic. One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination
that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society." True Muslims cannot
accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law which are the
hallmarks of Western civilisation. *
* From an article in 'The Independent' by Dominic Lawson.
A few personal thoughts to end off..
Everybody's truth is different, because our experiences, our environments, our
cultures, our life paths are different. So every person's faith is different (even the
state of having NO faith). Finally, perhaps no religion can ever represent the
Absolute Truth (because 'Absolute Truth' has a degree of subjectivity - at least I
believe so!). Rather, religions can be different paths to the same Truth, with God,
Infinite Spirit, the Grand Designer, the Essence of Life at the centre. (Like spokes
leading to the hub, the Ultimate Source of Life). It's up to YOU to CHOOSE your set
of beliefs, those which fit best with YOUR truth, your being.
I am motivated to share these sets of beliefs, these "eternal truths" with others, so
people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way...if they so
CHOOSE. I hope that this information may be of interest to you... and that's my
reason for sharing.
Shared by Craig Lock ("Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible
Encourager and People-builder... and a ‘passionate moderate’ for religious
"There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu,
Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity."
"Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls.
Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, cooperation and peace.
Let our leaders look at the future with a vision - to see things not as they are,
but what they could one day become."
- craig
"Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we
shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of
the world, man will have discovered fire."
- Teilhard De Chardin
""God's greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own
About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down and economic, social,
cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences,
what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides
in the form of an e-book A SIMPLE LOOK AT
He is currently compiling a manuscript
An introductory look at the major religions of the world … for “thinkers” (and “tinkers”) A
collection of Craig’s various articles on religion (and different religions) and this is already
available at at Amazon.
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write”are available at: and
The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”
* Hard-copies and e-books, fiction and nonfiction: self help, novels, travel, humour, writing,
inspiration and money management
The submitter's lists of blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books
and new manuscripts) is at
When people's hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope"
- craig
"Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders
expand our sense of possibility... and together let's look at building bridges to distant
horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher."
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let's plant the seeds, the hope of a
better and brighter future.
This piece may be freely published, electronically or in print