Muhammad’s Life Muhammad was born after his father’s death in Mecca, Arabia, around 570. His grandfather and mother both died when he was a child. As a child, he was unable by Arab custom to inherit anything. He was therefore living in poverty until about 595, when a wealthy woman, Khadija, asked him to go to Syria as a steward of her trading supplies. After the successful accomplishment of the mission, she offered him marriage. She was a rich widow fifteen year his senior. She and Muhammad had four daughters, and several infant sons who died. From this time onward Muhammad was wealthy, but he began to spend time in solitary reflection on the problems of Mecca, where religious principles were being degraded and general unrest was in the city. During a period of solitude around the year 610, Muhammad heard a voice as he meditated (focused his thoughts in a manner of prayer). The voice said, “You are the Messenger of God” (this being the title more frequently given to him by Muslims than that of prophet). Muhammad later decided he had heard the archangel Gabriel. He continued to receive such messages from time to time until his death. They were collected into chapters and make up the Qur’an. The Koran, though sent through Muhammad, is held by Muslims to come from God. What he did Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last and final messenger of God to be sent to humanity. He was sent to complete the mission of the previous messengers including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others of calling people to believing in God and following the guidance and teachings of God. Muhammad traveled spreading the world of Allah and the religion of Islam How he still impacts Islam In Islamic terminology, according to Juan Campo, the term hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, or of his tacit approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence, though some sources limit hadith to verbal reports, with the deeds of Muhammad and reports about his companions being part of the Sunnah not hadith. Muslims regard Prophet Muhammad as their highest role model and they aim to follow in his footsteps in all of their actions. This is why Muslims hold Prophet Muhammad in very high regard. He truly spread the basis of the religion and demonstrates the way it should be practiced. Life of Christ Jesus Christ, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, was the founder of Christianity. He is described as the ‘Son of God’ in the teachings of most Christian denominations. Most of what is known today about Jesus’ life has been derived from the four Gospels of the New Testament Bible, known as the Canonical gospels, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is estimated that these were written over 70–200 years after the death of Christ and are not biographies in the modern sense. Due to the lack of accurate historical records, there is some dispute over the exact details of his life, and teachings. Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris, though he was born in Bethlehem. Not much is known about his childhood except for the fact that he was an intelligent and precocious child. His father, Joseph, was a carpenter and it is believed that Jesus too followed in the footsteps of his father. As a young man he was baptized by the prophet John the Baptist and embarked on a career as a preacher and healer. He went on to become a very popular preacher and the religion Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament Similarities Both Jesus and Muhammad were great leaders of their faith in their god. These men established the world’s most influential religions. Christianity with as many as 2.1 billion followers and Islam with as many as 1.8 billion followers respectively. Another similarity is the aspect of Monotheism. Both men taught and believed in one true god. Although there views of the nature of god are much different, their views of god’s sovereign, infinite, all powerful, all-knowing, and the ultimate judge of all mankind are very similar. Comparing their Written legacy neither Jesus or Muhammad ever wrote a book, yet much of what is written about their lives and sayings were written by their followers. The New testament Gospels of the Bible record the life and reported saying of Jesus, the Hadiths of the Quran are said to be the recorded life and sayings of Muhammad. Differences Although some similarities exist between Muhammad and Jesus, their differences are far greater. Muhammad was a charismatic leader who successfully replaced much of the rampant idolatry of his time with the worship of Allah. Although he taught that Jesus was a true prophet, Muhammad didn’t accept him as the Son of God or the savior of men. He rejected Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness, and grace, in favor of obedience to the rules of Islam. Muhammad’s essential message was one of submission and servitude to Allah. He taught that those who believe in the Qur’an and do righteous deeds will be rewarded after death, but those who disbelieve and fail to obey Islam’s Five Pillars will suffer severe punishment. Therefore, our eternal status is based upon our deeds rather than God’s forgiveness and grace. Jesus Christ brought a completely different message. He said those who believe in him are sons of God rather than slaves. And our hope for eternal life is based upon his sacrificial death alone, rather than our own deeds. And they will discover new power to live for him. Thus with Muhammad and Jesus, we have two significant leaders whose words, although very different, are still impacting our world today. Muhammad claimed he was a prophet for Allah, and his followers say that his message supersedes that of all other prophets. Jesus, on the other hand claimed to be more than a prophet. He said he existed before the universe was created, and that he is one with God the Father. His followers believed his words because they saw him alive after his death. Other than the Qur’an, Muhammad left us no proof that his message was from God. His followers claim that the Qur’an is a miracle needing no proof or evidence. However, Jesus reportedly backed up his words and claims with a feat that would have been impossible unless God had done it. To his followers, it was his bodily resurrection from the dead that convinced them his words are true. They went everywhere proclaiming Jesus’ claims to be true, even at the cost of their own lives.