Sample Essay on Compare and Contrast the Lives and Teachings of Muhammad, Buddha, and Jesus Christ

The lives and teachings of the three religious symbols among the religions that are still practiced in the world today have similarities and differences in equal measures. The differences range from the lives of individuals who represented the various religious such as Muhammad for Muslim, Jesus for Christianity, and Buddha for Buddhism, their beliefs and teachings to those they represented on how to coexist in life and the destination of human beings after death.

Generally, though we have some similarities between the three religious practices that are popular in the world today, there are some differences that are evidenced by a number of observable features such as the books that the three religious sects use in practicing their beliefs; the Christians use the bible, Muslims use the Quran while Buddha uses the Pali. While Christians and Muslims believe in one Supreme Being, God, Buddhists believe in an impersonal life after death also regarded as Astika (Jindra, 365). Some of the notable features with regard to the coming into of three religious symbols start from the life before their coming life, while there is no evidence confirming the coming of Buddha into life, Muhammad had written about his coming in the 610AD while Jesus’ coming had been prophesied by a number of prophets who existed before him.

The origin of three varies with regard to the religious beliefs of the sects they represent, for instance, the origin of Mohammad is unknown or rather does not exist. Jesus is believed to exist as a result of the word of God as he comes to spread the word of God and salvage humanity from worldly wrath (Jongeneel and Robert 52). Buddha on his part is believed to be a significant aspect in the previous life because he was existent as an object not necessarily as a human being as we have always believed.

While Jesus was a virgin under a mysterious circumstance as he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born by the Virgin Mary. His divine father was God while the earthly adopted father was Joseph. Mohamed on his part has Amina and Abdullah as his parents where father, Abdullah died before the birth of Muhammad making his uncle raise him up. Buddha was conceived from a royal family where the father was a king, Shuddhodana while the mother a Queen, Mayavedi (Jindra, 365). From the above description, it is evident that all these religious figures came from different backgrounds thus each of them displayed diverse characteristics in the course of his growing up. Being born from the royalties by parents who headed a kingdom in Lumbini Northern India, in 560BC displays the royal upbringing of Buddha which is completely different from the upbringing of Jesus who adopted father was a carpenter and had to struggle to make ends meet (Netland and Keith 158). The birth of Jesus Christ is also symbolic as he was born in 3BC from a manager while the parents had gone for the census in Jerusalem as it had been prophesied by previous prophets while Muhammad was born normally in Mecca in 570 AD through a normal conception (Van Biema et al 46).

During the consecration of childhood, there was a great variation of how these symbolic figures of present-day religion were done, while Jesus observed Jesus laws and customs through the initial stages of life such as the birth and circumcision, Muhammad is believed to have undergone cleansing after circumcision where angels cut his chest washing his heart and cleaning at Zamzam an exercise which was later repeated in his life by Gabriel (Sahih Bukhai 1.345). On his part, Buddha’s consecration is yet to make the expected prediction about the occurrences during this period (Netland and Keith 158).

The kind of education they received is also varied with regard to the worldly viewpoint, Buddha as a result of his royal background; he received private tutoring as per the royal protocol which sidelined him from the rest of his peers, Muhammad on his part was taught by his uncle how to read and write but that was not enough to render him an educated individual in the society because of the kind of education that existed which was formal, individual attended school and were taught by trained individuals(Jindra, 365). For Jesus, as a result of the humble upbringing by his stepfather, Joseph, he was taught carpentry. It is also stated that his lessons were divine as he received them from the Holy Spirit (Jongeneel and Robert 52). He was later regarded as a teacher enabling him to read and write.

The adult life of Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad was not distinct to the sense that while Muhammad and Buddha’s ad married with Muhammad having 11 wives and Buddha has a boy child whom he sired with his wife, Jesus never married nor had children. Buddha however abandoned his wife and child to go on his mission. The turning point of Buddha’s life was someday when outside his palace he encountered an old man who was in a dire state, a corpse and a hermit which are regarded as the four sights that brought him to the reality of life as he was able to realize the truths of life in a different manner. Mohammad on his part was almost giving up in life when he decided to take a moment off in a cave in the mountainous part of Mecca where he could meditate and reflect upon his life during the Holy month of Ramadan. It is during this moment that he had his first encounter with Angel Gabriel who revealed most truths about life that were so special not only to him but to the entire world generation. After this encounter with the Angel of God, Muhammad started preaching the revelations he had received three years later. Jesus on his part had no turning point as from the beginning, the birth, baptism, and entire life he was guided and led by the spirit of God. It is also important to note that these individuals started teaching from the ages of 30 and above as Buddha started his religious teaching with regard to Buddhism when he was more than 35 years and lasted for close to 50 years spreading Buddhism, Muhammad was 40 years when he received God’s revelation meaning that three years later he was at 43 years when he started preaching the revelations received from God and took 23 years in his life spreading Islam. Jesus on his part taught for 3 years.

While Jesus and Muhammad taught about the presence of only God who individuals should believe, Buddha taught his followers that they should not rely on God but on themselves so that they avoid suffering and other traits that need dependence on others. Muhammad believed that he was the last among the prophets that God sent to the world and his teachings were majorly based on the revelations he received from God during his calling. The Muslim faithful were therefore required to follow the teachings as outlined in the Quran which he outlined the teachings. Jesus regarded himself as a vessel through which people should follow enroute to the kingdom of God (Jongeneel and Robert 52). He taught repentance and the love of God for every humankind.

Its only Jesus who portrayed some forms of supernatural abilities in his ministry, his teachings were filled with miracles such as healing the sick, exorcising demons, and walking as well as going against the law of nature by walking on water, his coming into being had been written of both in the Bible by the early prophets and other Jewish writings (Pitcher 17). Buddha did not engage in any form of supernatural activities, his coming into being was as per the virtue of being born from the royalty family since his father was a King; the people who led were the ones who elevated him to the supreme individual that he became. Muhammad on his part did not perform any miracles but miracles happened to him as stated in the Quran, for instance, the ascension to heaven which he describes in the Quran though there is no evidential proof from a person confirming that. It was his belief that Allah sent him to preach his words and not to perform miracles.

As a child of God, Jesus was supposed to ask people to come into the church of God so as to worship him but in one instance Jesus was recorded chasing people from the church because they had turned the church place into a market where they were engaging in trade from, critics state that he was trying to prevent the people from praying and worshipping while in real sense he was against the vice of turning the house of the Lord into a market place (Van Biema et al 46). Buddha was seen criticizing individuals who engaged in animal sacrifices stating that he has some compassion for animals thus everything he put up was as a move to protect the animals, this was however faulted because he had earlier stated that individuals should worship out of a deity so that individuals get the results that they want thus his prior statement was self-conflicting by the sense that he had earlier expressed his supposed for the vice and later refuting it which people saw as a contradiction of his own words. Muhammad accused a tribe of the Jews citing treachery leading to his attack on the tribe and wanted to put the men from that tribe to death before his ally, Abdullah convinced him to stop it; he thus reluctantly stopped by decided to send them away from Medina together with their possessions and families. This act brought out enmity between the Jews and Muslims as Jews male adult members of the Jews were beheaded while the females and children were sold out as slaves.

While Jesus states that he is the way, the truth, and life for Christian believers, Buddha is still in the quest to find truth and it is to his belief that he will find the truth as long as he lived (Pitcher 17). Muhammad was of the vice that the only truth was the word of God and the teachings of the Gospels as tong as they went hand in hand with the teaching of the words of Allah as portrayed in the Quran. He states that everything that is not in the Quran is not the truth as the Quran is the authority for instance, in the Quran Jesus was never crucified thus; according to Muhammad, the idea of Jesus dying on the cross did not happen.

Jesus regarded himself as a true son of God free from seen and thus decided to be a sacrificial lamb for the sake of the people of His father on the cross as a moving washing away their sins. Muhammad regarded himself as a sinner and sought God’s forgiveness as a move to be granted righteousness before the eyes of Allah. According to the Quran, of all the prophets, only Jesus failed to seek God’s forgiveness as he was righteous in the entirety of his deeds.

Muhammad and Buddha both had natural deaths from fever and falling ill respectively, but Jesus’ death was not natural because he was crucified, condemned, tormented and later executed by the Roman leaders which fulfilled a prophecy concerning his recorded in the first part of the Bible. Jesus died at the age of 33 years accused of leading the people to Him and claiming to an equal to God (Van Biema et al 46). Muhammad believes to have consumed food that had poison which a Jew lady had given him while trying to ascertain if he was truly the prophet of Allah as he claimed, it was the woman’s belief that a true servant of the lord would not be affected by the poison or rather would realize that it had poison and not consume it.; this was not the case as Muhammad ate the meal, developed a fever, and died at the age of 63. The death of Buddha is believed to be the last link between death and rebirth.

Buddha did not believe in God as he was seen questioning the origin of God since it was to his belief that everything that existed in the world must have been created making his claim back a valid response as he refuted that who then created God (Netland and Keith 158). Muhammad believed that God had sent his prophets from the beginning of creation such as Adam all through to his last prophet Muhammad, he, however, stated that Israel was not the chosen nation as God did not reveal salvation through Israel because the Jews greatly hindered the quest of prophet Muhammad. he was of the view that the Jews were not ready to accept him as a true prophet of Allah making him to minimize the influence these individuals had on his life one such move to shift the direction faced when praying to Mecca from Jerusalem, he also changed the Muslims special prayer day to Friday so as not to march to one done by the Jews, Sunday. He further renounced the Jewish dietary laws by forbidding the consumption of pork and a further relation of Prophet Abraham to the Jews was dismissed linking Abraham to the Arabs. As a true son of God, Jesus stated that God revealed himself through nature, Israel, and the prophets and asked people that the only way one could see God was to surrender their lives through him.

Works cited

Jindra, Ines. “Comparing Biographical Backgrounds Of Religious Founders And Converts To Those Religions: An Exploratory Study.” Pastoral Psychology 58.4 (2009): 365-385.

Jongeneel, J A. B, and Robert T. Coote. Jesus Christ in World History: His Presence and Representation in Cyclical and Linear Settings. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2009. Print. 52

Jung, Ken. “Jesus In The World’s Faiths: Leading Thinkers From Five Religions Reflect On His Meaning. Edited By Gregory A. Barker.” Heythrop Journal 50.3 (2009): 568-571.

Netland, Harold A, and Keith E. Yandell. Buddhism: A Christian Exploration and Appraisal. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2009. Print. Page 198

Pitcher, Roy. Jesus, a Master Teacher for the 21st Century. , 2013. Print. 17

Van Biema, David, et al. “Jerusalem At The Time Of Jesus. (Cover Story).” Time 157.15 (2001): 46.