Difference between Hindu and Muslim

By: | Updated: Feb-8, 2018

Religion makes us different from one another. It dictates how we live our lives in different communities. And while we like to believe that the purpose of all religions is that of offering specific spiritual guidance, there are still so many ways to practice it. This is why a Christian will be different from a Buddhist and a Hindu will be different from a Muslim. Let’s look more into this last comparison.

Summary Table

HinduMuslim
Worships one of many gods; Hinduism is a polytheistic religionWorships only Allah; Islam is a monotheistic religion
There are 1 billion Hindus in the worldThere are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world
Worships in templesWorships is mosques
Practices meditation, yoga and contemplationPractices prayer, fasting and pilgrimage
Has representations of its gods and goddessesDoes not have a representation of Allah
Lives in a caste-based societyThinks all other people are his equals
Practices monogamyPractices polygamy
There is no religious dictate of what to wearReligion dictates how women should dress
Believes in KarmaMust ask Allah for forgiveness
Can take guidance from the VeddasCan take guidance from the Qu’ran
Has no official clergyThe Imam leads the congregation into prayer, but he is not the intermediary between the believer and God
Main goal is to live a peaceful and righteous life that will break the reincarnation cycleMain goal is to lead a life which is pleasing to Allah
Does not eat beef as the cow is considered sacredDoes not eat pork as the pig is considered dirty

Descriptions

Hindu couple
A Hindu couple on their wedding day

A Hindu is a person who practices Hinduism. The religion is widespread and it originated on the Indian Subcontinent. There are about 1 billion Hindus worldwide. Their practices include meditation, yoga, temple offerings and contemplation. One of the most distinctive traits of Hindus is that they consider cows sacred and therefore do not eat beef. Also, they can choose from a Pantheon of Hindu gods. The main goal in the life of a Hindu is to attain Nirvana and break the cycle of reincarnation.

Muslim family
A Muslim family

A Muslim is a person who believes in Allah and who practices Islam. The religion is widespread and it originated in the Arabian Peninsula. There are about 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. Their practices include daily prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage. Islam is a monotheistic religion and Muslims only worship Allah. The main goal in the life of a Muslim is that of living a life pleasing to Allah. A distinctive trait of Muslims is that they do not eat pork as they see it as coming from a dirty animal.

Hindu vs Muslim

Let’s look deeper into the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim.

Type of religion

Hindus have a large number of gods and goddesses to choose from when it comes to worship, but a true Hindu will be dedicated to one god throughout his life. Islam is a monotheistic religion, Allah being the only object of worship for a Muslim.

Place and type of worship

Hindus worship their gods in temples, while Muslims worship in mosques. Hindus practice contemplation, meditation and yoga, while Muslims pray, fast and go on pilgrimages. Another interesting fact about differences in worship practice is that Hindus are allowed to have representations of their gods, whereas Muslims do not have any images of Allah. Also, there are around 1 billion Hindus worldwide and 1.6 billion Muslims.

Communities

The Hindu society is divided by castes and people are not meant to mingle between them. On the other hand, a premise of Islam is that all men are equal and that every Muslim believer must consider anyone, even people of other religions, his equals.

Hindus are monogamists, whereas Muslims are polygamists (men being allowed to take several wives). Also, when it comes to Muslim women, religion dictates that they do not wear clothes that are too tight and revealing. There are no religious restrictions for Hindu women.

Special belief systems

Hindus believe in an interference of the worshiped god in their life. Also, repentance for their sins is possible for unintentional sins, whereas intentional and unrepented sins will be regulated by karma, a universal law of balance in the universe. Muslims must ask Allah directly for forgiveness.

To guide their steps, Hindus can turn to the Vedas, whereas Muslims have the Qu’ran. Otherwise, Hindus have no official clergy, although they can become gurus, priests, priestesses and Brahmins, who dedicate their lives to their God. Muslims have Imams to lead the prayer and the religious gatherings, but the relationship of each believer with God is without intermediaries.

The goal of spiritual life

Hindus lead good lives in order to attain enlightenment and break the cycle of reincarnations. If a Hindu has led a less than righteous life, he will come back as a lowly creature to a life of suffering. The closer the Hindu gets to enlightenment, the better his reincarnations will become.

For a Muslim, it is important to live a life pleasing to Allah and in accordance with the religious requirements. The goal of Islam is that of making people live compassionate and peaceful lives.

Particularities

Hindus are known worldwide for considering the cow and bull sacred animals and refusing to eat their meat. Muslims, on the other hand, will not eat pork, but not because they consider the animal sacred. On the contrary, it’s because they consider it a dirty animal.

Also, Hinduism is a religion of peace with few attempts to convert others or to impose its beliefs. On the other hand, Islam has Holy Wars and has had active campaigns of converting even Hindu believers into Muslims.

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