Religion and Mysticism Two of the World's Essay

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Religion and Mysticism

Two of the world's major religions, Islam and Christianity seem to be very different belief systems. When comprising a mental picture of a practitioner of one and then the other, they seem to have very different characteristics. However, when examined more closely, it becomes evident that the two religions are based on some of the same principles of kindness towards others, inherent goodness, and most specifically some sort of supernatural or spectacular being that is stronger than anything on earth. Sufism is the branch of Islam which is most comparable with Christian Mysticism, both of which look to some sort of spiritual power that has more strength than mere mortals.

Sufism stems from the Islamic religion. Muhammad is considered the prophet of both sects and this is why the two are so often linked, however Sufism teaches that the spirituality can be combined with any religion. "No one faith or belief is questioned; each can follow his own church, religion, or creed"
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(Sufism-What). One of the tenets of Sufism is that God is supreme above all things and that humans are created to serve him. No one can be above God. Sufis practice zikr, or meditation, chanting, and movement are repeated until the person becomes full of God's presence (Sufism-What). For Christians, God is above all humans as well. The two religions do not differ so much on principle as in personification. Whereas Muslims believe Muhammad to have been the great prophet, Christians believe this role as filled by Jesus Christ. In order to proclaim their view as above that of other groups, Christians have elevated their prophet to the position of their God and supreme ruler. Christian Mysticism focuses on the "spirituality of the direct experience of God" (Zuck). According to those who practice this branch of Christianity, the point of faith is not the doctrine of the religious text, nor following everything the local priest might say to the letter. Rather, it is about understanding the unique relationship between individual and God and finding your best…

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Works Cited:

"Sufism: The Mystical Side of Islam." Islamic Studies in Christian Perspective. Print.

"Sufism -- What is it?" All About Religion. 2002. Print.

Zuck, John. "What is Christian Mysticism?" Wild Things. 2008. Print.

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