Judaism and Islam Essay

The concept of Jews being God’s Chosen People is based on the choice that Abraham made to God to act as His representative in spreading God’s message to other people. Abraham’s descendants, the Jews who are also called the people of Israel, continue to fulfill this covenant set forth in the Torah. Being chosen, therefore, is not a privilege or being God’s favorite over others, but assuming the task or responsibility to teach the way of justice and righteousness and to create a model community for the rest of the world to emulate so that in the end, everyone will share in the goal of redemption.

Jihad is an Islamic practice which requires Muslims to “struggle” for the sake of the religion; to fight against the unbelievers and those who take offensive action against the religion and its practitioners. Although there are four known kinds of jihad, they can also be classified into two: the lesser jihad (al-jihad al-akbar) and greater jihad (al-jihad al-asghar). Lesser jihad refers to an external struggle which often implies physical battles or fight against disbelievers. It is against actual people in the battlefield especially if these people are against Islam or exhibits antagonistic behavior against Islam like the existing conflict in Israel. Greater jihad refers to the inner struggle of the individual against one’s soul or desires. This is a personal jihad against unseen enemies and the evils which tempt a person to think bad thoughts and commit bad deeds.

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