Abrahamic religions are religions that share the patriarch Abraham in their lineage, although he plays different roles in different belief systems. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all considered to be part of this group, because Abraham appears in the religious texts of all of these faiths. The Druze, Bahá'í, Samaritans and others are considered to be members as well. All told, more than half of the people in the world are believed to identify themselves as members of these religious groups.
In addition to sharing Abraham, numerous other figures, such as Noah, can be found in the tradition of all of the Abrahamic religions, and these religions share several common traits as well. All are monotheistic, believing in one god, and they have Semitic origins. In the case of Judaism, Islam, and certain Christian sects, Abraham is viewed as one of the literal fathers of the religion, in the direct lineage of various prophets and other important religious figures. In most of Christianity, Abraham is considered to be more of a spiritual father, because Christianity is derived from Judaism in some ways.
Abraham's story is well documented in numerous religious texts, and during his long life, he participated in many religious and historical importance in the eyes of religious believers. He is perhaps most well known for making a covenant with God that allowed him to have many children with his wife, Sarah, long after the two were past the age of childbearing. These children are considered to be the ancestors of the Semitic people.
Views of Abraham
In Judaism, Abraham is recognized as the “father of many,” and his covenant with God is an important story in the Jewish tradition. In Islam, he is considered to be a prophet, and his son Ishmael is in the lineage of the prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah. For Christians, Abraham is important because he is the father of the people of Israel and therefore a forebearer of Christ. As a result, he is a crucial figure in all of these Abrahamic religions, along with other religions that use scriptures derived from them.
There is some debate over which religions should be classified as part of this group. This is especially true among smaller religions that might be inspired by such belief systems, but might not view Abraham in the same way. Along with the Abrahamic religions, the other major category of religious belief is that of the Eastern religions, which include faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism.