Compare Islam and Zoroastrianism


Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity. As a monotheistic faith that originated in the Middle East, Islam holds many beliefs and practices in common with Judaism and Christianity.

One monotheistic religion that predated all these religions is Zoroastrianism. Founder by Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra), Zoroastrianism arose in Persia and was the state religion of Persia until the 7th century CE when it was replaced by Islam.

As a brief guide of the similarities and differences between Islam and Zoroastrianism, the following chart compares the statistics, origins, history and religious beliefs of these two faiths. Please note that, as with all charts of this kind, information is generalized and oversimplified and should not be used as the only basis of information.

  Islam Zoroastrianism Basics adherents called Muslims Zoroastrians, Parsis, or Parsees current adherents 1.3 billion 150-200,000 major concentration Middle East, Southeast Asia India, Iran sacred text Qur'an (Koran) Avesta History date founded 622 CE c.6th cent. BC place founded Saudi Arabia Ancient Persia founder Muhammad Zarathustra (Zoroaster) Beliefs type of theism strict monotheism monotheism ultimate reality one God one God, dualism names of God Allah (Arabic for God) Ahura Mazda other spiritual beings angels, demons, jinn angels and demons revered humans prophets, imams (especially in Shia) Zarathustra (Zoroaster) means of salvation correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars good works God's role in salvation predestination God allows free choice good afterlife eternal paradise heaven bad afterlife eternal hell hell
Adherents CalledMuslimsZoroastrians, Parsis, Parsees
Islam Adherents1.6 billion200,000
Main LocationsMiddle East, North Africa, Southeast AsiaIndia, Iran
TextsQur'an (sacred text); Hadith (tradition)

see Islamic sacred texts
Zend Avesta

see Zoroastrian texts
Date Founded622 CEc. 6th century BCE
Place FoundedArabian PeninsulaAncient Persia
Founders & Early LeadersMuhammadZoroaster
GodOne God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian BiblesOne God, Ahura Mazda, but a dualistic worldview in which an evil spirit, Angra Mainyu, is almost as powerful.
Spiritual Beingsangels, demons, jinnangels and demons
Revered Humansprophets; imams (especially in Shia Islam)
Salvationcorrect belief, good deeds, Five Pillars

see Salvation in Islam
good works
Predestinationaffirmeddenied; God allows free choice
Afterlifeeternal Paradise or eternal Hell

see Islamic Beliefs About the Afterlife
Judgment followed by heaven or hell. Hell is temporary until final purgation and return to Ahura Mazda.
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