|CATEGORIZATION OF MAJOR
by Dr Zakir Naik
Religions of the world can be
broadly categorized into Semitic religions and non-Semitic religions.
Non-Semitic religions can be divided into Aryan religions and non-Aryan
Semitic religions are
religions that originated among the Semites. According to the Bible, Prophet
Noah (pbuh) had a son called Shem.
The descendents of Shem are
known as Semites. Therefore, Semitic religions are the religions that
originated among the Jews, Arabs, Assyrians, Phoenicians, etc. Major Semitic
religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All these religions are
Prophetic religions that believe in Divine Guidance sent through prophets of
The non-Semitic religions are
further subdivided into Aryan and non-Aryan religions:
Aryan religions are the
religions that originated among the Aryans, a powerful group of
Indo-European speaking people that spread through Iran and Northern India in
the first half of the second Millenium BC (2000 to 1500 BC).
The Aryan Religions are
further subdivided into Vedic and non-Vedic religions.
The Vedic Religion is
given the misnomer of Hinduism or Brahminism. The non-Vedic Religions
are Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.
Almost all Aryan religions
are non-Prophetic religions.
Zoroastrianism is an Aryan,
non-Vedic religion, which is not associated with Hinduism. It claims to be a
The non-Aryan religions have
diverse origins. Confucianism and Taoism are of Chinese origin while
Shintoism is of Japanese origin.
Many of these non-Aryan
religions do not have a concept of God. They are better referred to as
ethical systems rather than as religions.