What are the "Ten Commandments" of other religions?

I have been observing the debate in this thread about Moore, the Alabama judge who refuses to remove the Ten Commandments from his courthouse, and I got to thinking.

Are there factual answers to the question “What would be the equivalent, in other religions, to the Judeo/Christian Biblical Ten Commandments?”

I am looking for some text from the Koran or any major religious document that:[ul][li]seems to espouse a moral code, but[*]is primarily, if not wholly, a religious text that may offend others who are not part of that religion.[/ul][/li]I think you can see where I am going with this: If such texts exist, I would like to suggest to Judge Moore that he post them next to his favorites and give them equal stature. Surely he doesn’t think that his religion is the only true one? :slight_smile:

If I post his name, perhaps Aldebaran will speak of the Five Pillars of Islam, which I believe are listed in the Koran, but may derive from the Hadith. They are, IIRC:
[ul][li]The Ijmah (subscription to the view that "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His prophet)[/li][li]Prayer at five set occasions per day[/li][li]Fasting during daylight hours during the lunar month of Ramadan[/li][li]Almsgiving[/li][li]The Hajj (if physically and financially possible, undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca, with specific obligations to be carried out once there)[/ul][/li]
The Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism occupy a similarly central place.

I believe there is a similarly binding statement in the Baha’i Faith, but it’s been 30 years since I learned much about them. We have a few Baha’i members; perhaps they’ll elucidate.

AFAIK, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism, and Masdism (“Zoroastrianism” – disliked for the same reasons as Muslims dislike calling Islam “Mohammedanism”) have no similar central commandment-texts – but I’ll be pleased to be proved wrong.

I don’t know about this being the “Ten Commandments” of Hinduism, but perhaps

From http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism2.htm

Oh, and, from my brief studies on Masdism, they subscribe to a three-fold path.

“Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.”

From http://www.religioustolerance.org/zoroastr.htm

But I don’t really know if that’s considered with the same weight as the Five Pillars, Ten Commandments, etc.

Well actually, you find spread all over Al Qur’an and repeatedly the same intentions and commands as one can see summed up and expressed in the Christian Ten Commandments.

Theer is an intersting thing abou those Ten Commandments:

Once I was challenged on a message board about my knowledge of Catholicism and of course this began with the Ten Commandments. I posted a translation of what I have from my mother and it seemed that for Americans this was a sort of mix between Catholic and I think Protestant. While in Belgium it isn’t since she was Catholic and her family still is.

(It was a priest and fervent unlike-priesting acting Muslim hater who was roasting me upto what is said during consacration and what priests wear during mass and so on. It was very funny because of the input of other Catholics and of course because he couldn’t drive me in a corner. Heheh…)

Salaam. A


The five pilars have their foundation in Al Qur’an, but the practical set of the specific regulations - about for example how and when -are indeed the result of consulting hadieth.

Salaam. A.

Buddhism has it’s Eight Fold Path, while not exactly commandments, are suggestions for living.

I should point out that while all Christians give a great deal of importance to the Ten Commandments, for only a part of the evangelical contingent are they considered as central elements of the faith.

While Christians vary significantly in the extent to which they regard the imporance of the moral portions of Torah law, every Christian would be quick to point out the two commandments that Jesus identified as the greatest: Love of God with the totality of one’s self, and love of neighbor as oneself.

There are different “groupings” of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. Two are in Exodus and one in Deuteronomy. I wonder which one the judge used. I have read that Protestants favor one grouping and Catholics another.

religioustolerance.org proposes some alternatives for classrooms (although they don’t claim that they are Constitutional) – versions that will not alienate people who are not Christians and Jews. Here is one:


My personal favorite is called “The Ten Rational Commandments.” It is written by Laura Darlene Lansberry. She rewords the original Ten Commandments and adds some others, including this:

There are also interesting links at religioustolerance.org under the heading “hot topics.” These links discuss the problems inherent in posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings and there are links to the situation in Montgomery also.

I’m sorry if this is a bit of a hijack, but I wonder if a good lawyer could get someone off based on the idea that the crime was not specifically forbidden in the commandments posted at the entrance.

In Kemetic religion (Egyptian reconstruction), there is the concept of the Forty-Two Negative Confessions. Instead of “thou shalt nots”, these are “I have nots”. (The idea is that one proclaims that one has not done each of these things to each of the forty-two jurors at the judgement of the afterlife.)

I can’t speak for all Kemetics; there are rather a few branches, many of which have serious political and theological differences. My understanding of the Confessions is that they are intended to be a guideline, a means of sketching out an impression of what must be avoided to live in harmony with the universe. As such, they are neither comprehensive or complete; they are an attempt to illustrate actions believed to cause disharmony and put a person out of joint.

Also, because of the span of historical Egyptian religion, and their obsessions with texts, there are many, many variations on the Confessions. (You can find a sample of a few with a google search on ‘forty-two negative confessions’, if you want a few texts to pick from.) Many of them seem very repetetive, because there were apparently nuances in the original language that cannot be (or at least have not been) rendered by translators.

Versions of the Confessions include several against murder and assault (including both murderer and hiring assassins separately), a general reference to the purity laws, directives against theft (including specifically not only not stealing from temples, the blessed dead, but not taking food from children), statements against lies, deceit, slander, eavesdropping, and gossip, several sexual ones (such as not defiling marriage vows and not being a paedophile), general statements in favor of moderation (“I have not been angry without just cause” being one of those, an avoidance of arrogance another), statements that make the most sense in their geographical context (“I have not stopped the flow of water”), support of the general social order (such as not conspiring against the king and generally trying to get on with one’s blood-kin), not treating the gods with contempt have not treated with contempt, have not engaged in theft of offerings, have not slaughtered the temple cattle), and my personal favorite of the lot: I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.

Not to derail this amusing little chat, but isn’t this more of a General Questions thread than an actual Great Debate?

And here I come to elucidate. We really only have three “commandments”, as such. One is a 19-day period of sunup to sundown fasting from March 2-21st (this fast is for adults in good health only); recitation of a daily obligatory prayer; recitation of the phrase “Allah-u-Abha” 95 times daily.
However, there is a piece of writing, from Gleanings by Baha’u’llah, the Prophet/founder of the Faith. From the first time I read it, I thought of it as the “Boy Scout Creed” of the Faith, because it distills what a good Baha’i should strive for in life:

"Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility. "

Does that help any?

Buddhism, besides the Eightfold Path has the 5 precepts which is often expanded into 8 and 10 precepts. Here are the 10:

The first five precepts are for general buddhists and are generally considered “The Precepts.” The latter 5 are included for lay monks.

Correction to the above:

The first 5 precepts I listed are harsher versions and for some reason in a different order than the standard precepts which are:

  1. Refrain From Killing
  2. Refrain from Stealing
  3. Refrain from Lying, Slandering, Gossiping and Spreading Rumours
  4. Refrain from Sexual Misconduct
  5. Refrain from Taking Intoxicants

Sikhism has the Reht Maryada, which is very detailed, but states:

I’ve often heard said that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is common to all religions. Is there actually any evidence to back this up?

It’s anecdotal but when I was in Chang Mi in Thailand I was walking around a temple with a Thai national who was translating the plaques on the wall. One was a quote from a very important Buddhist monk(can’t remember who) it translated as almost exactly “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

Some years ago, in Children’s Class at Baha’i school, one of my daughters made a little plaque (actually, a pre-printed poster that she then hot-glued lace areound, then decorated with stickers. Here are the quotes and attributations from that plaque:
“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself find hurtful”-Buddhism

“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary”-Judaism

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”-Christianity

“No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”-Islam

“Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.” Baha’i

The unity of God and His different religions was the whole point of the lesson the kids were learning that day.

Right you are, but given that religion is a sensitive subject for many, I was afraid it would degenerate into a debate, so I put it in GD.

And to kick-start that action, which one of the non-Christian commandments/platitudes/writings posted in this thread would be accepted by Judge Moore alongside of his Ten Commandments? I can’t imagine any.

Or perhaps Judge Moore would say that this is a Christian nation, and the others are inappropriate. Whoops, talk about establishment of religion!

Although Steve Allen might not be considered a religion, :slight_smile: I seem to recall he once proposed a non-secular version of the Ten Commandments in his book On the Bible, Religion, and Morality. Unfortunately, my copy is out on loan and I haven’t found the text thru google. Anybody have a copy?

Imagine if a small town crowded with Satanists elected a Judge and decided they had the same rights to post their Creed ? Any satanists here with the 666 commands of the devil ?