What are the minimum requirements for a religion (besides Judaism) to have in order for it to be considered that they believe in HaShem?

For instance, what conditions does Islam fulfill that makes us consider them as believing in HaShem (whether we can daven in their mosques or not) that we don't hear being true about Zoroastrianism (which today - possibly unlike in the time of the Gemara, is monotheist)?

  • What is unclear about it? Are they worshipping the same deity as us or not?
    – Double AA
    Mar 6, 2017 at 21:12
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    @DoubleAA Muslims believe that HaShem spoke to Muhammad. Zoroastrians believe that their god didn't speak to Avrohom. Why doesn't the former turn them into believers of avodah zara but the latter does? Are there specific defining characteristics that must be the same? Are there historical events that need to match ours?
    – Y K
    Mar 6, 2017 at 21:35
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    Possible duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/28250
    – msh210
    Mar 6, 2017 at 21:38
  • @YK I have no idea why you think that is the reason Zoroastrianism is Avoda Zara (if it is). God is God. Even Jews disagree about various things God may or may not have done.
    – Double AA
    Mar 6, 2017 at 21:39
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    @msh210 I saw that one. Its definitely related. I'm not sure if it should be considered a duplicate because there they are asking about Bnei Noach. I don't particularly care if they would be considered "pious among the nations" unless that also happens to be the condition by which we determine whether their belief is idolatrous or not.
    – Y K
    Mar 6, 2017 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


A religion is categorized as Avodah zara if it worships many gods. Islam is a monotheistic religion, it believes in one god and even prohibits making images of Allah, it is clearly not a religion of Avodah zara. The fact that Muslims believe in Muhammad is irrelevant to the subject of Avodah zara, the only thing that matters is the way their deity is worshiped. The religion of Zoroastrianism on the other hand is not clearly monotheistic, and they seem to worship earthly objects (fire worship for example), this is what makes some people hesitant to declare it an Avodah zara free religion. But this is not necessarily true, Zoroastrianism might very well be a monotheistic religion according to Judaism, and may not be subject to the severe laws of Avodah zara just like Islam.

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    What if someone believes that the sun is a god and its the only god and they hence worship the sun. That's not Avoda Zara??? There are a lot of serious claims in this answer with no sources to back them up.
    – Double AA
    Jul 18, 2017 at 2:03
  • i included that in the worship of earthly objects which also constitute Avodah zara.
    – Bach
    Jul 18, 2017 at 12:30
  • no you said it might, but don't get bogged down in my example anyway.
    – Double AA
    Jul 18, 2017 at 12:31
  • Consider instead of the sun if someone believed only in Aphrodite and that the other Greek gods were made up. That'd also be Avoda Zara since God isn't Aphrodite.
    – Double AA
    Jul 18, 2017 at 12:36

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