Both Jesus' and Muhammad's social climates were integral to their later teachings. While Muhammad was born in Mecca within the Quaraish tribe; a well respected tribe that had maintained dominance in the area for some time and whose job it was to reconstruct the Ka'ba, Jesus was born into a poor family of Jewish political refuges. I believe that the high respect Muhammad was born with was integral in allowing him the freedom pursue him religious calling when it was revealed to him, and his poverty gave him the humility and strength to deal with the masses who would soon follow and persecute him. Jesus' poverty must have also contributed to his teachings by shaping his thoughts on the danger of wealth and the unnecessary evil of material gain.
The prevalent religion in the area at the time of Muhammad was polytheist, though an idea of a dominant "Allah" was often prayed to in times of need.
Because of this upbringing, Muhammad felt the need to stress the oneness of God in the Qur'an. Jesus, in contrast, grew up in a monotheist culture and chose to stress the kindness of a loving, accessible God. Both Muhammad and Jesus made enemies quickly with their revolutionary ideas' growing popularity. Muhammad responded to enemies' criticisms by waging wars against them and conquering fertile ground for his followers. Jesus responded with equal anger, but preached a more peaceful policy of "turning the other cheek." Jesus, however never became the political leader that Muhammad assumed for his people once his following became sizeable.
While each teacher rejected or changed the religious beliefs of the time, they also embraced many traditional teachings of their parent religions. For Jesus, this meant praying to the same single God, adopting the Torah not as superfluous but simply...