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Islam and Buddhism

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Islam and Buddhism

Islam and Buddhism are two distinct religious traditions that provide their own meaningful responses to the fundamental questions about life. Their views on issues relating to the possibility of a Supreme Being, the purpose of life and their understanding of the cycle of life and death are all quite distinct from each other, but at the same time, having certain similarities.

All Muslims profess the existence of the One and Only God, God Almighty who is also referred to as ‘Allah’. They firmly believe that Allah is the most high and honored, the creator and the sustainer of all that exists and he has no physical connections between any thing he has created whether it be the creatures or human beings on this earth. He has no beginning and no end. Allah has no physical dimensions like hunger, sleep or rest for he is the one who gives such attributes to his creatures.

Buddhism on the other hand, recognizes no creator god who initially brought the universe into existence and continues to control it in the way that Allah controls everything that is or happens in the universe from the smallest to the greatest events. The founder of Buddhism, who is known as Buddha, did not want to be worshipped as a god. He taught that people would be happier if they took responsibility for their own thoughts and actions. His teachings were simply a guide for living. Muslims can some what relate to this in the way they are taught to be responsible for their own actions and sins.

The two religions are also similar in the way they both believe in the concept of god/s existing in the afterlife. Muslims firmly believe in the existence of Allah in heaven while Buddhists consider the possibility of gods existing in the heavens that their karma has created. What is the purpose of life? Islam teaches that God created human beings and endowed them with immortal souls. Each individual possesses the quality of uniqueness and the duty of each person is to work out his or her own destiny and each is responsible for his or her own action.

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Buddhists would say that rather than being created by a Supreme Being, humans actually got themselves born due to karma made in past lives. This was made with a particular father and mother with whom we have karmic connections.

In Islam, life is essentially preparation for the Day of Judgement when Allah will call all people to hear an account of how they have lived. This will determine their destiny after life. On the other hand, Buddhists believe that humans are on this earth because of the evil things that they have committed in past lives and the main purpose of life is to reach the state of enlightenment. To escape the cycle of rebirth is to enter the supreme reality of Nirvana where there is freedom and bliss. To attain nirvana is simply to be out of existence. The way in which Buddhists are taught to go about this is to devote their life to compassion, charity, and non-violence and to clear their mind of all content and learn to drift away from the consciousness of this world.

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