Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Buddhist Islam

I couldn't find anything about the benefits of combining Buddhism and Islam, although it was easy to find negative stuff (e.g., http://www.islamandbuddhism.com/index.html). So I've decided to create something about it. I went to the Islam awareness session at my university and had some interesting discussions. One thing I found very interesting was the belief that there is some clear way of defining the religion of Islam. In this case everyone points at the 5 pillars of islam. So lets start there. The five pillars are (taken from Wikipedia)


Shahada - Shahadah is a saying professing monotheism and accepting Muhammad as God's messenger



Salat -Salat consists of five daily prayers





Sawm - Fasting - Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan





Zakāt - the practice of charitable giving

Hajj -The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca






Pillars 2 to 5 are common practices in many religions and many people who identify as muslim do not practice them. Pillars 2 to 5 can be viewed as common practices of more seriously religious individuals. It is the specific forms of prayer, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage that make it specifically Islamic. Pillar 1 is different in that, although it can be interpreted as a practice, it is really a statement of belief. So is there anything in there that conflicts with Buddhism. The answer is no. The Buddha did not make any claims about the existence or non existence of a God or gods. Also, there is nothing in Buddhism that contradicts the Koran, IF the Koran is read and interpreted to make it so. So a Buddhist Muslim would be someone who believes that the Koran should be interpreted in a way consistent with Buddhism, and that Buddhism should be interpreted in a way consistent with the Islam. 


In fact, it is arguably the Sufi's who first articulated the idea that all religions have the same source. According to Wikipedia - The chief aim of all Sufis is to seek the pleasing of God by working to restore within themselves the primordial state of fitra,[19] described in the Qur'an. In this state nothing one does defies God, and all is undertaken with the single motivation of love of God. A secondary consequence of this is that the seeker may be led to abandon all notions of dualism or multiplicity, including a conception of an individual self, and to realize the DivineUnity. This is completely 100% consistent with Buddhism


Finding stuff on Buddhism and Sufism is much easier, here are the top three hits


http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/islam/general/relation_between_buddhism_sufism.html


http://www.universel.net/lessons/200306_lesson.cfm?Selected=Lessons&CFID=1944042&CFTOKEN=29552430


http://roseandthelotus.com/



2 comments:

  1. wasn't able to reach your blog for a while. don't know why your blog cannot be browsed from here. your current post may help! It's a good way to put it. my dad used to ask people those pillars to check their religion. these are known as sub-pillars or accessories. the main ones (principles) are belief if god, mohammad, life after death. so in practice islam is closer to buddism than in theory and principles.

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  2. That's interesting that you couldn't see it until I posted this. I'll try to a bit more about Islam. It's important because I think a lot of Buddhists and Christians have a poor understanding

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