According to the Oxford dictionary, religion is defined as “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods”. Buddhism and Islam are among two of the major world religions, residing predominantly in the Eastern parts of the world. In this essay, the fundamental principles of both religions will be outlined and their common grounds and differences will be discussed. Buddhism comes from the term 'budhi', which means 'to awaken'. Many consider Buddhism as more than just a religion; it is a philosophy or way of life. It originated when Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, gone through enlightenment. He was born in 563 BC at Nepal. When he was 29 years old, he became aware that happiness does not necessarily come with wealth, so he went on a journey to discover the varieties of doctrine of beliefs. He soon unravelled 'the middle path' following six years of meditation. He died at the age of 80 after devoting his whole life towards educating others about the fundamentals of Buddhism, also called the Dhamma. It is taught as the heart of Buddhism, despite of the many streams of Buddhism. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Paths are the core concepts of Buddhism. The first of the Four Noble Truths explained the basis of suffering. Getting ill and death serve as examples. The Second Noble Truth is the sources of suffering, which are karma or action and delusion. There are body, speech and mind actions while ignorance is the root of delusions. For instance, killing a living thing without contemplating its consequences causes suffering. Thirdly, suffering could cease and finally, the Fourth Noble Truth leads to the Eightfold Paths. The Eightfold Paths outlined the approaches to end suffering. It consists of the Right View, Right Intentions, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and the Right Concentration. There is not one factor that precedes another; instead it is to be understood as elements to fully eliminate suffering. Buddha was not a god. Therefore, Buddhists do not worship him, but instead bow to his statue and light up incense and lamp to remind them to continue cultivating love and inner peace, of the power of virtue, and of knowledge and ephemerality. There are a variety of Buddhism, Theravada and Yogacara to name a few. But, they all stress the aim of the state of freedom. Buddhism has also developed into more forms that are adaptable to different cultures. There is Theravada Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, Yogacara Buddhism and Vajrayana but they are all Buddhism and they all has the same taste - the state of freedom. Buddhism has evolved into different forms so that it can be relevant to the different cultures in which it exists. It has been reinterpreted over the centuries so that it can remain relevant to each new generation. The Ibadaat, or famously known as the five pillars of Islam builds the foundation of every Muslim. They are Tauheed, Salat, Saum or Annual Fasting in the Ramadan month, 2.5 per cent Zakat of the capital accumulation, and lastly the Ibadah Hajj. It starts with the concept of Tauheed, meaning Allah is the only god. After believing in the wholeness of Allah, the believers must then perform the prayers or Salat, as commanded in the Holy Qur’an. Next is fasting, by abstaining from food and drink and others including sexual intercourse. The syahadah, which testify that there exist no other Supreme Being but God and Mohammed is His prophet. The prayer times are established in relation to the motion of the sun. They are predawn, after midday, then after the sun has passed the center mark between noon and sunset, post-sunset and lastly during nightfall. The charitable giving practice is based on capital accumulation. Sawm or fasting occurs in the whole ninth month in Islamic moon calendar. Muslims who are healthy abstain from food and drink from daybreak to sundown. When a child...
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[ 2 ]. Brian White, “BuddhaNet Basic Buddhism Guide: A Five Minute Introduction,” Buddha Dharma Education Association & BuddhaNet, http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm (accessed 6 May 2013).
[ 3 ]. Lobsang Gyatso, The Four Noble Truths (New York: Snow Lion Publications, 1994), 17.
[ 4 ]. Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering (Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1984), 13.
[ 6 ]. Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History (London: Phoenix Press, 2001), 4.
[ 7 ]. A R Gatrad and A Sheikh, “Medical Ethics and Islam: Principles and Practice,” Archives of Disease in Childhood 84, no. 1 (January 2001): 72.
[ 8 ]. Eric Winkel, “Islam, Buddhism, and the New Sciences,” Islam and Civilisational Renewal 2, no. 4 (July 2011): 731.
[ 9 ]. Xinru Liu, “A Silk Road Legacy: The Spread of Buddhism and Islam,” Journal of World History 22, no. 1 (March 2011): 55.
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