Buddhism and Islam Essay

1695 Words 7 Pages
Religion is defined as "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God" . There are many recognised religions of the world, which all teach its followers to live life "the right way", whose definition varies according to the religion itself. They have some beliefs and practices that distinguish themselves from each other. Some examples are differences and similarities of Buddhism and Islam.

Buddhism originated from India, and was founded by Prince Siddharta Gautama, who later came to be known as Buddha, or the enlightened one. Born of a princely caste, he later renounced his comfortable life in search for nirvana. In order to do that, he joined a band of ascetic, who was a group of Hindu priests.
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It discloses the way to cure desires. The Fourth Noble Truth specifically talks about how it can be accomplished through the Eightfold path.

The Eightfold path is the treatment to cure all desires of the heart. Briefly, they are having the right attitudes towards life, in a Buddhist way. It consists of having the Right Knowledge, Right Aspiration, Right Speech, Right Behaviour, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Absorption. It is taught that Buddhism "is a way of living, not merely the theory of life, the treading of this Path is essential to self-deliverance" .

On the other hand, Islam's basic rules of conduct consist of five commandments. These are shahada, which is the most fundamental of the commandments - the declaration of belief that there is only one God, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is His messenger. Shalat, which is praying five times a day to reaffirm submission to God, Saum -- fasting in the month of Ramadan which requires abstinence from everything worldly. All Muslims are required give 2.5% of his savings to charity, and this is termed Zakat. It is considered a social welfare responsibility and Hajj, which is going for pilgrimage after the end of Ramadan .

From these, it can be noted that the beliefs and practices of the two religions is considerably different. Firstly, Allah in the Islamic belief exists as a supernatural being, a God in a monotheistic religion, whereas Buddha initially existed as a man and attained