Dinki Di Dawah

The musings and poetics of a revert Aussie.

Category: Daw’ah to Buddhism

Da’wah to Buddhists: The Most Successful Man in the World

The final part of the prophecy of Buddha Maitreya I mentioned earlier describes the final Buddha being the most successful man in the world. This of course might be the easiest part to prove in pertaining to Muhammad (pbuh), as even from a secular perspective, dozens of western scholars have constantly pointed to the legacy of the final Prophet of God having the most influence on world political and social history.

Most notably, the book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”, written by Michael H. Hart and published in 1978 (republished in 1992), ranks Muhammad (pbuh) as the most influential man in human history, in itself causing a great academic controversy. Hart asserted that Muhammad was “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms. He also believed that Muhammad’s role in the development of Islam was far more influential than Jesus’ collaboration in the development of Christianity.

The link below also leads to an essay written by a western scholar on the global impact of Muhammad and his followers, and also shows how it was his revelations alone, and not just the factors of the times, that managed to unite the Arab tribes and turn them into a medieval superpower to rival any power on Earth.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/watt.asp

When one looks the historical evidence and the fact that his revelations, the Holy Quran, are the most read and recited piece of literature in history, it’s easy to see how from even a non religious perspective, Muhammad (pbuh) was truly the most influential, and thereby successful, man on Earth, and therefore, truly the prophesied final Buddha Maitreya.

Da’Wah to Buddhists: The Compassion of Muhammad (pbuh)

Any thoughtful non-Muslim, especially one who has been indoctrinated by the wide spectrum of Islamophobic literature available in the media and on the world wide web, will no doubt need further explanation of the mentioned prophecy in Dhammapada Sutta 151, be they Buddhist, Christian or Atheist. One must therefore explain further on each of the three conditions of this prophecy, in his/her own manner accordingly, but here I will illustrate my own logic and appropriate response:

“Compassionate to the Whole of Creation”:

Among those who profess to be skeptics, this condition will certainly raise eyebrows, especially since so many non muslims are familiar with Muhammad (pbuh) being a “severe and brutal tyrant who used lies and threats to reach power”. If such were the case, it’d be hard to justify from a historian’s perspective, as there were liars and tyrants in pre-Islamic Arabia, but none so who were able to command the infinite respect and loyalty of the followers to the point where their message was being spread to the far reaches of the Earth by ye time of his death, at which point he was living in dire poverty.


Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: the Messenger of God said: “There is a reward for serving any living thing.” – Hadith al-Bukhari 8:38.

If historical facts don’t persuade a da’ee’s listener (facts recorded not ony by Arabs but by Roman and Persian dignitaries, who were enemies to the Prophet and had no reason to lie), then his legacy will. True compassion is not merely an unending and all-forgiving love shown towards someone. Rather, like the love of a guiding parent, it is a love which is willing to chastise the learning child from committing wrong, and by dealing with total justice ad impartiality. The message of Muhammad (pbuh) never sought to overthrow or usurp the old laws of the Jews as brought by their previous prophets, as did the message of Jesus (pbuh), as both sought out to renew and revive the original message given to Adam and his wife Eve.

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: The Messenger of God said: “When God created the creation, God inscribed upon the Throne, ‘My compassion overpowers My wrath.’” – Hadith al-Bukhari 9:501.

This message is not one of total love and forgiveness (as professed by modern Christians) or total law and restrictions (as eventually became the Jewish tradition). Rather it is one that prescribes the appropriate solutions to humanity’s problems, being realistic in outlining all of them as they are and not embellishing on any point. It prescribes the appropriate justice and laws which would best lead a society to a state of moral purity, if properly followed. True compassion isn’t submissive forgiveness of all, but rather it is impartial justice yet the encouragement of forgiveness. A loving parent exercises restraint to her child, such as when it touches a hot stove and doesn’t let go even when in pain. Often the truest love is one that is willing to show discipline to those one loves.


The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ““It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.” – At-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1011.

An example of this undying compassion of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is in the beginning of his mission in Mecca, when he faced great enmity from the people around him and even those who once loved him. One such person was a neighbor of his, a woman who lived in a house along a road he took every day into the city. Every morning when he did, this woman, who hated his message, would empty the house’s chamberpot onto the street below as the Prophet passed underneath. Every morning this pattern continued, him being covered with excrement every time he did. He never even altered his path nor complained, until one day when she wasn’t there that morning to throw out the chamberpot. His concern was so great that he went to the door of the house and knocked to find out what had happened. When a maid answered and asked who he was, he said he was a friend and asked where the woman residing here was. The maid led him to where she was, in another room where upon seeing him she was shocked. When he asked how her health was and stated his concern for her when she wasn’t there that morning, her eyes were filled with tears, and soon after she became a Muslim.


Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: Someone urged the Messenger of God, “Call down a curse upon the idol-worshippers!” whereupon he said: “I have not been sent to curse. I have been sent as compassion.” – Muslim 6284.

Nevertheless, I’m sure a much better formulated response can be put together with more preparation, as these are just thoughts from the top of my head. If anyone has a better idea or response, feel free to mention it below in the comments.

Da’Wah to Buddhists: The Prophecy of Muhammad (pbuh)

While much of the da’wah material available to Australian Muslims has so far concentrated on preaching to the dominant religious group in Australia, the Christians, I felt that in my first article, I should pay attention to the fastest growing “religion” (way of life as they call it) in Australia. Buddhists follow the ancient teachings of Indian preacher Gautama Buddha, an “enlightened being” who never claimed to be God, and never claimed there was not one. Yet he nevertheless had the concept thrust upon his name by his followers for all eternity. Although none of his teachings or sayings were recorded till centuries after his death, he is still revered even by many outside of Buddhism as the ultimate embodiment of wisdom. Despite his critical and prejudiced views against women which led to him banning them from his religion until he was at his deathbed, with the words “My religion was to last for five thousand years. Now that women have entered it, it will not last five hundred”, people still look to his words of wisdom for guidance-or at least, only the ones they wish to remember. Whether his true teachings have survived or not is open to speculation. Even then, it has become the view of some Islamic scholars that he may have been an early prophet of Islam. One proof of this theory is the prophecy of a future Buddha, the Maitreya, one which bears startling resemblance to the story of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).This prophecy is written in Dhammapada Sutta 151, where Buddha supposedly writes: “My future follower will be: compassionate to the whole of creation; a messenger of peace, a peacemaker; the most successful man in the world.”Now in order to convince any Buddhist or intelligent listener of the validity of this prophecy pertaining to Muhammad (pbuh), let us first examine each of the conditions listed:

–       “Compassionate to the whole of creation”: As many non-Muslims might argue that this point looks away from Muhammad, him being the vilified anti-Christ he is traditionally portrayed as in Judeo-Christian dogma, it is the duty of the da’ee to clear this misconception and explain how true compassion to creation manifests itself. (this will be explained in my next article, so hang tight)

–       “A Messenger of Peace, a Peacemaker”: Another popular misconception non-Muslims will pose to the da’ee at this point is that of Muhammad being a bloodthirsty warmonger, inciting conflict against those who refused to believe in Allah’s religion. This must also be clarified by the da’ee and promptly, so as not to prolong on any point of his explanation. (see future article also)

–       “The Most Successful Man in the World”: This one’s a doozey, as one can easily point out the numerous ways in which Muhammad (pbuh) succeeded as the most influential man on history, on both a religious and secular level, as noted in the book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”, written by Michael H. Hart in 1978. Although by the end of his life he was living in severe poverty, this aspect can be used to identify the strong similarities between Gautama Buddha and the Messenger of Allah. They were both born into honourable and wealthy families, married into wealth, and gave up nearly everything for the sake of their mission to humanity.

A second prophecy should also be noted, one that describes direct correlations between the stories of Muhammad in the Hadith and Quran, and in the Buddhist prophetic descriptions of the coming Maitreya Buddha.

 

(this next part is sourced from the Da’wah website: http://www.islamawareness.net/ For more excellent resources for making the Da’wah, refer to this website)

According to the Gospel of Buddha by Carus pg. 214:

“The Blessed one said, “There are two occasions on which a Tathagata’s appearance becomes clear and exceedingly bright. In the night Ananda, in which a Tathagata attains to the supreme and perfect insight, and in the night in which he passes finally away in that ultra passing which leaves nothing whatever of his earthly existence to remain.’ ”

According to Gautam Buddha, following are the six criteria for identifying a Buddha.

–       A Buddha attains supreme and perfect insight at night-time.

–       On the occasion of his complete enlightenment he looks exceedingly bright

–       A Buddha dies a natural death.

–       He dies at night-time.

–       He looks exceedingly bright before his death.

–       After his death a Buddha ceases to exist on earth.

Now let us compare this prophecy, to the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh):

–        Muhammad (pbuh) attained supreme insight and Prophethood at night-time.

According to Surah Dukhan:  “By the books that makes thing clear ? We sent it down during a blessed night.” [Al-Qur’ân 44:2-3]

According to Surah Al-Qadar: “We have indeed revealed this (message) in the night of power.” [Al-Qur’ân 97:1]

–       Muhammad (pbuh) instantly felt his understanding illumined with celestial light.

–       Muhammad (pbuh) died a natural death.

–       According to Ayesha (r.a.), Muhammad (pbuh) expired at night-time. When he was dying there was no oil in the lamp and his wife Ayesha (r.a.) had to borrow oil for the lamp.

–       According to Anas (r.a.), Muhammad (pbuh) looked exceedingly bright in the night of his death.

–       After the burial of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he was never seen again in his bodily form on this earth.

 

Looking at both of these prophecies, it can be clearly inferred that the Lord Buddha indeed predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, if these are indeed truly his own words. If so, this would prove his authenticity as a Prophet of Islam, whose message has been distorted through time and human corruption and idolatry. Do not let this statement come across as an attack to any who adhere to Buddhist beliefs, but rather a bridging ground between them and those who follow the Last Prophet of Allah (SAW), indeed the “Buddha Maitreya”.

In a later article, I will elaborate on the similarities between Buddhism and Islam, and how one further bring the Message of Islam closer to the hearts of the Buddhists. In the meantime, be sure to check out many other websites on the internet which provide further material and resources on this field of Da’wah, including and not limited to: http://www.islamawareness.net/Buddhism/scriptures.html which I have directly quoted in parts within this article.

May Allah reward you for your future efforts in propagating Islam, brothers and sisters. I will be writing again shortly.

 

Jazakallah khair.