Original Research

Muslim views on other religions: With special reference to Buddhism

Jaffary Awang, Ahmad F. Ramli, Zaizul A. Rahman
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6608 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6608 | © 2021 Jaffary Awang, Ahmad F. Ramli, Zaizul A. Rahman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2021 | Published: 27 August 2021

About the author(s)

Jaffary Awang, Research Centre for Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor; Institute of Islam Hadhari, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia
Ahmad F. Ramli, Research Centre for Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor; Department of Social Studies and Citizenship, Faculty of Human Sciences, Sultan Idris Education University, Tanjong Malim, Malaysia
Zaizul A. Rahman, Research Centre for Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


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Abstract

The literature analysing Muslim perspective towards other religions is now quite extensive. However, when it comes to Muslim’s perspective towards Buddhism, the scholarship lags far behind. This article aimed to identify the Muslim views on Buddhism from a theological and philosophical framework. The Muslim views have a different category, on categorising Buddhism, the status of Buddha as a Prophet, and Buddhist as the People of the Book. Each view provides a different framework of Muslim perspective towards Buddhism. From the theological view, one of the outlook is tolerance. Due to the rejection of Buddhist doctrine by most Muslim theologians, Muslims apply tolerance, which is subject to religious freedom stand on, ‘firm in principle, tolerant in attitude’. Tolerance encourages Muslims to adhere to the principles of truth, but does not erode the respect for other religion. While from a philosophical view, it considered Buddhism as a religion from God, as well as other religions. Thus, some Muslim inclusivists and pluralists recognise Buddhism. This research is qualitative. The method used in this research is descriptive-analytic, emphasising content analysis of the data from various books and articles covering Muslim view on Buddhism and the patterns of relations between Islam and Buddhism. Studies suggest the understanding of each framework to encourage Muslims to improve comprehensive interreligious dialogue with Buddhists.

Contribution: Religious tolerance, inclusivism, and pluralism is a panacea to inordinate and incessant religious conflict, if given its proper place in Malaysia, it will breed harmony and peace in the society. This work would be of immense benefit to interfaith scholars and religious leaders across all strata of discipline.


Keywords

Islam and Buddhism; interfaith relation; interreligious dialogue; religious pluralism; religious tolerance

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