De reden van deze volgorde is dat naderhand de volgorde goed komt, omdat nieuwe teksten boven eerder gepubliceerde teksten staan.
De tekst zelf, 'Hoe gaat een boeddhist met de Islam om? Niet dus - Of toch ? Een poging houvast te zoeken in de literatuur over de verhouding Islam-Boeddhisme ', is hier te vinden.
De bijlagen zijn allemaal Engelstalig; ik heb geen gezaghebbende Nederlandstalige teksten gevonden; ook geen niet-gezaghebbende teksten trouwens.
De volgorde is die waarin ik deze bronnen heb 'ontdekt', vrij willekeurig dus.
Voor zover ik heb kunnen nagaan, zijn deze teksten vrij van copyrights.
Overzicht van de bijlagen
Bijlage 1 Passages uit het werk van Alexander Berzin over de relatie Boeddhisme - Islam
1 A Current Buddhist-Islamic Interaction
1 B Uit: 'Is There a Common Ground between Buddhism and Islam?'
Bijlage 2 The Premises and Promises of the Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue door Mohammad Selim
Bijlage 3 Uit 'COMMON GROUND Between Islam & Buddhism '
Bijlage 4 The Buddhist Face of Peace:
Buddhist Peace Initiatives in Times of Religious Intolerance
Bijlage 5 Buddhism vs Islam – Een vergelijking tussen de twee religies
Passages uit het werk van Alexander Berzin over de relatie Boeddhisme - Islam
Hier het Overzicht van alle artikelen van Berzin
Bijlage 1 A Current Buddhist-Islamic Interaction
At present, there are seven major regions in which Buddhist and Muslim populations are living either together, or in close proximity, and interacting with each other. These are in Tibet, Ladakh, southern Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma/Myanmar, and Bangladesh. In each of the seven, however, the interaction between the two groups is influenced primarily by economic and political factors, rather than by their religious beliefs.
Relations between the native Tibetan Buddhist population and the centuries-old Kashmiri Muslim settler community have continued to be harmonious, based on the policies of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In current days, the members of this Muslim community are fully accepted as Tibetans by the other Tibetan groups, both inside and outside Tibet, and they continue to play an integral role in Tibetan society in exile in India.
On the other hand, there have been significant problems in the relations between the Tibetan Buddhists and the Chinese Hui Muslims. These two groups have lived side by side for many centuries in the traditional northeastern Tibetan region of Amdo, currently divided between Qinghai and Gansu provinces of the Peoples’ Republic of China. Although, at times, Hui warlords have exercised strong control over parts of this region, the Buddhists and Muslims living there had worked out a modus vivendi. In the last decades, however, the PRC Government has promoted Tibet as the land of economic opportunities. Consequently, Hui merchants have moved in significant numbers into traditional Tibetan regions, not only in Amdo, but also in Central Tibet (the Tibetan Autonomous Region). The local Tibetans view these new arrivals as foreign competitors and thus there is a great deal of resentment.
Both the Buddhist and Muslim groups living in the traditional Tibetan regions within the PRC face serious restrictions on the practice of their religions. Especially in Central Tibet, the lay communities have almost no access to religious instruction. Thus, the confrontations that arise between the two groups are not based on religious differences. The problem is not that the new settlers are Muslims, but that they are Chinese and are threatening the economic welfare of the native population. Religious dialogue and cooperation are extremely difficult in the current situation, when the PRC authorities encourage and exploit cultural differences in order to maintain control.
Ladakh, with its Tibetan Buddhist population, is currently part of the Indian state of Kashmir and Jammu. The attention of the Ladakhis’ Muslim neighbors in the Kashmiri part of the state is focused primarily on the Hindu-Muslim political conflict concerning whether to join Pakistan, remain within India, or become an independent state. Moreover, the traditional trade route between Kashmir and Tibet, through Ladakh, is closed due to Chinese Communist control of Tibet. Thus, the Kashmiri Muslim traders no longer have contact with the Buddhist community in Tibet, or even with the growing Muslim community there.
Conflict between the Buddhists and Muslims in Ladakh is fueled mostly by competition for developmental aid. With the living Buddhist tradition no longer viable in Tibet, Western tourists flock to Ladakh to witness Tibetan Buddhism practiced in a traditional setting. Developmental projects, sponsored by Indian and international agencies, have followed in the wake of growing tourist traffic. With the situation so volatile in the Kashmiri part of the state, far less attention has been paid to developmental projects there. Naturally, many Kashmiri Muslims are resentful of the aid projects that go to Ladakh. People do not seem to feel that Buddhist-Muslim interfaith dialogue can play any significant role in finding a solution to this problem.
Southern Thailand has primarily a Muslim population, which has more in common with the Muslims of Malaysia than it does with the Buddhist population of the rest of Thailand. The conflicts there concern the Muslim’s wish for greater political autonomy. Religious issues seem to be irrelevant.
One-third of the population in Northern Rakhine State in Arakan, Burma/Myanmar, is Muslim, while the rest is Buddhist. The two groups are of different ethnic origin and speak different languages. Between 1991 and 1992, a quarter of a million of these Muslims, known as Rohingyas, fled as refugees to Bangladesh. They fled, however, because of government discrimination and oppression. The military government, which officially promotes and associates itself with Buddhism, considers the Muslim population as foreign residents. Consequently, they deny them citizenship, restrict their movement, and limit their educational and professional opportunities. In 1995, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees assisted with the voluntary repatriation of 94% of these Muslim refugees. They are still receiving humanitarian aid and only slowly are some of them being issued government identity documents. Anti-Muslim riots at the hands of Buddhists, however, still occur. The Muslims allege that they are instigated and supported by the government. Much of the tension between the two religious and ethnic groups, however, stems from the preferential treatment given to non-Buddhists under British colonial rule. The present military government’s preferential treatment of Buddhists may be seen as a reaction to this. Without a change of government policy, it seems unlikely that settlement of Buddhist-Muslim tensions in Burma/Myanmar can be settled by religious dialogue alone.
One percent of the population is Buddhist, while the vast majority is Muslim. The Buddhists live primarily in Chittagong District and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. In 1988, an amendment to the Constitution of Bangladesh was passed proclaiming an “Islamic way of life” for the country. Since then, the tension between the religious and secular factions within the government has increased. This has been greatly exacerbated, however, since 2001, with the “War on Terror.” The American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have fueled Bangladeshi Islamic fundamentalism and this has led to heightened persecution of non-Muslim minorities, including the Buddhists.
Malaysia and Indonesia
Malaysia and Indonesia both have majority Muslim native populations, interspersed with minority Buddhist communities, consisting mostly of overseas Chinese and some South East Asians. The Muslim and Buddhist groups keep strictly to their own religious traditions. In fact, in Malaysia, ethnic Malays are forbidden, by severe laws, to convert from Islam to Buddhism, or even to attend a Buddhist teaching or ceremony. The main conflicts between the groups in each country, however, seem to derive from economic competition.
Opmerking: aan de lijst van landen met een moeizame (understatement) interactie tussen boeddhisten en moslims moet sindfs een paar jaar Sri Lanka worden toegevoegd. Ook weer - oh schande - een overwegend Theravada land.
Bijlage 1 B Uit: 'Is There a Common Ground between Buddhism and Islam?'
The Historical Muslim Approach toward Buddhism
Now, let’s look more specifically at Buddhism and Islam. Concerning Islam, in addition to my own research on the topic, I have also drawn from a book written by Reza Shah Kazemi called Common Ground between Islam and Buddhism, with forewards by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan. I have especially drawn relevant quotations from the Quran from Dr. Kazemi’s work.
Historically, both the Muslims and the Buddhists (and here let’s limit ourselves to the Indo-Tibetan forms of Buddhism), have adopted an inclusivist approach. The Muslims, for example, included Buddhists as People of the Book, the same as Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians. How did this come about?
During the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE), the Arabs spread their rule and their religion, Islam, throughout the Middle East. Thus, at the beginning of the eighth century, the Umayyad general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the predominantly Buddhist region of Sind, in present-day southern Pakistan. The Buddhists and Hindus of Brahmanabad, one of its major cities, requested that they be allowed to rebuild their temples and maintain religious freedom. General Qasim consulted with the governor, Hajjaj bin Yusuf, who in turn consulted the Muslim clerics. The religious clerics, in what became known as the “Brahmanabad settlement,” declared Buddhists (Hindus too) as People of the Book.
The Umayyad governor Hajjaj decreed: “The request of the chiefs of Brahmanabad about the building of Buddhist and other temples, and toleration in religious matters, is just and reasonable. I do not see what further rights we can have over them beyond the usual tax. They have paid homage to us and have undertaken to pay the fixed tributary poll tax (Ar. jizya) to the Caliph. Because they have become protected subjects (Ar. dhimmi), we have no right whatsoever to interfere in their lives and property. Do permit them to follow their own religion. No one should prevent them.”
Subsequently, the Buddhists were allowed to rebuild their temples and monasteries, and were granted the status of non-Muslim protected subjects, as long as they paid the tributary poll tax. The Umayyad Caliphs and later the Abbasid Caliphs ruling from Baghdad (750 – 1258 CE) and subsequent Muslim rulers of India held in principle this same policy, although, of course, it was not always followed by all rulers or generals. Nevertheless, the implication of this ruling is that Buddhism was not analogous to the pagan polytheistic religions, whose followers were not granted such privileges.
Now, you could argue that granting Buddhists legal recognition was more political than theological, stemming more from pragmatism than subtle philosophical analysis. This was probably so. After allowing the rebuilding of the Buddhist and Hindu temples, the Arab governors taxed the pilgrims who came to worship at them. But nevertheless, the scholars of Islam did not, and still do not regard this “pragmatic” policy as violating or compromising any fundamental theological principle of Islam. The implication of granting Buddhists legal recognition, political protection and religious tolerance is that the spiritual path and moral code of the Buddhist faith derive from a higher authority, namely an authentic revelation of God.
What was the basis for declaring the Buddhists as People of the Book? Was it merely on the basis of shared customs of worship? For example, in the beginning of the eighth century, the Iranian historian al-Kermani wrote a detailed account of Nava Vihara Monastery in Balkh Afghanistan and described some of the Buddhist customs in terms of analogies in Islam. He described the main temple as having a stone cube in the center, draped with cloth, and devotees as circumambulating it and making prostration, as is the case with the Kaaba in Mecca. He did not, however, discuss any of the Buddhist beliefs.
So is there a doctrinal basis for declaring Buddhists as People of the Book? This is an important question since, if Buddhists are recognized as being People of the Book, then they are implicitly to be included in the spectrum of “saved” communities, as expressed in the following verse from the Quran (2:62): “Truly those who believe and those who are Jews, and the Christians and the Sabeans – whoever believes in God and the Last Day and performs virtuous acts – for such, their reward is with their Lord. No fear or suffering will befall them.”
This indicates the common ground between Buddhism and Islam according to the Quran – belief in God and the Last Day of Judgment and in performing virtuous, constructive acts. Even if the views are not the same, Islam regards them as at least similar enough to be compatible. As it says in the Quran (2:137): “And if they believe in the like of that in which you believe, then they are rightly guided.” This approach, then, is clearly inclusivist. Buddhists too will reach the salvation taught in Islam, because they follow similar views.
The question is what are the boundaries of what can be included in the concepts of God, a religion revealed by God, the Last Day of Judgment, the oneness of the truth, and so on? On both the Muslim and Buddhist sides, there have been some clerics who make the definitions of these quite strict. But some have left them quite flexible as well.
The Historical Buddhist Approach toward Islam
Before we explore the boundaries of these concepts, let us look first at the historical approach of the Buddhists toward Islam. The singular Buddhist textual tradition that mentions any Islamic customs or beliefs is the Sanskrit Kalachakra Tantra literature, which emerged in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries CE, most likely in the area of southeastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.
The common ground, here, between Buddhism and the Buddhist understanding of Islam is rebirth in heaven and hell based on one’s ethical behavior. It is interesting, concerning these passages, that the Kalachakra texts do not comment on the assertion of a creator, nor on the role of the creator in determining the afterlife based on whether or not a person pleases him. On that last point, by the way, concerning Allah’s judgment based on whether or not someone pleases him, the Buddhist presentation is not fair. According to a hadith (accounts of Muhammad), Allah said, “O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for.”
In any case, the Kalachakra texts focus merely on the nature of the afterlife and the effect on it by a person’s deeds in this life in general. In discussing the issue in this way, the texts reveal an inclusivist approach in identifying the invaders’ assertion of an eternal rebirth as a faulty view that is explained more correctly in Buddhism. ...
The Premises and Promises of the Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue door Mohammad Selim
Hiervan deel I, III en IV
The concept of inter-faith dialogue refers to cooperative and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and spiritual beliefs, at both the individual and institutional level with the aim of deriving common grounds through a concentration on similarities between faiths, understanding of values, and commitment to the world. In reality, inter-faith dialogue was restricted to “divine religions,” Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These religions have in common the claim they are the word of God, and appeared in West Asia. They are distinct from other faiths, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, and Hinduism, which do not have divine claims and mostly appeared and flourished in South, Central, and Eastern Asia. Further, divine religions do not recognize non-divine ones. Islam only recognizes “the Peoples of the Book” as the only religious groups that Muslims could deal although other divine religions do not recognize Islam. Throughout history divine religions interacted with each other, and nondivine ones did the same with some exceptions when Islam spread into Central and Southern Asia. Japan was a model of this phenomenon, as it became a crucible for most non-divine religions and the other divine religions never made breakthroughs into Japan.
However, recently, such gap has been bridged through various models of inter-faith dialogues involving divine and non-divine faiths, the most important of which was the Buddhist-Muslim dialogues. In this presentation, we will review the historical interactions between Islam and Buddhism, the genesis of dialogue models in recent history with emphasis on dialogue between Japanese Buddhism and Islam, and finally we will focus on the case of the dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda and Majid Tehranian as exemplified in their book, Global Civilization, an Islamic- Buddhist Dialogue.
(I) Historical Contacts between Buddhism and Islam
The first contacts between Buddhism and Islam occurred in Central Asia in the mid-seventh century. As Islam reached that part of the world during the reign of the Umayyad dynasty, Muslims began to realize the existence of Buddhism. Al-Kermani, a Muslim jurist, wrote about the Buddhist traditions in the city of Balkh, which is in today’s Afghanistan, and compared them with Islam. During the Abbasside dynasty, the Caliph Al-Madhi, invited Buddhist scholars to Baghdad to translate some of their books into Arabic, including the book entitled, the Book of the Buddha. Ibn al-Nadim, who lived in the ninth century, wrote praising the Buddhist practices at his time. Also, when Mahmud of Gazni invaded India in the early eleventh century, the Persian historian Al- Biruni accompanied him and wrote a book entitled the Book of India, in which he described Buddhist customs in India. Finally, in the fourteenth century when the Mongol ruler Ghazan Khan converted to Islam, he commissioned his minister Rashid al-Din al-Hamadhani (1247–1318), write a Universal History (Jami al-Tawarikh) which included a description of Buddhist beliefs written in cooperation with a Buddhist monk).
From the Buddhist side, there was little interest in communicating with Islam. Buddhists showed interest mainly in religions which were well established in their own regions, and little interest in religions which were trying to spread into regions in which Buddhism was the main belief system. Perhaps one of the few references to Islam in Buddhist literature was in the Kalachakra Tantra literature, which emerged in the tenth century. It referred to the beliefs of the Muslims in the context of the Buddhist-Hindu quest to preserve their religious identity in front of a Muslim expansion. The Kalachakra Tantra literature also highlighted points in common between Islam and Buddhism such as how souls bear responsibility for their actions.
The second encounter took place in South Asia and occurred between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. Contrary to the widely-held beliefs, Muslim rulers of India co-existed with Buddhism. At the same time period, the third Muslim-Buddhist encounter occurred, but this time in Southeast Asia. In that part of the world, Muslim developed Sufi versions of Islam, which was mostly mystical and somehow compatible with Buddhist beliefs.
It was not until the mid nineteenth century that the Mongolian novelist Injannashi wrote about some common features between Islam and Buddhism such as the common interest in “goodness.”
In contemporary times, these trends continued. Buddhism initiated dialogues with Christianity and Judaism as it spread in areas dominated by their two religions. As Buddhism made no advances in Muslim-dominated areas, there was no dialogue with Islam.
(III) The Need for a Muslim-Buddhist Dialogue and Its Problematics
Most Muslims and Buddhists came a long way from the historical legacy of non-recognition by the Muslims or marginalization by the Buddhists.
Four major factors encourage and reinforce Muslim-Buddhist dialogue and promote its chances of achieving positive results. These are the positive past record of Muslim-Buddhist relations, the potential of a Muslim-Buddhist conflict in some areas in Southeast and South Asia, and the relatively similar sensitivity of the Muslims and the Buddhists to the Western cultural offensive in the post Cold War era. First of all, there is no past imperialist historical legacy between the Muslims and Buddhists as the case between European Christianity and Islam especially during the Crusades. Secondly, a Buddhist-Muslim dialogue is also needed to avoid potential clashes between groups belonging to the two faiths in such areas as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Kashmir, where the two groups co-exist. For example, in Myanmar there is an ethnic conflict between the Buddhists and the Rohingye Muslims in Northern Rokhine State, Arakan. The tension is an outcome of the resentment of Buddhists against Muslims living among them which led to the immigration of some Muslim communities to neighboring Bangladesh. The third main factor which necessitates Muslim-Buddhist dialogue is that the main cultural Islamic and Asian values of the Asians and the Muslims respectively are being subjected to encroachments from the West. The objective is to universalize Western values. Being subjected to similar external pressures, it is in the interest of the Muslims and the Buddhists to embark on a dialogue whose main objective is to safeguard their cultural values and prove their relevance to the new issues in the twenty first century.
However, Muslim-Buddhist dialogue is not without certain problematics.
First of all, dialogues are a long-term process which produces results only in the long run. This tends to create frustrations which could lead the dialoguers to give up the process as its outcomes are not immediately visible. Second, Muslims and Buddhists are not homogenous groups. There are multiple versions of Muslim beliefs, and different versions of Buddhism. Further, Islam recognizes only “divine” religions, Judaism and Christianity, and emphasized upon monotheism. In a survey of Japanese and non-Japanese Muslims, it was found that whereas Japanese Muslims do not accept the Buddha as a prophet since he did not teach monotheism, non-Japanese Muslims did acknowledge Buddha as a Prophet. Such discrepancy was attributed to the lack if intensive interactions between Muslims and Buddhists in Japan. The images of some Muslims of Buddhism are in fact an outcome of the lack interactions between the two sides, rather than an outcome of some doctrinal beliefs13. In fact, one must acknowledge that most Muslims outside Eastern Asia know little about Buddhism, and they need to be better informed about it to comprehend its common grounds with Islam. These problematics call for a creative approach to deal with Muslim-Buddhist dialogues. The main element of this approach is mutual encounters and the transmission of knowledge between both sides.
(IV) Pre-requisites for an Effective Dialogue between Islam and Buddhism
The complexity and multi-dimensionality of the problematics of Muslim-Buddhist dialogue just outlined call for a new approach to that dialogue. The dialogue is likely to develop and prosper, if it is based on five major pillars.
(i) The Pursuit of a Truly Multi-Cultural Dialogue:
Multiculturalism refers to the appreciation of the diversity of all cultures by all the actors. It includes various elements such as (I) the prevalence of a non-hierarchical paradigm of cultures so as all cultures are considered equal in value and importance, (ii) engagement in a genuine dialogue between the co-existing cultures based upon exchange of ideas and skills, (iii) the pursuit of an anti-racist strategy; and (iv) the participation of all the cultural groups in the institutions of cultural dialogue. Multi-culturalism essentially means acknowledging and respecting cultural differences and acting to establish channels of communication between faiths. This does not exclude the existence of common universal values, which cut across all faiths. However, the meaning and operational application of these values differ from one faith to the other .
In the context of the Buddhist-Muslim dialogue, the notion of Buddha-Nature, which describe the potential of human beings to becomefully enlightened as well as the reality of the universe from a Mahayana Buddhist perspective, should be integrated into the dialogue, along with the notion of Mohammadan Reality as “the Perfect Human Being,” so as each side could comprehend the culture of the other side.
(ii) A Paradigm of the Universal Application of Mutually Accepted Norms:
The value and credibility of the multi-cultural paradigm depends upon its universal and consistent application across the issues, and the actors. Equal concern about human rights and cultural self-determination of all groups is likely to promote cultural exchange and promote confidence in Japan’s firm commitment to such paradigm. If it were agreed in the Muslim-Buddhist dialogue that nuclear weapons are a threat to humanity, such value must be applied to all actors who possess such weapons. Agreement on human rights and national self-determination should be also applied to all peoples under occupation, being in East Timor or Palestine.
(iii) Addressing the Concerns of All Parties:
Muslim-Buddhist dialogue must address itself to the major issues of concern to all actors. The agenda of the dialogue must be acceptable to all actors. Issues such as strategies of achieving regional peace, the concepts of holy wars, concepts of democracy and human rights, the promises and limits of economic privatization in the Arab countries, ethnic conflicts in Arab world, inter-religious and inter-civilizational dialogue, could be included in the dialogue.
(iv) Production of New Knowledge:
Muslim-Buddhist dialogue should not be restricted to the recall of historical legacies and memories but should focus on the perceptions of all sides of the new issues resulting from globalization and their potential contributions to reaching an inter- subjective consensus on a global code of ethics.
(v) An Institutionalized and Modernized Dialogue:
In thinking of operationalizing these dimensions into viable mechanisms, one can conceive of Muslim-Buddhist dialogue as having an institutional framework. The institution must have a permanent headquarters with a board of directors composed of an equal number of Buddhist and Muslim thinkers from different backgrounds. The board of directors should be entrusted with the task of formulating the agenda of the dialogue and publishing the proceedings in order to achieve cumulation. Further, it is crucial to pay special attention to younger generations especially those who have a potential for future leadership. Those who are enrolled in institutions of higher education need programs that portray the commonalties and differences among Muslim and Buddhist societies in a balanced way with special emphasis on mutual interests.
De wens tot institutionalisering, genoemd in deel IV, punt (v), komt voor mij volledig uit de lucht vallen. Wat betreft mijn opvattingen over Ikeda, zie m'n blog van 2 feb '15
Voor het volledige artikel, inclusief voetnoten, zie hier
UIT 'COMMON GROUND Between Islam & Buddhism '
By Reza Shah-Kazemi
With an essay by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Introduced by H. H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
H. R. H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad
Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Uit het Voorwoord (klik rechts) van de Dalai Lama: "This is an important and pioneering book, which seeks to find common ground between the teachings of Islam and of Buddhism. It is my hope that on the basis of this common ground, followers of each tradition may come to appreciate the spiritual truths their different paths entail and from this develop a basis for respect for each others practice and beliefs. This may not have occurred very often before, because there has been so little opportunity for real understanding between these two great traditions. This book attempts to set that right."
Why Do We Need ‘Common Ground’?
The specific intention and goal of the commission was to identify a spiritual ‘Common Ground’(authentically based on the religious sacred texts of Islam and Buddhism) between Muslims and Buddhists that will enable both communities to love and respect each other not merely as human beings in general, but also as Muslims and Buddhists in particular. In other words, we hoped to find out and understand what in our two great religions — despite all of the many irreconcilable and unbridgeable doctrinal, theological, juridical and other differences that we do have between us and that we cannot and must not deny — we have in common that will enable us to practise more loving mercy and respect towards each other more because we are Muslims and Buddhists, and not simply because we are all human beings. We believe that, despite the dangers of syncretism, finding religious Common Ground is fruitful, because Muslims at least will never be able to be whole-heartedly enthusiastic about any ethic that does not even mention God or refer back to Him. For God says in the Holy Qur’an:
But he who turneth away from remembrance of Me, his will
be a narrow life, and I shall bring him blind to the assembly
on the Day of Resurrection. (The Holy Qur’an, Ta Ha, 20:124)
This explains why we do not simply propose a version of the Second ‘Golden’ Commandment (‘Love thy Neighbour’) — versions of which are indeed to be found in the same texts of Islam and Buddhism (just as they are to be found in the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism amongst other religions): without the First ‘Golden’ Commandment (‘Love thy God’), the Second Commandment on its own inherently risks being spiritually devoid of truth, and thus risks descending into a superficial sentimentalism without true virtue and goodness; it risks being a secular ethic taking its stance on moods which we can conjure up to ourselves on occasion, requiring nothing from the soul, risking nothing, changing nothing, deceiving all.
All the above leads us to conclude as Muslims that the Buddha, whose basic guidance one in ten people on earth have been in principle following for the last 2500 years, in all likelihood - and God knows best - one of God's great Messengers, even if many Muslims will not accept everything in the Pali Canon as being authentically attributable to the Buddha.
Can Buddhist ethics be seen by Muslims as predicated upon this quest for the Sovereign Good? The answer will be yes, if the arguments proffered above will be accepted—if, in other words, one
accepts that the supreme goal in Buddhism corresponds closely to what is called the Essence of God in Islam. Since Buddhist ethics are clearly predicated upon the quest for the realization of the Absolute, we can thus assert that the ethical values shared in common by the two traditions are rooted in a quest for the Absolute, and should not be seen only within a framework of dialogue governed exclusively by the social domain.
Detachment: Anicca and Zuhd
It would be appropriate to begin this brief exploration of the shared ethical values between Buddhism and Islam by glancing at the ways in which we are to understand the nature of the world in which we live, according to the two traditions. Given the Buddhist conception of this world as being but one minute particle in the immeasurable series of universes of which the illusory web of samsara is woven, and given the Buddhist stress on the interminable series of reincarnations to which the unenlightened soul is susceptible within samsara, one might think that there is little in common between the two traditions as regards the fundamental attitude towards the ‘world’.
However, if one focuses upon the Buddhist idea of anicca, impermanence, and restricts one’s view to the fundamental nature of this world—leaving out of account the cosmological framework within which this world is situated—then we will be brought to a position remarkably close to that fashioned by the Islamic understanding of ‘the life of this world’, al-hayāt al-dunyā.
As was seen in the introduction, the crux of the Buddha’s message concerns suffering and how to avoid it. The fact that we all undergo suffering (dukkha) is the first of the four ‘noble truths’; the second is the cause of suffering: ‘thirst’ (tanhā, Sanskrit: trishnā) for the impermanent;
the third is the cessation of suffering through the extinction of this thirst; and the fourth is the path that leads to the cessation of suffering. The crux of this fundamental teaching of the Buddha is the element of ‘thirst’. This thirst for the perishable things of this world arises out of the ego in its unbridled, untamed, unmastered state. Not only does this thirst generate the seeds of suffering for oneself, by producing a passionate attachment to things from which one will ineluctably be detached, sooner or later; this thirst also gives rise to all the vices that result in the infliction of suffering upon others. Therefore, one must overcome thirst for the perishable both for the sake of one’s liberation from suffering, and for the sake of liberating others from the consequences of one’s egotistically-driven vices. The opposite of suffering is not simply a state of ease for the ego; it is the highest good—Nirvana, thus, the Absolute, which transcends the ego and all its states. Thus the fundamental motivation for ridding oneself of suffering is not situated on the same plane as that upon which the suffering is located—the empirical ego. For this ego is, like all compounded (samskrta) things, itself impermanent, whence the idea of anattā or no-self. Rather, the motivation for this liberation from suffering is grounded in a quest for the Dharma, he Buddha-nature; in other words, it is grounded in that which is incommensurable with the ego. Thus, when one speaks of the ethical actions called for by the ‘eightfold path’—this path being the detailed expression of the fourth noble truth, viz., the path to the cessation of suffering—one is speaking about a quest that is more than simply ethical, and more than simply the cessation of suffering for the individual. Rather, this quest is for what in Islam is called the ‘Face of God’. The ethical necessity of overcoming egotism thus rejoins and is deepened by the spiritual imperative of transcending the ego for the sake of the Absolute.
Ridding oneself of thirst for the impermanent, then, is of the highest significance both in ethical and in spiritual terms. Such cardinal virtues as generosity and compassion, kindness and humility, patience and forbearance, arise in the measure of one’s success in rupturing the symbiotic nexus between egotism and the things of this world, between a false subject and the multitude of false objects.
Overcoming egotism, the source of all the vices, requires depriving it of its life-blood, and this life-blood of egotism is ‘thirst’; overcoming ‘thirst’ requires in its turn a concrete apprehension of the
impermanence of all those things which can be thirsted after. Thus, a correct understanding of anicca lies at the heart of that ethical imperative: overcoming egotism.
As noted in the introduction, one key element of a recurring description of those who are saved in the Hereafter relates to suffering.
Whereas for ordinary believers, the ‘good tidings’ pertain to the Hereafter, the saints are given the same good tidings in this world; for, here and now, they have achieved that state of contentment with God, and detachment from the world. The word ‘mindful’ translates yattaqūn, which derives from a root meaning ‘to guard’ or ‘protect’ oneself: the implication is that one guards oneself from the punishment of God by avoiding evil and doing good, in full awareness of God’s inescapable presence. The key term, taqwā, is thus often translated as ‘piety’ or ‘God-consciousness’, but it can equally well be translated as ‘mindfulness’ a term so closely associated with Buddhist ethics. Those who are ‘mindful’ of God are, by that very token, ‘guarding’ themselves against the perils of attachment to the ‘life of the world’, al-hayāt al-dunyā. They are guarding themselves against that which the Prophet warned his followers about most solemnly: ‘I do not fear that you will fall into idolatry (shirk), but I do fear that you will fall for this world—aspiring for it in competition with each other.’
In Buddhist terms, such a claim would be a form of ‘grasping’ (upādāna), and more specifically, attavādupādāna: grasping at a particular idea of the self, in this case, the idea that one’s self has achieved authenticity and realization through becoming adorned by the fruits of one’s spiritual endeavours: if I do not think that all this will ever perish, then the self which possesses ‘all this’,
will likewise be deemed to be imperishable.
This section can be brought to a fitting end with the penetrating words of the Shin Buddhist already cited above, Kenryo Kanamatsu, which will surely resonate with any Muslim sensitive to the need for zuhd in relation to the ‘life of the world’: ‘All our belongings assume a weight by the ceaseless gravitation of our selfish desires; we cannot easily cast them away from us. They seem to belong to our very nature, to stick to us as a second skin, and we bleed as we detach them.’
Loving Compassion: Karunā and Rahma
Compassion, even on the human plane, is not just a sentiment, it is an existential quality. This existential quality presupposes a concrete sense of participation in the suffering of others, as is expressed by the etymology of the word: com-passion means to ‘suffer with’ another. The metaphysics of unity finds its most appropriate ethical expression in this quality, for when the illusion of separation is overcome, the suffering of the other becomes one’s own, and the virtues of compassion and mercy, generosity and love become the hallmarks of the character of one who has truly realized Unity.
Similarly, as seen in the previous section, when self-preoccupation is overcome, together with the worldliness, subtle or overt, which feeds it, then the same qualities centered on compassionate love will flow forth naturally and spontaneously: these qualities, inherent in the spiritual substance or fitra of each soul, will no longer be constrained or suffocated by coagulations of egotism and worldliness. Rather, compassionate love will emanate to the whole of creation, the compassionate soul will reflect and radiate the all-encompassing grace of God. ....
Islam and Buddhism come together on the centrality of this quality of compassionate love, and for both traditions, this human quality is inseparable from the Absolute, in which it is rooted, and to which it leads. In this section we hope to show that the Islamic conception of Rahma makes explicit what is largely implicit in the earliest texts of the Pali canon; in this respect, it can be seen to serve a function similar to that of Mahayana Buddhism, wherein compassion comes to play a determinative role, elevated as the very principle, cosmological and not simply ethical, which motivates the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. We would therefore argue that for both Muslims and Buddhists, the quality of loving compassion must determine the core of one’s personality, and it must dominate the nature of one’s conduct in relation to others; this ideal, at once ethical and spiritual, derives its ultimate justification and transformative power from the fact that it expresses on the human plane a principle which is rooted in the heart of the Absolute.
As is well known, in Islam one consecrates every action, and not just ritual action, with the basmala—that is, the formula Bismillāh al-Rahmān al-Rahīm, in the Name of God, the Lovingly
Compassionate, the Lovingly Merciful. It is entirely appropriate that all initiative should begin with the ‘names of mercy’, for it is merciful love which lies at the very root of creation in Islam,
as will be seen below. In both traditions compassion is inseparable from love, mettā in Buddhism and mahabba in Islam. In Buddhism one even finds the compound maitrī-karunā ‘lovecompassion’ which expresses the intertwining of these two principles; in Islam, likewise, Rahma cannot be translated by the single English word ‘compassion’ or ‘mercy’, but requires the addition of the element of love.
A compelling reason for translating Rahma as loving compassion and not just compassion—and certainly not just ‘mercy’—is provided by the Prophet’s use of this word in the following incident.
At the conquest of Mecca, certain captives were brought to the Prophet. There was a woman among them, running frantically and calling for her baby; she found him, held him to her breast and fed him. The Prophet said to his companions: ‘Do you think this woman would cast her child into the fire?’ We said, ‘No, she could not do such a thing.’ He said, ‘God is more lovingly compassionate (arham) to His servants than is this woman to her child.’26 The Rahma of God is here defined by reference to a quality which all can recognize as love: the mother’s acts of compassion and mercy stream forth from an overwhelming inner love for her child. One cannot love another without feeling compassionate to that person, while one can feel compassion for someone without necessarily loving that person.
Oneness and Compassion
Islam also helps to answer the question which might be posed to a Buddhist: what is the connection between the metaphysics of unity— in terms of which there appears to be no ‘other’, no ‘dualism’, Samsara and Nirvana being one—and the quality of compassion—which logically presupposes both an agent and a recipient of compassion, thus, a duality? Or it might be asked: is there a contradiction between the absolute transcendence of Reality, and the compassionate manifestation of this Reality? We would answer in terms of Islamic metaphysics that the oneness of Reality strictly implies compassion. ...
The Buddhist Face of Peace: Buddhist Peace Initiatives in Times of Religious Intolerance
door Iselin Frydenlund and Susan Hayward
"Buddhist radicalism is on the rise in countries like Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Buddhist anti-Muslim rhetoric, violence against Muslim minorities and hate speech against UN officials are now global media sensations. Less known is the growing number of religious peace initiatives, by both Muslims and Buddhists, to address the situation. Recently, practitioners and scholars met in Bangkok to discuss ways forward.
Both Sri Lanka and Myanmar have witnessed severe verbal and physical attacks on their Muslim minorities since 2012. For further reading on this, see for example The New York Times, The Democratic Voice of Burma, and Reuters. While it has been hard to prove who the perpetrators are, two things remain clear: 1) the attacks take place in an atmosphere of strong anti-Muslim rhetoric from certain Buddhist monk-led nationalist groups and 2) the (largely unknown) orchestrators and perpetrators of violent attacks operate with impunity. A common interpretation of the source of these attacks in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar is that of the “cronies”, that is, the economic elite, as well as the “evil state” and “evil politicians,” implying politically orchestrated violence between different religious communities. While this certainly might be the case, it should be noted that it has been difficult to establish links between the violence and different state agents, though in both countries some leading politicians and military officials have well-known relations with some Buddhist monks associated with the nationalist movements. For further reading on the situation in Myanmar, see the East-West Center.
However, what remains clear is that both states have failed systematically in protecting their Muslim minority groups. In addition to representing violations of the right to life, the right to non-discrimination and the right to freedom of religion or belief for each individual, the escalating levels of religious intolerance also represents a serious threat both to local communities as well as to the states themselves. The new Buddhist radicalism is transnational in the sense that Buddhist radical groups in Myanmar and Sri Lanka see their own challenges not only from a local point of view, but understand these within a regional, or even global, framework.
Radical Political Buddhism
What we witness now is a new form of Buddhist revivalism similar to those seen in both countries during the colonial and early independence periods, but which is less tied to local communities than before. Still, ethnicity is of utmost importance to these new radical groups, but the new form of political Buddhism reflects a modernist twist as it transcends the boundaries of the nation state and goes regional, even global. For example, radical Buddhist groups like the 969 in Myanmar nurtures close links with the Bodu Bala Sena (“The Buddhist Power Force”) of Sri Lanka. This political Buddhism shares with its prior manifestation a concern for state protection of Buddhism, but is transnational in its resistance to what it understands to be “the Islamic threat,” particularly the global spread, noticeably into Asia, of conservative expressions of Islam and forms of Muslim violent extremism. In this situation, what we see are both stronger attachments to Buddhist identity vis-à-vis other religions, as well as a new regional concern about religious minorities and majorities in Asia. What happens to Muslim minorities in Myanmar matters in Indonesia and Malaysia, and what happens to Buddhist minorities in Saudi Arabia or Bangladesh matters to those in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. There is a broader Buddhist political consciousness at play, and an increasing sense of local connection to a wider Buddhist sangha, at least among the Theravada world. Modern forms of media and information sharing fuel these connections.
Buddhist peace initiatives
But this same sense of broader connectivity also fuels many religious peace initiatives across the region. Recently, nearly 30 practitioners and academics working across Theravada contexts met at one of Thailand´s leading universities to discuss various strategies for religious peacebuilding in the region. The increasing level of hate speech by religious leaders, new forms of religious intolerance in social and legal norms, and increasing numbers of violent confrontation between different religious communities are met with great concern, not only by Western states, the UN, or international non-governmental organizations like the Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, but more importantly, by local and regional civil society organizations and religious leaders themselves. While not denying the importance of international engagement, discussions on issues like inter-communal violence, the place of religion in the public sphere, or legitimate or illegitimate restrictions on freedom of religion or belief must be addressed within the religious communities themselves.
So far, the most important and top-level initiative is the “Yogakarta meeting” in Indonesia. In March 2015 religious officials from across the region met to discuss Buddhist-Muslim relations and to foster mutual peace and understanding. In their declaration they state that “Buddhism and Islam have been misused by some for their own political purposes to fuel prejudice and stereotyping and to incite discrimination and violence.” And they pledged continued work to promote inter and intra-religious education, conflict prevention, and positive engagement with the media. Statements crafted by local religious leaders like that of the Yogakarta declaration, endorsed by several authoritative Buddhist and Muslim organizations, carries much more weight than any human rights’ groups’ condemnation of the role of religious leaders in creating intolerance and mistrust.
Also, several exchange visits in the region have brought peacebuilders from one national context to another to share effective strategies at addressing similar challenges. These transnational efforts compliment the quiet work being done in local communities led by religious actors to strengthen inter-religious coexistence and transform the drivers of violence, done with the encouragement and input of other likeminded peacebuilders from the region. Finally, various initiatives are being taken by Buddhist organizations outside of the region, for example by the Buddhist Federation of Norway, which through close cooperation with Buddhist monastic organizations in the region facilitates discussions on human rights and religious freedom from a Buddhist normative point of view (http://www.buddhismreligiousminorities.org).
What can religious peace initiatives offer?
First, they can challenge exclusivist discourses by pointing at diverse theological interpretations of a given situation. In the case of both Myanmar and Sri Lanka what is at stake according to radical Buddhists is the very survival of Buddhism vis a vis the “Islamic threat.” The question, then, is how one is to protect Buddhism in a way that does not imply violations of the rights of non-Buddhists, or in a way that might foster communal conflict. This requires an intra-Buddhist debate on Buddhist principles, religious pluralism and human rights, for example like the conference in Bangkok, or the religious minority initiative taken by the Buddhist Federation of Norway. Second, religious peace initiatives might offer alternative spaces for cooperation between religious communities, for example through a shared interest for the common good. Many of the initiatives discussed at the Bangkok meeting addressed the best ways for improving health care, education and access to resources for all, or environmental issues, across religious communities. Also, the role played by traditional, as well as social, media as drivers for religious intolerance was addressed. There is a need to communicate lived experiences of peaceful co-existence across religious divisions.
Pitfalls and possibilities. “Religious peacebuilding” is a vague notion, often romanticized and promoted by “religious peace-builders” themselves. There are many pitfalls to be recognized: the limited impact of religious leaders upon their communities, their lack of independence from the state and the danger of top-level talk with little impact on local social and political realities. However, the rising levels of religious tension require the engagement of religious actors, unless exclusivist ideologies, intolerance and violence are to win. "
Bron: Frydenlund & Hayward
Deels overgenomen in Tricycle: May 28, 2015 "Theravada Buddhism’s Muslim Problem
Although international engagement has its place, only discussion and peacebuilding among local communities can help stem the wave of anti-Muslim violence. "
Bijlage 5 Buddhism vs Islam
Een vergelijking tussen de twee religies
Vooraf: de website waarop ik dit gevonden heb, noemt geen auteurs of bronnen.
Als er onjuistheden in staan, dan bij voorbaat mijn excuses en bereidheid te corrigeren.
Een beperking is in ieder geval dat gedaan wordt alsof er één 'Boeddhisme' is, de onderlinge grote verschillen zijn hier onzichtbaar (het lijkt overwegend een Theravada-benadering).
Mogelijk geldt deze beperking ook (de kenmerken van) de Islam.