Thursday, November 22, 2012

The last Prophet Buddha

Haroon Mosque
Brothers and Sisters,                      Friday November 9th. 2012
          In the next 2 years ASEAN Community comprised of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam will be officially commenced.  There are more than 250 millions Muslims, the largest in ASEAN.  The second largest is Buddhists.  When the community is one then it is necessary to learn how to live in peace together.  To know them and to know us will help us win without entering into any war.  Remember Umar (rd.) conquered Jerusalem without bloodshed.  Let’s begin with Al-Quran.

Surah At-Tin  95:1-3   1: By the fig, and the olive, 2: By Mount Sinai, 3: And by this city of security (Makkah).
            Al-Quran mentioned about the places where Allah (Sub) revealed His Revelations. The family of Fig Tree or Ficus includes Bodhi, Banyan, where Buddha achieved enlightenment and preached under the Bodhi tree.  Buddha means person who is enlightened and preaching the truth. It does not mean ‘God’.   It is equal to Messenger of Allah in Islam. At present we can neither accept nor reject his prophethood due to inadequate evidence. There were hundreds thousands of Buddha in the universe.  But there are 5 major Buddhas taught in Buddhism. Similarly to Islam when we have 5 major Nabi who were heavily trialed by Allah (Sub). The Buddha was not an Indian but the decedent of Prophet Ibrahim with Keturah. His father was King Suddhodana, Leader of the Sakya clan in the state of Kosala, and his mother was Queen Maya. He was raised by his mother's younger sister after his mother's death seven days after childbirth. Later his first cousin, Ananda joined the Buddha as his attendant.  Does it sound so familiar to us when Prophet Muhammad (Sal) was also an orphan and his cousin Ali (Rd.) became Muslim when he was a boy and was also as his attendant. 
          At the age of 35, he attained Enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama discovered the Buddhist Middle Way—a path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.   Let’s examine the Middle Way in Islam.

Surah Baqarah 2: 143.    “Thus We have appointed you a middle nation.”
          Prophet Muhammad taught us to be well balanced. He (Sal) fast and break fast.  He prayed and slept at night. He (Sal) warned us against loving or hating to any extreme.  He explained, “Do not love your friend excessively; he may one day become your enemy.  Do not hate your enemy excessively; he may one day become your friend.”[At-Tirmidhi]    Jâbir bin ‘Abdullâh  narrated, “We were sitting in the company of the Prophet . He drew a (straight) line and drew two (other) lines on its right side and two lines on its  left side.   He  then  placed  his hand on the middle  line and  remarked, “This  is Allâh’s Path.”  Then, he recited this verse: ‘and verily, it is My Straight Path; so follow not the (other) paths. They will separate you away from His Path.’ (Surah Al-An-am 6:153).’” (Ibn Mâjah 1/11)

          Gautam Buddha rejects all the Gods in Polytheism widely spread by Hinduism in India.  That is why people misunderstand that there is no God in Buddhism.  Buddha was preaching Monotheism.  Similarly when Prophet Muhammad (Sal) said “La Ilaha Illallah” (there is no other gods but Allah), he rejected all the false gods in MeccaThe Middle Way of Buddhism refers to the insight into emptiness or Sunyata. The definition of Sunyata varies: the unseen, everlasting, ever-existing etc.  In conclusion, the teaching of Buddha can be like this: “There is no god except Sunyata.” Buddhism spread through out Asia and even to Greek. But only 300 years after the time of Gautama Buddha, Buddhism was declining.  Many Buddhist Temples were turned into Hindu temples, many innocent monks were killed and the Hindu traditions were blended seamlessly into Buddhists’ way of life.      This reminds us how we protect ourselves by not blending the tradition of Jahiliya into our way of life.  Remember the Middle Line that Rasulullah (Sal) advised us to follow and there are other 4 paralleled lines that we must not follow.  

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