Buddhism vs. Islam

Essay by Mitchell41A, October 2014

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Mitchell Jacobs

Shem Miller



Buddhism vs. Islam

While Buddhists have been around for much longer than Islamic people have been, the population behind Islam is far greater than that behind Buddhism. They both originated in Asia and maintain peaceful lifestyles. Buddhist and Islamic people both maintain very moral, ethical lifestyles, but the reasons behind their behavior differ greatly. While that area of their lives may be fairly similar, at least from an outside perspective, their views in categories such as theology and afterlife show astounding gaps in view points. Buddhists don't really believe in Gods, while Muslims practice monotheism, where an all-powerful Deity known as Allah holds them responsible for their deeds. Muslims believe that once they die, they go up to jannah (heaven) where they will be held accountable for their actions throughout their lives. Buddhist look at death from a completely different angle, where they believe a person is reborn until they have reached enlightenment, in which the samsara ends and they have finally reached Nirvana.

The samsara is the process a Buddhist goes through in order to attain enlightenment. He follows a process known as the eight-fold path that gives him the ability to overcome desire and ignorance, and consequently achieve the enlightened state known as Nirvana. While these religions may have certain similarities in areas, the differences between their ideas on theology, afterlife, and ethical behavior differ greatly, and make for two distinct religions.

Buddhism is a religion based on the idea that life, or multiple lives, are one long quest to end suffering. They hold onto four noble truths, which if followed allow one to achieve nirvana. The fourth noble truth speaks of the eight-fold path one must take in order to reach nirvana, and...