The famous Muslim missionary Tareq Al-Suwaidan, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait is calling on Muslims to believe in Buddha as a messenger of Allah.
A Tweet by Sweidani in which he stated “some Salafi scholars that Buddha was a prophet but that some of his teachings has been corrupted …”
According to Forbes magazine, Al-Suwaidan ranks second in annual net income among Islamic speakers in the Muslim world. He is a TV personality who has prepared and presented numerous Islamic television shows on Islamic subjects ranging from broadcasting of the Holy Quran, stories of the Prophet, notable women and Andalusian history. His shows have aired on Kuwait television, First Channel, Space Channel and MBC.
Al-Suwaidan was formerly the General Manager of Al-Resalah Satellite TV, the brainchild of Saudi businessman Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. In August 2013, Prince Talal fired Suwaidan for his role as the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait. Prince Talal wrote on his Twitter account that he sacked Tarek Al-Suwaidan “for admitting he belongs to the Brotherhood movement.”
Muslims also look for a connect to bring the two religions closer. The very famous Chinese Muslim scholar, Hussein Yee, who was also a Buddhist scholar has declared that Buddha is a prophet and like Muhammad was also inspired by Allah:
For years now we have estimated that Islam and Buddhism will one day unite efforts both theologically and politically (Turkey and Japan) and the more we advance into the future it seems that our estimation is coming true. Da’wa (call to Islam) is the main apparatus to proselytize for Islam and these days they are looking to unite with one other major religion: Buddhism.
These days many Muslim leaders are making the leap from restricting Muslims to only consider Islam and call to include Buddhism as a true religion.
And this is not without Quranic justification: “And for every nation, there is a Messenger” (Qur’ân 10:47, also see Qur’ân 16:36, Qur’ân 40:78). So if the Quran stated that every nation had a prophet, who is then the prophet of the far east and south east Asia? Buddha takes the lead in the prospects of prophets Muhammad spoke of in the Quran. Muslim scholars, while they acknowledge the theological differences by attributing them to “corruption” as they accuse the Gospels of corruption since Christians say that Jesus is God, yet Muslims are keen on uniting the world under a one world religion, so bringing Buddhism closer to Islam or some Christian cults who reject the Trinity is not a bad plan for Islamic expansion since lets say onness Pentecostals, Jehovah’s witnesses and Mormons are closer to Islam than Evangelicals and Catholics who are strict Trinitarians.
THEY EVEN CONNECT BUDDHISM TO MECCA
Connecting Buddhism with Islam is also an effort by A.D.T.E. Perera the Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism working for the Government of Sri Lanka wrote that the “learned Thera has identified pre-Islamic Arabia as the possible location of the hometown of a Great Buddhist Monk named Punna Thera who was a disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha. Ven. (Dr.) Pannananda Nayaka Thera has taken steps further by identifying the Sacred City “Mecca” in Arabia, as the place where an original Buddhist Shrine was built at the behest of Ven. Punna Thera while the Buddha was alive. According to the thesis of Ven. (Dr.) Pannananda Nayaka Thera there were four Buddhist monasteries caused to have been built by the Buddha’s pupil Ven. Punna Thera and all those four temples were sanctified by the Buddha Himself who had arrived in aerial cars from India to far West Arabia. The aerial cars were provided by the King of Gods, Sakra.”
MUSLIM SUFIS AND BUDDHISTS: A CLOSE PARTNERSHIP
Growth of Islam in Central Asia was undoubtedly very complex; yet one major factor of the conversion of Central Asians was the appeal of Sufism, both in Sunni and Shia forms. Islam was the target of conversion for many people in Central Asia.
The esoteric practices and open-mindedness of Sufis brought many people who were already exposed to similar ideas from Buddhism and Hinduism into the fold of Islam, especially once the social and economic benefits for doing so became much more obvious. There are many themes shared between Sufi concepts and Buddhism. Ecstasy and trances were shared practices between Sufis and Tantric Buddhists in certain tarika-s, particularly in the Uighur regions where Sufis also began to shave their heads and faces. The idea of enlightenment in Buddhism, the annihilation of the self, is similar to “fana'”, or “annihilation (of the ego)”. This leads to the Buddhist concept of “anatman”, or “no soul”. The similarity in terms, ideas, and practices between Sufis and Buddhists are staggering and uncanny.
Idries Shah, a modern Sufi notes the following similarities between Zen Buddhism and Sufism,
a resemblance between Sufi thought and practice and the strange allegedly typical Buddhistic cult of Zen as practiced (sic) in Japan is of great interest . . . the similarities between Zen and Sufism, both in terminology, stories and activities of masters are considerable. From the Sufi viewpoint, the practice of Zen, as given in popular literature resembles irresistibly the working of a part of the technique of the ‘impact’ (zarb) of Sufism.
Going further back, the Buddha, during Seljuk times, was referred to by al-Shahrastani and al-Biruni, both prominent Sufis, as a Prophet. The significance of this kind of praise is hard to underestimate. Sufis since the Abbasid period had been learning from Buddhism, and Buddhism from Sufis, and this exchange of knowledge and tradition heavily impacted Central Asian culture and politics. Growth of Islam after the suppression of the Ismaili-s and Shia in Central Asia was promoted by Sufis who skillfully were able to adapt Islam for the native, semi-nomadic Turkic tribes. The expansion of Islam by Sufis was not opposed by Buddhists. These conversions occurred because of admiration of Sufis by locals, their adaptation of Islam for natives, and not-insignificantly, supported by the Buddhist Qaraqitan rulers . Buddha became a highly respected figure by Muslims in Central Asia and Persia during the Middle Ages. As we can see, the success of Islam in Central Asia can be attributed in no small part to the ability of the Sufis to present Islam in such as way as to appeal to the locals, especially to the Turks.
Islam wants to make itself the purest form of all of the religions, in that they want to project this image that Islam is what every other religion was suppose to be.
If Japan and Turkey unite, they will also unite their religions.