On the surface, Buddhism and Islam have more differences than similarities in their philosophies. While Islam is a monotheistic religion that believes in worshiping an almighty God, Buddhism rejects the notion of a creator God but does honor enlightened beings as deities.

Buddhism preaches vegetarianism and shunning alcohol and drugs. Islam also bans alcohol but does not preach vegetarianism.

A Buddhist who takes a spiritual refuge outside the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha is not considered a Buddhist. S/he may study and learn from other religions, but to consider another teaching and to honour someone outside the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha (collectively called the Sasana) as equal to or higher than the Sasana makes him/her a non Buddhist.

Comparison chart

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Place of origin Nepal, India Arabian Peninsula, Mecca at Mount Hira.
Place of worship Monasteries, nunneries, pagodas and temples. Mosque/masjid, any place which is considered clean by Islamic standards.
Practices Practices of the Threefold Training: Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom. Five pillars: Testament that there is one God and Muhammad is his messenger (shahadah); prayer five times daily; fast during Ramadan; charity to the poor (zakat); pilgrimage (Hajj).
Belief of God Buddhism does not believe in a Creator God. Only one God.
Use of statues and pictures Common Muslims are not permitted to depict the image of God nor any prophets.
Life after death Until one has attained Nirvana, he or she will be reborn into any of the 31 planes of existence over and over again, due to his/her karma. A Muslim and all the beings will be accountable to Allah on the Day of Judgement.
Concept of Deity Instead of deities, Devas or celestial beings are accepted as those suffering in the samsara. God (Allah) is the only god and is all-powerful and omniscient.
Belief The Buddha was the teacher to show us the four noble truths and the eightfold path (the path to nirvana or the way to enlightenment). Belief in one God,who has sent messengers with revelation and guidance for humanity so they may be guided to Islam (submission to God) & who have came with both good news and a warning, the last & final messenger being Muhammad صلى الله علي
Clergy Monks and Nuns, who unitedly and exactly follow the teachings of the Buddha under the name 'Sangha'. Imam leads congregational prayer in a mosque. Sheikh, Maulana, Mullah and Mufti
Means of salvation Buddhism has nothing to do with "salvation". The only goal in Buddhism is to attain Nirvana. To do this, we should let go of our desires, cravings and attachments, and try to dispel our ignorance Belief in one God, remembrance of God, repentance, fear of God and hope in God's mercy.
About Following the teachings of the Buddha Islam consists of individuals who believe in Allah, a deity whose teachings its followers—Muslims—believe were recorded, verbatim, by the god's last prophet, Muhammad.
Concept of God A God or gods have always been rejected wholly by Theravada Buddhists. Their only refuges are the three jewels: The Buddha, The Dhamma, and The Sangha. Ninety nine names and attributes of Allah (God) who is infinite supreme, Sublimely one, all are dependent on him yet he depends on none. Self sufficient. without beginning and without end, and there is nothing comparable to him.
View of Oriental religions Knows that any other religions cannot lead to the nirvana, but never condemns them. Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Shino are not from following the right path. But, “… And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).” [al-Israa’ 17:15].
Goal of religion To attain enlightenment and be released from the cycle of rebirth and death, thus attaining Nirvana. Follow the guidance of the Qur'an and Hadiths to reach eternal paradise.
Definition Teachings of the Buddha Islam is an Arabic word for "Submission or surrender in Ultimate Peace".Muslim means a believer in One God (Al-Illah or Allah)
Literal Meaning Buddhists mean those who follow the teachings of the Buddha Islam is derived from the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.
Founder Gautama Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) Prophet Muhammad
Religious Law The Buddha's teachings, the Dharma. Sharia law, or law that is loosely or strictly based on the Qur'an and the Hadiths, exists in many countries that have a majority Muslim population. Only some regions with sharia law apply it to judicial or criminal issues.
View of the Buddha Founder of Buddhism or the Four Noble Truths He may be one of the 124,000 Prophets.
Angels No angels accepted. Angels are created from light and remain unseen as they worship and follow God's commands.
Prophets No prophets accepted in Theravada Buddhism. Many from Adam, Abraham, Noah, Jesus etc to Muhammed. There 124,000 prophets but only 25 Prophets known.
Status of women No gender bias in Buddhism. In the Discourse related to householders, named 'Tein-gala-wada', certain duties and obligations were mentioned and applied to specific gender i.e. duties of a husband to a wife and vice versa, by the Buddha. The prophet said "Do good to and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then the near relatives and then those who come after them." Islam's honoring women is the great status of the mother in Islam.
Day of worship Instead of worshipping, Buddhists pay obeisance to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Prayer five times daily is obligatory. Friday is the day of congregational prayer, obligatory for men, but not for women.
Principle This life is suffering, and the only way to escape from this suffering is to dispel one's cravings and ignorance by practising the Eightfold Path. Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent." - Quran: Surah Al Ikhlas
Scriptures Tripitaka - a vast volume of 3 main sections: the Discourses, the Discipline and the Absolute Doctrine - which appeared only after the death of the Buddha, thanks to the monks who collected all the teachings of the Buddha. The Qur'an, the Hadiths (Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslims, Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Sughra and Sunan ibn Majah.
Symbols Wheel. None that are universal, though Muhammad's name in calligraphy is common. The popular star and crescent symbol is also common, but mainly relates to historical and political issues, not necessarily religious ones.
Confessing sins Not a part of (Theravada) Buddhism. The Buddha told us that we should strive hard ourselves to dismiss the bad deeds we have already done (except for certain bad deeds, e.g., matricide, etc.) and also showed us the way to do so. The Qur'an asks them to become repentant, seek Allah’s forgiveness, and make a sincere tawba, and assures them that if they do this, Allah will forgive them, and exonerate them from their misdeeds.
Marriage Seen as a social convention and mainly a personal and individual concern, not a religious duty. Advice in the Discourses are on how to maintain a happy and harmonious marriage. Faithfulness and monogamy was encouraged. Islam is totally opposed to monasticism and celibacy. Marriage is an act of Sunnah in Islam and is strongly recommended. Men can onlymarry the people of the book. Women can only marry Muslims man.
Teachings about Behavior Never do what is evil; do what is good; keep your mind pure. (teachings of the Buddhas about behavior) Follow the Qur'an and the Hadiths (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad)
Geographical distribution and predominance Theradava Buddhist countries, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka are the places of predominance of Buddhism. The Noble Truths are presently best heard in Myanmar only. There are 1.6 billion. By the percentage of the total population in a region considering themselves Muslim, 24.8% in Asia-Oceania, 91.2% in the Middle East-North Africa, 29.6% in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 6.0% in Europe, and 0.6% in the Americas.
Original Language(s) Original language is Magada, language used during the lifetime of the Buddha, which is the universal language (understood all over the universe) Arabic
Human Nature Ordinary human beings possess greed, anger, delusion, igorance, cravings, etc. and they were compared by the Buddha as 'the fools' and 'the blind'. (Ordinary human beings mean those who haven't walked or are not walking the Eightfold Path.) Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand.
Followers Buddhists Muslims
Views on other religion Buddhism does not condemn any of other religions . Christians, Jews, Sabians and Magians are regarded as the people of the book but are not in the right path.
God's role in salvation No God or gods. Salvation is not related to Buddhism at all. The Buddha also told us to depend on our own to attain nirvana (by practising the Threefold Training or the Eightfold Path). Islam teaches us that salvation is attainable through the worship of God alone. A person must believe in God and follow His commandments.

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