Buddhism vs. Islam


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

Edit this comparison chart




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).
Place of worship Monasteries, nunneries, pagodas and temples. Mosque/masjid, any place which is considered clean by Islamic standards.
Place of origin Nepal, India Arabian Peninsula.
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 prophet.
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.
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
Religious Law The Buddha's teachings, the Dharma. Sharia law, or law that is loosely or strictly based on the Qur'an, exists in many countries that have a majority Muslim population. Only some regions with sharia law apply it to judicial or criminal issues.
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.
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
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.
Prophets No prophets accepted in Theravada Buddhism. Many from Adam, Abraham, Noah, Jesus etc to Muhammed
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.
View of other Oriental religions Buddhists usually follow Oriental religions, as well as their own. N/A
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
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)
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.
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.
Angels No angels accepted. Angels are created from light and remain unseen as they worship and follow God's commands.
View of Oriental religions Knows that any other religions cannot lead to the nirvana, but never condemns them. All Religions were given the book and are people of the book but are FALSE religions
Teachings about Behavior Never do what is evil; do what is good; keep your mind pure. (teachings of the Buddhas about behavior) Scholars of morality have divided moral issues into two categories: 1 - Morals in the common meaning 2 - Morals in the particular meaning that includes good manners and Islamic behaviour

edit Further Reading

For further reading, there are several books available on Amazon.com on Buddhism and Islam:

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Buddhism vs Islam." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015. < >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Top 5 Comparisons
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »

Comments: Buddhism vs Islam

Anonymous comments (21)

January 21, 2013, 6:17am

Humans created god. God didnt create humans. Muslims submit to the God that humans created. If the history of God is checked then you might find out that some egyptian or sumerian king might have been the first to be addressed as God. And his subjects would have bent on their knees whenever he appeared anywhere and trembled with fear.
Have the muslims ever wondered why apart from humans not a single animal or plant or bird or an insect or fish or turtles or butterlies gives a shit about Allah or God. Yet the planet was doing just great till this God surrendering specie invaded this planet, burnt down jungles, poisened rivers/lakes and gave grave wounds to mother nature.
Well this criticism is valid for all God fearing/surrendering religions like christianity, islam, judaism and hinduism. May their Gods help them see reality as it is and become aware to their karma that is so bad for this planet and threatening a complete global catastrophe.

— 115.✗.✗.99

April 8, 2013, 10:51am

Once it happened: Buddha entered a village. A man asked him as he was entering the village, ...God exist? ..He said, ..No, absolutely no....

In the afternoon another man came and he asked, ..Does God exist?.. And he said, ..Yes, absolutely yes...

In the evening a third man came and he asked, ..Does God exist?..Buddha closed his eyes and remained utterly silent. The man also closed his eyes. Something transpired in that silence. After a few minutes the man touched Buddha`s feet, bowed down, paid his respects and said, ..You are the first man who has answered my question....

Now, Buddha`s attendant, Ananda, was very much puzzled: ..In the morning he said no, in the afternoon he said yes, in the evening he did not answer at all. What is the matter? What is really the truth?..

So when Buddha was going to sleep, Ananda said, ..First you answer me; otherwise I will not be able to sleep. You have to be a little more compassionate towards me too. I have been with you the whole day. Those three people don`t know about the other answers, but I have heard all the three answers. What about me? I am troubled....

Buddha said, ..I was not talking to you at all! You had not asked, I had not answered YOU. The first man who came was a theist, the second man who came was an atheist, the third man who came was an agnostic. My answer had nothing to do with God, my answer had something to do with the questioner. I was answering the questioner; it was absolutely unconcerned with God.

..The person who believes in God, I will say no to him because I want him to drop his idea of God, I want him to be free of his idea of God -- which is borrowed. He has not experienced. If he had experienced he would not have asked me; there would have been no need.

..The person who believed in God, he was trying to find confirmation for his belief from me. I was not going to say yes to him -- I am not going to confirm anybody`s belief. I had to say no, I had to deny, just to destroy his belief, because all beliefs are barriers to knowing the truth. Theist or atheist, all beliefs, Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan, all beliefs are barriers.

..And the person with whom I remained silent was the right inquirer. He had no belief, hence there was no question of destroying anything. I kept silent. That was my message to him: Be silent and know. Don`t ask, there is no need to ask. It is not a question which can be answered. It is not an inquiry but a quest, a thirst. Be silent and know.

I had answered him also; through my silence I gave him the message and he immediately followed it -- he also became silent. I closed my eyes, he closed his eyes; I looked in, he looked in, and then something transpired. That`s why he was so much overwhelmed, he felt so much gratitude, for the simple reason that I did not give him any intellectual answer. He had not come for any intellectual answer; intellectual answers are available very cheap. He needed something existential -- he needed a taste. I gave him a taste....

— 164.✗.✗.74

October 24, 2013, 10:53am


— 61.✗.✗.62

August 5, 2012, 3:03pm

buddhism is for Wisdom and Compassion. The two boddhisattvas depicted closest to buddha are manjusree and avolkiteshvera representing wisdom and compassion respectively.

— 115.✗.✗.25

May 3, 2014, 4:56pm

Buddhism is always the best - the most practical teachings of the Lord Buddha.

— 122.✗.✗.45

April 29, 2013, 2:53pm

No evidence from GOD approve to have sheah and sunni. Let see in koran nothing any part that GOD introduce muslin about deny or not deny urmad when you deny umad you are sheah. We can't see anypart (ayah). Towheat system will keep all muslim at the one. Please finishe sheah sunni as soon as posible

We are playing the ball that outside trow in to our field and we doest'n see the detail of that ball.
Have the maketting department from the one that fear islam they try every way to break islam but cannot do islam wider day by day. Don't warry

— 27.✗.✗.176

April 29, 2013, 2:36pm

Please notice : all the book that came from GOD must be with out the 7 need that Maslow said inside. With out any human receive the benefit at all. Please read by filter the benefit of human out before you read bible and tribidaka. But 1Tora 2 soburae 3 ilyiel 4Koran you can read suddenly because no human benefit inside.

— 27.✗.✗.176

March 19, 2013, 12:37pm

Buddhism refers to 'Buddha's teachings' and these teachings are very simple and not various. However, Buddhism has become divided into three or even more types. Only one of them consists of the pure teachings of Buddha and it is 'Theravada Buddhism'. This is because neither things never taught to us by Buddha are added to it nor things already taught to us by Buddha are excluded from it. In contrast, Mahayana Buddhism consists mainly of extra things which Buddha had never taught to us and at the same time, it excludes many of Buddha’s teachings. In other words, Mahayana Buddhists can be said to adjust things to meet the requirements.
We, Buddhists, pay obeisance to our Buddha. But we rely on our own ethics, concentration, and wisdom, which Buddha had taught us to practise ourselves.

— 122.✗.✗.116

September 27, 2012, 11:17pm

Arguing with a muslim about how you hate his beliefs is not practicing buddhism Just the same a muslim should not judge, there are hadith, one hadith, bedouin whore admitted to jinna for giving a dog water, another lady who did good deeds but then abused a cat and went to hell for it. another hadith, a man who moved some branches on a road muslims used was admitted to jinna, islam says we do not know who allah forgives or how he guides them, and christianity says as long as you love your neighbor it doesnt matter what you believe, of course you should frown on doing sins, but not be hateful. there is another hadith, guy kept committing the same sin (i think drinking) and then coming to muhammad sws for punishment. one of sahaba said jazakallah to him (in the wrong way) muhammad said dont say that to him, he loves allah and me so he will be forgiven. whatever helps one person become "enlightened", you should not hate on them for buddha guy, as for my ahki...we are never to judge, this is for allah only, islam always feeds you a dichotomy, there is one hadith saying one thing and another saying another, just worry about the man in the mirror, he may earn jinna yet, many people transgress their whole lives and then convert at the end, you dont know what allahs plan is, even for you, so to push someone away from islam with that attitude is wrong...jazakallakharuin

— 108.✗.✗.90

June 12, 2012, 9:47pm

Ah yes, another brainwashed sheep trash talking Islam. 1) No, nothing is "holy" but the Qura'n, God and the prophets.
2) The Qura'n IMPLORES you to THINK, EXPLORE, LOOK at God's creations before you believe.
3) And if that wasn't enough, the Qura'n CHALLENGES mankind, throughout the centuries and nations to defuse any of the Qura'n statements, a challenge that has still held for 1400 years and counting.
4) Islam is about the Ultimate Truth, Buddhism is only limited to a finite earthly life, it will not benefit you one bit once you stand infront of your lord and be asked of you deeds when you pass away from this life.
5) Finally, Muslims have better things to do than worrying about killing "non-believers". We have an afterlife to worry about, that means committing good deeds, charities, prayers, fighting falsehood (such as that of yours), committing to the uttermost of upright morals, so that we have some standing when we stand infront of our lord when we pass

Go think on your own and save yourself before you worry about other people. You only have one chance in life. We are all going to pass from this world and return to the Earth. Prepare yourself for that moment.

— 129.✗.✗.115

May 8, 2012, 8:43am

Buddhism is for wisdom, to understand the reality of life and to end the suffreing through spiritual development. It explains the ultimate emptines of everything. The results can be experienced before you die during the life span, if properly practised.
But, Islam, no room for wisdom, have to accept holy everything taught as holy. No questions can be raised, just to believe. Killing ono-belivers is justified for God'd sake.
In Buddhism, love and kindness should be extended even to the enemy, no room for justified killings.
Killing is a sin, an polluted act.

— 216.✗.✗.232

December 12, 2011, 9:42am

Agreed with — Those two groups changed the true history of Islam, therefore cannot be counted Muslims.

— 89.✗.✗.233

April 29, 2013, 2:26pm

Islam is only one that notic by formal during prophet muhamad still life. Other informal relegion that all. Other prophet dead then ave the only name of those relegion

— 27.✗.✗.176

March 11, 2013, 11:52am

Islam also cannot neny every prophet that came from GOD. Because they bring all rules from GOD. that rules for human's comfortable. All the rules didnot command or force over human'able.

— 27.✗.✗.253

February 4, 2013, 5:18pm

Also Islam cannot deny Mosess and jesus. That from yaholva(yaAllahv) same
Note. Yahollwah and YaAllah. The same word

— 27.✗.✗.245

February 4, 2013, 5:14pm

Islam cannot deny Sithatha. But buddism can deny mohammad that more modern. That difference between belive(buddism) and trust(islam)

— 27.✗.✗.245

January 28, 2013, 4:51pm

Children can't calculate the one that their dad and mom said" God Is the who can bring me(mom) and him(dad) leave away from you once you(child) do anything dirty bad or not morally . Every children beware to life style them self by the word dad and mom sourly. Because they don't need to far away from both dad and mom. That is the value of God. God start the life by morally in the heart of human.

— 27.✗.✗.29

January 28, 2013, 4:41pm

islam is philosophy of 1.the way to get the whole moral that universe have and every one find out in the life and 2. goto blessing owner easy and directly. No partner no broker to blessing owner that every human blessing. ------ islam has evidence and a lot of witness to confirm the right. Al-koran got no 5 needs from Maslow say inside but every document in the world or other holy have the human needs that. Some of facts.

— 27.✗.✗.29

November 15, 2012, 12:03pm

There are many numerical contradictions in the Quran. Can God make so much error in doing simple calculations?

How many days did it take to create Heavens and Earth ?

Quran 7: 54 Your gurdian-Lord is Allah who created the heavens and earth in Six Days

Quran 10: 3 Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in Six Days

Quran 11:7 He it is Who created the heavens and earth in Six Days
Quran-25:29: He Who created the heavens and earth and all that is between, in Six Days

The above verses clearly state that God created the heaven and Allah created the heaven and the Earth in 6 days. But the verses below stated-

Quran 41: 9 Is it that ye deny Him who created the earth in Two Days ?

Quran 41: 10 He set on the (earth) Mountains standing firm high above it, and bestowed blessing on the earth, and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in FOUR DAYS�

Quran 41: 12 So He completed them (heavens) as seven firmaments in Two days and �

Now do the math: 2(for earth) + 4(for nourishment) + 2 (for heavens) = 8 days; and not 6 days

— 112.✗.✗.31

September 3, 2012, 8:47pm

Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion, as stated here. However various deities are worshipped within the different Buddhist schools. They are seen as manifestations of the mind though, which is not to be mistaken with the belief in a god.

— 24.✗.✗.161

July 4, 2012, 3:28am

Wow.. what a differance! One religion is improving their spirituality and kindness towards all living beings.. while another force people to believe an unseen god and they have no intelligent guidance.

— 216.✗.✗.228


Up next

Buddhism vs. Christianity