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No Assignment Beyond Capacity: Islam or Buddhism?

A Japanese Buddhist once told me:

Buddha’s teachings depend entirely on non-violence towards any creature. Therefore, Buddhism does not adopt the concept of retribution like Islam.

There is ˹security of˺ life for you in ˹the law of˺ retaliation, O  people of reason, so that you may become mindful ˹of Allah˺. (Al-Baqarah 179).

And he said:

Buddhism encourages its followers to refrain from harming, injuring, or killing other creatures. The criminal’s punishment should be rehabilitation only.

Then he said:

Buddha said:

“If someone offends me, I will repay him with love on my part. The more evil on his part, the more goodwill on my part”.

The Japanese also said:

Even in self-defense, it is not permissible for a Buddhist monk to kill.

Buddha said:

“ If Bandits cut you off with a two-bladed saw, and you just think to respond to the aggression, then, you have not followed my teachings in this case.”

I said to him:

Imagine that you went home and found your whole family murdered by a person. Then that person was arrested and put in prison for a specific period eating and enjoying the prison facilities you are funding through the taxes you are paying.

How would you tolerate this?! You will probably either end up going insane or falling into an addiction to forget your pain. If this same situation happened in a country practicing the Islamic legislations, the case would be completely different.

The murderer will be brought in front of the family of the murdered. They will decide whether to take revenge through retribution, which is justice itself, or to take the “Deyaa”, which is the money that the murderer must pay on intentional killing to the family of the murdered, or to give pardon, which is much favored as mentioned in the Qur’an.

God said:

…But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Taghabun: 14).

And said:

.. But if the offender is pardoned by the victim’s guardian, then blood-money should be decided fairly and payment should be made courteously. This is a concession and a mercy from your Lord. But whoever transgresses after that will suffer a painful punishment. (Al-Baqarah :178).

I also said:

Concerning the love of enemies, there is no assignment beyond capacity according to the world constitutions.

God said:

Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford… (Al-Baqarah: 286).

He also said:

So be mindful of Allah to the best of your ability, hear and obey, and spend in charity—that will be best for you. And whoever is saved from the selfishness of their own souls, it is they who are ˹truly˺ successful. (Al-Taghun:16).

The Creator knows what man is capable of, because He is his Creator and knows his nature.

God said:

Does the one who created all creation not know of the secret, and that which is more inconspicuous than the secret? He is The Kind to His servants; The Aware of their affairs. Nothing is hidden from Him in that regard. (Al-Mulk: 14).

Scientifically, it is impossible to control hate and love emotions. Man has been naturally disposed to love who does good to him and to hate who harms him.

Does a person love who killed his son or who raped his wife?

Islam offered us a logical alternative to the commandments of Buddha:

God said:

O believers! Stand firm for Allah and bear true testimony. Do not let the hatred of a people lead you to injustice. Be just! That is closer to righteousness. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what you do. (Al-Mae’da:8)

In the sense that the enmity of a person should not leads us to wrong him, but treat everyone with justice.

Islam does not require us to love who wrongfully assaults us, but rather asks us not to oppress him.

God said:

O believers! Stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or close relatives. Be they rich or poor, Allah is best to ensure their interests. So do not let your desires cause you to deviate ˹from justice˺. If you distort the testimony or refuse to give it, then ˹know that˺ Allah is certainly All-Aware of what you do.(Al-Nisa: 135).

As an example, I remember that I liked someone’s book very much. I was sure of the book usefulness to humanity.

I was subjected to a great injustice by this writer to the point that I cried.

Someone took advantage of this situation and asked me to vote against the book, because I was a member of a committee to accept the opressor’s book to ensure publication.

So I remembered this Qur’anic verse:

O believers! Stand firm for Allah and bear true testimony. Do not let the hatred of a people lead you to injustice. Be just! That is closer to righteousness.

Then, I voted with his book. This what makes me proud of the teachings of my great religion.

Almighty said:

Good and evil cannot be equal. Respond ˹to evil˺ with what is best, then the one you are in a feud with will be like a close friend. (Fussilat: 34).

Did religion come to provide man honorable or humiliating life? A person is honored by practicing his religion. Do I apply my religion to get humiliated?

God’s commands are a source of honor and dignity.

God says:

.. but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors. (Al-Baqarah: 190).

But before that, stand up, and don’t let anyone insult you.

God said:

Fight in the cause of Allah ˹only˺ against those who wage war against you,.. (Al-Baqarah: 190).

Self-defense is a universally legitimate right. The penalty of Killing in self-defense, is reduced according to man-made laws.

God said:

You ˹believers˺ will surely be tested in your wealth and yourselves, and you will certainly hear many hurtful words from those who were given the Scripture before you and ˹from˺ the polytheists. But if you are patient and mindful ˹of Allah˺—surely this is a resolve to aspire to. (Al-Imran:186).

God also said:

The reward of an evil deed is its equivalent. But whoever pardons and seeks reconciliation, then their reward is with Allah. He certainly does not like the wrongdoers. (Al-Shura:40).

And said:

Be gracious, enjoin what is right, and turn away from those who act ignorantly. (Al-A’raf: 199).

The questioner said:

Indeed, the teachings of your religion are great and logical.

He continued:

Buddha warned us of bad intention in requesting things. This is by human desires empowerment of oneself. A corrupt purpose controls a person’s demand for things.

I said:

This is exactly what the final Messenger of God, Muhammad, said:

The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.


Notes:

The Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East use the word “Allah” to refer to God, which refers to The Only True God. The word Allah was mentioned in the earlier version of the Old Testament 89 times. (Refer to Genesis 2:4, Book of Daniel 6:20 Hebrew and Arabic Bible).The word ‘Allah’ appears in the original Sanskrit text. (Reg Veda – Book 2 hymn 1, Verse 11).

The reference of God to Himself as WE or US in many verses of the Qur’an denotes Grandeur and Power in Arabic. In the English language this is known as the royal WE, where a plural pronoun is used to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch. For the avoidance of doubt, the Qur’an has consistently reminded us of the SINGULAR pronoun in reference to God, when called upon by His servants.


From the book:

A Universal Religion

Faten Sabri

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