Although the Buddha and Muhammad (saw) lived thousands of years apart, there are very similar parallels to the sayings attributed to them. It is not that they said exactly the same things, it is rather that their distinctive and independent sayings show men with a similar mission, peace and happiness on earth.
- Buddha: They agreed among themselves, friends, here comes the recluse, Gotama, who lives luxuriously, who gives up his striving and reverted to luxury.
Muhammad (saw): Allah has given one of His followers the choice of receiving the splendor and luxury of the worldly life whatever he likes or to accept the good (of the Hereafter) which is with Allah. So he has chosen that good which is with Allah.
- Buddha: With the relinquishing of all thought and egotism, the enlightened one is liberated through not clinging.
Muhammad (saw): Wealth is not in vast riches but wealth is in self-contentment. The most enviable of my friends in my estimation is a believer with little property who finds pleasure in prayer, who performs the worship of his Lord well, who obeys Him in secret, who is obscure among men, who is not pointed out by people, and whose provision is bare sufficiency with which he is content.
- Buddha: One is the way to gain, the other is the way to Nirvana, knowing this fact, students of the Buddha should not take pleasure in being honored, but, should practice detachment.
Muhammad speaking about himself (saw): Do not glorify me in the same manner as the Christians glorify Jesus, son of Mary, but say, “He is a slave of Allah and His Messenger.”
- Buddha: Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world.
Muhammad (saw): All creatures are God’s children, and those dearest to God are the ones who treat His children kindly.
- Buddha: If you do not tend to one another then who is there to tend to you? Whoever who would tend me, he should tend the sick.
Muhammad (saw): Feed the hungry, visit the sick and free the captive.
- Buddha: Consider others as yourself
Muhammad (saw): “Do not be a people without a will of your own saying: If others treat well you will also treat well and if they do wrong we will do wrong; but accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and do not do wrong if they do evil.”
- Buddha: One who acts on truth is happy, in this world and beyond.
Muhammad (saw): “You must tell the truth. Truthfulness leads to right action. Right action leads to Heaven.
Important Note: Muslims believe Muhammad (saw) is only a messenger who received his Divine instructions from Allah to teach humanity.