Essay On The Relationship Between Buddhism And Islam

1476 Words 6 Pages
Buddhism, rooted in the 6th century BCE, originated from Siddhartha Gautama, a sage from Nepal. Known as “Buddha,” Gautama experienced a revelation one night, attaining a complete state of awakening, clairvoyant power, and the knowledge that his spiritual defilements had been eliminated. His teachings of enlightenment, karma, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path spread quickly, covering much of southern Asia by the 8th century CE. Buddhism’s gain of followers can be attributed to the help of the Eurasian trade networks, otherwise loosely known as the silk road(s). Likewise, over 1000 years later, Islam developed in a similar manner. In 571 CE, the prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca, and in 610 received his first revelation. His …show more content…
While Buddhism and Islam reached their peaks during entirely different eras, the relationship between the religion and associated trade followed the same pattern: the growth of the religion was first supported by existing trade, and once it had grown to a significant extent, further assisted the expansion of trade networks by association of …show more content…
Though Islam came at a time over a millennium after the founding of Buddhism, the same roles prevailed nevertheless. Trade provided the framework necessary to move the religion vast distances, and though Islamic warriors also underwent holy wars and conquered new areas, the Silk Roads played a larger role, especially in voluntary conversion. For example, in the late sixth century, the Sui and Tang Dynasties and the Turkish tribes revived several long-distance trade routes through southeast and central Asia, which spread Islamic beliefs and values to different cultural regions. “…the Umayyad caliphs brought north Africa and the Middle east into an ever-large network of long-distance commercial relationships” (Bentley 90). In addition, similarly to Buddhism, these Silk Road trading routes provided towns perfect for mosques that would advertise Islam to any traveler or merchant that passed through. Ibn Battutah, traveled along the Eurasian trading routes on his pilgrimage to Mecca and wrote, “After sunset, we entered the holy sanctuary and reached at length the illustrious mosque.” These mosques were strategically positioned and splendidly enriched, much like the Buddhist monasteries, to show off the splendor of the religion to attract potential followers. Another aspect of Islam’s relationship to merchants on the Silk Roads like

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