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Buddha (‫ )عليه سلم‬in the Qur'an

-Isa Adam Nazari

The initial rejection of this notion by the so-called orthodoxy, is that most mainstream Muslimin do not
hold Buddha (‫ )عليه سلم‬as a Nabi, and thus render all narrations, from him and all prophecies of the
future from the Buddhist tradition as invalid. However, just because one of the 124,000 Anbiyah ( ‫عليهم‬
‫ )سلم‬might not happened to have been mentioned in the Qur'an, this does not make them any less
Prophets of Islam. To ensure that no one would be misled by the relatively short list of Prophets
mentioned in the Qur'an, it was affirmed that:

"And, indeed We have sent Rusul (Messengers) before you; of some of them We have related to
you their story; and of some We have not related to you their story, and it was not given to any
Rasul (Messenger) that he should bring a sign except by the Leave of Allah. So, when comes the
Commandment of Allah, the matter will be decided with Truth, and the followers of falsehood
will then be lost." Qur'an, Sura 40:78

‫عل ذي ذذك ذوذما ذكاذن لإذرسسوةل أ ذذن ي ذأ ذإتذي إبآي ذةة إإ ل ذلا إبإإذذإن الل ل ذإه ذفإإذذا‬ ‫ذول ذذقذد أ ذذرذسل ذذنا سرسسللا إلمن ذقبذلإذك إمن ذسهم ل ذمن ذقذصذصذنا ذ‬
‫عل ذي ذذك ذوإمن ذسهم ل ذمن ل ل ذذم ن ذذقسصذص ذ‬
‫حإلق ذوذخإسذر سهذنالإذك ال ذسمبذإطسلوذن‬‫ذجاء أ ذذمسر الل ل ذإه سقإضذي إبال ذ ذ‬
“And Rusul (Messengers) We have mentioned to you before, and Rusul (Messengers)
We have not mentioned to you - and to Musa (Moses) Allah spoke directly” Qur'an,
Sura 4:164
‫عل ذي ذذك ذوك ذل ل ذذم الل لسه سموذسى تذك ذإليلما‬
‫عل ذي ذذك إمن ذقبذسل ذوسرسسل ل ل ل ذذم ن ذذقسصذصسهذم ذ‬
‫ذوسرسسل ل ذقذد ذقذصذصذناسهذم ذ‬
Nonetheless, Buddha ( ‫ )عليه سلم‬IS a Nabi, and one mentioned in the Qur'an at that.

"And Ismail, and Idris, and Zhu-l-Kifl. All were of the steadfast." Qur'an, Sura 21:85
‫ذوإإذسذماإعيذل ذوإإذدإريذس ذوذذا ال ذإكذفإل ك س لل إلمذن ال ل ذصاإبإريذن‬
Zhu-l-Kifl an-Nabi ( ‫)عليه سلم‬, meaning "the one from Kifl," is mentioned by name twice in the
Qur'an; here as well as in Sura 38:48. This title, "Zhu-l-Kifl" (rather than a name), refers to
Shakyamuni Buddha. The name "Kifl" is the `Arabic form of "Kapila," an often used form of
"Kapila Vastu."

The Yusuf `Ali Commentary on 21:85 says:

"Dhul-Kifl literally means 'possessor of, or giving, a double requital or portion.' It is said that
probably Dhul-Kifl is an Arabicized form of Ezekiel."

The latter part of this tafsir is unacceptable. Ezekiel is an anglicized version of the Hebrew
"Yechezqial" (‫קאל‬ ‫ )י ז ח‬which is "Heziqiyal" (‫)حزقيال‬, in `Arabic.
‫חז ז ק‬

When i say that "Zhu'l-Kifl" means "the One from Kifl" it is an attempt to translate the
meaning, the approximation, into English. The mid-twentieth century Urdu scholar Abu'l-
Kalam Azad, in his Quranic commentary Tafsir Sura Fatiha, was the first that i have seen to
go on record that the Prophet Zhu'l-Kifl, meant "the one from Kifl," and that this figure,
mentioned twice in the Quran (21:85 and 38,48) as patient and good, referred to Gautama
Siddharttha (‫)عليه سلم‬. Although most scholars identify Zhu'l-Kifl (‫ )عليه سلم‬with the Prophet
Ezekiel, Azad explained that "Kifl" is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapila Vastu.

This is not hard to see, since there is no "p" in the `Arabic letters, and words that would
normally get a "p" like "Palestine" or "Persia" are given an "Fa." So with that in mind you have
the same core consonantal letters of "KFL" for the name of this location. Compare this to the
popular notion that "Zhu'l-Kifl" is an `Arabicized form of "Yechezqial." The core consonants
are totally different. There is no "qaf" there is an extra "lam" there is a "kaf" instead of a "qaf."
There is absolutely no reason to imagine that this is the `Arabic form of Ezekiel.
Nonetheless, the first part that renders the name as meaning the "possessor of kifl" is correct,
since Gautama Siddharttha's father was in fact the ruler of Kapila, and the profound thing
about the Buddha was in fact that he was offered anything his heart desired, but he rejected
the illusions of the Dunya in pursuit of the enlightenment that he found beneath the Fig Tree.

To be sure, there will be many who out rightly attack this position. They will extol their
familiarity with `Arabic as their native language. They will attack myself for not being a product
of `Arab or Persian culture. There is not a single word of this text that is concerned with such
individuals. As the Qur'an says:
"As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them; they
will not believe." Al-Qur'an, Sura 2:6

‫عل ذي ذإهذم أ ذذأنذذذرتذسهذم أ ذذم ل ذذم ستنإذذرسهذم ل ذ ي سذؤإمسنوذن‬


‫إإ لذن ال لذإذيذن ك ذذفسروا ذ ذسذواءل ذ‬

Such individuals wish to hold some exclusivity on Islamic culture. To such individuals `Arab
culture is Islamic culture, and Islamic culture is `Arab culture. They cannot separate the two in
their minds, and accordingly their efforts at "dawah" become nothing more than an attempt at
imposing cultural assimilation on those who come into the fold of Islam.

To such individuals non-Semitic anbiyah (‫ )عليهم سلم‬are a major threat. Even though the Qur'an
tells us clearly that such individuals were sent to ALL nations and peoples, the status quo of
the corrupt `ulama will try to explain away those who do not fit their cultural interpretation.
Nevertheless, Muhammad (‫ )صل الله عليه واله وسلم‬said clearly: "There was a prophet of Allah
in India who was dark in color and his name was Kahan."
‫كان في الهند نلبيا اشود اللون اسمه كاهنا‬
Notes: "Taarikh-i-Hamdaan Dailami" Baab-ul-Kaaf. See Pocket book p: 854 by Malik Abdur Rehman Khadim 6th edition Published in 1952.

To the status quo that cannot even accept the myriad of ahadith about the Nubian mother of the 12th Imam (‫عجل‬
‫)الله تعالي فرج الشريف‬, such notions would definitely be unpopular to say the least.

Who was the Buddha (‫?)عليه سلم‬


Gautama Buddha was the founder of Buddhism. His original name was Siddharth (meaning one who has
accomplished). He was also called Sakyamuni, i.e. the sage of the tribe of Sakya. He was born in the year 563
B.C.E. in the village of Lumbini near Kapila Vastu, within the present borders of Nepal.

Moreover, allusion is made in the Ayaat of the fig tree (Ayaat 95:1-5) to the fig as a source of Enlightenment.
Buddha (‫ )عليه سلم‬is said to have attained enlightenment at the foot of this fig tree. This is a subtle and batini
reference to be sure, but it is clear that the Qur'an is referring to the fig as something on par - in terms of Wahy
and Ilham - with Mount Sinin (Sinai) which is mentioned in the second Ayah.

Of course this is known by Shaiyatin such as the so-called "Mulla" Umar. This is why he was so zealous in
destroying the Buddhist statues that are permitted to remain as national artifacts under Shariah al-Islami.

Buddha (‫ )عليه سلم‬never claimed to be Allah nor did he ask or instruct that he should be worshipped in any way
or form. According to the Dhammapada: "The Jathagatas are only Preachers." He came with the same
Risalah that all Anbiyah (‫ )عليهم سلم‬came with, that there is no god, no deity to be worshiped, there is only Allah.
This is the essence of Islam taught by the Buddha, the great Nabi al-Islam, Zhu-l-Kifl ( ‫)عليه سلم‬.

"And they broke their religion (into sects) between them: to Us shall all come back." Al-Qur'an, Sura
21:93

‫ذوتذذق لذطسعوا أ ذذمذرسهم بذي ذن ذسهذم ك س لل إإل ذي ذذنا ذراإجسعوذن‬

Some might wonder then why there are all of these "different" religions. Why is there "Buddhism" why
"Christianity?" Yet did "Christ" ever utter the word "Christianity?" Did Buddha ever call people to bow before idols
of him, or to seek after any state other than "Nirvana" or "Fana?" No, this Ayah clarifies that it was mankind who
broke off, diverting in many directions from the original teachings of the Anbiyah ( ‫)عليهم سلم‬. These were not the
teachings of the Anbiyah (‫)عليهم سلم‬, but rather the sectarianism of man, and the Fitnat'ud-Dajjal.