Ananda asked, 'Who shall teach us when thou art gone?'
Buddha replied, 'I am not the first Buddha that came upon the earth, nor shall I be the last. In time another Budda will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the SAME eternal truths I have taught upon you. His disciples will number many thousands while mine number many hundreds'
Ananda asked, 'And how will we come to know him?'
Buddha answered, 'He will be known as MAITREYA'
[Gospel of Buddha, Carusp 217]
NB At the time of Prophet Muhammad's death there were over 110,000 companions.
Budda said: 'Our cycle is a happy one, three leaders have already lived... The Budda supreme am I, but after me, MAITRIYA comes. While still this happy cucle lasts, before its tale of years shall lapse. This Buddha, called METTEYA, shall be supreme chief of all Men' [Buddhism in translation, Warren, p 481]
When Allah states in the Quran that to each nation He sent an Apostle [Surah Yunus (10): 47] this much is true. The question is, how do we recognise who is and who isnt an Apostle of God?
Was Prophet Muhammad a 'buddha'?
What is a Buddha in the wider sense, is the word synonymous with the term Apostle/Messenger of God?
A Buddha is ONLY a preacher
'You yourself must make an effort, The Buddhas are only preachers'
[The Dhammapada, Vol X p 67]
'...The Apostles duty is only to preach the message'
[Surah al Nur (24): 54]
Therefore, a Buddha is one who invites and teaches people to truth.
A Buddha is a human being
'It is only a human being that can be a Buddha, a diety cannot' [Warren, p 15]
Allah also states that Muhammad is a human being: 'Say, I am but a man like yourselves...' [Surah al Kahf (18): 110]
Therefore, a Buddha is a human being.
A Buddha is a male
Of human beings it is only the male sex that can be Buddhas:
'They are never of the female sex Nor as hermaphrodites appear As eunuch are they never classed Those destined for Buddaship' [Warren, p 34]
Allah states in the Quran that the Apostles/Messengers are male: 'And before thee also the apostles We sent were but men to whom We granted inspiration...' [Surah an Nahl (16): 43]
Therefore a Buddha is a male. Note, that ALL Messengers of Allah i.e. those to whom were revealed texts, were men. However, Ibn Hazm [Volume V, pp 17-19 al-Fisal fi al-Milal wa-al-Ahwa'i wa-al-Nihal] wrote a text arguing that a Prophet CAN be a woman. The difference between a Prophet and a Messenger is that a Prophet has guidance from God e.g. Mary, the Mother of Jesus who we are told was informed that she would have a child without a man touching her. However as Mary, mother of Jesus, did NOT recieve a revelation, she would not be classified as a Messenger - and Allah knows best.
A Buddha is a gifted being
'These are the five donations great,
Prophet Muhammad when he married Khadija, became amongst the wealthiest in the cityof Mecca; had children; was married; ruled the Muslims; and was a human being.
Salvation according to Budda
'You yourself must make an effort, The Buddhas are only preachers, The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage ofMars' [The Dhammapada, Vol X p 67]
The last words of Budda were:
'Work out your salvation with diligence' [Carus, p 211]
Similarly, as Islam teaches, a person attains salvation by asking Allah to forgive them. For example:
'Every man's fate will be on his own neck...'
[Surah al Israa (17): 13]
'Every soul will be held in pledge for it's deeds'
[Surah al Mudaththir (74): 38]
'Anyone who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it, and anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it'
[Surah al Zalzalah (99): 7-8]
Could it therefore be shown that the term Buddha refers to one who taught Islam, and it was Budda who was a Messenger/Apostle of Allah as well?
In essence the teachings of 'Buddhism' are similar to the teachings of 'Islam'; that is to believe in One God without partner. To forgive, to show kindness, and to praise the Creator.
He will be known as MAITREYA
The person who Buddha Gautama prophesised bears different names in different languages.
In Pali, his name is METTEYA.
In Sanskirt, MAITREYA.
In Burmese, AREMIDEIA.
In Chinese, MEITALIYE.
In Tibetan, BYAMSPA.
In Japanese, MIROKU.
The English equivalent of METTEYA:
A. 'Teacher of love' - Max Muller
B. 'He whose name is kindness' - Carus
C. 'Buddha of kindness' - Rhys Davids
D. 'Friendliness' - Fausboll
E. 'Loving and compassionate' - Williams
F. 'Merficul' - Beal
G. 'Compassionate' - Getty
H. 'Kind, sympathy, active interest in others' - Steade
RAHMAT is the Arabic equivalent of the word MAITREYA.
The Arabic-English lexicon by Lane gives the follow defenition of Rahmat:
'Mercy, pity, compassion, tenderness ofheart, inclination requiring the exercise of favour, and beneficence; pardon and forgiveness'
When we go through works written by men of various nations on Islam, we observe one curious thing. The word 'Mohammed' is spelled in a number of ways, as 'Mahamet' or 'Mahomet' or 'Mehemet' or 'Mahemmet' ...
A. 'Mahamet' or 'Mahomet': is comprised of MAHA and METTA. The word MAHA in Pali and Sanskrit means 'Great, illustrious'. Therefore the word 'Mahamet' or 'Mahomet' means 'a great mercy'. The Quran refers to Muhammad as 'a great mercy'.
B. 'Mohamet' is compposed of MOH and METTA. MOH in Sanskrit means, 'affection or sympathy'; therefore the entire word means, 'of an affectionate or of sympathetic mercy'.
C. 'Mehemet' is composed of MEH and METTA. MEH means rain, therefore the entire word means, 'a man who rains mercy in general'.
D. 'Mahemmet' is composed of MAHEMA which in Sanskrit means mercy, therefore the entire word means, 'a great mercy'
Prophet Muhammad is described as a Mercy to Mankind; and therefore fits the defenition of the word MAITREYA.
The voice of MAITREYA
Asanga answered, '... The exquisite voice of the MAITREYA is soft and pure and refined; those who hear it can never tire, those who listen are never satiated'.
[Si-Yu-Ki, Vol I p 229]
Bara (ra) relates: 'I heard the Apostle of Allah reciting the chapter, The Fig and Olive, during the night prayer, and I neversaw a man more sweet-voiced than he'
[Sahih of Bukhari Vol I p 107]
Zemad (ra) said: 'The Prophet has reached the bottom of the ocean of eloquence'
[Sahih of Muslim, Vol 7 p 874]
And Allah commanded Prophet Muhammad: 'Invite men to the way of the Lord with wisdom and BEAUTIFUL preaching...'
[Surah an Nahl (16): 125]
And Allah commands: '...And recite the Quran in measured rhythmic tones'
[Surah al Muzammil (73): 4]
From the evidence above, and that which I have read elsehwere, I conclude the following:
1. The term Budda refers to an Apostle of God
2. That the teachings of 'Buddha Gautama' from which the philosophy of Buddhism are originated were in fact true, i.e. that he preached belief in 1 God
3. That Gautama was an Apostle of Allah
Therefore, a Buddha was an Apostle of God, and Prophet Muhammad was the last Apostle of God.
And Allah knows best.