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Hamza Yusuf in Buddha in the Qur'an (viewed at Scribd.com) writes:

In classical Muslim literature on religions and sects, we find many references to "al-Badadah," meaning the Buddhists, as well as "al-Budd," the Buddha himself. Ibn al-Nadim (d. 998), an Iraqi bookseller and author of the famous work entitled The Compendium (al-Fihrist), who catalogued existing authors and their subjects of study, records books that deal with Buddhism, including The Life of Buddha (Kitab al-Budd). In his chapter entitled "Notes on the Buddha," Ibn al-Nadim delineates the different scholarly views of the Buddha: some believed he was the divine incarnate, while others claimed he was a messenger of God; still others thought Buddha to be a generic name for those who guided others onto the right path. ...

This makes me curious as to which Islamic scholars claimed that Buddha was a messenger of God. The paper continues:

Perhaps the most significant classical Muslim description of Buddhism is found in Imam Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Karim al-Shahrastani's (d. 1153) comprehensive survey entitled, Religions and Sects (al-Milal wa al-nihal). ... In this work, he also makes a rather stunning--and intriguing--statement connecting the Buddha to a character in the Qur'an. ...

Based upon their description of the Buddha, if they are accurate, it would seem that he is none other than al-Khadir, whom Muslims acknowledge, upon him be peace.

The phrasing suggests that al-Shahrastani did not hold this belief true, but rather acknowledged it as a possibility. Therefore, I'm not sure who Hamza Yusuf is referring to.

Question: Which scholars claimed Buddha was a messenger of God?

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The founder of the Ahmadiyya sect (who is a false prophet by the consensus of Muslims) believed that Buddha was a prophet as well as Krishna. I came across this answer of his belief from a Buddhist - it's an interesting read: http://wenshuchan-online.weebly.com/a-buddhist-response-to-hadrat-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-of-qadian.html

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Firstly, I am grateful of your informative question which made me making research and perceived the following information that:

Teachings of early Buddhism

a) Early Buddhism: Early Buddhism is very clear and in no need of any philosophical understanding and analysis. Profound secrets and philosophical complexities are something later Buddhists have added to this religion. All Buddhism was about in the past was to awaken and enlighten the people and free them from individual and social hardship and give them inner and outer peace. ...

Secondly, regarding “Which scholars claimed Buddha was a messenger of God?”, I remarked/found this issue/conclusion based on the book of Jalaluddin Ashtiyani.

Hopefully this answer helps you to some extent.


For further (and more accurate) information, kindly refer to the following source:

  • In that linked article it lists as a citation "Ibid, pg. 155". What or who is Ibid? – iain Jul 2 '17 at 0:06
  • You are right, dear mate, but note that: ibid. = in the same source (used to save space in textual references to a quoted work which has been mentioned in a previous reference). – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد Jul 3 '17 at 9:44

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