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Buddhism according to Modern Muslim Exegetes

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
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  • 1 Lecturer, Department of Social Studies and Citizenship, Faculty of Human Sciences, Sultan Idris Education UniversityTanjong Malim, PerakMalaysia
  • | 2 Associate Professor, Research Centre for Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of MalaysiaBangi, SelangorMalaysia
  • | 3 Senior Lecturer, Research Centre for Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of MalaysiaBangi, SelangorMalaysia
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Abstract

This paper offers preliminary notes on Buddhism in modern Muslim exegesis with an emphasis on Tafsir al-Qasimi by Muhammad Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (1866–1914) and al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qurʾan by Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaʾi (1892–1981). The research adopts a qualitative design using content analysis to collect the data. In this paper two main questions regarding both exegetes will be explored. The first question concerns the sources of both scholars for their information about Buddhism by including the discussion in their exegesis. The second question concerns the methodology they used to discuss Buddhism in the Qurʾan since this has not been done by any classical exegetes nor among the most modern exegetes. Studies have found that the approach of the two exegetes is different from both the classical and modern exegetes because their work also contains resources from the fields of comparative religion and the history of religion to make their work relevant in the current context and reliable to be referred to by any parties. The author concludes that both al-Qasimi and Tabatabaʾi used analysis (taḥlil) in discussing verses related to the position of the Buddha.

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