In ages past, people worshipped statues made of wood and stone and beseeched them for help. They feared these statues, believing that they were watching them and would become angry whenever a person committed sin. Buddha is the Buddhist idol. But Buddhists who equate Buddha with God—and those who hop on the bandwagon and become Buddhists to draw attention to themselves—do not realize how seriously they are deceived. Because they do not believe in the eternal afterlife, Paradise or Hell, it never occurs to them that they will have an accounting in the presence of God. Since they believe that they are already on the right path, they react with great surprise when invited to follow it.
All of the messengers who warned against the pagan religions that people had followed and called others to the oneness of God encountered similar reactions. In the Qur'an (38: 4-7), God says:
They are surprised that a warner should come to them from among themselves. The unbelievers say, "This is a lying magician. Has he turned all the gods into One God? That is truly astonishing!" Their leaders went off saying, "Carry on as you are! Hold fast to your gods. This is clearly something planned. We have not heard of this in the old religion. This is merely something contrived."
In this book, we invite Buddhists and all others who, for whatever reason, feel sympathy with this superstitious religion to understand the truth that there is no god but God; and to accept that God is One and that there is no other. We invite them to come to Islam, the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all). A person who perceives all his ancestors as believing in a religion that associates other things with God—and who himself associates them with God—may find it hard at first to make this decision. He may not understand how, after giving up all those powers he once associated with God, he can worship Him alone. Be that as it may, the only One Who supports and feeds him at this moment; the only One watching over him and protecting him is God. The One Who gives him life and heals him when he is sick is God, Lord of all the Worlds, Who created this Earth according to a pre-ordained decree. As it says in the Qur'an (81: 29), human beings have submitted to the will of God, to the point where they have no power to will unless God wills, cannot act except by the will of God. As God says of Himself in the Qur'an (11: 56), "There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock."
Satan can show Buddhists, and everyone else, that it is impossible to escape associating others with God. However, this is simply an intimation that comes from Satan; the Qur'an (14: 22) announces that, on the Last Day, Satan will say, "God made you a promise, a promise of truth, and I made you a promise, but broke my promise. I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me. Do not, therefore, blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot come to your aid, nor you to mine. . . ." and all of those who have associated others with God will be left completely alone.
As we know, being saved from the error of associating other things of His creation with God entails a sincere change of intention, turning one's thinking to the oneness of God. And no matter what situation he finds himself in, that person decides to trust in God and conform his life faithfully to the Qur'an. Certainly, his faithfulness and decisiveness will bring about God's help, incomparable blessings, mercy and abundance. No doubt, God will direct a person on the right path, protecting him from Satan's attempts to misguide him.
Anyone who submits himself to God sees that real happiness and contentment can be found only in faith, and in the belief in God's oneness. In the Qur'an (65: 2-3), God gives this good news to believers:
Whoever heeds God—He will give him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect. Whoever puts his trust in God—He will be enough for him. God always achieves His aim...
For this reason, a person who repents of his error of associating other things with God should abandon his idols without a moment's hesitation. Those who believe that Buddha is a god (God is surely beyond that!) who sees and hears all things, gives strength, gets angry and forebears, must change their minds and abandon their perverse understanding. And those who are caught up in the unfounded idea of karma and reject the existence the everlasting afterlife, must use their intelligence to save themselves from this error, because "What these people are doing is destined for destruction. What they are doing is purposeless." (Qur'an, 7: 139)