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Kalama Sutta The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry Compared To The Quran

Hi folks. I was doing some reading and found the following from the teachings of Buddhism :

Kalama Sutta –  The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry

translated from the Pali 

The Instruction to the Kalamas

The instruction of the Kalamas (Kalama Sutta) is justly famous for its encouragement of free inquiry; the spirit of the sutta signifies a teaching that is exempt from fanaticism, bigotry, dogmatism, and intolerance.

The reasonableness of the Dhamma, the Buddha’s teaching, is chiefly evident in its welcoming careful examination at all stages of the path to enlightenment

Indeed the whole course of training for wisdom culminating in the purity of the consummate one (the arahant) is intimately bound up with examination and analysis of things internal: the eye and visible objects, the ear and sounds, the nose and smells, the tongue and tastes, the body and tactile impressions, the mind and ideas.

Thus since all phenomena have to be correctly understood in the field of Dhamma, insight is operative throughout

In this sutta it is active in rejecting the bad and adopting the good way;  in clarifying the basis of knowledge of conditionality and arhatship. 

Here it may be mentioned that the methods of examination in the Kalama Sutta have sprung from the knowledge of things as they are and that the tenor of these methods are implied in all straight thinking. 

Further, as penetration and comprehension, the constituents of wisdom are the result of such thinking, the place of critical examination and analysis in the development of right vision is obvious. 

Where is the wisdom or vision that can descend, all of a sudden, untouched and uninfluenced by a critical thought?


My comments :  Please pay attention to that last line above in red.  Wisdom does not “fall out of the sky”.  Wisdom is acquired through a process of seeing, doing, understanding, reading, more understanding. It is a process.

Here are three verses from the Quran which say the same thing :

1. Surah 39:18



Those who listen to all speech (yas-tamee-oona al qawla) and then follow the best (ahsanahu). These are the ulul al-bab or the people of understanding.

To be able to listen to all speech (yas-tamee-oona al qawla) you cannot have laws which jail people for saying things that you (yes I am referring to you) do not like.

For example the Sedition Act can jail you if you say something someone in power does not like.

The Shariah Criminal Amendments can jail you if you say something those in power do not like. 

Hence you cannot be considered a person with wisdom when you hide behind things like the Sedition Act or the Syariah Criminal Amendments that stifle free speech. 


2.  Surah 17:36 


If you do not know much about something then it is best not to follow it. You have the hearing, the sight and the capacity to understand (fu’ad) which you must use to try to understand anything.  Do not simply swallow anything anyone tells you. 


3. Sura 3:100




The verse starts with “wa maa kaana li nafsin”. Nafsin is the Self, the person, the individual. 

Rijsa actually means doubt (not defilement). Laa ya’qiloon (akal) means ‘not using their akal or reasoning’.  It is therefore extremely important to use reasoning, logic, common sense.

Ok folks, we do not use akal or reasoning because the Quran says so. The Quran says use your akal because it is indeed the right thing to do.

We should not follow people blindly because the Quran says so. The Quran says do not follow people blindly because that is indeed the right thing to do.

We do not listen to all speech, views and ideas and follow the best  because the Quran says so. The Quran says so because it is indeed the right thing to do.

Please learn to put the cart before the horse.



I am glad to find these similarities between the teachings of the Buddha and the Quran.

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