World Religion Essay

3629 WordsAug 12, 201215 Pages
z3326676 DEATH: Death Rituals and Treatment of the Dead Body, from Perspective of Buddhism and Islam. 1. Introduction and background From perspective of science, death is the moment where all biological functions cease to operate and the dead body will shortly decompose after death. In another word, death marks the end of one’s existence. From the religious perspective however, that is not all; death might mean the end of one’s life, but not the end of the journey as there is another world of afterlife where one will continue to exist. This idea of existence of afterlife differs across different religion, bringing different meaning to death and hence become the key factor for the significant differences in the treatment of the dead body and the death rituals. In Buddhism, death could mean the start of a new life cycle, consistent with the believe of samsara 1, the cycle of life and death, the cycle will continue until nirvana2 is reached. In Islam, all beings will be resurrected after death, will be judged and be decided of eternal fate; unlike the belief of cyclical existence in Buddhism, Islam believe that humans will only face birth and death once, a more linear view of life. Although these two religions are fundamentally different to each other, both believe that all actions and deeds during one’s life will have implication on the afterlife (or more accurately, new life cycle for Buddhism). In Buddhism, one’s life fate will depend on the karma 3 carried from previous life; in Islam, all the good and bad deeds during the lifetime will be used to decide one’s eternal fate in the afterlife. Hence, whether death should be viewed as good or bad will be contingent upon the one’s deed during the entire lifetime. The relationship between these believes and how it affects many death rituals will be further explored in later sections. Note: The Buddha

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