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The Buddha leader Gautama, has prophesized the coming of an inspired person. In the Gospel of Buddha by Caras (pp. 217-8) it is written that this great personality will come to the world known as the “Maitreya”. The Cakkavatti-Sihanada Suttana gives him the name “Metteyya”. Both these words mean “The Merciful One”. By reference to the life-history of Muhammad (S.A.W.W.), it can be seen that he was indeed extremely merciful and the Al-Qur’an also refers to this fact.
There are further similarities, as the Buddhist Scripture reads: “His (Maitreya) disciples will number many thousands, while mine number many hundreds”. It is a known fact that with Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) were thousands followers. There are further similarities, which will be elucidated below.
In the Gospel of Buddha (by Carus – p214), an enlightened Buddha is described as having a very bright skin and that, a Buddha attains supreme insight at night time, he dies naturally, looks very bright before his death, and finally, after his death he ceases to exist on the earth. All these points can be applied to the holy prophet of Islam. (Read his life story).
In Si-Yu-Ki, Vol I, p.229, it is written that “… no words can describe the personal beauty of Maitreya”. Again we leave it up to you to examine the history of Islam in detail; both Muslims and non-Muslims are almost unanimous in asserting that Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) was very handsome and beautiful indeed.
Si-Yu-Ki Vol I. (p.229) further reads “..the exquisite voice of the Bodhisattva (Maitreya) is soft and pure and refined; those who listen can never tire, those who hear are never satiated.” The Arabic language is remarkable for its beauty. Furthermore, the holy Qur’an is considered a work of the highest unique literary merit by friend and foe alike.
Buddhist Scriptures have defined further characteristics of this great personality (they call him as Buddha). In order to qualify for the Maitreya, he must satisfy those conditions – A Buddha must be a human being – not a deity. A Buddha must have five special gifts, viz. The gift of treasure, the gift of child, the gift of wife, the gift of rule (i.e. leadership, head-statesman) and the gift of life and limb. In addition, the Buddha would be teacherless, i.e. without any form of formal education. Gautama has also stressed that the Buddha is simply a man, salvation depends only on an individuals deeds, the Buddha can only preach – he does not have the claim of being in part supernatural. The characteristics above are all in accordance with the life of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.).
Another similarity which should be mentioned is that for every enlightened Buddha, there is a special “Bo-tree”. Some modern commentators believe that the “Bo-tree” of the Maitreya is a tree with hard or heavy wood. The prophet (S.A.W.W.) had a tree at Hodebbeyyaa, which was the place of an important treaty. The Qur’an gives the name “Shajar” to this tree (Surah 48:Verse 18). “Shejar” according to some scholars refer to any tree with a hard stem. Again it is highly remarkable that such close similarity should exist.