Body modification can be found in many forms and places such as dieting, piercings, and tattoos. Different types of body modification have also been around for an extremely long time and can be found in many religions. Each religion has its own view of body modification with some extremely against or extremely for body modification, with some even leaning towards the middle of the issue. The religious views of body modification in Buddhism focus on purpose and mindset. For example, Buddhism focuses on mindful eating rather than eating for luxury. The religious views of body modification in Islam are based on what the Qu’ran says. The religious views on body modification in Buddhism and Islam are mostly different because of the difference between each religion’s views on dieting, tattoos, and skin modifications.
Dieting in Buddhism and Islam are mostly different because of the difference of views within the religions. According to this research paper written by Taylor Ralph, Buddhist literature says many things about dieting, mainly the mindset of eating. “The literature describes these ways as mainly consisting of the following: mindfulness approaches, the emphasis on a ‘middle way,’ attitudes…”. Buddhist religious views on dieting are based on the mindset of eating. Buddhists focus on eating because they are hungry, not because they want to eat. They also do not indulge in foods that are not necessary to the nutrition they need. Basically, Buddhism focuses on awareness of one’s body. Buddhists avoid foods and drinks that dim that awareness. The same article by Ralph states, “This awareness is compromised under the influence of drugs, caffeine, and alcohol…”. Anything that can alter the mind is strictly forbidden in Buddhism. Buddhists also try to buy the best food for cooking they possibly can and try to use “…local and organic ingredients…”. The whole focus is to feed the body not too much or too little and to feed the body healthy ingredients that are positive energy for the body.
Islam, on the other hand, has very different religious views on dieting. Islam bases their views on dieting on what the Qu’ran says. This article written by Mohammad Hossain states that the Qu’ran says that people must keep their bodies healthy and eat foods that are good for them. “It is very much required to keep the physical body healthy so that the soul and spirit may also remain healthy in order to serve both of our material and spiritual attainment.” (Hossain). In order for people who are Islamic to keep their spiritual connection, they must keep their bodies healthy and stay physically healthy as well. The article goes on to say that the Qu’ran also bans people from eating three main things. It says that the “…true devotee is to purify himself from dead animals, blood, and the flesh of swine…”. Dead animals, blood, and pigs are absolutely forbidden in the Qu’ran. That is different from Buddhism where Buddhists avoid foods that alter one’s mind.
Buddhist and Islamic views on dieting are very different because of what each religion emphasizes as important when eating. Buddhism emphasizes the importance of the mindset of eating whereas Islam bases what they eat on their holy text, the Qu’ran. Both of these religions have things that they avoid eating but, those things are different. Buddhists avoid foods that alter the mind and people who practice Islam avoid food that the Qu’ran says is forbidden to ingest. Both of these religion’s views on dieting are extremely different, making their views on body modification mostly different.
Buddhism and Islam also have very different views about tattooing. Buddhism has a more relaxed approach to tattoos. People who practice Buddhism “…use them extensively for protection and devotion…”. Tattoos can signify power or protection from bad energy in Buddhism.