6197 "This City of security" is undoubtedly Makkah. Even in Pagan times its sacred character was respected, and no fighting was allowed in its territory. But the same City, with all its sacred associations, persecuted the greatest of the Prophets and gave itself up for a time to idolatry and sin, thus presenting the contrast of the best and the worst.
6198 Having discussed the four symbols in detail, let us consider them together. It is clear that they refer to Allah's Light or Revelation, which offers man the highest destiny if he will follow the Way. Makkah stands for Islam, Sinai for Israel , and the Mount of Olives for Christ's original and pure Message. It has been suggested that the Fig stands for the Ficus Indica, the Bo-tree, under which Gautama Buddha obtained Nirvana. I hesitate to adopt the suggestion, but if accepted it would cover pristine Buddhism and the ancient Vedic religions from which it was an offshoot. In this way all the great religions of the world would be indicated. But even if we refer the Fig and the Olive to the symbolism in their fruit, and not to any particular religion, the contrast of Best and Worst in man's destiny remains, and that is the main thing. This raises a doctrinal question of considerable importance: how does Islam view the ancient vedic religions and Buddhism, or for that matter, any other religion? As Muslims we are not in a position to affirm whether Budha was a prophet or not. Although the Qur'an states that Allah sent Prophets to every people (35:24), it does not mention the names of all of them. In fact it mentions by name relatively few of the Prophets of the Semitic tradition, or only such as with whom its first audience, the Arabs were generally familiar. As to its present form, we find the doctrines of Buddhism clearly at variance with monotheism and cardinal Principles of the True Religion as explained in the Qur'an. This may have been the result of distortion or loss by the followers of its original teachings. As a general rule, we cannot describe anyone as a Prophet or Messenger of Allah unless explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an, or Hadith. The Message as brought by Prophet Muhammad preserves in itself all that was essential in the earlier revelations or scriptures: it abrogates all the previous messages sent through earlier Prophets (3:85). (R).