Aim of Islam is not to Islamise states: Scholar

The Times Of India, Mumbai I Mohammed Wajihuddin  I December 14, 2014

MUMBAI: Islamic scholar and face of moderate Islam in India, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, has called upon the community to avoid conflicts and use opportunities available to them for their welfare. He stressed that instead of interpreting Islam politically and wasting their energies in finding political solutions to all their problems, Muslims should interpret the faith spiritually and spread Islam's message peacefully.

The Delhi-based scholar was in the city for a three-day workshop to train nearly 100 peace volunteers from across the country.

Speaking to TOI from his hospital bed in Andheri (he fell in the bathroom and fractured his left ankle), Khan, head of Islamic Centre in Delhi and a regular contributor to TOI's spiritual column, Speaking Tree, said that the notion of avenging injustice through violent means was an antithesis of Quranic principles of peaceful existence.

"Injustice is a phenomenon which results from misuse of freedom. The aim of Islam is not to conquer territories and Islamise states. Its aim is to uplift human beings spiritually and Islamise the man, not territories. The Islamic spirit is to develop a personality which seeks and spreads peace," said the scholar whose monthlymagazine Al-Risala has set a benchmark in spreading peace.

Speaking about the four Kalyan youths who joined the jihadist outfit ISIS in Iraq, Khan said that youths should not get misled by information on the Internet. "There is a lot of misguiding stuff on Facebook and other social networking sites. Youths must approach the truthful material rather than get influenced by misleading things via Internet," he said. To his critics within the community (he has been accused of being too pacifist), the nonagenarian Khan said criticism was part of a man's life. "I look at criticism objectively and try to use it constructively," he said.

Khan stressed the need to self-educate and self-make. "I don't believe in depending on what we have inherited from our ancestors. A self-made person is more respected than the one who depends on somebody else's wealth," he said.