FOUNDER: MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN
Islamic Scholar I Spiritual Guide I Ambassador of Peace
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1925-2021) was a world-renowned Islamic Scholar, Spiritual Guide and Ambassador of Peace. He rediscovered Islam from the Quran and Sunnah and presentedIslam in the modern idiom. He founded the Centre for Peace and Spirituality International in 2001 as a non-profit, non-political, non-governmental organisation to present Islam as it is based on the principles of peace, spirituality, and co-existence to the world. A book titled, The 500 Most Influential Muslims of 2009, published by Georgetown University, Washington DC, declares Maulana to be “Islam’s Spiritual Ambassador to the World.” His approach, the book points out, is "popular among Indians, both Muslim and non-Muslim."
AMBASSADOR OF PEACE TO THE WORLD
90 Years of Peace Building
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1925-2021) was a world-renowned Islamic Scholar, Spiritual Guide and Ambassador of Peace. For his For 90 years of peace-building and lifelong contribution to world peace and unity, he received the Padma Bhushan and more recently Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India in January 2021; the Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Ibn Ali Peace Award in April 2015 by the Muslim Forum at Abu Dhabi, UAE; the Lifetime Achievement Award by Islamic Society of North America in 2015, the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award in 2010; and the Demiurges Peace International Award in 2002 under the patronage of the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
SHARING PURPOSE OF LIFE
Discovering God and Paradise
The Quran gives a clear understanding of man’s purpose of life by explaining the Creation Plan of God. According to this, God created an eternal, world called Paradise. Then God created man as an eternal creature and divided his life into two periods. The temporary phase of man’s life is meant for a test. When human history has run its course, it will terminate with the Day of Judgement. The aim of the creation plan is to select those who are eligible for Paradise. According to the Quran only people with positive personalities will be eligible to inhabit Paradise. (20:76)
UNIVERSAL INTERPRETATION OF RELIGION
Islam: The Voice of Human Nature
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan gave a universal interpretation of Islam as God-centered religion. He explained that submission to God is the only religion for both man and the universe. Every creation in the universe is compulsorily submitting to its Creator. As man is free, if he submits to God and behaves righteously, it is of his own choice, and he will be amply rewarded for it. God will give him entry into eternal Paradise in return. All of God’s prophets were sent to exhort human beings to follow this course.
REVIVING THE ISLAM SPIRIT
Reviving Spirit-based Islam in Individuals
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that the reform of a community begins with reviving the spirit of religion in individuals. Revival does not occur through the external reform of society or government. We must revive the spirit of religion in people themselves. The revival of the spirit of the religion in people begins with awakening the soul and ushering in an intellectual revolution within the individual on God-oriented lines as outlined in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam. Considering himself accountable to God, an individual constantly introspects on his thoughts, speech, and actions. Remembering God often, his worship becomes spirit-based worship, and his dealings with other human beings are based on well-wishing. The writings and talks of Maulana help people revive the spirit of religion in themselves on God-Oriented lines.
Prophet for All Humanity
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that Islam is preserved for all eternity in Islam’s sources sent by God through Prophet Muhammad. In the Quran, the ideology is preserved; in the Hadith and Sunnah, its application is preserved. Prophet Muhammad is a historical prophet through whom God has bestowed his greatest favour for seekers of truth. For seekers of Truth, he stands out like a tower, radiating light like a beacon, beckoning all to the true path. A seeker of truth will inevitably be drawn to the magnificent pinnacle on which he stands and discover his God-ordained purpose in life.
REFUTING POLITICAL INTERPRETATION OF ISLAM
Islamization of Individuals towards Peace and Dawah
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan clarified that Islam does not sanction violence. Muslim militancy finds its roots in the political interpretation of Islam. In his books like Tabir Ki Ghalti, Maulana concluded that the political interpretation of Islam, having no basis in Islamic Scripture—the Quran, and Sunnah. It is a case of political extremism, termed ghulu in Islam. The Quran states: “Commit no excesses in your religion.” (4:171Islam is a religion the commandments of which are to be followed by individuals of their own free will. This political ideology shows them to be a subject to enforcement on others. The only way to re-engineer the minds of those Muslims engaged in violence is to present them the correct Islamic perspective of the very same Quranic verses that are used to radicalize them.
MAKING ISLAM RELEVANT IN THE MODERN AGE
Works of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan dedicated his life to demonstrating the relevance of Islam in the modern age as it is enshrined in its original sources, Quran and Sunnah to address modern minds contemporary style. To understand Islam in contemporary style we simply have to turn to Maulana’s works that include Quran Translations as well as Tazkirul Quran Commentary that gives the spiritual meaning of the Quran, and Supporting Literature presenting Islam in the contemporary idiom. This includes his Articles, Magazines: Spirit of Islam (English) and Al-Risala (Urdu, English, and Hindi); more than 200 Books, Diaries, Travelogues, and Booklets; and thousands of Video and Audio lectures. Coming up to the standard of modern intellectual scholarship, this literature and talks present Islam in contemporary style.
THE AGE OF PEACE AND DIALOGUE
Thoughts of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan not only demonstrated the relevance of Islam in the modern age, but he also discovered the modern age as the age of peace and opportunities. Today, it has become possible to achieve one’s positive goal by using peaceful means in a far better way than by using violent means. In fact, in this new age, every positive goal can be achieved by peaceful means. Maulana presented a complete ideology of peace and a practical method to achieve it based on the Hudaybiyyah model of Prophet Muhammad. He explained that when people establish peace unilaterally, without linking it to any conditions, it creates a favourable atmosphere that opens doors to opportunities. This allows people to strive towards their positive goals, for success in every endeavour. Some of the major thoughts in the writings and talks of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan are being given herein.
Re-engineering Minds on God-Oriented Lines
Maulana founded the Centre for Peace and Spirituality International as a non-profit, non-political and non-governmental organization in January 2001. CPS International promotes and reinforces the culture of peace through mind-based spirituality on God-oriented lines. CPS helps people discover their Creator, explains His creation plan, and shares spiritual wisdom peacefully. CPS AoPs facilitate the CPS Peace Initiative, the CPS Peace Program, and help people fulfil their God-given roles by studying Maulana’s literature and talks, interact with other AoPs, and help them share their newfound wisdom with others.
GOD ARISES AND VISION OF ISLAM
Rational Interpretation of Religion
Maulana presented the basic teachings of Islam in a manner consistent with modern scientific methods. In his book God Arises (1985), he provided rational arguments for religious beliefs such as the existence of God, the life Hereafter, Prophethood, veracity of the Quran, cosmic recording, and other religious truths. The culmination of his research was the book, ‘The Vision of Islam’ (2014) that explains Islam in the modern idiom to address contemporary minds. A seeker of Truth can believe in Islamic concepts just as he believes in other realities of life. The picture of life and the universe that takes shape in our minds on accepting religious truths is a very meaningful and purposeful one. This establishes the truth of God-centred religion—Islam—in the same way as the material universe echoes in mathematical formulae.
LOVE OF GOD
God-Realization: Goal of Man
Maulana explained that the realisation of God, maarifah, is the essence of religion. God-realisation is the spirit of Islam. It makes one’s Islam a living thing. The personality of a believer is made up of two feelings. One is the love of God (2:165) and the other is the fear of God, which is given in the Quran as: “those who stand in awe of none but God” (9:18). The love of God is such as is filled with agony. Similarly, the fear of God is such as is filled with the love of God. These feelings of love and fear are a depiction of true realisation. This is a relationship that man hopes to have with the Being he fears lest He deprives him of His blessings. When feelings of love and fear become associated with God, then man makes God his supreme concern. The natural response is to make God the object of one’s worship.
THE ROAD TO PARADISE
The Spiritual Journey of Life
Maulana explained that The Road to Paradise starts in this world. To tread this path, we have to fulfil two necessary conditions: the realisation of God and developing a purified personality in accordance with the guidance given by God’s Prophet. First, we must discover God at the level of realisation, maarifah, while he is unseen in this world, and become focused only on God. Then we must develop a Paradisiacal personality, which the Quran calls a purified personality through tazkiyah(20:76). We must purify our minds on positive lines, so we become free of such things as hatred and revenge. We must control our anger and not react negatively. If we reach the World of the Hereafter with a purified personality, God will find us eligible for entry into eternal Paradise, out of His Mercy.
GOD-ORIENTED, MIND-BASED SPIRITUALITY
Developing Purified Personalities for Paradise
derived directly from the Quran, “Be devoted servants of God” (3:79). Mind-based spirituality derives from the Quranic principles of tafakkukr (reflection), tadabbur (contemplation), and tawassum (taking lessons). God created every person on divine nature. Over time layers of conditioning covers our nature. Through thinking, and introspection, one can decondition their minds to return to the divine character that God created us on. Accepting our mistakes and introspecting on the criticism of others helps our deconditioning to continue. Another name for this deconditioning process is tazkiyah (20:76). It is such divine, purified personalities that God will find eligible for inhabiting the eternal world of Paradise in the life after death.
DIALOGUE: BASIS OF INTERFAITH HARMONY
For Mutual Sharing and Learning
According to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, interfaith dialogue aims to seek peaceful solutions to controversial matters despite differences. The Quran states: “For you, your religion and for me, mine.” (109: 6) By giving people respect, these differences become blessings. When people engage in dialogue with an open and objective mind, they can learn from each other. If we apply this universal formula to interfaith dialogue, in this sense, interfaith dialogue becomes part of the universal process. It does not then pertain to only religion. Maulana wrote many articles and books on this subject, like The Age of Peace, Non-Violence and Peace-Building in Islam, and Indian Muslims. He has also practically demonstrated dialogue in many of his recorded lectures.
QURAN FOR ALL
Word of God in Every Home
Maulana said that the Quran is the revealed and preserved word of God for all mankind. Maulana translated The Quran (2009), wrote Tazkirul Quran Commentary (1985) and prepared a corpus of literature and talks presenting Islam as in contemporary style. Guiding CPS to make the Quran its identity, he established CPS International Center at Nizamuddin to become the focal point to present the universal message of the Quran. He gave CPS the target to make this prediction of Prophet Muhammad a reality: “To every home, big or small, God will bring the message of Islam.” (Musnad Ahmad, No. 23814) He asked Muslims worldwide to take God’s Word i.e., peaceful message of the Quran to the entire humanity. In response CPS launched ‘CPS Quran for All Initiative’ and ‘Quran Translation and Dissemination Project’.
CPS INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
Taking Maulana’s Legacy Forward
Maulana breathed his last on 21 April 2021 in New Delhi, India. Although Maulana is no longer with us physically, his legacy continues. He has left with us, on the one hand, a treasure-house of wisdom in the form of literature and digital content presenting Islam in the modern idiom and on the other hand, a well-established mission through the CPS Network to take this literature and digital content to the world, inspired by his last words of wisdom:
‘The greatest success in this world is to live life in such a manner that you should not have an iota of negative thought against any person. You should depart from this world with a totally positive mind set. This is my last discovery in this world.’
With a positive outlook, CPS Ambassadors of Peace worldwide have dedicated themselves to taking his legacy forward. We invite you to connect with us.