Islam and Muslims

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Islam and Muslims | Al-Risala, May 1987

Those who keep dairy cows are faced with the perennial problem of preventing the calves from drinking up all their mothers’ milk. This problem is often solved by tying a thorny piece of wood to the calves’ heads, so that when they go to drink milk, the thorns prick the udders, causing the cows to shy away.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Islam and Muslims

In the modern, industrial world, the term ‘Turnkey Project’ has come to be widely used. Ready-made houses and factories are made today in which everything is provided by the seller. The buyer has only to turn the key in order to use it. The behaviour of certain Muslims of the present day suggests that they think the world is theirs for taking, that God has handed it over to them ready-made and that all they have to do is ‘turn the key’ and everything and everyone will be ready to do their bidding.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Islam and Muslims

“Here are my entire life’s savings.” Saying this, an elderly scholar, who had spent his whole life reading and writing, in the utmost simplicity, placed a cheque for Rs. 10,000/- in the hands of his newly wed daugh­ter and son-in-law. He explained that he had been able to save this amount out of his meagre income by living frugally and never wasting anything. “I could have spent all this on lavish wedding celebrations,” he added, “But I preferred to hand it over to you young people so that you could make a good beginning in life.”

Indian Muslims, comprising so large a segment of the population that they can top the polls in any one of a hundred constituencies, are in a position to tip the political balance of the entire country.

In the early stages of modern civilization the Arabs made a considerable contribution to practical science. For instance, as early as the seventh century, the Arabs made usable watches. In his Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru mentions that ‘Damascus had a famous clock and so did the Baghdad of Harun al-Rashid’s day’ (p.261).

In January of this year, it happened that a city bus, which was passing a big Islamic Institution in Delhi, accidentally crushed a Muslim student under its wheels and killed him. A number of Muslim students of that Institution immediately congregated at the scene of the accident, but the bus driver had already fled. Out to avenge this tragic death, the students set fire to the offending bus, and, not content with this, they began to stone other buses on the same route and even set fire to them.

The principal reason for Muslims’ backwardness in the field of science can be summed up in one phrase - lack of consciousness.

In this paper I shall go into the reason for Muslims - in India as well as in other countries - lagging behind in scientific education. Some say that the Muslims are backward in scientific education because their religion discourages them from acquiring it, or, at least, does nothing to encourage them to do so. But this is far from the truth.

Knowledge is of two distinct kinds: that which we have been blessed with in the Qur‘an and the Hadith, and that which we acquire as a result of our own research and endeavour. The first kind acquaints us with our Lord, and makes plain the issues to be faced in the everlasting world which awaits us after death. More important, it shows us how, in the course of our present life, we may prepare ourselves to meet those issues. The second kind of knowledge provides solutions to the social and economic problems which we encounter in everyday life.