THOUGHTS: MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN
Presenting Islam in the Modern Idiom
Islam is the eternal ideology brought by all Prophets from Adam to Muhammad, through whom it was preserved in the form of the Quran and Prophetic Sunnah. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan demonstrated the relevance of Islam in the modern age in his talks and writings. Discovering the modern age as the age of peace and opportunities, he presented Islam as a complete ideology of peace based on the creation plan of God and gave the practical method to achieve peace based on the Hudaybiyyah model of the Prophet. Maulana explained that when people establish peace unilaterally, without linking it to any conditions, it creates a favourable atmosphere that opens the doors to opportunities. Maulana’s thoughts help one to understand Islam in a contemporary style.
The Essence of Religion
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that the realization of God, maarifah, is the essence of religion. Realization of God, maarifah in Islam, is the essence of faith. When a man consciously seeks out and finds and realizes God, he has access to divine realities. This is what constitutes faith. The position of maarifah in God’s religion is that of the seed. Just as a seed grows gradually into a full tree, similarly maarifah shapes the entire personality of a person. Without maarifah, religion is reduced to a spiritless form. With maarifah, religion is like a lush green tree and without it, religion becomes like a dried-up tree. God-realization is the spirit of Islam. It makes one’s Islam a living thing. We invite you to explore Discover God.
LOVE OF GOD
Making God One’s Supreme Concern
The strongest human feeling or emotion is that of love. When man makes something his foremost concern, it naturally happens that a feeling of love becomes associated with that thing. Faith in God is for man to discover God to the extent of loving Him more than anything else. The Quran says that "those who believe love God most." (2:165) This means that one who loves God the most has made God his object of worship. When one makes God their supreme concern, in religious terminology, this is called "deification". Alhamdulillah, Praise be to God, signifies love for God. Gratitude to God also means loving God. Remembering God also indicates a strong love and affection for Him. We invite you to explore Love of God.
RELIGION AND SCIENCE
Presenting Islam in Rational Terms
Maulana presented the basic teachings of Islam in a manner consistent with modern scientific methods. He concluded that the key religious teachings, such as the existence of God, the Hereafter, prophethood, the veracity of the Quran, and a God-oriented understanding of the purpose of life, are relevant to the age, understandable, and intellectually acceptable as any of the theories propounded by science. A seeker of Truth can believe in them 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. We invite you to explore Rational Interpretation of Religion.
ISLAM: THE VOICE OF HUMAN NATURE
Islam is in Consonance with Human Nature
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that anthropological studies show that the concept of God is ingrained in every human being. That is why Islam is in harmony with human nature. But this truth does not occur to man until the hour of crisis and peril is upon him. Man may have any religion or any material props, but, in moments of real crisis, it is to God Almighty that he calls out for help. This clearly shows that God-centred religion is the only true religion. As such, it should pervade man’s entire existence. Any religion other than God-centred religion will fail him in his hour of need. Such experiences prove that God-centred religion—Islam—is the voice of human nature. We invite you to explore Islam in the 21st Century.
From the Quran and Sunnah
Islam is enshrined in two primary sources of Islam: The Quran, the word of God, and the Hadith, the sayings, and the actions of Prophet Muhammad. Misconceptions arise when people derive Islam from the actions of present-day Muslim communities, rather than the Quran and Sunnah. Then misconceptions about Islam emerge like: What is jihad? Why is Islam violent? What is ISIS? Who are kafirs? Does Islam degrade women? Maulana explained that Islam is a religious ideology, whereas the position of Muslims is determined by the sentiments and conduct of a community. To rediscover Islam we must look at its original sources, and we must differentiate between Islam and Muslims and judge the Muslims in the light of Islamic Scriptures, and not vice versa. We invite you to explore Discover Islam
THE PROPHET OF PEACE
Presented an Ideology and Practical Model of Peace
The 20th century witnessed violence as never before. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that this was because man is not in possession of a complete ideology of peace. In his writings and talks, Maulana presented the ideology of peace and its practical application with reference to the life of Prophet Muhammad. He explained that the present world has been designed by its Creator as a testing ground for mankind, giving man complete freedom. To put it briefly, despite possessing total freedom, he should of his own free will become an example of moral, disciplined, and peaceful behaviour. Only those who act in this way will be selected by the Lord, the Creator, and Sustainer of this universe, as deserving of being inhabited in eternal Paradise in the Hereafter. We invite you to explore Prophetic Wisdom.
REFUTING THE POLITICAL INTERPRETATION OF ISLAM
Ghulu: Political Extremism in Religion
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan clarified that Muslim militancy finds its roots in the political interpretation of Islam, which is a gross misinterpretation of Islamic scriptures. Islam 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 subject to enforcement on others. This is a case of political extremism, termed ghulu in Islam. The Quran states: “Commit no excesses in your religion.” (4:171) The target Islam gives is the Islamization of individuals (20:76), not the Islamization of the government or the state. CPS is engaged in re-engineering the minds of those Muslims engaged in violence by presenting them with the true peaceful face of Islam. Then they leave violence on their own, as is being seen in Kashmir. We invite you to explore Political Interpretation of Islam.
THE TRUE JIHAD
Peaceful, Ideological Struggle
The original meaning of jihad in Arabic is striving very hard. The actual word for war in Arabic is qital, not jihad. Qital is purely in self-defense to counter aggression which is a chance occurrence in particular situations. True jihad is an ongoing process that is at the core of the believer’s life day in and day out. Islamic jihad is another name for peaceful struggle, that is sometimes an inward-looking action, like waging jihad with the self when it takes place at the level of feeling; sometimes it is desired externally and manifests itself at the physical level through gestures (like kneeling, prostrating oneself before God) and sometimes to strive to spread the Quran worldwide (25:52). We invite you to explore The True Jihad.
HUDAYBIYYAH—A PRACTICAL MODEL OF PEACE
Peace for the Sake of Peace
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan gave the method of achieving peace based on the Hudaybiyyah model of Prophet Muhammad. He explained that peace is always desirable for its own sake. When people become tolerant and accept peace for the sake of peace, it opens the doors to opportunities that are present in any given situation. When people strive peacefully towards availing of these opportunities, they eventually obtain justice and other constructive initiatives. For this, he cites the case of Japan, where Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atom bombs in 1945. After this, Japan unilaterally adopted a peaceful course for its development. The result was that within forty years, Japan rose to become a great economic power in the world. The success that was not forthcoming despite a long violent struggle, was achieved by peaceful methods in a short period. We invite you to explore Peace.
POSITIVE STATUS QUOISM
Avoid Confrontation to Achieve Your Goals
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that the peaceful method is another name for status quoism. A peace-loving person accepts the status quo to remove himself from the point of confrontation to focus on constructive action by ignoring the problems and availing of opportunities. This brings twofold benefits: firstly, no disturbance of the peace, and secondly, and ultimately, achieving success by finding and availing the opportunities towards one’s positive goals. The formula is: Ignore the problem and avail the opportunities. Positive status quoism is the only way to work towards one’s positive goals. It is peaceful activism in the complete sense of the word. We invite you to explore Life Management.
ROLE OF ULAMA IN THE MODERN AGE
Intellectual Leadership, Reform and the Call to God
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that religious scholars are eternal guardians of people’s mental fabric, way of thinking, attitude, and behaviour. Completely dissociating from practical politics, they must develop the spirit of tolerance, engage in scholarship after understanding contemporary thought and reform the minds of the Muslim ummah on positive lines. To perform this role of intellectual leadership, they must possess a deeper understanding of the times and the capacity to engage in ijtihad, creative interpretation of Islamic sources, and their application in changed circumstances. Then they will be able to engage in scholarship and reform the minds of the Muslim ummah toward right thinking. We invite you to explore Role of Ulama.
THE TRUE FACE OF ISLAM
Islam in Contemporary Style
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan gave the true face of Islam in a contemporary style in his writings and talks. He gave the formula: ‘differentiate between Islam and Muslims,’ and look at Islam purely in the light of the Islamic Scriptures, i.e., the Quran and Sunnah. When one does this, they will realize that all misconceptions have nothing to do with Islam, they are due to the followers of Islam, Muslims. When we ‘differentiate between Islam and the Muslims, and judge Muslims in the light of Islamic teachings and not vice versa,’ then we will understand that Islam is a religion of peace and spirituality that aims at producing a peaceful society by providing the moral basis for individuals to be positive in their outlook and behaviour. We invite you to explore The True Face of Islam.
ROLE OF WOMEN IN ISLAM
As Builders of Humanity
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said that the role of women is that of ‘Builders of Humanity’. He encouraged women to play their role of conveying God’s message to their family, their society, and the world at large. Quoting the maxim, “There is a woman at the beginning of all great things,” Maulana gave the example of Prophet Abraham’s wife Hajira, who played the historic role to lay the foundation of the monotheistic mission in the traditional age. He advises women in today’s age, “Hajira took the first difficult step, which marked a new beginning in the history of Islam. Today, women have an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Hajira and play the historic role of conveying the message of God to all mankind. We invite you to explore Women in Islam.
REVIVING THE ISLAMIC SPIRIT
Ushering in an Intellectual Revolution on God-Oriented Lines
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that the reform of a community begins with reviving the spirit of religion in individuals, not the external reform of society or government. 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 oneself 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. We invite you to explore Reviving the Islamic Spirit.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that there are two different concepts of spirituality: God-oriented spirituality, and man-oriented spirituality. God-oriented spirituality comes from God-realisation; while man-oriented spirituality results from self-realisation. The concept of spirituality in Islam is based on the principle of God-realisation, called Rabbaniyah as given in the Quran: “Be devoted servants of God.” (3:79) Rabbani means one whose thinking, and whose actions are God-oriented, and who has placed God at the centre of his attention. God is the treasure house of all virtues. When man’s contact with God is established, in the world of his feelings, an unseen, inner revolution is brought about, called spirituality. When a relationship between God and man is formed, then man’s entire existence is pervaded by this indescribable feeling called spiritual experience. We invite you to explore Spirituality.
Developing Purified Personalities for Paradise
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that as it is man’s mind that differentiates him from the rest of creation, it is through mind-based spirituality that one can develop one’s mind and attain true spirituality. Mind-based spirituality is derived directly from the Quran: tafakkukr (reflection), tadabbur (contemplation), and tawassum (taking lessons). People can develop their personalities on positive lines by adopting clear thinking, taking positive lessons from negative experiences, learning the art of conversion. The process will help one to return to the divine character that God created man on. 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. We invite you to explore Mind-Based Spirituality..
INTERPRETATION OF HUMAN HISTORY
This World: To Select Individuals for Paradise
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explained that the present world is a selection ground to identify human beings, generation after generation, to inhabit eternal Paradise. Throughout human history, God’s Angels are observing and making a record of people’s thoughts, speech, and actions, to see who makes proper use of his freedom and who misuses it. At the end of human history, those who exercised their freedom judiciously will be selected and settled in eternal Paradise, while those who abused it, will be rejected. The correct interpretation of human history on earth is to look at it as a temporary world, where ideal individuals are being selected by God from every generation to inhabit the eternal world of Paradise in the Hereafter. We invite you to explore Interpretation of Human History.
CREATION PLAN OF GOD
Life is a Test to Select Paradisiacal Personalities
According to the Creation Plan, God created man and settled him in the present world, to make himself eligible for Paradise in the Hereafter. For the purpose of testing him, man has been given complete freedom, to either use rightfully or misuse it as he pleases. When human history has run its course, the Day of Judgement will come. On that Day, the Creator of man will manifest Himself to mete out rewards or punishments commensurate with the record of human deeds on Earth. Those who have passed the test will be blessed with eternal Paradise, while those who have failed the test will be eternally deprived. The test of man is that he discovers his Creator in the unseen, develops a purified personality, and lives God-oriented life. We invite you to explore Creation Plan of God.
THE ROAD TO PARADISE
Discover God, Develop a Paradisiacal Personality
The Road to Paradise starts in this world. To tread this path, we have to fulfill two necessary conditions: the realization 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 realization, 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. We invite you to explore The Road to Paradise.
THE ALARM OF DOOMSDAY
The Beginning of the End of Human History
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan wrote that human history has a beginning as well as an end. Both Quranic revelation and science now confirm that the end of history, Qiyamah or Doomsday has come very close. The Quran and Hadith confirm that certain signs were to appear to give the final warning to man. Global warming, increasing floods, forest fires, the increase in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and the Covid-19 pandemic are some of these manifest signs. Now it seems that the end of human history, Doomsday, has come very near. Now the time has finally come for all men and women to arise from their slumber. By engaging themselves in introspection, they must reform themselves, and prepare for the next phase of human history: Paradise in the Hereafter. We invite you to explore End of Human History.
Calling People to God
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan revived the spirit of dawah ilallah, call to God. According to the Quran, ‘the call to God’ (41:33) means communicating the message of God to all mankind. This was the greatest goal of the Prophet of Islam. It was for this purpose that all the Prophets were sent to the world. Being the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad is undoubtedly the messenger of God to all humanity. In his lifetime, the Prophet performed this duty directly. After his demise, the call to God must be carried forward indirectly by his followers, the Muslims generation after generation. Muslims must perform this duty on a priority basis. Only by fulfilling this divine responsibility to our utmost can we be held eligible in God’s eyes to be called ‘witnesses for mankind’ (2:143). We invite you to explore Call to God.
God’s Guidebook for Man
The objective of the Quran is to introduce man to his Creator. The Quran tells man that God is One. At every moment, God reaches out to His servants. The objective of the Quran is to make man aware of the Creation Plan of God, that God created him as an eternal creature and divided his life span into two periods: the temporary pre-death period and the eternal post-death period. The pre-death period is a time of trial for man for which he has been given complete freedom. The post-death period is the time for receiving the rewards or punishment merited by one’s actions during one’s lifetime, either in the form of eternal Paradise or eternal Hell. The Quran gives universal principles that guide man from this life into the Afterlife. We invite you to explore Quran.
QURAN FOR ALL
Taking the Quran Peacefully to the World
The Quran was sent for all humanity. In a tradition, Prophet Muhammad predicted: “To every home, big or small, God will bring the message of Islam.” (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith No. 23814) Maulana Wahiduddin Khan gave the call to actualize this prediction: Quran For All, he asked Muslims worldwide to take God’s Word i.e., the Quran to the entire humanity. He explained that it has become possible for this prediction of the message of God entering every home to finally come true in the present age, due to two things. Firstly, people have become inquisitive about the Quran; and secondly, due to technology and communication, it has become possible for the word of God—the Quran and Islamic literature giving its commentary, to enter every home. We invite you to explore Taking the Quran to the World.