Maulana: Islam does not permit extremism

In Islam, no one is allowed to snatch a life, world-renowned Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan tells Khabar South Asia in an exclusive interview.

By Altaf Ahmad for Khabar South Asia in New Delhi

May 01, 2013
A larger | smaller | reset <span class="translation_missing">en_GB, articles, print</span> 58 comments

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan of India is known worldwide for his teachings on modern Islam, non-violence, and interfaith harmony. He has authored more than 200 books, including, most recently, "The Prophet of Peace" and "Jihad, Peace and Inter-Community Relations in Islam". An expert in religious affairs, Khan lectures on several popular television channels.

  • Those who kill in the name of Islam are terrorists and criminals who

    Those who kill in the name of Islam are terrorists and criminals who "do not represent Islam at all", says renowned Indian scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. [Sagar Fazal/Khabar]

Born in Uttar Pradesh in 1925, he has received numerous national and international awards, including the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honour, the National Integration Award, the Communal Harmony Award, and the National Citizen's Award, and many others.

Khabar: How do you see Islam and Muslims in the world today?

Khan: Islam advocates equality, peace and brotherhood, but in contemporary times, xenophobia has influenced the Muslim community. Islam urges Muslims to be the ambassadors of peace and brotherhood, but a section of Muslims on the other hand are involved in extremism and prejudice. Intolerance is highly denounced in Islam, and Muslims should exhibit tolerance and promote peace and brotherhood in all circumstances.

Khabar: Have Muslim clergy failed to play their role in spreading Islam in its real spirit? Prophet Muhammad said, "When leaders and clergy are on the right path, people will be on the same path".

Khan: Muslim clergy tend to be ignorant to their duty and unfortunately have stayed away from the noble mission of Dawah (proper presentation, understanding and appreciation of Islam in its real spirit). In my opinion, they have failed to remove misconceptions about the religion, and contributed in bringing about a good deal of moral degradation among Muslims.

Islam stands for justice, peace and harmony. Extremism is not admissible in Islam. As far as the role of clergy is concerned, Prophet Muhammad says, "The Ulema (scholar) is one who knows the era and people he represents". When clergy is unaware or unmindful of the affairs of the world, they are bound to lack vision and wisdom.

Khabar: There is a lot of confusion regarding jihad in Islam. What exactly does Holy Qur'an says about jihad?

Khan: Jihad means Dawah. People have misunderstood the concept of jihad. Islam does not permit extremism in all its manifestations, misconstrued for jihad by some unscrupulous elements.

Those who kill people for any reason are terrorists and criminals. They do not represent Islam at all but their own agenda and covetousness. Nobody has the right to snatch anyone's life. Mankind belongs to Almighty Allah, who is supreme and the only authority [allowed] to snatch life. Qur'an describes Muslims as a "moderate community" and urges them to be merciful, kind and tolerant towards people of other communities as well.

Khabar: How do you view disorder and violence in different parts of the world? Who in your opinion is responsible for such inhuman acts?

Khan: Criminals and terrorists commit such inhuman acts. Such extremists have no religion. We need to denounce inhuman acts committed by these people for their own vested interests.

Khabar: In what situation and for which offences does Islam permit capital punishment?

Khan: Almighty God has created man with utmost respect and dignity. No one is allowed to snatch a life or commit murder of a human being. In Islam, capital punishment is permitted when somebody is murdered in cold blood.

Khabar: What is the legality of blasphemy in Islam? Is capital punishment the only way to deal with blasphemy?

Khan: There is no prescribed law for blasphemy in Islam. Muslims should exhibit tolerance and demonstrate wisdom. Violent protests against Danish cartoonist (Kurt Westergaard) and Salman Rushdie for their anti-Islamic views were a waste of energy. If someone writes against the Prophet Muhammad, we should have sound knowledge to dislodge his propaganda and prove him wrong. We should be well-equipped with logic and reasons to counter unscrupulous elements who want to create confusion with regard to Islam.

Those who embraced Islam in early ages were the opponents of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad never expressed anger against them or awarded any kind of punishment. Exhibiting high moral and character, Prophet Muhammad converted his enemies into loyalists and trusted friends.

Khabar: What is the significance of the Hijab (veil) in Islam? Is head cover mandatory for girls in schools and colleges? Most Western colleges don't permit veils.

Khan: Hijab is not what women and girls wear in present times. Schools, colleges and universities have their own set of rules. Girl students should follow and abide by them. Islam does not permit to create disorder in any institution in any circumstances. If you do not like some rules and regulations of an institution, that does not mean you will create problems for others by enforcing your own set of rules.

Islam urges you to be an honest and honourable citizen. One should be loyal to his or her country and likewise to the rules governing an educational institution. You can never be a good Muslim unless you are a good citizen of your country.

Khabar: What role do you see for madrassas in promotion of peace and quality education?

Khan: The madrassas have a limited role and they can't go beyond that. You cannot expect madrassas to produce Nobel laureates, eminent scientists and reformists. Madrassas teach you about performing Namaz and Hajj (Prayers and Pilgrimage). Worldly knowledge is a must for producing eminent persons in the field of science, information technology and engineering, and Islam is not against it.

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Reader Comments
  • Rayees RahmanSeptember 22, 2013 @ 06:09:14AM

    True said by molana.It must be promoted worldwide,an open challange to them who have narrow mindedness,to correct themselves..Islam is the universal religon & we cant trap it in fragments... thanks

  • Mahinda SenanayakeJuly 8, 2013 @ 01:07:51AM

    I am a Sinhalese buddist. I was very confeuced about Islam and thanks to this page I found the truth of Islam. It is high time Muslim leaders get together and enlight the few muslims who is going the wrong path and bring them under the way what Prophet preached. Then this whole world will be a peaceful place to live.

  • majji raghu nadhJuly 5, 2013 @ 10:07:20AM

    hai nice article i like this article

  • bsrmurtyJuly 5, 2013 @ 05:07:06AM

    A healthy attempt to make the society to understand the true values of faith on certain objectives itself is appreciable. He deserves all support.

  • dr shashiJuly 5, 2013 @ 02:07:01AM

    This is great thinking by respected maulana saab.This should be implemented in day today life.

  • vishnuJuly 4, 2013 @ 06:07:48AM

    Very Niceeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kiran ShahJuly 3, 2013 @ 12:07:12PM

    Mr khan is right for his view on non violence but is it only permitted to humans? Do other living beings do not have feelings ! Every parents of all creatures do love their siblings,humans have no moral right to decide their future by killing them.Humans have no moral authority to kill any form of living being for his needs.

  • S.K. TrivediJuly 2, 2013 @ 10:07:04PM

    Respected Maulana Wahiduddin Khan comment needs wide publicity among all section of society. Such comments needs place in text book from class one. I liked it very much

  • praveen kumar singhJune 30, 2013 @ 02:06:51AM

    I THINK THAT SUCH PROPOSITION WOULD HELP ELIMINATE NEGATIVISM FROM OUR MIND.

  • hitesh olakiyaJune 30, 2013 @ 12:06:55AM

    niceeee

  • Dr Ram K SharmaJune 29, 2013 @ 01:06:01AM

    The article is all about telling truth with boldness and clarity which is possible only by the person who is beyond the boundry of any cast /religion .The greatness of a person is valued by his thoughts . We all are free to follow any religion but we must respect feelings of others also.Badshah Akbar and may more like him were of the same opinion and because of which he became Akbar the Great . So in my opinion one is not great but he is great by or because of his deeds.Hats off to such great personalities who have courage to express their truthful views boldly and beacuse of that only they are great.

  • MOHD ZAHIDJune 28, 2013 @ 12:06:38PM

    moulana tells the truth. let us be muslims

  • wahidurJune 26, 2013 @ 10:06:00AM

    khan"s comment about hijab is somewhat wrong and i thought that khan have not much right knowledge about verses of holy quraan about hijab. if there no proper hijab system among muslim women, why we need to dress in parda system during namaz praying..Before thinking hijab at educational centers,first we must think and need to ask questions why and how do we need to wear dress in proper manner. We must not forget the past history of human civilization. Why todays historians said that ancient men and women were so uncivilized due to unwear of cloths but only of plants leaves.In islam.not only women, but also man must wear proper islamic dresses. khan must acknowledged that one main cause of most of present world crimes is related with disproper dress wearing by man and woman. Not only in muslim but also to other communities,proper dress wearing by parent,their childrens are required to keep the world in a peace. Khan must not forget that in islam, there is right timing allowing loosing of dress in somewhat extent among a married couple without affecting emotional disorder to other persons.It also need to rethink that why there is jihad by some muslims. by saying this i do not meant that i am supporting jihad. I am totally against jihad. why there are so harrassement and inhuman nature to muslim by other communities.?

  • saravananJune 26, 2013 @ 09:06:08AM

    very nice........

  • zubair moiduJune 25, 2013 @ 03:06:33AM

    Propagation of Islam is a must, everybody has to enter the heaven.

  • dr mohammad Enamul HoqueJune 24, 2013 @ 01:06:58PM

    I remain it is teachful lesson for muslim and others.

  • madhav dubeyJune 24, 2013 @ 09:06:09AM

    Infact the view of mr khan is very thoughtful and useful for indian muslims becouse the origin of islam is in arab the rules of islam written in quiran is as per the climatic and geographical condition of arab,that condition cannot be aplicable in india for example..in quiran eating of beaf is permitted since it is must to eat beaf in arab becouse of nonavaibility of food grains but in india it is not must.the rules of religion should be govern by the climatic and geographical condition of the men where he lives.

  • veenaJune 23, 2013 @ 11:06:34PM

    MR. KHAN HAS RIGHTY DESCRIBED EVERY HUMAN BEING SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE SO THAT WORLD IS FREE FROM VIOLENCE.

  • Goutam NahaJune 23, 2013 @ 10:06:24AM

    I am fully agreed with the views given of Maulana W. Khan in respect of concept of Islam and code of conduct of Islamic people. Thanks & Regards Goutam Naha Kolkata

  • Sureshan. CJune 22, 2013 @ 01:06:17AM

    .The articles is very beneficial to understand Islam by other peoples and a right guidance to those who are modifying the religion in their own ways for self benefit. Moulana Sahab please continue your activities to guide the society in the right way. best wishes Sureshan. C

  • mariaJune 21, 2013 @ 05:06:35AM

    I read the article its truely gd n worth reading peace n harmony dats what we all are craving for.

  • buvanaJune 21, 2013 @ 04:06:20AM

    thanks useful news

  • buvanaJune 21, 2013 @ 04:06:28AM

    i am a farmar doughter so i prepare for many informations,so thanks for ur social service

  • NASAR AHMADJune 19, 2013 @ 05:06:23AM

    we muslims have been derailed by the so called ulmas who have been misguiding us for their pers gains since hundred s of years.MR KHAN IS DOING A VERY NOBLE JOB

  • NikhilJune 18, 2013 @ 08:06:48AM

    we need islam and these types of peoples

  • MgsadasivanJune 17, 2013 @ 03:06:42AM

    good thinking

  • Dr.SHASHI SHARMAJune 16, 2013 @ 09:06:02AM

    Article helps to understand Islam .

  • SHASHI SHARMAJune 16, 2013 @ 09:06:06AM

    WE NEED MORE AND MORE SUCH PEOPLE WHO CAN PRESENT ISLAM IN RIGHT PERSPECTIVE

  • vijay dhulgandeJune 12, 2013 @ 11:06:41PM

    we like islam very much if it is as muolana saab said, thanks to him for peace and harmony

  • pravinpatelJune 11, 2013 @ 09:06:24AM

    m agree..its all about the mind of the humans and the way of thinking..Mr.Waheeduddin khan has proved the exact meaning of islam...

  • Dr AH MaqdoomiJune 9, 2013 @ 02:06:11PM

    Mr Waheeduddin Khan has invented his own Islam It is nothing to do The Islam brought by Prophet Mohammad sas.There are hundreds of Islamic scholars why dont u touch them ? you want modifide Islam in which beef is Haram and pork is Halal Mr Waheeduddin can do this but no other Muslim scholar can do this .please read Quran and life of Mohammad sas

  • krishna chhetriJune 8, 2013 @ 09:06:08AM

    people of world have equal right to stay. no descrement should be there and no fight for religon because all the religon are same and they give same knoledges and we shouldnot be qurrel eachother because we are social animal.so we live like aman

  • P K MusthafaJune 8, 2013 @ 08:06:25AM

    This article is enough to change the present attitude of the clergy, if they follow

  • newtonJune 7, 2013 @ 10:06:30PM

    I agree with you.To day most of the mulim peoples misunderstand, what is the religeon Islam.Religion should be a peaceful mercyful, but today whats happening in the world? who are the Islam leaders should give good teaching to them.Most of the terrist group in world are muslims.Why they are destroying other religions,now day by day increasing enimies aganist to Islam.My opinion is modify some palces of Islam, give lesson to them do not go the other Religions

  • Jagdish MisraJune 7, 2013 @ 03:06:13AM

    Maulana is a great scolar of Islam.His approach to Islam should be the guiding light for all those who have made Islam - the misunderstood religion.This type of writings should be welcomed by muslims and non- muslims-both.

  • mrs. awasthiJune 6, 2013 @ 02:06:48PM

    every person who is following islam must follow the rules set as per it.

  • samir kumar chowdhuryJune 4, 2013 @ 09:06:19AM

    I have read the matter.It is really vary good. We have to think the matter seriously.

  • Sai Ramani GarimellaJune 2, 2013 @ 10:06:31PM

    We need more people like him to help him herald a change in the society

  • sivaprakasanMay 31, 2013 @ 10:05:46AM

    young muslim generation should give attention to the thoughts of the philosopher maulana

  • maniMay 31, 2013 @ 08:05:37AM

    it very good news

  • ashok kumarMay 30, 2013 @ 10:05:29PM

    this thinking is admirable in all religion.

  • Numan AhmadMay 30, 2013 @ 06:05:35AM

    Islam means peace & Harmony in all over the universe as well as learn us right ways of living.

  • sapanaMay 29, 2013 @ 06:05:19AM

    hi nice news

  • aapkamatMay 29, 2013 @ 06:05:35AM

    nice reorting today

  • yadav,H,NMay 28, 2013 @ 09:05:00PM

    There is a no any existing religans in the world permitte to harm of thecreation of the superim pawer that is either living and non living beings. All isthe DIVINE BEING_GEETA

  • SAYED VAKIFUR REHMANMay 26, 2013 @ 05:05:07PM

    I FULLY AGREE. SPECIALLY PARA ABT PEOPLE EMBRACING ISLAM DURING PROPHET MOHAMMED(SAS) TIMES MOSTLY WERE ENEMIES, BUT LATER ON THEY EMBRACE ISLAM. NOWADAYS, PEOPLE HAVE NO FAITH IN THEMSELVES. WHO ARE WE TO CONVERT THEM? YOU BE GOOD YOURSELF AND ALLAH WIII SHOW THEM THE RIGHT PATH - iNSHAALLAH.

  • M.Jaya[rakashMay 25, 2013 @ 05:05:52AM

    maulana is a wide well read scholar when he emphatically calls allmusalman to learn Qumran in in depth and to have sound knowledge to dispel the critics version.

  • elahi.bokshaMay 24, 2013 @ 12:05:34AM

    i like and my support.

  • elahi.bokshaMay 24, 2013 @ 12:05:21AM

    thank you maulana mohiddin advarties the islam.

  • deepak rajMay 23, 2013 @ 10:05:22PM

    gd news

  • nandakumarMay 23, 2013 @ 02:05:41PM

    a really positive note. What is what is clearly pronounced by the intellect. No religion preaches you to finish other on behalf of it. The word Xenophobia is an endorsement to the realism of the article.

  • sudhakaranMay 22, 2013 @ 12:05:39PM

    Now my respect for Islam has been greatly enhanced manifold

  • P. MohammadMay 17, 2013 @ 03:05:14PM

    A great insight and interview from a scholar of Islam. We all should follow these practical advice for better good of humanity instead becoming a liability and a point of confrontation every where. Thank Altaf Saheb for coming out a great interview like this.

  • ann hubbardMay 13, 2013 @ 11:05:24PM

    Prophet Mohammad, PBUH, was inspired by Allah, to bring to the world, a set of rules, to help mankind to live a productive life, in peace and harmony with each other and with the environment. But ad with many other religions, men have twisted the God-given instructions, to suit their own ends. The religion of Islam is the religion of peace, but selfish men have made it imto a religion of strife and hatred.

  • amranMay 7, 2013 @ 10:05:56AM

    Now, those who cross the limit with religion

  • ApelMay 4, 2013 @ 10:05:00AM

    This speech by him is very much needed in the context of Bangladesh.

  • sivaprakasanMay 3, 2013 @ 01:05:02AM

    the leaders are need of the hour. the media should help his msg to nation. it is pity that his peace msgs are ignored while vast publicity is given even to minor caste/ religious clashes.

  • Athar AnsariMay 2, 2013 @ 01:05:54PM

    In this age our nation cannot progress without modern education.

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