By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age
24 August 2016
Q: You say
Muslims are dais and others are their madus. Some people might consider this as
a very one-sided relationship. They may claim that it implies that Muslims have
nothing to learn from others and that it is only others that have something to
learn and take from Muslims. Would you
agree with this contention? Or, do you think Muslims could also learn from
A: I think this
way of thinking—that Muslims don’t need to learn from others—is incorrect.
Mutual learning is a natural formula which goes on in every field, including in
the field of dawah. Muslims must learn from others. This, I believe, is a law
of nature. A group or nation that does not learn from others will cease to
develop or make progress.
If you think that Muslims, too, could learn from others, do you think they
could learn only about worldly things from others or also with regard to
A: Muslims should have the spirit of learning on every issue. This is
a law of nature, from which no escape is possible.
Q: Do you think
that just as Islam has spiritual treasures that Muslims should communicate to
others (through Dawah) and which others can benefit from, other religions also
have spiritual treasures that their followers could share with Muslims and
which Muslims could also benefit from?
Yes, this is right. Mutual learning is a law of nature, and Muslims are no
exception in this regard.
Q: Have you gained any spiritual treasures from other
religions—through your study of them and/or your interaction with their
followers? If so, could you please provide some details?
In Christianity, there is the formula of ‘Love your enemy’. I have learnt a lot
from this principle and have also extensively elaborated upon it in various
writings and lectures of mine. I consider it an Islamic formula. Similarly,
Jesus Christ once said: ‘Give to Caesar what is due to Caesar and give to God
what is due to God.’ This saying is very correct, and I think Muslims should
adopt it in their present situation.
birth, I am a Muslim. Through my study of the Quran, I have found that Islam’s
concept of life is that a person should intellectually develop himself to such
an extent that he is able to turn a minus into a plus. I had learnt this
principle through my study of Islam. Later, I came to know of an incident of the
famous Indian monk Swami Vivekananda.
Once one of his Christian friends invited the Swami to his house and led
him to a room. There, on a table, lay a pile of books, one on top of the other.
These were sacred books of major world religions. They were placed in such an
order that the Gita was at the bottom and the Bible was right on top. Would the
Swami get provoked, the host wondered. The host pointed towards the books and
asked: “Swami Ji, what is your comment on this arrangement?” Swami Ji smiled gently
and said: “The foundation is really good.”
incident in the life of Swami Vivekananda provided me a very good illustration
of a principle I had learnt from the Islamic scripture.