Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, born in 1925, in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, is an Islamic spiritual scholar who is well-versed in both classical Islamic learning and modern disciplines. The mission of his life has been the establishment of worldwide peace. He has received the Padma Bhushan, the Demiurgus Peace International Award and Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Peace award for promoting peace in Muslim societies. He has been called ’Islam’s spiritual ambassador to the world’ and is recognized as one of its most influential Muslims . His books have been translated into sixteen languages and are part of university curricula in six countries. He is the founder of the Centre for Peace and Spirituality based in New Delhi.


AN important principle of life is that if one plans to take a step against a group, first of all, one should think about the result that this action would yield. If one is in a position to achieve the desired result, then one should go ahead. However, if one is not in a position to attain the required result, then one must remain patient. That is, in such a situation it is important to adhere to the policy of unilateral adjustment. This principle has been mentioned in the Quran with reference to the Queen of Sheba. According to the verse she said: “Surely, when mighty kings invade a country, they despoil it and humiliate its noblest inhabitants—these men too will do the same” (THE QURAN 27: 34). This Quranic verse provides us with a principle about what to do if the other party is very strong and we are not in a position to achieve a favourable result by entering into conflict with it. We must avoid confrontation by all means, and opt for adjustment. Because, the other option will certainly not be result-oriented. There are ample examples in history that confirm the veracity of this principle.

It is a reality that confrontation, by its very nature, is blind. Confrontation does not know the language of justice. Consider a situation where there is disparity between us and another party, that is, the other party is strong while we are weak. In such circumstances if we begin confrontation, then we will have no right to complain that the other party is engaging in violation of human rights, because confrontation does not differentiate between the innocent and the guilty. Once confrontation starts, it will lead to indiscriminate killing. Any hue and cry will be rendered utterly futile. Therefore, in such a situation the only option is to avoid confrontation at all cost.

Confrontation always leads to blindness. Where there is fighting, there is indiscriminate killing. Hence, we must avoid confrontation. But, if we do enter into confrontation, then it is useless to complain that the other party is targeting not only the guilty, but also those who are not blameworthy. The Quran gives this principle in these words: “And beware of an affliction that will not smite exclusively those among you who have done wrong” (THE QURAN 8: 25). This verse means that we should not initiate confrontation. And if we initiate conflict, then it will no longer be right to make protests saying that innocent people are being killed along with the culpable.

There is also a Hadith in this regard. The Prophet of Islam has said: “Evil is lying asleep. The curse of God is on one who awakens it” (Kanzul Ummal). This saying of the Prophet means that evil is always there in the world. If we want to save ourselves from the ill effects of evil, then we must try our utmost to avoid awakening it. The beginner is the one who is responsible for the aftermath.

Life is full of differences. The way of wisdom is to not let these differences reach the stage of confrontation. If differences reach confrontation, then it will necessarily lead to violence. And when violence erupts, it is always the party which is the weaker of the two that suffers. The option before the weak party is to not let difference turn into confrontation. Complaining afterwards will be of no avail as it will not help in achieving anything.

There is a basic principle that has been given in the Quran in these words: As-sulh khair (THE QURAN 4: 128). That is, “Reconciliation is the best.” The opposite of this principle is: confrontation is the worst. If you want to save yourself from unwanted results, then adopt the policy of reconciliation. Once confrontation begins, complaints and protests will never work.

A policy of reconciliation always leads to the required result, and confrontation will always prove to be counterproductive.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
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