FROM MAULANA’S DESK
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 Muslims1 . 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.
THE AMERICAN ELECTION
On November 8, 2016 the media presented the news to the world that Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, had been elected as the 46th President of the United States of America.
ON hearing this news the whole world in general and the Muslims in particular were aghast. Muslims, throughout the world began speaking out against Mr. Donald Trump. Muslims feared that the policies of the President elect would be anti-Muslim in nature. This reaction by the Muslims however, is wholly against the teachings of Islam: if you were to ask any Muslim why he was against Donald Trump he would refer to his election speeches which were apparently anti-Muslim in tone.
In terms of the culture of reaction, Muslims appear to be justified in their stand. But Islam does not believe in the culture of reaction. On the contrary, Islam advocates the principle of unilateral adherence to Islamic ethics.
The Quran has commanded believers to “ignore their hurtful talk” (da’a azahum) (33: 48). That is, irrespective of the negative response the other person gives, people of faith should in every situation unilaterally behave positively. This teaching of unilateral ethics has been referred to in the Quran as ‘sabr’, or patience. The advocacy of patience is based on the law of nature, according to which it is reality that must ultimately prevail. The Quran teaches believers that unreal things have to be ignored, for their existence is only temporary, and will very quickly be replaced by matters of a permanent nature.
The truth is that, the system of this world functions on the basis of interdependence. The interests of one group are inevitably linked with those of other groups. Therefore no group can deny outright the interests of others. By keeping away from reaction you give nature a chance to work.
This principle of nature has proved true, in the case of Donald Trump. If you go by media reports, you will find that during his election campaign, Donald Trump made a number of negative statements. But soon after the election results were made known, he started making positive statements. Donald Trump’s victory speech hints to a softening of his stance towards the minorities. This shows that his Muslim-ban statement was just an election rhetoric. Even Donald Trump’s statement on banning Muslims from the US has disappeared from his website. Such incidents have a great lesson for Muslims. That is, they should always remain patient in the face of adversity. If anything appears undesirable, one should avoid reacting to it, for, according to the law of nature, that ostensibly permanent state will very soon be replaced, and Muslims will find this new state quite acceptable.
Here is a relevant verse from the Quran: “As for those who affirm, ‘Our Lord is God,’ and then remain steadfast, the angels will descend on them, saying ‘have no fear and do not grieve. Rejoice in the (good news) of the Garden that you have been promised.’” (41: 30). ‘Remaining steadfast’ in this verse, means that when the faithful maintain their positive attitude in spite of their having negative experiences, they receive divine help through the angels and finally achieve success. Muslims must place their full trust in this verse of the Quran. They must, under all circumstances, adhere to this divine principle, enshrined in the Quran. If they follow it they will find that very soon the course of events will turn in their favour and that with divine planning, they will manage to achieve their goals in a far better manner than they had imagined.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan