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 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.
THE GREATNESS OF HUMILITY
I ONCE happened to meet a gentleman who had neither a proper education nor a sound economic position. His greatest asset as he saw it, was the fact that his grandfather, who lived in a palatial house, had been one of the Nawab’s close associates and had had an honourable title bestowed upon him. He went on at some length, and with great pride, about his grandfather’s exalted state.
I got the impression that the cause of his own destitution was his pride in his ancestry. The psychology which went with being one of a noble lineage had prevented him from either acquiring a good education or engaging himself in some profitable business. Out of sympathy for his down-at-heel condition, I tried to make him understand the importance of adopting a humble and realistic attitude, as opposed to that of continuing pride in his forefather’s achievements. To support my arguments, I narrated many telling incidents, but it was all to no avail. He was beyond understanding. It was as if I were conversing with him in a totally alien language.
The same is true of present-day Muslims who draw their emotional sustenance from the religion of pride. If this is happening on an ever-expanding scale, it is because they fail to understand the religion of humility.
Islam, for the believers of the early stages, was just such a religion—a religion of humility. This psychology of humility, which marked their thoughts and deeds, was produced by their keen awareness of the greatness of God. For them God’s law became a reality, for God elevates all those who adopt the posture of humility. From there, by the grace of God, they went on to emblazon their deeds and their virtues on the pages of human history for all time to come.
Islam, for the believers of the early stages, was a religion of humility. This psychology of humility, which marked their thoughts and deeds, was produced by their keen awareness of the greatness of God.
The Muslims of the present day are the successors of the Muslims of those early stages. It is unfortunate, however, that they have inherited from them not their humility, but only the recollection of the great heights to which their remote ancestors rose. Devoid of humility and its resultant virtues, they are carried through life on a flood of grandiloquence.
The need of the hour is to awaken in them the true spirit of their faith so that they may be brought closer to the religion based on humility. God elevates the humble: the proud and the vain are cast by Him into oblivion.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
To bring about real change in society we
will have to first change individual life.