Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a renowned Islamic scholar and peace activist, died on Wednesday evening — 10 days after he was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Delhi following a coronavirus infection. The 96-year-old scholar, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2000, was awarded the Padma Vibhushan this year.
Khan wrote over 200 books on several aspects of Islam and established the Centre for Peace and Spirituality to promote interfaith dialogue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday expressed sadness over Khan’s death and said he will be remembered for his insightful knowledge on matters of theology and spirituality.
Born in Azamgarh in 1925, the Maulana was educated at a traditional seminary. A known peacenik who advocated peaceful co-existence and counselled moderation in conduct, he crusaded against extremism and orthodox interpretations of the holy texts.
He penned over 200 books, including a commentary and a translation of the Quran in English, Hindi and Urdu. His lectures, many of them available on YouTube, are immensely popular.
Maulana Khan was founder of the Islamic Centre in New Delhi. He had hit the headlines when he gave his ‘peace formula’ for the Babri Masjid-Ramjanambhoomi dispute and asked Muslims to forego their claims on the disputed land in Ayodhya. His request was though rejected by a huge section of his community.