The Seekers Guide Questions on God, Islam, Peace, Spirituality and Wisdom by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
THE SEEKERS GUIDE
- God and His Creation Plan
- Interfaith Dialogue in Islam
- Islam and the Quran
- Peace: the Summum Bonum
- The Wisdom of Life
The remedy for ignorance is asking questions. (Prophet Muhammad; Sunan Abu Dawud)
The spirit of enquiry is the hallmark of an open society and the above saying of the Prophet aptly illustrates this principle.
A culture of curiosity and open-mindedness will foster development in any society by motivating its members to learn enthusiastically and enrich their knowledge.
This is because awareness of one’s ignorance is half of knowledge, as it becomes the stepping-stone to
seeking and finding answers.
A questioning mind is like a flowing river that is replenished with fresh thoughts and ideas and continues on its journey.
This is the idea that has motivated this compilation of Maulana’s answers to various questions people have asked him.
The book invites its readers to explore with an objective mind, formulate opinions and learn meaningful lessons from life’s experiences. The Maulana often reminisces that the first learning he had as a student was about the significance of the spirit of enquiry.
Ever since, not only has he himself been inquisitive to know more, he has also continued to encourage others to develop this spirit to widen their intellectual horizons.
Those who have met the Maulana would agree that in their very first interaction with him, he definitely asked them: “Do you have any question?”
In this book, the Maulana offers his reflections on a myriad of questions put to him by readers.
The reader will observe that Maulana’s approach to answering questions, particularly those of fundamental importance, is marked by precision. His explanations are concise, clear and yet comprehensive. In today’s age when people have less time to spend on reading lengthy extracts, this book comes as a much-needed alternative which presents rational and pragmatic solutions.
In the book’s first section, titled ‘God and His Creation Plan’, the Maulana answers questions pertaining to atheism, issues arising out of the problem of evil, God’s existence, man’s relationship with God, the concept of prayer and God’s help, the criterion for salvation and the nature of Paradise.
In the second section, ‘Inter-faith Dialogue in Islam’, there is a discussion on the relations between religious communities, the way of coexistence and how Muslims can learn from people of other religions.
The section ‘Islam and the Quran’ comprises both short and detailed answers. Many questions pertain to current issues such as the concept of the caliphate, the problem of re-applying or re-interpreting Islamic teachings in the present age, reforms in Muslim society and the theory of political Islam.
Many questions focus on the issues of divorce, polygamy, the hijab, the issuing of fatwas, terrorism and the use of the terms kafir and jizya. Other subjects touched upon are the life and character of the Prophet Muhammad, the compilation of the Quran and women in Islam.
In the fourth section, ‘Peace: The Summum Bonum’, the Maulana takes up several questions on how to resolve certain contemporary disputes and conflicts, for instance, the situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the issues of Kashmir and the Babri Masjid in India, the phenomenon of Islamophobia and awarding capital punishment for blasphemy.
The Maulana also throws light on cultivating tolerance, the Prophet’s policy of non-confrontation and war in self-defense.
The last section, ‘The Wisdom of Life’, is devoted to Maulana’s advice on anger management, acceptance of defeat, drawing lessons from nature, dealing with loss and grief, the way to convert negative thoughts into positive ones, how to put the culture of complaint behind one and live a life full of gratitude, developing patience, and learning from life’s hardships and challenges.
Since the book focuses on issues that are basic to the individual and society, it can be utilized as an all- encompassing source of enlightenment.
Seekers of knowledge, students, scholars and people in general can use this book for their own intellectual development.
It will acquaint them with the Maulana’s position on critical matters relating to religion, the nation and the world and how to deal in a practical way with the situations they face on a daily basis. Raazia Siddiqui