Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1925-2021)

Author: Dr. Mohsin Aziz

Noted Islamic Scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan died of Covid related illness on 21 April 2021 at a Delhi Hospital at the age of 96, Inna Nillahe Wa Inna Illaihe Rajioun (Indeed to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return). He was born on 1 January 1925 in Azamgarh district.

Maulana was a prolific writer. He wrote more than 200 books on Islam, Prophet, Spirituality, Quran etc. Among his notable works is a two volume commentary of Quran, Tazkirul Quran, in Urdu. Besides he also did a translation of Quran in contemporary English. He was editor of monthly Urdu Magazine Al Risala since 1976 which consisted primarily his own articles. His book “Islam: Creator of the Modern Age” is considered a classic on the subject.

Maulana Wahiduddin was one of the earlies among Indian Muslim Scholars to counsel Indian Muslims to surrender claim to Babri Masjid and was a regular presence in many interfaith dialogues.

He was recipient of many National and International awards including Demiurgus Peace International Award, India’s third highest Civilian Awards, Padma Bhushan(2000),  National Citizens’ Award, Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award(2009) and last but not least Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award in 2021.

Personally I heard a lot about him from my father (Professor Ishtiyaq Ahmad Zilli). He was senior to my father at Madrasatul Islah (Sarimeer, Azamgarh) and for a brief period was his roommate as well at the Madrasah. At Madrasah, while others slept on beds, Maulana preferred sleeping on floor (as told by my father).

Maulana is survived by two sons – Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan and Saniyasnain Khan. Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan is a senior journalist who edits fortnighty Milli Gazette and is former Chairman of Delhi Minority Commission while Saniyasnain Khan runs Goodword Books which publishes Islamic books for kids. Saniyasnain Khan is author of more than 100 books.

His death is indeed a great loss for humanity. May Allah increase his station in hereafter and forgive his shortcomings, Ameen.

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