Question and Answer with Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Question and Answer with Maulana
Q1. These days the lockdown has been extended by two weeks. What should be the response given by Muslims, as at some places they are not following it?
A1. It is true that Muslims tend to not follow the rules set by the government. This is because Muslims have wrongly developed a mindset and often say: ‘We only believe in One God and no one else.’ This is a statement valid in terms of religious belief. When it comes to religion, you have to follow God’s injunctions. But in matters of the administration of one’s country, one has to follow the government’s guidelines. Both these matters are separate. One must strictly follow what the government has laid down in the present scenario.
Q2. I read your article in the Speaking Tree about Tablighi Jamat being wrong in conducting their gathering in spite of government guidelines. This has been used to demonize Muslims and people are not going to Muslim localities. What should we do?
A2. In this matter, instead of blaming others one must accept one’s mistakes. If the government had passed an order to, it should have been immediately accepted. This matter is not related to Islam but to the administration of the country. Whenever there is a matter related to the administration, Muslims must completely follow what the government has laid down. The way out in this matter is to follow government guidelines more and more. If people think that Muslims do not follow the government guidelines, then Muslims must all the more follow these guidelines. Complaining or blaming the government is no solution to the problem.
Q3. In a video, there were two Muslim kids who were earning through Youtube. They donated their money to the government. We need to do something extra to correct the impression.
A3. This is a very good example. When I was in Azamgarh, there was a person who came from abroad. I noticed that whenever he walked on the road, he would strictly keep himself to the left. He would even become stuck to the wall. So when you see that people have developed a wrong impression about you regarding not following government advise, then in this situation you need to follow the government directions all the more so that this impression about you is remedied.
Q4. Why do I delay things that I want to do? I procrastinate a lot. Please advise.
A4. This attitude in not proper. One must do one’s work on time. When I lived in Azamgarh, people developed a wrong notion that doing work on time is the way of the British. This was a wrong notion. Doing one’s work on time is a matter of principle. You need to develop this habit by thinking and conscious reflection. We live in a society in which work is not done on time. There is a lot of relaxation given in the matter of time. You will have to not give in to this tendency. You have to consciously develop the habit of doing work on time.
Comment. I had an elder brother who went to Benaras from Azamgarh. There was a technician in Benaras for instructing on the cottage industry. He saw that workers there did not follow the guidelines properly. So, one day the technician exclaimed loudly: “It is a government rule!” From this I realized that Europeans have a habit of following government rules very strictly. This is part of modern culture and since then I imbibed it in myself.
Q5. What is your opinion about the coming of the Mahdi?
A5. I do not think about issue which are not related to myself. I may have an opinion about the Mahdi, but it has no relation to the community at large. It can only be my personal opinion. I have never asked anyone about this question.
Q6. What is your opinion about Wahdat al-wujud?
A6. Wahdat al-wujud means that all reality is one, or that there is a single reality. Everything is a manifestation of a single reality. The notion opposite to this is one based on duality, that is, there is duality in truth. These concepts were developed at the time of Greek philosophers and later Muslim philosophers began discussion on this. I do not discuss on these matters. You can know for yourself through study and research. This is not my subject. You will know that Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani interpreted this concept and referred to it as Wahdat al-shuhud. I believe that both Wahdat al-wujud and Wahdat al-shuhud are similar. I have no interest in these subjects. I have a scientific bent of mind and think on scientific matters, not on philosophical abstractions.
Q7. Your advise is very correct, that is, we should follow government orders very strictly. I am following it strictly and do not move out of my house.
A7. You are very right. You must follow the governmental directives. As I narrated above, a European went to Benaras. There he dealt with some workers who were not properly following the law. Then the European shouted and said: “It is a government rule!” So what you are doing is very right. If the government asks you to pray at home, you must do so.
Q8. Many say that corona has made religion irrelevant for human life. That is, people are being prevented from going to religious places.
A8. In the present age, we must follow the government’s direction completely. There is no need to unnecessary question it. People of all religions must follow government’s directions.
Q9. What does God want from me?
A9. I will tell you the principle I have adopted in this matter. That is, one must become a seeker and be in the quest to understand who my Creator is. This is the first duty of every person. I will remind you that Maulana Rum, who is called Rumi, wrote a voluminous book which was widely read in the past. Now his books are only in the library. He said: “A person is himself the potter’s clay, he is the one that makes the pot and he is the pot that is made.” This is the belief of the Sufis. I believe that there is a Creator and it is our first duty to discover this Creator.
Q10. Ramazan this year will begin in lockdown. How will tarawih and other things be arranged at home?
A10. You have to do what the government says. You must not step out of the home saying that you want to read tarawih prayers. You have to strictly follow government guidelines. You should not take any excuse to move out of your home.
Q11. What is the reason behind such an unprecedented situation we are going through these days?
A11. I cannot say anything with certainty. But I can say that these days people had become very worldly. God has created this situation so that it becomes a reminder for people. This state of affairs is not a punishment, but a reminder. To say something is a punishment from God, a direct reference from the Quran or Hadith should be cited. We can say that this situation is warning, but we must start issuing fatwas about the situation. We can only give advice and counsel on this issue.
Q12. Fear of God is the source of knowledge. Is live for the world a source of hypocrisy? Am I right?
A12. Love for the world cannot be called hypocrisy. However, if a person claims to be a Muslim on the one hand he should not be engrossed in love for the world.
A13. If something is established as commandment from God, one must observe it. For example, offering Namaz and keeping fasts. These are established as God’s injunctions. There are people who say that they believe in God but not in what human beings say. This is not an expression of faith, but a phenomenon of disobedience.
Q14. Can we offer Namaz in our own language?
A14. This is allowed if there is need. Shah Waliullah says that if a person knows Persian and not Arabic, then he can pray in Persian. There is a principle in Islam according to which “Al-zarurat tubih al-mahzurat.” That is, ‘If something has not been declared unlawful, it is lawful.’ You can pray in your language if the need arises. But this should not be a permanent way of praying. As long as a person does not learn Arabic, he can continue to offer prayer in his language. But he must continuously make effort to learn Arabic.
Q15. Many media channels are engaged in false propaganda to tarnish the image of Islam after the Tabligh incident. Muslims are getting provoked due to this incident and they start blaming and mistrusting the government. What should be our approach?
A15. In these matters, becoming provoked is not permissible at all. If there is something wrong, explain politely instead of becoming provoked or angry. It is impermissible in Islam to get provoked.
A16. It is completely wrong to declare someone as ‘kafir’. You should call people by the name that they themselves use. If someone calls himself a Jew or Christian, then you should also call him as Jew or Christian. You have no right to give a new title to people. Those who use the word ‘Qadiyani’ for Ahmadis also are wrong. They must be referred to as Ahmadis, as that is how Ahmadis refer themselves. You must address people with the title which they have adopted for themselves. You cannot give a new title to people and then defame them.
A17. Tafakkur and tadabbur have been mentioned in the Quran. A lot of emphasis has been given on this. This is also stated as the reason for the revelation of the Quran: “So that they ponder over its verses.” You cannot decline to accept this.
Q18. According to your explanation, a famous quote from the Bible is also an Islamic quote: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Many Muslims refuse to accept it because they ridicule Christians. Please guide.
A18. This is an Islamic principle. There is a hadith in Bukhari which carries a similar meaning: “Give to people their rights and ask your rights from God.”
Q19. I want advice from you. Because of coronavirus disease, many people are suffering from anxiety and depression. How to get over from this?
A19. Anxiety is not permissible for a Muslim. Why do you become anxious, when it is not allowed in Islam? You should always be hopeful of God. Anxiety is not in accordance with Islam. If you have negative sentiments about the government, then that is not permissible. Every government is our government. You should not think that if Amir al-Muminin forms government, only then that would be your government. Rather, every government is your government.
Q20. How to seek God’s forgiveness and pray so that we are safe from Covid-19?
A20. One must always pray to God in every matter. You should continue to pray. There are no obstacles in praying. Prayer is not the repetition of some words. You should pray in your own words.
Q21. Is quarantine a blessing in disguise?
A21. Our CPS team has set an example in this regard. They have taken quarantine as an opportunity to work more and more for the mission. They are utilizing their time in a very good way. They have taken it as a God-given opportunity.
Q22. What is spirituality?
A22. Spirituality cannot be known by simply asking a question about it. A person has to discover this himself. Spirituality is a discoverable item.