Noted Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan passes away at 96

Hyderabad: Renowned Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has passed away at 96 on Wednesday evening. He was hospitalized in serious condition in Apollo Hospital Sarita Vihar, Delhi and had tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

The scholar’s son Zafarul Islam Khan (former Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission) took to Twitter and shared the news about Khan’s demise.

“The great Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan breathed his last, late this evening. Doctors failed to revive his sinking heart. Pray for his maghfirat and high station in Paradise. Amin,” he wrote.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan shot to the limelight when he gave a clarion call to Muslims to relinquish claims over the disputed Babri Masjid site, one of the first community leaders to do so.

He also established Centre for Peace and Spirituality (CPS) in 2001 to promote and reinforce the culture of peace. The website of the organisation says the Khan was born in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh in 1925.

Khan has received the Demiurgus Peace International Award, under the patronage of the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev; India’s third-highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, in January 2000. The National Citizens’ Award, presented by Mother Teresa and the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award (2009) were also presented to him. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour, in January 2021.

The 96-year-old Maulana is widely respected for his commentary of the Quran, besides his enlightened views on much-debated subjects such as women’s rights on Islam, instant triple talaq, jehad, terrorism and family planning.

Meanwhile condolences have poured in from several people on the scholar’s demise.