MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN, born in 1925 in India, is an Islamic spiritual scholar who is well versed in both classical Islamic learning and modern science. The mission of his life from a very early stage has been the establishment of world wide peace. To this end he has devoted much time and effort to the development of a complete ideology of peace and non violence based on the teachings of the Quran. In the course of his research, the Maulana came to the conclusion that the need of the hour was to present Islamic teachings in the style and language of the present day. Keeping this ideal consistently before him, he has written over 200 books on Islam. In 1983, he wrote a commentary on the Quran, the Arabic version of which was published by Darel Wafa, Cairo as al Tadhkir al Qawim fi Tafsir al Quran al Hakim. To cater to inquisitive minds and the needs of the spiritually inclined, the Maulana established at New Delhi in 2001 the Centre for Peace and Spirituality. His most recent publication is The Prophet of Peace: The Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (Penguin Books). FARIDA KHANAM, the daughter of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies. She is currently an associate professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University at New Delhi. She has written and translated a number of books on Islam.
INTRODUCTION The Quran is the Book of God. It has been preserved in its entirety for all time to come. Although written originally in Arabic, it has been made accessible, thanks to translations, to those who have no knowledge of Arabic. While no substitute for the original, translations serve the signal purpose of spreading the word of God far beyond the Arabic speaking peoples to a far broader spectrum of humanity. The Quran is apparently in the Arabic language, but in reality, it is in the language of nature, that is, the language in which God directly addressed all human beings at the time of Creation. This divine invocation of humanity is ever present in the consciousness of all human beings, that is why the Quran is universally understandable to some on a conscious plane, and to others at the subconscious level. This reality has been described in the Quran as 'clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge.' This verse goes on to say that 'none deny Our revelations save the wrongdoers' (29:49). This means that the Divine Reality, explained by the Quran on a conscious plane, pre exists in man at the level of the subconscious. The message of the Quran is not, therefore, something which is alien to man. It is in fact a verbal expression of that same Divine Reality which is in consonance with man's own nature