Spirituality inspires man to get closer to God. Politics may take him away from God. Spirituality and politics must both refrain from encroaching upon each other’s fields, says MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN

Spirituality should be everyone’s primary concern and politics, or political power, should take second place.

Spirituality is a vast subject, covering almost all the non-political affairs of life. Believers must therefore make every effort to attain spirituality, while relegating politics to a subsidiary role.

According to Quranic teaching, a believer must adopt spirituality as his goal. He should shape his life by adhering to spiritual principles and applying spiritual norms in all aspects of his personal life.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

That spirituality should be given priority is made very clear in the Quran. For example, in the chapter Al-Saff (Ranks), the Quran says: He will give you another blessing which you desire: help from God and imminent victory. Give good tidings to believers! (61:13)

Drawing the line between what is spiritual and what is purely political is essential and it should be borne in mind that spirituality is a target that is achievable in every situation, provided you are sincere and determined to achieve spirituality. It needs only one thing — and that is willpower. This goal must be attained regardless of whether conditions are favourable or unfavourable.

But the case of political power is quite different. As compared to spirituality, politics is a bilateral or a multilateral issue. There are always two parties and a number of political rivals.

So, if you want to make political gains, you have to overwhelm the other party or rivals. This means that confrontation is inherently a part of politics: without confrontation there is no politics.

But confrontation breeds hatred and sometimes leads to violence. Indeed, having a political target is quite against the Quranic spirit.

One’s principal endeavour should be to lead a spiritual life and then try to spread the spiritual message to others. One may engage in spiritual activities, provided they are strictly non-political.

The real part of a believer’s life is spirituality, while politics is quite subsidiary. This means that spirituality is required in every situation, at every stage in life, but politics is required only when the situation calls for it.

In other words, spirituality is a matter for the individual’s choice, while politics comes into the picture only when society is prepared for this.

As far as social or national affairs are concerned, their management or governance must be determined by democratic means, through free and fair elections.

Spirituality and politics must both refrain from encroaching upon each other’s fields. Spirituality and politics can never walk hand-in-hand. They should be kept miles apart.

Spirituality inspires man to get closer to God. Politics may take him away from God.

The goal of spirituality is to gain a seat in the eternal Paradise, in the world hereafter, while politics is basically a worldly affair.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who left his physical body on April 21, 2021, four years short of a century, was an Islamic spiritual scholar, who had adopted peace as the mission of his life. Author of more than 200 books, and known for his Gandhian views, he considered non-violence as the only method to achieve success.

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