New Delhi: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a renowned Islamic scholar and peace activist, was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Delhi late Monday night after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The 96-year-old scholar has been admitted to the ICU, however, he has no fever and his blood and oxygen levels are also stable.
Zafarul Islam, Khan’s eldest son, said that he was doing much better but was still in ICU.
“Nobody is allowed to enter the room or speak to him, but the doctors have told us that he is doing much better now. There is no fever, his oxygen level is stable and his blood pressure is normal,” Islam told ThePrint.
According to him, Khan had been unwell for the past week. “The doctors first said he had pneumonia … however last night his condition worsened and he had trouble breathing so we took him to Apollo Hospital,” he said.
Former chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission Zafarul-Islam Khan also took to Twitter to pray for the scholar’s quick recovery.
“The great scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is admitted in serious condition in Apollo Hospital Sarita Vihar late last night. Tested Covid+. In ICU. Please pray for his quick recovery,” he tweeted
The great scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is admitted in serious condition in Apollo Hospital Sarita Vihar late last night. Tested Covid+. In ICU. Please pray for his quick recovery.
Seen here at home yesterday: pic.twitter.com/e2lxCKKZKG
— Zafarul-Islam Khan (@khan_zafarul) April 13, 2021
Peace activist, scholar, author
Born in Azamgarh in 1925, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan comes from a family of staunch nationalists who played a key role in the 1857 mutiny for Independence.
A renowned activist, he has also written a two-volume commentary on the Holy Qur’an. To platform the ideas of peaceful coexistence, social harmony and interfaith dialogue, Khan established the Islamic Centre in Delhi in 1970.
Six years later, he started a monthly magazine called Al-Risala, which primarily comprised his own articles that spoke to the Muslim community about their responsibilities. Al-Risala was launched in both English and Hindi in February 1984 and December 1990, respectively.
He has written over 200 books and a bulk of his oeuvre focused on secularism, inter-faith dialogue, social harmony and freedom of speech.
Khan is perhaps most well-known for the 15-day Shanti Yatra that he took with Acharya Muni Sushil Kumar and Swami Chidanand in 1992 when communal tensions were rife in Maharashtra. He addressed people at 35 different places along the way from Bombay to Nagpur.
He was also among the first Islamic leaders to ask Muslims to relinquish claims over the Babri Masjid and is also known for his association with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani. In the 2004 general elections, he even campaigned for Vajpayee in Lucknow.
In 2015, when he was conferred with the Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Ibn Ali Peace Award in Abu Dhabi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated him via Twitter.
“Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s knowledge and efforts towards peace make him one of the most respected scholars, admired all over,” tweeted the prime minister.
In the same year, he was also part of in the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the world list, along with 21 other Indian Muslims. The list was collated by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC), an international non-governmental institute based in Jordan.
(Edited by Rachel John)