Eminent Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan died in India on Wednesday night, his family members said, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.
Khan, 96, has been recently admitted to a Delhi hospital and also tested positive for coronavirus.
On Twitter, Zafarul Islam, Khan’s eldest son, wrote: “The great Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan breathed his last, late this evening. Doctors failed to revive his sinking heart. Pray for his maghfirat [penitence] and high station in Paradise. Amin.”
The author of more than 200 books, Khan has been honored with several awards. This year he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honor.
Born in Azamgarh, India in 1925, Khan has been internationally recognized for his contributions to world peace. In 2009, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.’s list of 500 Most Influential Muslims of 2009 named him Islam’s spiritual ambassador to the world.
In 2001, he established the Centre for Peace and Spirituality to promote and reinforce a culture of peace. In 1992, when the 16th-century Babri Mosque was torn down by Hindu hardliners in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Khan went on a 15-day Shanti Yatra (peace march) through the western Maharashtra state.
Khan also wrote a two-volume commentary on the Holy Quran.
The passing of Khan is being widely mourned.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “saddened” by the news of Khan’s loss.
“He will be remembered for his insightful knowledge on matters of theology and spirituality. He was also passionate about community service and social empowerment. Condolences to his family and countless well-wishers. RIP,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said he was “deeply grieved” by the demise of Khan, saying: “Maulana Wahiduddin made significant contributions to peace, harmony and reforms in the society. My deepest condolences to his family and well-wishers."