The Age of Peace – Championing the cause of peace

By Somali K Chakrabarti

What lures young people into terrorism? Can anything be done to prevent people from indulging in violence? Is it ever possible to establish peace in society?

I am sure, such questions must have risen an umpteen number of times in your mind whenever you would have heard or read about violent terrorist attacks. Such attacks are mostly  orchestrated by people who are brainwashed by radical organizations to carry out the acts of terror. The indoctrination, and involvement of youth in terrorism is a highly alarming trend that seems to have caught up all over the world from Nigeria, to Kenya, to Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Paris, and lately Pathankot.

The rising threat of terrorism leaves a common thread of concern across the world.

So, in Nov 2015, when I received a book called ‘The Age of Peace’, from a co-blogger friend, I thought that the book appeared somewhat incongruous with the explosive happenings around the world. What roused my curiosity further was that on the back cover of the book it was mentioned that the purpose of the book is to re-engineer the minds of those who think in terms of violence.

Sounds like mission impossible in these turbulent times,’ I thought, flipping through the pages. I decided to give it a read just to find out what it had to offer. I’m glad I did so because by the time I finished reading the book, I was highly impressed by the profound sagacity of its author, who has conveyed the message of peace in an inspiring, simple and convincing manner.


The author, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, I came to know, is a noted Islamic scholar and peace activist, and the founder of  founder of Centre of Peace and Spirituality in New Delhi.  The  nonagenarian, who shares Gandhian views, is known to work relentlessly for championing the cause of peace and non-violence. He is a recipient of numerous humanitarian awards in India and abroad, including the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor in India, and the Demiurgus Peace International Award.

Diversity, Not Dissention
Interfaith Conference of Religions

Image Source

Later, a search on the net revealed that PM Narendra Modi, on a number of occasions, has urged people to read the views of  this scholar, a preacher of non-violence and a crusader of peace, who has been working tirelessly for bringing about spiritual reforms in Islam.



Through his book ‘The Age of Peace‘, Maulana Wahidudin Khan aims to:

  1.  help those who are engaged in violence realize that the present age is an age of peace
  2. lay out the guiding principles based on which it is possible to establish peace in the society.

As a part of #SpreadTheVibe initiative organized by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with Indiblogger, I will share with you, some snippets from the book that have left an imprint on my mind.

Peace and Justice

Since the earliest of times, great minds, right from Aristotle, to St Augustine, from Bertrand Russell to Mahatma Gandhi, have advocated adherence to peace. Yet, we see that in reality peace has never really been established for long periods.

What is the reason for this failure to establish peace?

The general concept of peace, the scholar says, is based on social justice.

The Constitution of International Labour Organization, a United Nations body affirms

Universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.

Challenging this generally accepted concept of peace, the author says that as long as we think of peace as a derivative of social justice, it will remain elusive. Justice should not be a criteria for maintaining peace, rather peace should be established at any cost for the sake of normalcyThe only workable formula is to accept peace as the status quo.

Peace is like ‘social soil’, by cultivating which we can receive the fruits of social justice. 

Peace is not just the absence of war, it is a pre-condition for progress and social development. Peace brings with it enormous opportunities. It is the ‘summum bonum’ or the greatest good that is devoid of any negative effects.

The secret of success in life is not to make others suffer loses at your hands. The secret of success in life is to plan one’s time and energy wisely to avail of the opportunities within one’s reach.

This very thought reiterated in my mind the rationality of the saying that you can’t solve violence with violence. ‘Án eye for an eye makes the world blind.’

PeaceImage Source

The Culture of Terrorism

Violence or terrorism is a negation of God’s creation plan. Neither reason nor conscience can ever sanction it. Terrorism always ends in repentance.

Touching upon sensitive issues such as the menace of terrorism, militancy, extremist ideologies, suicide bombings, and using ‘jihad’ to legitimise militancy, Maulana Wahidudin Khan says that the present militancy has no sanction in Islam. Any deviation from peace, he asserts, is a deviation from Islam.

Why are the Youth Joining Terrorist Groups?

It is a known fact that terrorists attempt to recruit those who are most vulnerable in the society and involve them in terrorist activities exploiting their vulnerability, need for identity, belonging or for vengeance. The ready availability of deadly weapons as commodities has fuelled the terror culture.

The author says that Terrorism begins with hate and ends in repentance. The youth swept by emotions end up in perpetrating terrorist acts.  A survey reveals that those who engage in terrorist activities experience deep frustration towards the end of their lives.

Education, both formal and informal, he says, would serve as a deterrent factor. The educated people who join these groups fail to understand the spirit of Islam. The author has stressed upon the need for a Counter-Ideology to curb Terrorism. The struggle against terrorism, he says,  has to take place in the mental and emotional domains of the youth. Countering the vulnerability of youths towards extremism and terrorism has to be done by re-engineering of the mind – by educating people’s minds along peaceful lines.


Futility of Wars

History tells us that war is like a rootless tree. A storm can completely uproot it. But a peaceful plan is like a tree which stands upright on its own strong roots and remains unaffected by storms.

Talking about the futility of wars, the author says that war is an archaic and outdated concept. In the ancient age people tried to bring about change through force, and this led to war.

The present age that provides people with alternatives to fulfill their ambitions without resorting to violence.  Now, it is possible to bring about a change in the society through mass education.

Backed by numerous examples from different parts of the world, from the past centuries to the modern age, the author advocates the use of non – confrontational method, peaceful activism, and spreading the message of peace through education and awareness.

The book has changed my perception that the idea of a peaceful society is a utopian thought that is found perhaps only in a few mythological stories. It has reinforced my belief that no religion can preach violence. Extremism, terrorism and wars are a fallout of greed of all those, who distort and misinterpret religion and use it to their convenience.

Some books entertain, some educate, and some expand your horizon in a way that leaves a lasting impression on the mind. The Age of Peace, is one such book that falls in the latter category.

It is a book that I would urge all to read. You can read it online at


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35 thoughts on “The Age of Peace – Championing the cause of peace

  1. I am fascinated by the spark created by Maulana Wahidudin Khan through his writing in you.In these turbulent times across the globe, such writings are of immense value and merit. I am reminded of the scene when Ravan was ready for war with Ram and how, despite his brother Vibhishan’s pleading, cajoling, coercing, threatening and aggression failed to impress him and he went ahead in battle and faced the consequences.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Sunita. You are right, while negative thoughts have a quick appeal,positive thinking needs a lot of conditioning, I was impressed by how Maulana Wahidudin has logically presented his arguments in the book and the fact that at his age, he is working to spread the message of peace and positive thinking among people to stop more from succumbing to the call of extremists.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. While it is true that militants try to recruit oppressed people or people with very less choices in society, current development indicates trend towards contrary. Quite a few terrorists discovered lately were highly educated and in secure jobs. This indicates there are many other factors at play.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A brilliant way to describe the inspirational outcome of a wonderful book. Though I haven’t read it yet, but one of my friends was recently speaking of it in the same revered tone. The world is passing through a dark phase and, the faith on humanity needs to reinstate. I firmly believe that NO religion speaks of any violence. It is the ulterior motives of leaders and ignorance as well as gullibility of the young people that produce terrorism and terrorists…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for acquainting us with the humanistic ideas of the respected scholar Maulana Wahiuddin Khan the founder of the Centre of Peace and Spirituality and the author of the book
    ‘Age of Peace’. Swami Vivekananda said , “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall enjoy the earth.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This seems interesting Somali. Since it comes from someone who has deeper knowledge on Islam and what it teaches, it ought to be read and understood. The stereotypes being associated with people and certain groups is the cause of an aggravation of evil in society. I am only wondering on one thing – do people who begin with hate really end in repentance? I am going to read the book to find out more on this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes Sunaina, that is what he says..many of those who engage in terrorism or even in the production of weapons of destruction are known to have suffered from severe pangs of guilt. Even Alfred Noble owned an Arms Factory and was called the Merchant of Death. In the later part of his life he decided to leave behind his vast fortune for promoting peace and achievements in other fields.
      I strongly recommend that you read the book. It is full of insights and presents very balanced views, which is why it inspires.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This is indeed thought-provoking. Guilt can be strong motivator for change. But guilt comes after the deed. The fear of guilt, and its seething pain need to be present before – conscience and an awakening of conscience is what is needed urgently. I have looked up the link Somali. I feel the need to read it now. Thanks for sharing.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I must say Somali, it won’t have been a better time to bring the topic to the fore. I was just watching the debate in NDTV on “PEACE” by the Nobel Peace Laureate. Yes, with such scholarly thoughts and words of wisdom, it only enlightens us and we all need it badly when the scene around us slipping from our hand.

    Peace is bruised and battered.

    Social justice is key to the balance and the managing the composition of any society, it is injustice, it is exploitation, it is ill treatment, it is divide between good and the evil, the rich and the poor and the power and the powerless, all adding up to the genesis of extremism and roots of terrorism. It is nothing to do with religion, it is unfortunately the scapegoat and the perpetrator escape justification in the pretext of protecting their own religion.

    Yes, this book seems to be wonderful resource and the right source for educating and expanding our horizon of looking at this problem affecting the peace that we are confronting and trying to put the conflict and confrontation away and bringing haronmy and development to the society.

    Thanks Somali for sharing such a lovely book and with such precise analysis and insight as take away.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you Nihar for the thoughtful remark. The author says it is important to tap the energy of youth and engage them in spreading the word of peace rather than letting them get carried away by violence. The book made me appreciate the relevance of Gandhiji’s policy of non violence and giving utmost importance to peace over and above all other parameters because when peace is disrupted nothing can be achieved.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Such a detailed and inspiring post. I’m amazed to know how a book inspired you to bring forward this message and talk about one such person who wishes to spread peace. I agree. It kills us Muslims as much as it does to any other person when such acts happen, as it tries to bring our religion in the wrong light.

    Beautiful composition and loved how you presented it 🙂

    You can read my post on this topic as well and share your views:

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Superb review Somali. You have really read the book in detail and shared some wonderful thoughts from it. All I can say is that if one ur review its as good as having read the book! Maulana Sb’s teachings and thoughts are really the need of the hour in today’s times especially when our resourceful youth are being misguided into taking the wrong path. I am sharing this thought provoking post with Rajat. He will be delighted to read it to Maulana Sb, who will also be as much delighted himself 😀. Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is the only book which explain the practical way to achieve peace by re-engineering the minds of people by replacing their ideology of violence by ideology of peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. SOMALI mam I with our team from Mumbai thank you for highlighting the books The Age of Peace…I am the disciple of maulana Wahiduddin Khan and attached to his mission…the whole team in Mumbai working to spread this true face of islam to all…its a wonderful book.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I believe in secularity due to which this review and post just nt inspire but shows us that actually the reasons….
    any one who believes in the cause will understand each and evry point mentioned and would agree and relate..

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hey Somali – here after a long hiatus, lots of catching up to do with your awesome posts!
    And what a post this is to start with – terrorism is never justified and it only takes a toll on innocent people and children.

    That this book comes from an Islamic scholar has pleasantly surprised me. The terrorist activities all over the world have tainted Islam and there is a need to correct it. This book seems to address both these issues perfectly. I am adding this book to my TBR list!

    Thanks for bringing to us a good book Somali!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on Wisdom of Koran and commented:

    This is a wonderful and comprehensive review of Maulana Sb’s book “The Age of Peace” which is alsso his latest book published just a few months back.

    The book has been read, analysed and studied fully by the reviewer Ms. Somali Chakrabarti on her blog. Reading the review will surely kindle the interest in any reader to go and grab the book. Grateful to Somali ji for an insightful and most enjoyable post.

    Read the book online here or order a copy here


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