Aftab Ahamd Khan, born at Lahore, spent early days of childhood in East Pakistan [present Bangladesh]. Studied at FC College Lahore and later Government College [now GC University]. Took a break to get one year’s military training in newly introduced National Service as a volunteer. The military training culminated in his participation in 1971 war around Lahore-Kasur. His quest for knowledge lead him to obtain Masters in Business Administration’ and in ‘Political Science’. Besides government service he also worked in the ‘Corporate Sector’ in multinational environments. He observed divergent cultures during his world wide travels to North America, Europe, Middle East, China, Far East and Australia.
Two incidents influenced his approach towards proper understanding of religions for peace:
Firstly; As religious youth in teens, was highly influenced and motivated by the inflammatory sermons delivered by local mosque Khateeb [Imam/prayer leader] in favor of armed Jihad. This ultimately lead to joining Army of Islamic republic, initially as a volunteer and subsequently adopting military as a career. The Mullah also spoke against Molana Abul A’la Modudi, not living very far, which created an urge in the young mind to kill him being infidel, holding anti Islamic views. Thanks God, there were no Taliban and suicide bomber trainers, it remained an urge, never materialized. Allah saved from a heinous sin and crime.
Secondly; In 2001, while travelling to Abbottabad he noticed wall chalking on many mosques on the roadside;کافروں کو جہاں پاؤ قتل کرو “Kafroon ko jehan pao qatal karo-Quran“ [Kill the non believers where ever you find them-Quran]. This was quite disturbing, how Islam, the religion of peace, could urge its followers for such an insane behaviour, not compatible with the life of Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him], his companions and hundreds of years of Muslim rule world over? The non Muslims lived as peaceful citizens rather than being killed in Muslim empires.
Hence it was decided to carry out in-depth study of the Quran and later Bible. It was astonishing that while critics of Islam, twist the meanings of Quranic verses to extract the meanings of their liking, same is being done by some [not all] of the semi literate extremists calling themselves Moulana [Islamic scholar]. He decided to share the knowledge gained through research to remove the misconception about Quran, Islam and Muslims. The scope of research got expanded to include Bible, Christianity, Judaism and even Atheism. He got further convinced of reality of obedience and surrender to One God, the Creator of universe, which many great scientists and philosophers also accept:
“Did blind chance know that there was light and what was its refraction… These and other suchlike considerations, always have, and always will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, who has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared”: Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727).
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind”: Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
“Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one”: Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
“Treat the other man’s faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine”: Henry S. Haskins.