Gandhi & the Islamic Connection

March 30, 2009

M.K.Gandhi’s views and movements are popular over the world. Seen as an inspiration, he earns a special place in the hearts of many as a charismatic leader who led by principles of simplicity and non-violence. But not many are aware of the role played by Islamic teachings in shaping up the man.

Gandhi drew inspirations from the glorious Quran, the blessed life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that of his companions. Of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he said in an interview with ‘Young India’ (September 23, 1924) –  “I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life.”

Writing in ‘Harijan’ (issue dated 27-07-1937), Gandhi advised his fellow Congressmen on leading a life of simplicity in this fashion:

“I cannot present before you the examples of Sri Ram Chandr and Sri Krishn as they are not personalities recognized by history. I cannot help but present to you names of Abu Bakar (ra) and Umar (ra). They were leaders of a vast empire, yet they lived a life of austerity.”

An even lesser famous quote is the observation of Gandhi about the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (r.a). Gandhi said “The best thing to happen to India would be to be reigned by a dictator as just and upright as Umar, (ra).”

Why did a non-violent exponent of Gandhi’s stature regard the rule of such a man as the ‘best thing’?

The answer lies in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and that of his companions…


18 Responses to “Gandhi & the Islamic Connection”

  1. Sohan said

    you terrorist are now hijacking gahndhi, ahha if he says so , he dont have the backbone to telll that mughals did,

    • imran said


  2. Saleem said

    It reminds of famous lines from Iqbal

    Badshahat ho key jambhoori tamaashi ho
    Juda ho deen siyasat say to rah jaati hai changazi

    The parties play out jambhoori tamaasha to guarantee their votes bank, and misuse the emotionalities of common man, using nationalism,hollow slogans & fear. They do it in the absence of deen, which basically means a strong value system, Al-Islam.
    He liked Omar (May Allah be pleased with him) because he was just, and his justice was only out of fear of Allah that he will be held accoutable.

  3. Abrar said

    If this is the view of Mahatma about Islamic dictator (not Muslim dictator) why Indian people are averse about Islamic System of ruling?

    I feel if some one as sincere as omar comes to rule India, it should be bestowed to him… if it happens


  4. Najibur Rasul said

    These lines show how a great man like M.K.Gandhi thought about Islam. I wish the publisher his very best.

  5. Adil said

    This shows the greatness of Mahatama Gandhi & Greatness of Islam as a whole…

  6. anu said

    i love sir mahatma gandhi… he z inocent n just a person who alwyz got evry 1 heart.. sailute 2 gandhii.. lv u

  7. umair said

    ya it is true…it is written in allahabad railway station very clearly that ‘hukumat ho to farooq jaisi: mahatma gandhi’.

  8. ARYA said

    i can’t understand as to why someone has to prove every now and then through different routes that islam is great or it even exits OR it promotes peace OR that every great thing has emanated out of it. They must not behave like this as it shows their inferiority complex; for the reasons best known to them.

  9. MuQeet said

    Gandhi made a blunder mistake of terming Umar as ‘dictator’. The truth is far from that.
    Umar was the Caliph of Islam. In today’s parlance he was the President of the Islamic Empire. He was voted to power. Dictators are not chosen by people!!
    Ten and half years of Umar’s rule was the golden period of Islam and thats why, Gandhi was inspired by Umar (Radhi-Allahu-Anhu)

    • Scrutator said

      If Gandhi made a blunder in declaring Umar to be a dictator, then his greater blunder was to write the rest of his comment too !

  10. Aamir Vachku said

    Br0ther! If U hv doubt U go and chk it Up! Y u mkng th0Z snselss remarKs…
    the Thng Iz U r Nt ready 2 accept trUth, U r frstatd 1 , ths vRy frsttn mks th0Z cmnt!!
    U knw t0daY ISLAM is m0st gR0wng religi0n , Aftr 9/11 in span f 9 mnths atlst 22000 Amercan embrasd Islam and atlst 20000 eurpns…
    They wntd 2 chk Hw QURAN teachs terr0rism and thy cm0ut as Muslim aftr knwng wt the Islam realLy is!!
    U knw lrgst muslim cntry 2day is ind0nesia ,tll me wch sowrd mke thm muslm??
    frm the year 1934 t0 1984 thr ws 245 % growth of Islam , tl me wch war tuk plce durng that??

    one mre thng if Islam sprd on sword Y r U stll a N0n Muslim? evn aftr Mughls ruld india fr 1000 yr evry hindu wld hv been cnvrtd 2 Islam!!

  11. Aamir Vachku said


  12. Tahir Khan said

    Gandhi Ji just used the word dictator as a strict Teacher his point is not what we are discussing about, it is totally wrong interpretation & quoting out of context.

  13. rizwan khan said

    what my father of nation said its al true, and am very happy to know what gandhiji thinks about prophet muhammad(peace be upon him) and the khalifas hazrat abubakr and umar (r.a) . What gandhiji said that time its the need of hour now. We need a true hero to lead my india and to end all corruption, and bring peace and happines to my nation.

  14. rajiv said

    am scared to live under islamic rule.
    no non muslim likes to live in an islamic state.
    u may follow your belief but i have my own and i dont want some saudi to rule over my country.

  15. saleem meo said

    Whoever is a realistic thinker will find islam perfect n tht’s where solution to our evry prob lies.may v only learn to find it! East or west islam is the best.

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