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Asian spirituality and its impact on our world

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Islam's Modern Saint

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890-1988) was leader of the Khudai Khidmatgars, a nonviolent Muslim army that took on the might of the British Empire with stunning success. Khan has deservedly been described as Islam's St. Francis, and will be recognised in history as one of the great Muslims.

Structure, Chance and Choice

April 2005

Abdul Ghaffar Khan and the Khudai Khidmatgars are an excellent example of the role of structure, chance and choice in shaping nonviolent religious militancy.

Three Peace Forces

December 2004

The Khudai Khidmatgars, Shanti Sena and Nonviolent Peaceforce are compared and contrasted in terms of their peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding roles.

Prisms and Prisons

November 2004

The influence of ethnoreligious nationalism and to a lesser extent religious fundamentalism on the nonviolent militancy of the Khudai Khidmatgars is examined in this brief essay, arguing that from the vast repository of Islamic tradition and ideas the Khudai Khidmitgars used Islam to give form to a forceful dimension of their nonviolent resistance and peacemaking work.

Development Revealed

September 2003

This essay uses the example of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and the Khudai Khidmatgars to explore the inclusion of the spiritual dimension in the teaching and practice of development. Selfless service, revolutionary organisation, and cultural change are examined in the context of drawing together love, power, and the intellect as a force for development. It concludes by calling for the use of a spiritual imagination as complementary approach to that of C. Wright Mills' well-known sociological imagination.

Bacha Khan in Afghanistan: A Memoir

June 2002

Written by a former member of the Pakistani Intelligence Services in Afghanistan, this memoir recounts details of Khan's life in Afghanistan after the partition of India. In addition to its historic significance, it also contains an incisive introduction outlining Khan's remarkable achievements in rising out of a stagnant society to be a leader of rare spiritual depth.

Two Islamic Soldiers

October 2001

Delving into the shadows of history, this essay explores the lives of two men in Afghanistan and Pakistan for insights into religion and the war in Afghanistan. These men, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and General Akhtar Abdur Rahman Shaheed, led two entirely different movements drawing upon religion before the Taliban. Their lives illuminate universal truths on the role of religion in nurturing peace and war.

South Asian Peace

Should Pakistan and India Bury the Hatchet?

August 2003

Artists and scholars share their thoughts on building peace between India and Pakistan.

The Superman


Sri Aurobindo reaches startling heights in this essay on human ideals, taking as a starting point Nietzsche's conception of the superman. His discussion of the interplay of love, power and knowledge combines the beauty of poetry with the wisdom of a timeless thinker.

Lamps of Wisdom

Renowned for their inspiring insights, these passages are glimpses into the underlying unity shared by Asia's spiritual traditions.

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