1988 Templeton Prize Laureate Inamullah Khan
By Abby Ponticello
In 1973, the first Templeton Prize was given to Mother Teresa. In 2023, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this award. Over the next 52 weeks, we will highlight each of our laureates and reflect on their impact on the world. From humanitarians and saints to philosophers, theoretical physicists, and one king, the Templeton Prize has honored extraordinary people. Together, they have pushed the boundaries of our understanding of the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it, making this (we humbly think) the world’s most interesting prize.
In 1988, the Templeton Prize was awarded to Dr. Inamullah Khan — who was notably the first Muslim recipient. Dr. Khan was the secretary-general of the World Moslem Congress and a leader of the World Conference on Religion and Peace.
While Dr. Khan was recognized by many for his efforts to advocate for Islamic peace and unity, he also faced allegations of anti-semitism after being publicly announced as the Templeton Prize recipient. Due to controversy surrounding Khan’s views, the Templeton Prize ceremony was delayed and later awarded in Melbourne, Australia.
In his acceptance speech at the Templeton Prize award ceremony, Dr. Khan said:
One very important aspect of religion, which many people forget, is our accountability to God about our acts and deeds. We may bluff ourselves and cheat others but not God, as He is All-knowing and All-seeing. He even knows what is in our minds and in the deep recesses of our hearts.
The Templeton Prize encourages people of all religions to take religion seriously and make it a life- giving force, so that one should not be content merely by praying and fasting and by offering some charities, but to go for more concrete and meaningful services in different fields of human welfare. We should not only play our part in interfaith dialogues but render into practice what we learn from these for the human good. It is not only through words but through deeds that we can make the world a better place to live in., This is the Progress in Religion that we are looking for.Inamullah Khan
Read contemporary accounts of the events surrounding the 1988 Templeton Prize:
–Anti-Semitism Charges Lead To Delay on Religion Prize
–ANTI-SEMITISM CHARGE DELAYS RELIGION AWARD
-Learn more about Inamullah Khan, 1988 Templeton Prize laureate