Dr. Zakir Naik and the controversy

By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net

Renowned Islamic scholar and preacher Dr. Zakir Naik angered a section of Sunnis and Shias by his statement to a private TV channel that a Muslim should seek help only from Allah and no one else, not even the Prophet.

Angered by his statement a section of the community reportedly approached the home minister of Maharashtra RR Patil and demanded a ban on the Islamic conference which he is organizing between November 14 and 24 in Mumbai.

The 43 year old medical practitioner told reporters that by saying this he has not done any thing against the principles of Islam. Whatever he has said is essential of “Tauhid” which is the soul of “Imaan”. A big section of Muslims across the world believe that Only Allah is the All Mighty and worthy of worship and help should be sought only from him and no one else he added.

Photo by Musa abu A’isha

Dr. Naik enjoys a fan following across the world because of his critical analysis of Islam and his knowledge on comparative religion. He is the founder-president of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and also runs Peace TV, an Islamic television.

He travels across the world giving speeches and lectures on Islam and comparative religion. A big section of Muslim across the world appreciates his efforts to clear misconceptions about Islam through his lectures and talks.

There was another Fatwa against him by some Shia clergy of UP. Last Friday Lucknow based Mufti Abul Irfan Mian Firangi Mahali issued a fatwa against Dr. Naik describing him as a kafir (agnostic). The fatwa recommends that Dr. Naik be ex-communicated from Islam.

The Mufti pointed out that Dr. Naik supports Osama Bin Laden and calls upon the Muslim youths to become terrorists. He also criticized Dr. Naik for his alleged glorification of Yazeed who killed Imam Hussein the maternal grand son of the Prophet and a person considered holy and respectable by the Shias across the world.

Dr. Naik on the other hand defended himself and clarified that he has never supported either terrorism or Osama. He added that he has always been saying that all those who kill innocents are terrorists. He pointed out that people usually misquote his statements from the speeches he delivered in past.

For instance, he pointed out that the actual statement goes like this that “all those who kill innocents are terrorists. So if the USA kills innocents, it doesn’t have the right to call Osama a terrorist unless it owns up its own crime.”

On the accusation of instigating Muslims to become terrorists he clarified that he had said Muslims should become terrorists in the sense that they should strike terror in the hearts of criminals and anti-socials but again the statement has been misquoted he added.

Zakir Naik on Taliban and Osama Bin Laden

Last year he was center of an international controversy by saying radi Allaho anho (may Allah be pleased with him) after taking Yazid’s name, a traditional prayer reserved for the companions of the Prophet Mohammad.

Last month Dr. Naik was supposed to deliver a series of public lectures in Allahabad and Lucknow. But Shia groups started protesting against Dr. Naik. Soon the administration had to stop the lectures citing law and order problem.

It is not the case that Dr. Naik hasn’t got any support on this issue. Many Muslim organizations have come in his support. All-India Sunni Board and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Foundation came to defend him saying that Dr. Naik is one of the most respected scholars and doing an excellent work through his efforts to clear the misconceptions about Islam.

Dr. Naik who was born in Mumbai on October 18, 1965 is a medical doctor by profession. The website of Islamic Research Foundation describes him as “international orator on Islam and Comparative Religion. Dr. Zakir Naik clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears misconceptions about Islam, using the Qur’an, authentic Hadith and other religious Scriptures as a basis, in conjunction with reason, logic and scientific facts.”

He has also been appreciated by his efforts to engage in inter religious dialogue.

He has given hundreds of public lectures on Islam and comparative religion. He has also authored many books including Replies To The Most Common Questions asked By Non-Muslims, Qur’an and Modern Sciences- Compatible Or incompatible, Concepts of God in Major Religions, Islam and Terrorism, Women’s Right in Islam- Protected Or subjugated, among others.