Community up in arms against Islamic preacher 18 Nov 2008, 0308 hrs IST, Mohammed Wajihuddin , TNN
MUMBAI: Controversy is the middle name of this man who likes to wear many hats. Dr Zakir Naik — Islamic scholar, televangelist, director of Islamic Research Foundation and owner of Peace TV — has an uncanny knack for sparking a row.
In the eye of a storm again for saying that “seeking intercession of sacred Islamic personalities, including that of Prophet Mohammed, with God is heresay,” the doctor from Mumbai looks in trouble this time. Earlier this month, the UP government banned his lectures in the state. Now, his 10-day peace conference in Mumbai is under threat.
However, Naik apologised and bought peace for his remarks. “I was quoted out of context. There was a slip of tongue. I apologise for the hurt my remarks might have caused,” he said on Friday, kicking off the conference.
Though the Sunni Muslim groups, which have been agitating against the preacher, have put off their protests for now, the community at large doesn’t seem to be convinced with Naik’s explanation that he was quoted out of context.
“He is neither an `aalim’ (scholar) nor a `mufti’ (one who gives fatwa). He is free to practice Islam as he wishes. But he should not issue fatwas from public platforms,” says Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, general-secretary of the All India Ulema Council.
Naik’s remarks have sent shivers through the community, making leaders to speak against him. “We need voices of unity, not division at a time when the western world is demonizing Islam. Why does Naik need to touch controversial topics?,” asks Shia scholar Maulana Zaheer Abbas Rizvi.
Brought up on the heavy dose of Saudi Arabia-backed Salafist-Wahabi Islam, Naik follows a supremacist ideology. “The Saudis think they have a divine right to convert Muslims across the world into a puritanical Salafist Islam. Naik is their public face,” says sociologist Imtiaz Ahmed. “The exclusivist Wahabism is inimical to an inclusive, tolerant Islam practised in India. I have heard him a couple of times on TV and am deeply disappointed.”
Naik’s TV show, watched across the subcontinent, has landed him in the soup on a few occasions. His remark on Osama bin Laden had created quite a controversy some time back. “If Osama bin Laden is terrorising America or the enemies of Islam, every Muslim should become a terrorist. I can’t call Osama a terrorist because his involvement in the dastardly act of 9/11 is not proved,” Naik had said, defending the most wanted man in the world.
Group threatens to disrupt Zakir Naik’s conference 8 Nov 2008, 2357 hrs IST, Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN
MUMBAI: Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik’s remark that help should be sought from Allah alone, and not even from Prophet Mohammed, could threaten a sectarian clash between Sunni and Deobandi Muslims.
A day after a Lucknow-based mufti issued a fatwa against Naik, a group of Sunni ulema from Mumbai, on Saturday, accused him of working at the behest of Saudi Arabia-backed Wahabis and Deobandis. The group also called for Naik’s immediate arrest and a ban on his conference scheduled to be held at the Somaiya ground in Sion from November 14 to 23. The group has also threatened to disrupt Naik’s Islamic conference if the state government did not cancel it.
“If the conference takes place, we will be compelled to go there and ask him to explain his blasphemous remark,” said Mufti Ashraf Raza Qadri, a senior cleric belonging to Idara Sharia, the Shariah court of Sunni Muslims in Maharashtra.
However, community leaders are worried and feel that this could lead to a confrontation between the Deobandi and the Sunni sects.
This is not the first time Naik has been caught in the eye of a storm. Last month, Uttar Pradesh government had to cancel the permission granted to Naik to hold meetings across the state after he was accused of supporting Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Naik vehemently denied supporting Osama bin Laden but refused to label him a terrorist. “I condemn the perpetrators of 9/11. However, there is no evidence to establish Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the World Trade Centre bombing. I can, therefore, neither call him a terrorist nor hail him as a saint because I don’t know him.”
Last year, Naik had stirred up a controversy with his statement that Allah’s blessings be upon Yazid, whom a section of Muslims, especially the Shias, call the killer of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussein. “There is a difference of opinion whether Yazid should be condemned or hailed. Those who are offended by my statement are free not to believe me, but they cannot deny me my right to speak what I believe is true,” he had said.
Meanwhile, Shia scholar Zaheer Abbas Rizvi said that some city-based Shias were also planning to launch a campaign against Dr Naik.
Sunni Muslims demand ban of Zakir Naik’s talk DNA Correspondent Sunday, November 09, 2008 03:24 IST
On November 8, 2008, members of India’s premier Sunni Muslim organisation, Raza Academy came together to demand a ban on Zahir Naik’s programme ‘Insaniyat Ke Liye Hal’ to be held from November 14-23 at Somaiya grounds.
Maulana Ashraf Raza of the Darul-Uloom Hanfia Rizvia, Colaba also issued a fatwa against Naik. Members alleged that Naik had made derogatory statements about Islam’s prophet. Maulanas from the All India Sunni Tableeq Community were present. Members complained that on many occasions Naik had urged crowds to pray to Allah alone instead of Prophet Mohammed Paigambar, as he claims the prophet is human.
They also alleged that Naik had praised, Yazid, the murderer of Imam Hussein. Saeed Noori, general secretary of Raza Academy said, “Naik has been very indifferent about Osama Bin Laden. He hasn’t said anything about Osama, even though we see him as a terrorist.”
Ebrahim Tahil, member of the academy said, “He earlier targeted Christians and is now against Sunni Muslims. We have met with RR Patil and KL Prasad urging them to ban the programme.” He added, “We want to know from where Naik gets his funds?”
What if the ban is not enforced? Noori said, “Maulanas from the Sunni community plan to confront Naik on his knowledge of Islam before the public during the programme.” DNA tried getting in touch with Naik, but he was unavailable for comment.
Zakir Naik’s statement raises storm 8 Nov 2008, 0452 hrs IST, Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN Print Email Discuss Share Save Comment Text: MUMBAI: Nearly a year after he stirred up a tempest with his statement that Allah’s blessings be upon Yazid, the killer of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussein, Dr Zakir Naik is back in the eye of another storm. A section of Sunni and Shia Muslims is up in arms against the Islamic preacher for saying that help should be sought from Allah alone, not even from the Prophet himself.
The 37-year-old suited, bearded Dr Naik who also owns the religious channel Peace TV, is a familiar figure known for his preachings. He founded the Islamic Research Foundation and travels all over the world giving speeches, especially in the Middle East. On Friday, the former medical professional told a news channel that Allah alone should be approached for help. Immediately, a group of Sunni Muslims rushed to home minister R R Patil demanding a ban on his Islamic conference to be held in the city between November 14 and 24.
Dr Naik said he was being targeted for a statement which most Muslims believe in and share. “I stand by what I said,” he told TOI. “And I didn’t commit any sacrilege. The majority of Muslims across the world believe that Allah is the almighty and help should be sought only from him. Parts of my earlier speeches are being taken out of context and presented with malicious intent.”
Last month, a group of Shias in UP put pressure on the administration to stop the series of lectures Dr Zakir Naik was supposed to deliver in Allahabad and Lucknow because of the Yazid controversy.
On Friday, a Lucknow-based mufti issued a fatwa against him for allegedly supporting Osama bin Laden.
“I never supported Osama. I have always been saying 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. Here again my statement has been twisted,” he said.
When asked if he felt threatened, Dr Naik replied, “Only cowards get scared. They have no guts to face the truth and level baseless, false charges. My programme in Mumbai is on and even R R Patil has accepted my invitation.”
Zakir Naik apologizes for his statement, Peace Conference to go on Submitted by Tarique on Fri, 11/14/2008 – 17:13.
* Indian Muslim
By TwoCircles.net staff reporter,
Mumbai: Famous Islamic preacher Dr. Zakir Naik, who was under attack for some of his statements have apologized for hurting the sentiments of other Muslims. A meeting was organized by the Mumbai Assistant Commission of Police yesterday where Dr. Naik apologized and signed a letter of repentance.
In the meeting Mufi Mahmood Akhtar and Mufti Ashraf Raza objected to Dr. Zakir Naik’s statement regarding Prophet Mohammad that it was insulting to the Prophet. Dr. Zaik acceted his mistake and said it was unintentional on his part.
A Letter of Repentance was prepared in front of the Joint Commission of Police L K Prasad which Dr. Naik signed and promised that he will never repeat this statement that can hurt the sentiments of the followers of other sects.
Representavie of Ulama Ahl-e-Sunnat Maulana Mueen Mian, Hafiz Athar, Saeed Noori, and Maulana Yusuf Raza participated in the meeting. Meeting also decided that since Dr. Naik has apologized, the ten-day long Peace Conference may go on now.
Asalamu Alikum wb our respected scholars of Islam, My question is regarding the famous daee of Islam Dr.Zakir Naik whether the method & way of his preaching,debating, studing different religons’ scriptures are valid in the light of Quran & Hadith or not, and should Muslims learn his Dawah techniques or not? what are the particular things in his work that are against Islam? please send me a private email.
Answer: 7077 21 Aug, 2008
The statements made by Dr Zakir Naik indicate that he is a preacher of Ghair Muqallidin, he is of free mind and does not wear Islamic dress. One should not rely upon his speeches.
Peace, he says: Letter published in Daily The Nation, Pakistan November 15, 2008
Something good is happening to the Muslim world. A man with half-Muslim parentage will soon take oath as the President of United States. Recently, a number of Muslim scholars, activists and clerics got together and issued a fatwa delinking Islam from terror. An 18-coach train, aptly named Sheikh-ul-Hind Express, set off from Deoband carrying 2,000 clerics. They were going with a message of peace and integration to Hyderabad where some 6,000 clerics from 21 states of India congregated to issue consensus edicts against terrorism. Shaking off the previous mode of shock and denial, the Indian Muslim community has entered a phase of introspection and redefinition. This collective body of Muslim clerics took another commendable step by denouncing televangelist Zakir Naik’s speeches, demanding a ban on him. Popular Muslim resentment against Naik became evident last December when he used the phrase ‘May God be pleased with him’ for Yezid, the debauch ruler of Ummayed and murderer of Imam Hussain. Throughout Islamic history, these words have been used only for the Prophet’s trusted companions. I have been particularly disturbed by the growing popularity of Mr. Naik, the founder of Peace TV and president of the Islamic Research Foundation.
I don’t consider Mr. Naik to be an Islamic scholar per se. He can best be described as a preacher with computer-like memory of almost all religious scriptures including the Bible, Torah, Vedas and Quran. Naik loves to debate with Hindus on the Vedas, with Jains about vegetarianism and atheists on religion and science. In the garb of inter-faith dialogues, he not only runs down all major religions, but also rubbishes as haraam (sinful) all Muslim devotional aspects that differ from his viewpoint. In the subcontinent, Islam is a legacy of the Sufis who gave us traditions of syncretism and communal harmony. By condemning followers of Sufism as ‘grave-worshippers’, the ‘scholars’ of Salafi and Wahabi ideology like Naik reject an entire historical body of Islamic scholarship, jurisprudence and almost 80 per cent of Islamic literature. Dialogue within the Muslim community on what form the rightful Islamic traditions should take had long been overdue. Thankfully, Muslims are now alert to need of the times, identifying and rejecting intolerant elements within them. -SADIA DEHLVI, Delhi, India, November 11.