Islam never taught terrorism or taught to support any terrorists, Islam never
taught to over rule the rights of women, neither prohibited girl’s education nor
backed any force marriage etc. How many times have you heard this from any
Muslim? May be many times but its sounds not too impressive when we see the
other side of the coin where majority of terrorists of the world are killing
innocents in the name of Islam, when we see Taliban is stopping young girls
from going to school and more blah blah!
But story does not end here, but it has got a new start from here when an
Indian medical doctor and a religious researcher became an orator and cleaned
many misconceptions, myths and false propaganda of people who raise their
finger against Islam which is undoubtedly a peaceful and pure religion, the
youngest religion of the world and now has also reached to the top position in
comparison to any other religion of the world regarding its followers.
According to Times Online, this doctor cleaned all those misconceptions about
Islam not only among non-Muslims but also among Muslims because if Islam is
blamed for anything wrong then the reason is the wrong teachings of correct
religion to them.
That is Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, very well known as Dr. Zakir Naik. A thin
bodied man wearing skull cap and western dress i.e. jacket and trouser
speaking confidently about Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and many
other religions of the world. He is remarkably intelligent and a fast learner who
has learned by hearted most of the holy books according to pages, verses and
This may be called the preface or the context setting paragraph for this report.
First, I will discuss about the life of Dr. Zakir Naik and then I will move towards
their work regarding preach and Islam.
Dr. Zakir Naik was born in Mumbai, India on the 18th of October, 1965. He is
Indian by nationality. His full name is Zakir Abdul Karim Naik .His public joint or
joint name is Dr. Zakir Naik.He got his medical degree from the University of
Mumbai but it is as an orator in Islam and Comparative Religions that he has
become renowned all over the world.
He is of Konkani descent. He attended St. Peter's High School (ICSE) in the city
of Mumbai (previously known as Bombay). Later he joined the Kishinchand
Chellaram College and then studied medicine at Topiwala National Medical
College and Nair Hospital in Mumbai. He then received his MBBS degree from
the University of Mumbai. In 1991 he gave up his activity as a medical doctor
and started working in the field of Da'wah or proselytizing of Islam.
He is an international speaker and writer on the subject of Islam and
comparative religion. He is one of the leading Daa'ees (propagators) of Islam.
By profession, he is a medical doctor but since 1991 he has become focused
only on preaching Islam and has become a well known scholar.
A medical doctor by degree, he is renowned as a dynamic international orator
on Islam and comparative religion.
Any person who listens to his question and answers session is going to be
astonished and overwhelmed as he clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears
misconceptions about Islam, using the Quran, authentic Hadith reciting each
and giving each Surah, Ayah number(by heart) and he has not only learned
Quran and Hadith by heart but has also learned several Bibles, the Talmud and
the Torah (the Jewish scriptures), the Mahabharata and the Bhagwat Gita (the
Hindu holy books), and other scriptures and gives very satisfying answer in
conjunction with reason, logic and scientific facts.
He has learned hundred and thousands of pages from different books by heart
and has the knowledge of scientific and mathematical facts and theories. He is
popular for his critical analysis and convincing answers to challenging questions
posed by audiences specially non-Muslims, after his public lecture. By the way
remember he is not 70 years old, but just 44.
Inspiration and his goal:
Dr Zakir Naik says he was inspired by the late Ahmed Deedat who had himself
been active in the field of Dawah for more than forty years. According to Dr.
Zakir Naik, his goal is to "concentrate on the educated Muslim youth who have
become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel that their
own religion is outdated" and that it was the duty of every Muslim to remove
"misconceptions" about Islam to counter what he considers as the Western
media’s anti-Islamic bias in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks upon the United States. He states that his main goal is to revive the
crucial fundamentals of Islam that most of the Muslim youth are either oblivious
to or poorly understand in context of modernity. He has lectured and authored
several books on Islam and comparative religion as well as those directed
towards removing misconceptions about Islam. Some of his articles are also
frequently published in Indian magazines like the Islamic Voice.
Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, the world famous orator on Islam and comparative
religion, who had called Dr. Zakir, "Deedat plus" in 1994, presented a plaque in
May 2000 awarded to Dr. Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik for his achievement in the
field of Dawah and the study of comparative religion. These are the words
which were engraved on the plaque
"Son, what you have done in 4 years had taken me 40 years to accomplish,
He appears regularly on many international T.V. channels in more than 100
countries of the world. He is regularly invited for T.V. and radio interviews.
More than a hundred of his talks, dialogues and debates are available on video
cassettes, video CDs and audio cassettes. By 2002, he had delivered more than
600 public talks in many countries, in addition to his numerous public talks
given in India.
In a lecture at Melbourne University, he argued that only Islam gave women
true equality. He stressed the importance of the headscarf by arguing that the
more “revealing Western dress” makes women more susceptible to sexual
harassment. Naik said that according to National Crime Victimization Survey
Bureau of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice) in the year 1996 alone everyday
on an average 2,713 rapes took place. Under Islamic jurisdiction, he said, a
man who raped a woman was punished with the death penalty. He states that
music intoxicates a person and takes one away from the path of Allah.
He has done speeches followed by the questions and answers session on the
topics such as
Focus on Islam and universal brotherhood
If the label shows your intent-wear it
Interest free economy: promulgated by the Quran
Religion in the right perspective
Islam the universal religion
Salah - the program towards righteousness
T.V. talks on Kuwait TV-2
Concept of God in major religions
Is the Quran God's word?
Muhammad(PBUH) in various world religion scriptures
Quran and modern science: conflict or conciliation
Concept of God in Hinduism, Christianity and Islam
Women rights in Islam
He has held many lectures around the world, he regularly holds lectures in
Mumbai, India, and every year since 2007 leads a 10-day “Peace Conference”
at Somaiya Ground, Sion, Mumbai with other prominent scholars, which
included Malaysian politician, Anwar Ibrahim in 2008.
Dialogues and controversies:
He has participated in several symposia and dialogues with prominent
personalities of other faiths. His most famous debate was a public dialogue with
William Campbell, a Christian missionary from the United States, on the topic of
"The Quran and the Bible in the light of science", which was held in Chicago,
Illinois on April 1, 2000.
In 2004, he visited New Zealand and then Australian capitals at the invitation of
Islamic Information and Services Network of Australia. In this conference in
Melbourne, according to a famous journalist Sushi Das, he extolled the moral
and spiritual superiority of Islam.
In December 2005, he took part in a debate with Dr William Cambell; the topic
was Islam and Christianity in the light of science, where both discussed
perceived scientific errors in the scriptures. At the end of the debate a weary
William Campbell was unable to answer any of the allegations that Dr. Zakir
Naik raised about the Bible. However, Zakir Naik was able to clear all the
misconceptions about the Quran.
On 21 January 2006, he held an inter-religious dialogue with Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar. The event was about the concept of God in Islam and Hinduism, the
aim being to bring understanding between the two major religions of India, and
at best to point out the commonalities between both Islam and Hinduism, such
as how idolatry is prohibited. It was held in Bangalore, India with up to 50,000
attending at the Palace Grounds.
In August 2006, his visit and conference in Cardiff (UK) was the object of
controversy when Welsh MP David Davies called for his appearance to be
cancelled. He described him as a ‘hate-monger’, and said his views did not
deserve a ‘public platform’; Muslims from Cardiff, however, defended Naik’s
right to speak in their city. Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim
Council of Wales, disagreed with Davies, stating that “people who know about
him (Naik) know that he is one of the most uncontroversial persons you could
find. He talks about the similarities between religions, and how should we work
on the common ground between them”, whilst also inviting Davies to discuss
further with Naik personally in the conference. The conference went ahead,
after the Cardiff council stated it was satisfied that he would not be preaching
In November 2007, the IRF organized a 10-day international Islamic conference
and exhibition titled ‘The Peace Conference’ at the Somaiya grounds in Mumbai
which witnessed huge gathering. Lectures on Islam were presented by him as
well as twenty other Islamic scholars from around the world.
Recently he has extended an invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to have an open
interfaith dialogue in front of a world audience on the Quran and the Bible. The
invitation has yet to be accepted.
Islamic Research Foundation (IRF):
In 1991 he founded the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) which is a non profit
organization, making charitable trust and as its Chairman, he actively promotes
Islamic understanding through television channels, radio programs, and the
internet and through the written word. The aim of the foundation is to get rid of
misconceptions about Islam and he does this through his intensive knowledge
about the Quran and the Hadith. DVDs and video recordings of his lectures and
debates are available on www.irf.net.
He is also the chairman of the IRF Educational Trust, and the president of
Islamic Dimensions. IRF is a non-profit Islamic organization that owns and
broadcasts the free-to-air TV channel network Peace TV from Mumbai, India.
The Islamic International School (IIS), Mumbai is also managed by the IRF
Educational Trust which imparts the best of education in an Islamic
environment for the children.
IRF uses modern technology for its activities, wherever feasible. Its
presentation of Islam reach millions of people worldwide through international
satellite T.V. channels, cable T.V. networks, internet and the print media. IRF's
activities and facilities provide the much needed understanding about the truth
and excellence of Islamic teachings - based on the glorious Quran and authentic
Hadith, as well as adhering to reasons, logic and scientific facts.
He has authored many books on Islam and comparative religion in order to
preach Islam and remove misconceptions about it especially in the non-
Muslim’s minds. The names of some of the books authored by him are
Replies to the most common questions asked by non-Muslims
Quran and modern science-compatible or incompatible
Concept of God in major religions
Islam and terrorism
Women’s rights in Islam-protected or subjugated?
Al-Quran-should it is read with understanding?
Is the Quran God’s word?
Islam and terrorism
Similarities between Hinduism and Islam
His salient skills:
He is a popular figure on various satellite and international TV channels all
around the world and he answers the questions raised by his audience about
Islam using the Quran and authentic Hadith. He has learnt these by heart and
each of his answers is validated by the exact number of the Surah as it appears
in the Quran. His knowledge extends not only to the Bible and the Torah (the
Jewish scriptures) but also includes the Indian holy books like the Mahabharata
and the Bhagwat Gita. In addition to his extensive religious knowledge he has
also learnt scientific and mathematical facts by heart and these are used in his
lectures to reply to questions posed by the audience. The audience does not
just comprise of Muslims but Non Muslims alike.
He is regularly quizzed and interviewed by the media worldwide, specially on
"Why Islam conflicts with issues of women’s rights, human rights, modern
science and secularism?” .But his dynamic resolve to dispel "media myths"
about Islam with facts, specific references and in proper context stands out to
rectify or neutralize the prejudice or bias (if any) about Islam.
At only 44 years, he explains the teachings of Islam and clears misconceptions
convincingly with the help of reason, logic and science. He has tremendous
ability to quote extensively from the Holy Quran and other religious scriptures.
One example of his abilities was revealed during an airport incident in Los
Angeles. Where the security precaution post-9/11 has spawned complaints by
visiting Muslims about harassment, especially over their inability to express
themselves well enough to give convincing answers. But not for Dr. Zakir
Naik, , who landed in Los Angeles airport on October 12 for a day's visit to
receive an award for Service to Islam and humanity given by the International
Islamic Internet University in Los Angeles.
With his beard and Islamic skullcap, Dr. Naik did not escape notice at Los
Angeles airport and so was immediately hauled in for questioning. After he was
taken to the investigation room for question and answers, the custom officers
started asking the question about different topics and also asked about his
views on Sep 11 attacks he condemned the attacks, then the officers asked
about the word “JIHAD”, he started quoting from several versions of the Bible,
the Holy Quran, the Talmud and the Torah (the Jewish scriptures), the
Mahabharata and the Bhagwat Gita (the Hindu holy books), and other
scriptures he know by heart. And he proved that the concept of true “JIHAD” is
not only Islamic but universal. Custom officers became curious and started
putting more and more question; he continued to reply with his wisdom,
knowledge and logic. Afterwards custom officers told that they were just
astonished and they had never seen a person with so much knowledge.
He continues to amaze people with his genius personality and continues to
travel around the word giving lectures and conducting Dawah training programs
including international training programs for training Muslims to effectively
convey the message of Islam.
In the issue dated 22 February, 2009 of the Indian Express list of “100 Most
Powerful Indians in 2009” amongst the billion plus population of India, he was
ranked No. 82.
In the special list of the “Top 10 Spiritual Gurus of India” he was ranked No. 3,
after Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, being the only Muslim in the list.
In the last 12 years, he has delivered more than 700 public talks in the U.S.A.,
Canada, U.K., Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, South Africa,
Mauritius, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Guyana (South
America) and many other countries, in addition to numerous public talks in
India. His list of guests includes ambassadors of the respected countries, army
generals, political leaders, sports persons, religious scholars, entrepreneurs,
and most importantly the ordinary people.
Views of different people about his personality and work:
A large number of people like their lifestyle, hard work and dedication for the
search of truth. He has thousands and millions of fans which have very positive
thinking about him and his dedicated work.
Because of the page limit, I will quote view of only one person which is a
professor and a sociologist and got higher academic positions at various
universities of the world.
Professor Thomas Blom Hansen has written in an article that Naik's style of
memorizing some portions of the Quran and Hadith literature in various
languages, and traveling abroad to debate Islam with theologians, has made
him extremely popular in Muslim circles. Although he usually speaks to
audiences of several hundreds, it is the videotapes of his talks which are widely
distributed. His talks are usually recorded in English, to be broadcast at
weekends on several cable networks in Mumbai's Muslim neighborhoods, and
on the channel Peace TV, which he co-promotes.
After knowing the life and work of this gentleman, it becomes our responsibility
to support such personalities which are working day and night for the preaching
of Islam. Being a Muslim, we should support the Islamic trust organizations like
IRF and Islamic International School (IIS).We should corporate with Islamic TV
channels such as peace TV. We should read the lifestyle of such great
personalities in order to become desirous of living like their lifestyle.