Khamis, 6 Ogos 2009
USTAZ ZAKIR NAIK's FOLLOWERS
Zakir Naik was born on October 18, 1965 in Mumbai, India and is of Konkani descent.He attended St. Peter's High School (ICSE) in the city of Mumbai. 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.
Naik says he was inspired by the late Ahmed Deedat who had himself been active in the field of Da'wah for more than forty years. According to 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Muslim youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel that their own religion is outdated" and that it was the duty of every Muslim to remove misconceptions about Islam to counter what he considers as the Western media’s anti-Islamic bias in the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 has lectured and authored several books on Islam and Comparative religion as well as those directed towards removing misconceptions about Islam.Some of is articles are also frequently published in Indian magazines like the Islamic Voice.
Thomas Blom Hansen, a sociologist who held academic positions at various universities, has written that Naik's style of memorizing the Qur'an and hadith literature in various languages, and travelling 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.Topics he speaks on include: "Islam and Modern Science", "Islam and Christianity", and "Islam and secularism", among others.
Lectures, Debates and Controversies
Naik has held many debates and 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.
In 2004, Naik visited New Zealand and then Australian capitals at the invitation of Islamic Information and Services Network of Australasia. In his conference in Melbourne, according to journalist Sushi Das however, "Naik extolled the moral and spiritual superiority of Islam and lampooned other faiths and the West in general", adding that Naik's words "fostered a spirit of separateness and reinforced prejudice".
In December 2005, Naik 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.
Khushwant Singh, a prominent Indian journalist, argues that Naik's pronouncements are "juvenile" and said that "they seldom rise above the level of undergraduate college debates, where contestants vie with each other to score brownie points".
Political Analyst Khaled Ahmed considers that Zakir Naik, by his claims of Islam's superiority over other religious faiths, practices what he calls reverse Orientalism.In a lecture at Melbourne University, Naik argued that only Islam gave women true equality. He stressed the importance of the headscarf by arguing that "revealing Western dress" makes women more susceptible to rape. Naik asserted that about 2700 rapes took place daily in the United States. Under Islam, he said, a man who raped a woman was punished with the death penalty.
On 21 January 2006, Naik 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 enlightment and understanding between the two religions. It was held in Bangalore, India with up to 50,000 attending at the Palace Grounds.
In August 2006, Naik's visit and conference in Cardiff (UK) were 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 extremist views.
Following a lecture by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006, Naik offered to engage in a live public debate with him, but the Pope has not responded to this invitation.
In November 2007, the IRF organized a 10-day international Islamic conference and exhibition titled The Peace Conference at the Somaiya grounds in Mumbai. Lectures on Islam were presented by Naik as well as twenty other speakers. During one of the lectures, Naik provoked anger amongst members of the Shia communities at the conference when he mentioned the words “Radiallah ta'la anho” (meaning 'May Allah be pleased with him') after mentioning the name of Yazid I and made remarks that the battle of Karbala was political.Others however believed the comment was blown out of proportion.