A Beautiful Non Muslim Sister Accepts Islam – Dr Zakir Naik
Zakir Naik (born 18 October 1965 in Mumbai, India) is an Indian Islamic preacher, who has been called an “authority on comparative religion”, “perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in India”, and “the world’s leading Salafi evangelist”. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), and founder of the “comparative religion” Peace TV channel, through which he reaches a reported 100 million viewers. Unlike many Islamic preachers, his lectures are colloquial, given in English, not Urdu or Arabic, and he wears a suit and tie rather than traditional garb.
Before becoming a public speaker, he trained as a medical doctor. He has published booklet versions of lectures on Islam and comparative religion. Although he has publicly disclaimed sectarianism in Islam, he is regarded by some as an exponent of the Salafi ideology, and, by some, as a radical Islamic televangelist propagating Wahhabism.
Zakir Naik was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. He attended Kishinchand Chellaram College and studied medicine at Topiwala National Medical College & BYL Nair Charitable Hospital and later the University of Mumbai, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS).
In 1991 he started working in the field of Dawah, and founded the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Naik said in 2006, that he was inspired by Ahmed Deedat, an Islamic preacher, having met him in 1987. (Naik is sometimes referred to as “Deedat plus”, a label given to him by Deedat himself.)
Naik founded the Islamic International School in Mumbai. and United Islamic Aid, which provides scholarship to poor and destitute Muslim youth.
The Islamic Research Foundation website describes Naik as “the ideologue and driving force behind Peace TV Network”.
Naik’s wife, Farhat Naik, works for the women’s section of the Islamic Research foundation (IRF).
Lectures and debates
Naik has held many debates and lectures around the world. Anthropologist Thomas Blom Hansen has written that Naik’s style of memorising the Quran and Hadith literature in various languages, and his related missionary activity, has made him extremely popular in Muslim circles. Many of his debates are recorded and widely distributed in video and DVD media and online. His talks have been recorded in English and broadcast on weekends on several cable networks in Mumbai’s Muslim neighbourhoods, and on the Peace TV channel, which he co-produces. Topics he speaks on include: “Islam and Modern Science”, “Islam and Christianity”, and “Islam and secularism”. The Indian government banned the Peace TV channel in 2012. According to the New York Times quoting an anonymous Indian journalist, the Mumbai police have barred him from holding conferences in recent years “because he stirs controversy”, and Indian satellite providers have refused to broadcast his television channel, Peace TV.
In April 2000, Naik debated with William Campbell in Chicago on the topic of “The Qur’an and the Bible: In the Light of Science”, one of his most-cited debates. On 21 January 2006 Naik held an inter-religious dialogue with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bangalore about the concept of God in Islam and Hinduism. In February 2011 Naik addressed the Oxford Union via video link from India. Every year since November 2007 Naik has led a 10-day Peace Conference at Somaiya Ground, Sion, Mumbai. Lectures on Islam have been presented by Naik and twenty other Islamic speakers.
Australia 2004 and Wales 2006
In 2004 Naik, at the invitation of the Islamic Information and Services Network of Australasia, made an appearance at the University of Melbourne, where he argued that only Islam gave women true equality. He said the more “revealing Western dress” makes women more susceptible to rape. Sushi Das of The Age commented that “Naik extolled the moral and spiritual superiority of Islam and lampooned other faiths and the West in general”, further criticising that Naik’s words “fostered a spirit of separateness and reinforced prejudice”.
In August 2006 Naik’s visit and conference in Cardiff caused controversy when Welsh MP David Davies called for his appearance to be cancelled. He said Naik was a “hate-monger”, and that his views did not deserve a public platform; Muslims from Cardiff, however, defended Naik’s right to speak in the 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.
Courtesy : Wikipedia