Zakir Naik recently gave a lecture in the Maldives entitled “Jihad and Terrorism – an Islamic Perspective”. The reality however is that this lecture did not present the Islamic perspective, but rather Naik’s own misguided and distorted view of Jihad and terrorism. Sadly many people are taken in by Naik and believe what he said to be the truth, despite this not being supported by the Quran, Sunnah and the opinion of the Ulaama.
In this article I will briefly touch on some of the issues he spoke about and how they contradict what Islam actually says and also how he uses distorted logic to push his illogical positions.I would urge the Muslims to go to the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah to gain knowledge of the religion, rather than taking it from those who are not ulaama and who speak the opposite of what the scholars say, and most importantly refer every point made by anyone back to the Quran and Sunnah and only accept it if it is in agreement with the revelation.
While opposing much of what Zakir Naik promotes, I do recognise the massive achievements he has made in the field of dawah to non Muslims and I do not in any way seek to detract from that. Falsehood however must be opposed with the truth.
“9/11 was an inside job”
It was claimed by Zakir Naik that the Washington and Manhattan raids of September 11 where in fact done by the US Government and could not possibly have been done by the Mujahideen. This is a claim which many of us have heard before, but it usually comes from conspiracy theorists and not someone as well known and respected as Dr Naik.
When one examines his reasoning behind this belief then there is really no basis for it whatsoever, especially as Muslims. He claimed that something like 70 US scientists said that it was an inside job, a statement which may well be true and for some reason seemed to convince many. But this fact which was used as a “proof” is in fact a refutation of the argument he puts forward. In all there are about 480000 scientists in the United States, so saying that 70, 700 or even 7000 believe something is certainly not a proof of anything but rather a proof that they hold is a fringe belief. Also if we are to judge the truth of something based on what US scientists believe then we would have to conclude that Islam is wrong and that Darwins theory of Evolution is correct.
But more importantly than this, the Mujahideen claimed responsibility for this attack on numerous occasions and we have seen the martyrdom videos of many of the lions who carried out the blessed raids. So as Muslims we are obliged to believe our brothers in the Mujahideen rather than to believe the conspiracies of the kuffar. Allah says in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا
O you who believe! if an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done.
Surah Al Hujurat 49:6
So how can we as Muslims justify believing the kuffar over the righteous Muslims who have sacrificed their lives and their wealth to make the religion of Allah supreme?
Finally in relation to these raids, it was claimed that the Mujahideen would be unable to carry out such attacks. Do those who make such claims not understand that Allah is on the side of the Mujahideen and that He is القادر The All Powerful.
وَرَدَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِغَيْظِهِمْ لَمْ يَنَالُوا خَيْرًا ۚ وَكَفَى اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الْقِتَالَ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ قَوِيًّا عَزِيزًا
And Allah repelled those who disbelieved, in their rage, not having obtained any good. And sufficient was Allah for the believers in battle, and ever is Allah Powerful and Exalted in Might.
Surah Al Ahzab 33:25
“The best jihad today is dawah”
We do not doubt the important role that dawah has in Islam and indeed we respect the dawah that Zakir Naik has given to non Muslims, May Allah Reward him for it. However his claim that dawah is the best jihad today is not only something which contradicts what the Ulaama say, but a claim which goes against the Quran itself.
Allah says in the Quran:
لَّا يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُولِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ ۚ فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً ۚ وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward
Surah An Nisa 4:95
So we can see clearly that Allah tells us that those who stay at home (which includes those who do dawah) are not equal to those who go out and fight in the path of Allah, yet Zakir Naik tells us the opposite saying that in fact dawah is the greatest jihad, despite Allah making it clear that fighting is.
When asked what is the greatest Jihad, Sheikh Bin Baz (RA) gave the following answer:
There are different kinds of Jihad – with one’s self, wealth, supplication, teaching, giving guidance, or helping others in good in any form. The highest form of Jihad, however, is with one’s life; then comes Jihad with one’s wealth and Jihad with teaching and guidance, and in this way Da’wah is a form of Jihad, but Jihad with one’s life is the highest form.
Fatawa Islamiyah Vol.8, p.24, DARUSSALAM
So what should be clear to anyone is that what Zakir Naik and those of similar beliefs are promoting is in direct contradiction to what the ulaama say and what the Quran says.
“No Jihad without a Khaleefah”
During the question and answers session following the lecture,a brave sister made clear the real meaning of Jihad (see video above) and that it is wajib upon the ummah. She also pointed out the terrors being faced by our brothers and sisters in lands such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Zakir Naiks reply to this sister was not only incorrect, but arrogant and rude and he even said that he would buy her a ticket to Abu Gharib herself if she wanted to go. Is this the methodology that a Muslim should take in addressing a noble sister (May Allah reward her for speaking the truth)?
In his answer he again claimed that the best Jihad today was the media, despite this being the opposite of what the Quran says, as I have shown and he went on to slander the mujahideen by saying the majority of them bomb markets and this is nothing but a lie and slander upon our brothers on the front lines.
In his justification for his saying that we should not try to physically fight the Crusader invaders, Dr Naik claimed that there is no Jihad today as there is no Khaleefah, thus exposing his complete lack of understanding of the fiqh of Jihad.
The reality is that when a Muslim land is invaded then jihad becomes fard ayn and a Khaleefah is not one of the requirements for this. The requirement for a khaleefah is for offensive Jihad only and not the defensive Jihad which is occurring throughout the world today. This is an issue on which there is ijma (consensus) amongst the Ulaama and something which should be known to even the most uneducated of Muslims.
Muhammad bin Ja’far al-Kattani said:
“Fuqaha and ulama said: If enemy attacks a muslim country or gathers it’s army to the border in order to enter into a muslim country, then Jihad becomes fardul-ayn upon its inhabitants and leader. It’s obligatory upon every old and young, every free man and slave and even upon women it they have strenght to combat. And fighting against the enemy should not be stop for consultation with imam or for a permission from Imam, especially if imam is far away from them.”
an-Nasiha, p: 77
And this is the position of all the Ulaama and something on which we could give books of rulings upon.
So in conclusion I would again appeal to the Muslims to not rely upon people such as Zakir Naik to gain their religion from, but rather go to the Scholars and read what they have to say, especially the classical scholars. Most importantly refer everything back to the Quran and Sunnah.