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How Shameful, We Don't Have a Media of Our Own!

Dr. Zakir Naik, eminent scholar of Islam and comparative religion spoke to Shiraz
Khaki, during his recent visit to the Kashmir Valley, on subjects like religion, politics,
economy and media.

If anything pertaining to faith cannot stand to logic, does that mean it does not
stand at all?

First you have to analyze what is the source of the faith that you are talking about. If
the source of the faith is Qur'an then, there is no question at all. Whatever the Qur'an
says, we believe. Yes, sometimes the translation is wrong. So if you don’t know
Arabic you cannot check out whether the answer is right or wrong. The thing is that if
you cannot prove something logically, there may be someone else who will prove it.
After Qur'an there comes Hadith and then comes logic. You can’t put logic first.

What are your views about the Islamic revivalist movements initiated by Iqbal
and Maulana Moududi in the sub-continent and Sayyid Qutb and Hasanul
Banah in Egypt. What can be the possible reasons for their apparent failure?

They were great people. They had their own views to revive the whole Muslim
Ummah. They launched a movement for that. But then every movement has its pros
and cons., so let’s take it that way.

How can the oppression of global powers be combated?

The best way to reply is to have media of our own. Because the media is in the hands
of non- Muslims, they can propagate within minutes ,as they have powerful channels
like CNN and BBC. There are many papers in Mumbai and even in Kashmir, but such
papers are read by Muslims only. What is needed is an international media. For any
international news we turn to their channels. Do we have any international newspaper,
international magazine, international television channel. No. Christians have hundreds
of television channels. Hindus have, Jains have, even Qadianis have. Allah has given
us money. It is a shame for us that we cannot even set up an international channel.

Does Islam permit birth control and family planning?

Birth Control is different from family planning. Birth Control by definition means a
law to control birth laid down by the government. So Birth Control under all
conditions is Haram in Islam. Family Planning is different. About family planning all
the Ulema are unanimous that abortion is Haram. Islamic Sharia says that the life of
the mother is all important. So if the abortion is to save mother’s life, then it’s Halal. .

How long can a wife wait in case a husband disappears and does not return?

In a normal situation we can wait for as many years as we want. But sometimes, we
do not know the whereabouts of the person, whether he has died or got lost. Then
there are different views of different scholars. It depends on the situation. Suppose a
person goes for war and does not come back, he may be captured by the enemy or he
may have died. So it depends on the situation and the time period. But the Ulema say
that we can wait for few years till you get the news. But if you don’t get the news,
then the person can re-marry.

Why does not a grandchild inherit from his grandfather in case his father dies
while the grandfather still alive?

As far as the grandchildren are concerned, there is no direction mentioned in Quran or

Hadith. But if you realize, Shariah gives permission for one third of the share to be
willed. But this one third should not fall in those categories which Allah has
established in Quran. For example I cannot say that I like the elder son more than the
younger one. Suppose I have a friend who has helped me a lot. The maximum I’m
allowed to will is one third of that. Since these grandchildren don’t come directly
under the inheritance, the grandfather can will for a maximum of one third or less than
that. So there is a scope given in the Shariah for that.

Should women work?

In Islam, it’s the duty of men to look after women. Before a woman is married, it’s the
duty of the father and the brother. After she gets married the duty shifts to husband.
But voluntarily if she wants to work, she can work as long as the work is within the
purview of Islamic Shariah. For example, we require our women to be teachers. We
want them to be doctors to look after women patients. But certain jobs are not
allowed. Where women have to expose their bodies like modelling etc. Certain jobs
are Haram for both men and women.. Working in a casino or a bar is Haram for both
men and women.

Even if she works, still it’s the duty of her husband to look after her and there is no
compulsion on her to give the money to the family. This is the right Islam has given to
a woman. But normally she should not work. Because her role as a mother is more
important. It’s the duty of the man to go out and work.

With the fast devaluation of currency and ever changing economic pattern, can
the concept of interest be altered within the framework of Islam?

Allah mentions Ribah at eight places in the Quran. There is a strict prohibition of the
same everywhere that if you take Ribah, a war is declared against you from Allah and
his Rasool (SAW). Some scholars say that Ribah does not mean interest. That’s totally
wrong. There is no doubt about it. Ribah means interest and usury. It’ll take time to
prove logically why Ribah is Haram.

How can we explain the philosophy behind the Quranic verse where Allah says
that he has sent the Prophet (Pbuh) to make Islam conquer all other religions of
the world?

At two places, Allah mentions it. Yes, Allah says that he has sent his messenger with
wisdom and Deen-e-Haq so that it should prevail over all other religions, overcome
all religions whether it’s Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Secularism or Modernism
.Allah says in SuraH Al Imran that the only religion that acceptable to Allah is Islam.
At another place Allah says that if anyone desires any religion except Islam it will not
be acceptable and in the hereafter he will be among the losers. Quran is the only book
which emphatically says that all the other religions are wrong.

If every religion claims the same power and authority, will it not give birth to a
great anomaly where one faith will be pitted against the other?

I am a student of comparative religion. So religious book says that. So where is the

question of anomaly. The question is when people say that Islam is intolerant,. I say
yes, Islam is intolerant towards bribery, towards corruption, towards injustice. People
say Muslims are extremists. We say Muslims are extremely merciful, extremely
honest and extremely kind. Turn the tables and then they will come on defence.

A word about Muslims the world over?

Al Hamdullillah, Today Islam is the fastest growing religion of the world. I have the
latest data and it’s a mathematical reality that Islam figures first followed by
Christianity. In America and Europe, it’s Islam that attracts people far and wide.

Are you happy with the way Indian Muslims behave in India?

Unfortunately, to tell you frankly, I am not happy with the Muslims in India. Islam
will remain with or without us. But it’s a great blessing if Allah has given you a
prophetic job of disseminating Islam among non- Muslims. But in India unfortunately,
there are hardly any organisations who are working among non- Muslims. Believe
me, India is a virgin land. We can work here and I have experienced that non-
Muslims respect me in Mumbai. In Mumbai, the situation is very fragile as far as
Dawah is concerned. We have the Deen-e-Haq with us, the problem is we not sure of
our Deen.

Does Islam permit organ transplant?

Three conditions arise. One, it should not be damaging for the donor. If a donor dies
just by donating his organ, in that case it’s Haram. Second condition is different. A
person can live on one kidney. If I donate one kidney and the other person survives,
both of us are saved. Then the third point is that you cannot donate your organs for the
cause of money. If these conditions are fulfilled, then organ transplant can be done.

Who has inspired you the most?

My source of inspiration is Ahmed Deedat. I met him in 1987. After that I, like many
thousands of his fans, got greatly inspired by him.

Your memory is absolutely incredible? Do you strive for that or you just read
and it gets engraved on your mind?

It’s just the help of Allah. I am nothing. Allah says in Quran, Sura Ankabut (Ch 29, Vs
69) that strive in the way of Allah and Allah will look after you. So anyone who does
Jihad in the way of Allah, Allah opens his way for him. In my childhood I used to
stammer. If someone would ask me my name. I would say. My name is Za... Za...
Zaaa Zakir. I could have dreamt of becoming the best surgeon in the world. But I
could not have dreamt of speaking in front of the people, because I used to stammer.
But Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allah opens up its ways. When I started speaking to the non-
Muslims I started realising that my stammering was not there. And now whenever I
come on the stage, I never stammer.

How do you maintain a balance between Dr. Naik as a medico and Dr. Naik as a

Point one. I am not a scholar, I am just a student of comparative religion. Point two. I
opted for medical profession as I thought it’s the best profession. It was the desire of
my mother to become a surgeon like Christ Burnard, the first man to do a heart
transplant in South Africa. I asked my mother, would you like me to become Sheikh
Deedat or Chris Burnard. She said, ‘both’. But now when I repeat the same question
to my mother, she replies, ‘I can sacrifice thousands of Christ Burnard on one Sheikh
Deedat. I have left the medical profession as I have taken Dawah and I am fully
involved in Dawah.