23 August 2010
DUBAI — Islam has the solution to all the problems of the mankind, popular Indian scholar Dr Zakir Naik said at a lecture in Al Twar area opposite Dubai Airport Terminal-2, on Friday night.
The lecture was held as part of the cultural programme of the 9th Ramadan Forum.
In his two-hour lecture “Religion in the right perspective”, Dr Naik, who is also a noted surgeon, said the only way to understand a religion is not by looking at what its believers are saying or doing, but rather by looking at the scriptures and the writings.
Defining the characteristics of God as mentioned in the four major religions of the world — Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism, Dr Zakir said that in all these religions, apart from Christianity, God is one and no one is second to him; He has no equivalent or alike, He has no father or mother or sons and has no image or idol.
“Muslims have no problem with most of the characteristics of God as mentioned in different religions and they fit the description stipulated in the Holy Quran’s Surah Al Ikhlas ,which reads “Say: He is the God, the Unique; God, the Eternal, Absolute, He begets not, nor is He begotten, And there is none like unto Him.”
Dr Zakir said that if God’s characteristics in Islam are applied as a benchmark to other religions, few, if any, would stand the test. “If we took, for example, the ‘Brahma’ or the God in Hinduism, we will see that he is not the only one to claim he is God and he sometimes takes forms and shapes,” he said.
Some Hindus worship nature in the form of sun, water or fire, whereas Islam believes these to be only God’s creations and manifestations of power.”
Talking about Christianity, Dr Zakir said that unlike any other religion, Islam believes in Jesus Christ to be a Messenger of Allah and that he was miraculously born from Virgin Mary, and above all, Jesus was able, by the permission of God, to cure the blind and raise the dead. “But Islam has a lot of problems with the church teachings.”
Most believers of the Christian faith argue that God is mighty and that he can do anything, including taking shape as a human being so that he is able to tell how humans feel and what the best rules are for them. “But the moment the mighty God takes the form of a human being, he ceases to be a God and becomes exposed to human mistakes like anger and injustice,” he said.
“Just like the creator of a DVD player does not need to become the DVD player to know it, there is no need for God to take a human form to know what is good for humans and set forth the best rules for them.”
Referring to Judaism, Dr Zakir said the word Judaism means praising God, and from this perspective, he considers all Muslims to be Jews.
“What really sets Islam apart from other religions is that it does not only tell its believers what is right and what is wrong, but it goes further to tell them how to achieve this through integrated matrix of values and principles.”
“Had the US — the most advanced nation on earth — implemented the Shariah or the Islamic law, it would have got rid of crimes, rapes, robberies and violence, which are among the highest in the world,” he said.
Such was the impact of Dr Naik’s lecture on the audience that nine people, a man and eight women, converted to Islam. Some 23 people have embraced Islam at the 9th Ramadan Forum so far.
One of the new Muslims, Shanju Kamarachi, an Indian working in a bank, was a Hindu before he came to argue with Dr Zakir about the notion that only Muslims will enter paradise.
Dr Zakir then told Kamarachi that Islam is not the only condition for entering paradise, but it’s the first step to be followed by many others.
“I got clear answers that touched my heart, particularly about the virtues of Islam, which calls for one God, and the morals and what is best for human beings,” Kamarachi said, while adding that he would try to convince his wife and daughter to follow the same path.
Kamarachi first came to know about the Holy Quran when he read a full translation upon being jobless for three months. “I found comfort, peace of mind, and surprisingly, I went back to work after reading the Quran,” he said, noting that Islam guarantees human beings their full rights.
Dr Naik told Kamarachi that Islam does not stipulate that one must have an Arabic name, and only good deeds matter. — firstname.lastname@example.org
by mail from Farook Ali