New Delhi: Darul Uloom Deoband, one of the largest Islamic seminaries in the world, has issued several fatwas against controversial preacher Zakir Naik.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the main contention of Darul Uloom is that Zakir Naik is a 'Ghair Muqallidin' which refers to a person, or preacher whose perception of Islam is not in line with the four dominant school of thoughts in Islam - the Hanafi, Hanbali, Sha’afi and Maliki, named after their founding Imams.
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Naik, a preacher with a global reach and much media spotlight, has had several fatwas pronounced against him. The Darul Uloom first issued fatwas against Naik in 2007.
"The statements made by Dr Zakir Naik indicate that he is a preacher of Ghair Muqallidin, he is of free mind…one should not rely upon his speeches," one of Darul Uloom’s edicts, entered as "fatwa number 1541/1322=B/1429" in its official edicts list, reportedly states.
Another fatwa, numbered 352=363/B, rules that his knowledge of the religion is ‘not deep’, ‘not reliable’ and advises that ‘Muslims should avoid listening to him’.
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This notwithstanding the preacher’s deep knowledge of the Quran and his ability to quote the Prophet with accuracy.
"We are not going into whether Zakir Naik knows Quran or not. No, we are not saying that. We are saying it is important to follow one or the other maslak, all equally valid," Abur Rahman Qasimi, a former Darul Uloom student and the founder of Meerat’s Hidaya madrassa, said.
Zakir Naik has been hogging the media spotlight for his views backing slain terrorist Osama Bin Laden and terrorist organisation al Qaeda. A speech in which he praised Laden resurfaced when it was revealed that one of the six militants involved in the Dhaka café attack drew inspiration from his speeches.
The Maharashtra and Central governments have swung into action, constituting nine probe teams from top security agencies in India to investigate Naik. His speeches, CDs, public documents and social media posts are being screened, and foreign funding to Naik is also been examined.