Evolution, Atheism and the Qur’an
17 Sep 2011
Evolution, History of Science
In this vlog (video blog), the compiler (perhaps ExMuslimLondon) selects clips from Zakir Naik lectures and provides critical textual responses, primarily addressing the misrepresentations of science. The critiques sometimes fall into harsh lampooning.
Topics addressed: atheism, evolution, scientific theory (defined), Galileo, definition of God, Big Bang, shape of the earth.
One clip is taken from Zakir Naik’s talk “Qur’an and Modern Science: Conflict or Reconciliation?” held December 7, 1996 at Saboo Siddik Ground in Mumbai, India.
The critic does not discuss Islam extensively, but everything indicated by both the critic and Naik are within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.
The science that Naik expresses in these clips does not conform to contemporary scientific understandings. The explanations of the criticisms include accurate science.
The historical material presented by the critic is accepted by historians today.
About Zakir Naik
Dr. Zakir Naik is a Muslim preacher and international orator from India. He was born in Mumbai on October 18th, 1965 and studied medicine at Topiwala National Medical College and the University of Mumbai. He has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS). In 1991 he turned away from practicing medicine to found the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), a non-profit charitable trust in Mumbai, whose operations were closed down by the Indian government in November 2016. The IRF serves to promote dawah, or the proselytization of Islam. He has additionally founded the Islamic International School, which is managed by the IRF, and is the founder and president of the Islamic educational television network Peace TV.
As a speaker Naik has achieved recognition and awards within India as well as internationally. He was honored with the 2013 Islamic Personality of the Year Award presented in Dubai. He has additionally been recognized twice by Indian news publication Indian Express as one of the “100 Most Influential People in India” and four times by George Washington University’s “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World,” most recently in 2014.
Naik’s subject matter, style and platform have all contributed to his prominence as a fairly well-known and fairly controversial preacher. Naik promotes a strict, literalist version of Islam, and is famous as a preacher for extensively quoting from the Qurʾān. He has been called an exponent of the Salafi ideology, although he himself does not use this label as he rejects any form of Islamic sectarianism. He has maintained that the only absolute authority is the Qurʾān itself, and has made a name for himself with his Qurʾānic knowledge and memory.
Naik also holds the dubious distinction of being the speaker on science and Islam most commonly spoofed. One may occasionally find videos using his name in the title in an effort to draw viewers, even if he does not appear in the video.
In July 2016, Naik was linked to bombers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Indian government began investigating him. The IRF in India has closed (including its web sites), and Naik has remained out of the country to avoid arrest. It has been reported that Naik has taken citizenship in Saudi Arabia. He continues to give lectures outside of India.
For a longer discussion of Naik, click here.
“Dr. Zakir Naik.” Islamic Research Foundation. Islamic Research Foundation, n.d. Accessed 18 Nov. 2014.
“King Salman grants Dr. Zakir Naik Saudi citizenship.” The Siasat Daily, 19 May 2017. Accessed 4 July 2017.
“Zakir Naik.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Nov. 2014. Accessed 18 Nov. 2014.
Biswas, Shreya. “Who Is Zakir Naik? Were the Dhaka Attack Terrorists ‘Inspired by Him’?” India Today, 6 July 2016. Accessed 13 Sep. 2016.
Hassan, Rashid. “Ban on Peace TV Will Be Lifted Soon: Zakir Naik.” Arab News. Arab News, 6 July 2014. Accessed 18 Nov. 2014.