Darul Uloom, the globally influential Islamic seminary has slammed the religious views of controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik in a fatwa as doubtful, urging Muslims to avoid following him.
The fatwa came in response to queries from people seeking clarifications on Naik’s teachings since Sunni Muslims either turn to Egypt’s Al-Azhar University or India’s Darul Uloom for guidance.
Although Naik, a doctor turned preacher, has gained prominence as a speaker on Islam, he has been a controversial figure because of his disparaging remarks on other religions and radical views.
The fatwa said Naik was a ghiar muqallidin, a term used to describe those whose teachings are not directly based on any one of the four accepted schools of Islamic thought and, was therefore, unreliable.
Uloom added that religion should always be learned through authorised Ulama and authentic books. Uloom in UP’s Deoband propagates the Hanafi school of thought, the dominant Islamic discipline in much of Western Asia, lower Egypt and the subcontinent.
Mumbai-based Naik works for the Peace TV channel and makes many public appearances. A British court validated a 2010 UK government decision to bar him. The court referred to speeches in which he appeared reluctant to call Osama bin Laden a terrorist and justifying terrorism in certain circumstances.