Arshad, New Age Islam
preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV is under the UK government’s scanner as the UK
broadcasting regulator Ofcom has allegedly found four of its five programmes
spreading hate and promoting violence. The regulator monitored the programmes
in July which were telecast in March 2018. One of the programmes was on the
subject of homosexuality in which the presenter Imam Qasim Khan likened
homosexuals to pigs and said that people engaged in homosexual acts were worse
than pigs. “You never see two male pigs trying to have sex together. That’s
insanity. Worse than animals. Human beings can be worse than animals. At least
an animal does have the dignity of confining their passion, their sexual
passion, to the opposite gender.” he allegedly said. The regulatory body says
that his statements were highly offensive and amounted to hate speech which was
an attack on the rights of the homosexual community.
every religion have every right to present the ruling of their respective
religion on particular social practices or crimes. But while discussing the
subjects in public or before the family, the scholars should follow standards
of social and religious behavior. Unfortunately, the scholars of Peace TV
showed a total lack of understanding of true Islamic norms and spirit.
programme was on the subject of magic or black magic. In this programme
broadcast in November 2017, the Salafi scholar Shaikh Ashfaque Salafi quoted
from the book of the founder of Wahhabism, Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, title
Kitabut Tawheed to declare sorcerers worthy to be killed. He said, “The
correct, reliable and majority opinion is that the punishment for a sahir
(magician) is that the person should be killed.”
discourage homosexuality and has prescribed physical punishment to those found
guilty but the Quran deals with the issue of sexual crimes with a degree of
“If two men among you are guilty of lewdness,
punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; “(Al Nisa: 16)
discussing sexual crimes, the Quran and hadith do not use offending language
but demonstrate a degree of sensitivity. But the presenter showed total lack of
sensitivity while making vulgar statements before an audience consisting of
young boys and girls sitting with their parents.
The way the
Imam made statements on the subject showed that they did not have any sense how
to deal with a delicate issue. The Quran and hadith do not deal with the issue
of sexual crimes in this way. While discussing the issue of homosexuality, the
presenters should have considered the fact that children and the youth also
listen to the programme. But a section of the scholars of Islam have the notion
that the sexual issues can be discussed openly because the Quran and hadith
have discussed them. The Quran though prescribes punishment for homosexuals to
discourage the practice but also stresses on the need for counselling and
reformation. The statements of the scholars were in very bad taste though the
programme was supposed to be viewed by the whole family, including minor girls
issue was of magic which according to the scholar was punishable with death.
The scholar made the conclusion only on the basis of Ibn-e- Wahhab’s book and
mentioned the ‘majority opinion’ which supported the death sentence for magic
contrary, the Quran does not prescribe any punishment for magic though it
condemns magic and sorcery and declares it an act of kufr. Some hadiths also
declare magic acts of idolatory or Kufr. But a punishment is not
prescribed for them.
It is the
tradition of most of the Islamic scholars to follow the ruling of any
particular school of thought or the view of a particular scholar on any topic
ignoring the rulings of the Quran on the same. Why the majority opinion on the
subject considers magic punishable with death is not explained. Probably, they
brought magic under the category of ‘Fasad’ (mischief) for which the
Quran prescribes death or amputation of hand and leg.
punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive
with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or
crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile
from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is
theirs in the Hereafter; “(Al Maida: 33)
But if the
Quran had considered magic and sorcery an act of Fasad, it would have
mentioned the punishment for it. The fact that the Quran says that it’s an act
of Kufr means that like Kufr, magic is also a sin against God and
not against society as the magician or sorcerer interferes with the principles
of nature affecting it’s working.
sorcery cannot be brought under crime as it cannot be proved in a court of law
and therefore the Quran has not brought it under social crimes.
uses the word ‘Fasad’ in a broader sense. It considers practices that a
large number of people are involved in affecting a large section of the society
as ‘Fasad’ like terrorism, corruption, sectarianism and other
anti-social practices. Magic and sorcery are acts of individuals against
individuals for monetary gains or done out of jealousy and enmity. For example,
magic used to cause separation between a husband and wife.
views expressed and books quoted in the programmes of Peace TV it has now
become clear that it has been following a hidden agenda and wants to spread
only a particular school of thought in Islam that promotes radical and
extremist thoughts and violence in the name of religion. This kind of ideology
does not find place in any democratic and pluralist society where many
religions and cultures exist with each other.
Arshad is a regular columnist for NewAgeIslam.com