JEDDAH, 3 November — Islam is a scientific religion and this is the main reason for an increasing number of Westerners coming to its fold, said Dr. Zakir Abdul Kareem Naik, president of the Bombay-based Islamic Research Foundation.
Delivering a lecture on “Why Westerners embrace Islam?” at King Fahd Hospital auditorium here on Friday night, Naik said Islam offers practical solutions to various problems facing the West such as adultery, alcoholism and filial ingratitude.
“Of more than 6,000 verses in the Holy Qur’an, some 1,000 speak on scientific facts,” Naik, a medical doctor and an expert in comparative religion, told Muslims and non-Muslims of various nationalities in the packed auditorium.
“It is the only religion that speaks to human intelligence, giving good reasoning and logic, and does not encourage blind faith,” the scholar said, extensively quoting from Qur’an.
The Time magazine has reported that about 60,000 books have been written in an attempt to discredit Islam over the past 150 years. However, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West.
“Despite the strident anti-Islam campaign, 34,000 Americans have embraced the religion from September 2001 to July 2002,” he said, quoting the CNN television network. According to another report, 47,000 people have embraced Islam in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. Women constitute 65 percent of the converts.
Hamoud Al-Shimamry, director of Islamic Education Foundation on Prince Majed Street in Jeddah, who presided over the function, said that there are 120 dawa centers in the Kingdom including six in Jeddah. Thousands of expatriate workers have embraced Islam thanks to the efforts of these centers over the years.
Dr. Naik said Islam enjoins its followers to pay due respect to their parents and be kind to them. “The teachings of Islam help its followers keep away from adultery,” he added.
In America, 2,700 rape cases take place daily, he said quoting an official US report.
Quoting a saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Naik said alcohol is the mother of all evils. “Majority of rape cases and about eight percent of incest cases are committed under the influence of intoxication,” he said.
He also listed 15 severe health conditions caused by alcoholism.
Speaking on the status of women in Islam, he said Islam has given them the most respectable position in society. “It granted them the right to own property 1,300 years before the West has. In an Islamic society, a woman need not work. It is her husband’s duty to look after her,” he pointed out.
Walaalayaal ka faa'iideysta qoraalkaan qiimaha leh, asxaabtiina iyo ehelkiina u gudbiya. Hana u dayma la'aanina qoraalada kale ee kusaabsan diinta muslimka. Insha Allah.