after coming back from Hajj, he defended his statement
MUMBAI: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is in the eye of a storm for the laudatory remarks he made about a controversial Islamic figure during the recent peace conference in the city. Muslim scholars, both Shias and Sunnis, are threatening an agitation if Naik doesn't apologise and retract his controversial utterances soon.
At the concluding session of the 10-day Islamic peace conference at Somaiya Ground in Sion on December 2, Naik shocked many in the audience when he addressed Yazid as "Raziallah tala anho"(May Allah be pleased with him). He also reportedly called the battle of Karbala a political battle. Yazid has been historically condemned for having killed 72 Muslims, including Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussein and his close relatives, at the battle of Karbala in the 7th century on the banks of the Tigris (present day Iraq). The Shias consider it Yazid's unpardonable sin and commemorate the martyrdom with a 10-day mourning, culminating into Ashura (10th day) in Muharram.
"Naik's irresponsible remarks have hurt the sentiments of both the Shias and the Sunnis. The honorifics are reserved for the Prophet's companions, not for someone like Yazid, the butcher of Karbala. And he can't call Karbala a political battle as it was essentially a religious battle,"protested Shia scholar Maulana Zaheer Abbas Rizvi.
Naik, who returned from Haj on Wednesday, conveyed his reaction through his brother Mohammed Naik: "At the peace conference, while replying to a question, I neither condemned nor lauded Yazid. I did say 'May Allah be pleased with him' while mentioning Yazid. I can show the fatwas from seminaries like Darul Uloom ***** supporting my stand."