Saudi Arabia invites Dr Zakir Naik, family for Haj

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Haj and Umrah, Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah invited Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik and his family to perform the Haj pilgrimage this year which is set to begin on Friday, June 14.

The announcement was made on Dr Zakir Naik’s official X account on Tuesday, June 11, following his arrival at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

“Dr Zakir Naik landed in Jeddah today early morning. Alhamdulillaah 3 officials were there to receive him at the gate of the plane,” the X post reads.

“Maa Shaa Allaah on entering the VIP lounge he completed immigration & came out of the airport in less than a minute. Never did Dr Zakir Naik experience such fast and prompt service in his life & that too during Haj.”

Who is Dr Zakir Naik?

Dr Zakir Naik, an expert in comparative religion, transitioned from a medical career to pursuing Islamic dawah. However, he is also known for his controversial statements that have landed him in trouble many a time.

Naik uses argumentation and debate to spread his teachings through various platforms, including lectures, audio, and video materials, and international television broadcasts.

In 1991, Naik founded the Islamic Research Foundation, a key organization for training Islamic preachers and managing institutions like the Islamic International School in Mumbai and Peace TV.

His significant contributions to Islamic scholarship have earned him international recognition, including the Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award in 2013 and the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam in 2015.

In 2016, India began cracking down on Naik, inciting Indian and Bangladeshi channels to accuse him of promoting sectarianism.

India banned Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation on November 17, 2016, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, of 1967. The ban was extended by another five years in November 2021.

In 2017, the Indian authorities issued an arrest warrant against him, charging him with money laundering, incitement to terrorism, and spreading sectarianism through satellite channels and religious lectures.

The Indian authorities also issued a red arrest warrant against him with Interpol, claiming that he is an international fugitive from justice who must be arrested at any time and place and handed over to India.

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