Imran Nazar Hosein

Imran Nazar Hosein is a leading International Islamic Philosopher, Scholar and author, specialising in world politics, economy, eschatology , modern socio-economic/political issues and expert on international affairs. He is best-selling author of Jerusalem in the Qur'an.

Imran Nazar Hosein was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad in 1942 to parents whose ancestors had migrated from India as indentured labourers. He studied Islam, Philosophy and International Relations at several universities and institutions of higher learning. Among them are al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, the Institute of International Relations of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, the University of Karachi in Pakistan, the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies in Karachi, Pakistan, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

He worked for several years as a Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

He lived in New York for ten years during which time he served as the Director of Islamic Studies for the Joint Committee of Muslim Organizations of Greater New York. He lectured on Islam in several American and Canadian universities, colleges, churches, synagogues, prisons, community halls, etc. He also participated in many inter-faith dialogues with Christian and Jewish scholars while representing Islam in USA. He was the Imam, for sometime, at Masjid Dar al-Qur'an in Long Island, New York. He also led the weekly Jumu'ah prayers and delivered the sermon at the headquarters of the United Nations Organization in Manhattan, New York, once a month for ten years continuously.

He is a former Principal of the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies in Karachi, Pakistan, Director of Research of the World Muslim Congress in Karachi, Pakistan, Director of the Islamic Institute for Education and Research in Miami, Florida, and Director of D'awah for Tanzeem-e-Islami of North America.

He has traveled continuously and extensively around the world on Islamic lecture-tours since graduating from the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies in 1971 at age 29. And he has also written more than a dozen books on Islam that have invariably been received with public respect. Indeed, Jerusalem in the Qur'an - An Islamic View of the Destiny of Jerusalem has become a best seller and has been translated and published in several languages.

Prof. Dr. Malik Badri, Dean of the International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, wrote the Foreword to the book.

Imran's first book, entitled Islam and Buddhism in the Modern World was written when he was just 29 and still remains the only book on the subject by a Muslim scholar. That book won high praise from such eminent scholars as Vice Chancellor of University of Karachi and renowned historian, Dr. Ishtiaq Husain Quraishi, eminent Pakistani jurist and philosopher, A. K. Brohi, and eminent Muslim sociologist, Dr. Basharat Ali.

Maulana Dr. Fazlur Rahman Ansari, an outstanding scholar of Islam of the modern age, wrote the Foreword to that book.

Imran Hosein's three new books, published in 2007, on 'Surah al-Kahf' of the Qur'an and on the subject of 'Signs of the Last Day in the Modern Age', offer rare insights into interpretation of the Qur'an and the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad insofar as they explain the modern age.

Ahmed Hussein Deedat

Ahmed Hussein Deedat (July 1, 1918 – August 8, 2005) (Urdu: احمد حسين ديدات) was a Muslim writer and public speaker of Indian South African descent.[1] He was best known for his numerous inter-religious public debates with evangelical Christians, as well as pioneering video lectures, most of which centered around Islam, Christianity and the Bible. He also established the IPCI, an international Islamic missionary organization, and wrote several booklets on Islam and Christianity which were widely distributed by the organization. He was awarded the prestigious King Faisal Award in 1986 for his 50 years of missionary work. One focus of his work was providing Muslims with theological tools for defending themselves against active Proselytizing by Christian missionaries. He used English to get his message across to Muslims and the non-Muslims in the western world.

Ahmed Deedat was born in the town of Tadkeshwar, Surat District, Gujarat, India in 1918.[3] His father had emigrated to South Africa shortly after the birth of Ahmed Deedat. At the age of 9, Deedat left India to join his father in what is now known as Kwazulu-Natal. His mother died only a few months after his departure. Arriving in South Africa, Deedat applied himself with diligence to his studies, overcoming the language barrier and excelling in school, even getting promoted until he completed standard 6. However, due to financial circumstances, he had to quit school and start working by the time he was the age of 16.

In 1936, while working as a furniture salesman, he came across a group of missonari in the groud on the Natal South Coast. The missionaries in their efforts to convert people of Muslim faith, would often accuse the Prophet Mohammad of having "used the sword" to bring people to Islam. Such accusations seemed to offend Deedat and such attacks were to form a major influence on Deedat's subsequent interest in comparative religion.[4]

Deedat took a more active interest in religious debate after he came across a book entitled "Izhar ul-Huqq" (Truth Revealed), written by Rahmatullah Kairanawi, found while he was rummaging for reading material in his employer's basement. This book chronicled the efforts of Christian missionaries in India from a century earlier. The book had a profound effect on Deedat and led to the purchase of his first Bible and holding of debates and discussions with trainee missionaries, whose questions he had previously been unable to answer.[4]

His foray into Bible Studies took a more serious turn when he started attending Islamic study classes held by a local Muslim convert named Mr. Fairfax. Seeing the popularity of the classes, Mr. Fairfax offered to teach an extra session on the Bible and how to preach to Christians about Islam.[4] Deedat and a few others were delighted at the opportunity. However, only a few months into the project, Mr. Fairfax had to pull out of his engagement, and Deedat, who was by this point quite knowledgeable about the Bible, took over teaching the class. Which he did for three whole years thereafter and later credited for expanding his horizons significantly towards missionary work.

[edit] Early Missionary Work 1942–1956
Deedat's first lecture, entitled "Muhammad: Messenger of Peace", was delivered in 1942 to an audience of fifteen people at a Durban movie theatre named Avalon Cinema.[5]. Over time, Deedat's popularity as a public speaker grew in Durban, to the point that he was invited to speak in other cities in South Africa. A decade later he was filling City halls with audiences numbering in the thousands in cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.

A major vehicle of Deedat's early missionary activity was the 'Guided Tours' of the Jumma Mosque in Durban. The vast ornamental Jumma Mosque was a landmark site in the tourist friendly city of Durban. A sophisticated program of luncheons, speeches and free hand-outs was created to give an increasingly large number of international tourists often their first look at Islam. Deedat himself featured as one of the guides, hosting tourists and giving succinct introductions to the Islamic Religion and the relationship between Islam and Christianity.[6]

[edit] IPCI and as-Salaam 1956–1986
By 1956, missionary work in the form of frequent public speaking engagements and the popular guided tours of the Jumma Masjid had begun to pay dividends. Enquiries about Islam from the general public in South Africa had started to pour in at an increasing rate. Soon it became apparent that working from the mosque office was not going to be sufficient to handle the demand for literature and to facilitate an increasing number of people showing more than simply tourist level interest in Islam.

Among Deedat's close friends were Goolam Hoosein Vanker and Taahir Rasool, whom many refer to as 'the unsung heroes of Deedat's career'.[7] In 1957, Deedat, together with Vanker and Rasool, founded the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI) with the aim to print a variety of books on Islam and offer classes to new Muslims converts.[8]

In 1958, Deedat also established an Islamic seminary called As-Salaam Educational Institute on a donated 75-acre (300,000 m2) piece of land located in Braemar in the south of Natal province.[9]

With these newly founded missionary organizations as his backbone, Deedat engaged into a broader range of activities over the next three decades. He conducted classes on Biblical Theology and conducted numerous lectures.[citation needed] Da`wah (inviting people towards Islam) became the dominant factor of his life, with audiences at his lectures often reaching in excess of forty thousand. He also wrote a large number of booklets, distributing millions of copies of these and other free literature across the world.

[edit] International Fame 1985–1995
By the early 1980s, Ahmed Deedat's work was beginning to be known outside his native South Africa. In 1985, for instance, he twice rented the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London to debate Christians contemporaries in front of a packed audience. His international profile was significantly boosted, when in 1986 he was awarded the King Faisal Award for his services to Islam in the field of Dawah (Islamic missionary activity). The award squarely brought Deedat into the international limelight and the attention of the Muslim communities worldwide. As a result, at the ripe old age of 66, Deedat began a new phase in his lifetime mission of empowering Muslims to preach to Christians, a ten-year long period of international speaking tours around the world. He travelled far and wide to Muslim communities from Australia at one end to North America at the other end. Some of his known tours include:

Saudi Arabia and Egypt (on several occasions)
United Kingdom (on several occasions between 1985 and 1988, including Switzerland in 1987)
Pakistan, where Deedat met Zia al-Haq, UAE and Maldives Islands (Nov–Dec 1987), where Deedat was honored by President Gayhoom.[4]
US Tour Number 1 (late 1986 featuring debates with Swaggart, Robert Douglas and several lectures including two in Arizona)
Sweden and Denmark (late 1991 featuring three debates)
US and Canada Tour (1994 tour featuring debate in Canada and lectures in Chicago)
Australia Tour (his last tour in early 1996 just before his stroke)
[edit] Illness and Death 1996–2005
On May 3, 1996, Sheikh Ahmed Deedat suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed from the neck down because of a Cerebral Vascular Accident affecting the Brain Stem, and which also meant that he could no longer speak or swallow.[10] He was flown to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, where he was reported to be fully alert and hence taught to communicate through a series of eye-movements via a chart whereby he would form words by acknowledging individual alphabets read out to him; this way he would form complete sentences.[10]

He spent the last nine years of his life in a bed in his home in Verulam, South Africa, encouraging people to engage in Da'wah (Islam propagation). He was looked after by his wife, Hawa Deedat, and was reported to have no bed-sores.[10] He continued to receive hundreds of letters of support from around the world, and local and international visitors continued to visit him and pay homage to his work.[4]

On August 8, 2005, Ahmed Deedat died at his home on Trevennen Road in Verulam in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. He is buried at the Verulam cemetery.[11] Hawa Deedat died on Monday August 28, 2006 at the age of 85, just one year after her husband at Deedat’s home.[12]


Video Cover of the Great Debate with Anis SharroshDeedat's first well-known debate occurred in August 1981 when he debated well-known Christian apologist Josh McDowell in Durban, South Africa.[13] Many of his debates were later broadcast online on Youtube, among other sites.

[edit] Debates with Anis Shorrosh
Deedat's memorable tussles with Palestinian-American missionary Dr. Anis Shorrosh first came to public attention when Shorrosh appeared among the audience during the Q&A sessions[14] on two separate occasions during Deedat's summer 1985 tour of the UK (where he debated Dr. Floyd E. Clark in what is now considered another one of his early international works)[4]. Thereon ensued some back and forth between the camps of Deedat and Shorrosh and the result was two highly contentious debates, the first of which, entitled Is Jesus God?[4] took place right away in Dec 1985 at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London. The second debate was organized with much fanfare and held in Birmingham, UK on August 7, 1988; entitled The Quran or the Bible: Which is God's Word.[4] This debate spanned a total of 240 minutes including the Q&A session.

[edit] Debate with Jimmy Swaggart
Deedat's most famous moment came when he managed to land a debate with televangelist Jimmy Swaggart at a time when Swaggart was one of the leading faces of Evangelical Christianity. The debate entitled Is The Bible the Word of God?,[4] was held in Swaggart's hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in November 1986 at the University of Louisiana, where it was attended by about 8,000 people.

Deedat never managed to truly capitalize on the international fame of his opponent, however, when over the following six months and subsequent five years, Swaggart was caught twice in damaging sex scandals and lost most of his international following and stature as a tele-evangelist. The debate, however, did capture the imagination of the Muslim world and the Muslims minorities in Europe and North America.

[edit] Other Notable Debates
In Oct–Nov 1991, Deedat toured Scandinavia where he held three debates and several speeches. Two of these debates where held on successive nights against Pastor Stanley Sjöberg in Stockholm, Sweden. The first of these was entitled Is the Bible the True Word of God?[4] and the second debate was Is Jesus God?.[4][15] Deedat then traveled to Denmark where he debated Pastor Eric Bock in Copenhagen in a debate entitled Is Jesus God?[4]

[edit] Deedat and the Pope
In 1984, he challenged John Paul II to a public dialogue in the Vatican Square, but the Pope responded that he only agreed to a closed conference in his cabin.[4] However, Deedat wrote back that he insisted "that such meeting should be public,". When the Pope stopped answering, Deedat distributed a pamphlet in January 1985 headlined His Holiness Plays Hide and Seek With Muslims.[16]