Sheikh Ahmed Hoosen Deedat: the icon of the Muslim world
Sheikh Ahmed Hoosen Deedat was the most powerful Muslim scholar, writer, orator, preacher with more than five decades of experience in his time. Astoundingly, he had vast knowledge of Christianity, then Islam and for this, any Christian missionary thinks hundreds times before debating with him. He employed his God gifted knowledge properly to prove the superiority of Islam among all religion.
He was born on July 01, 1918 in Surat district (Tadkeshwar town) of Gujarat, India. His father, who was a tailor, had immigrated to South Africa shortly after the birth of Deedat. For this he had no remembrance of his father until 1926. In 1927, he went to Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa to meet with his parents as nine years old boy. Unfortunately, his mother died after a few months of his departure in the same year.
Ahmed was a very brilliant student and showed his outstanding performance in school by overcoming different types of obstacles as language barrier in foreign surrounding. But unhappily, after completing standard six, he had to quit school due to financial insolvency and took his first job in retailing at the age of 16.
The life of Deedat was changed in 1936, while he was a salesman at a Muslim owned furniture store near a Christian seminary on the Natal South Coast. The trainee Christian missionaries were trying to convert Muslim peoples by spreading malicious words against Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. This ceaseless malevolence of missionaries instills a willful flare of aspiration within the boy to offset their phony propaganda.
As a result , sheikh Deedat read a book named Izharul Haq- The Truth revealed, written by Rahmatullah Kairanawi which contains different techniques to prevent the false propaganda against Islam and Muslim and enormous success of the efforts of Muslims against Christian missionary harassment during the British subjugation and rule of India.
He was intensely influenced by the ideas of this book, specially the idea of holding debate and dialogue with non-Muslim priests and missionaries. It was proved as true when he purchasehd of his first Bible and studied it critically and took classes on Bible in Islamic study classes held by a local Muslim converted named Mr.Fairfax.
Furthermore, Deedat became a confidential preacher of Islam and primarily conducted Bible classes, lectures and debates in South Africa, after that around the world over for four decades. In 1942, he delivered his first lecture entitled “Muhammad: Messenger of Peace” at Durban and Jummah mosque at Durban became the center of the Dawah.
He founded the largest Islamic Dawah Organization in the world, the Islamic Propagation Center International (IPCI) with his two friends Goolam Hoosein Vanker and Tahir Rasul (1957) and the first Islamic Seminary in Southern Africa to train propagators at Assalaam educational Institute, Braemar in the south of Natal province (1958). For the first time, Deedat conducted his classes, Lectures, and debates on Biblical theology, comparative religion outside of South Africa by the early of 1980s.
He delivered thousands of lectures all over the world which are available all over the world in the various languages in Video and DVD format. His dialogue with the heads of the Protestant world in America and the late Pope John Paul is also available. He visited many countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Kingdom, and Pakistan, united state of America, Canada, and Australia. Sweden and Denmark
In 1986, he was awarded the prestigious King Faisal Award for his sterling services to Islam in the field of Propagation. Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, congratulating Deedat for his international icon status in the Muslim World.
He has published more than 20 books and distributed millions of copies of free literature and pamphlets around the world. Some of his books are: The Choice – Between Islam and Christianity – Volume I, The Choice – Between Islam and Christianity – Volume II, Is the Bible God’s Word? Al Qur’an the Miracle of Miracles, What is His Name? Christ in Islam, What was the sign of Jonah? What the Bible says about Muhammad (pbuh)? Resurrection or Resuscitation? Arabs and Israel – Conflict or Conciliation? Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction, Muhammad: The Natural Successor to Christ, Muhammad The Greatest, Al-Qur’an: the Ultimate Miracle. Many of his publications have been translated into the many different languages of the world such as Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, French, Amharic, Chinese, Japanese, Mayalam, Indonesian, Zulu, Afrikaans, Dutch, and Norwegian amongst others.
On May 03, 1996 Sheikh Ahmed Deedat suffered from a serious stroke and remained paralyzed and bedridden for 9 years in his home Verulam. On 8th August, 2005 he passed away at the age of 87 and buried at the verulam cemetery in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Deedat was looked after by his wife Hawa Deedat, she passed away on August 28th 2006 at the age of 85 at Deedat’s home. May Allah (swt) bless his soul with Jannatul Firdous for his cordial efforts to preach Islam. To know more about him you can visit: www.ahmed-deedat.net.