In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…
It is well known that commitments to certain relationships often keep people silent about important errors that need clarified. People commonly fear harming or even losing what they feel is an important relationship because of criticism or correction. Relationships that prevent a person from speaking the truth and taking a position on someone who opposes the correct teachings of Islam are to be avoided in Islam. As our Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) taught us:
ألا لا يمنعن رجلا هيبة الناس أن يقول بحق إذا علمه
“Nay! A man must never refrain from speaking with the truth he knows because of people’s status!” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, no.4007, authentic]
To provide a real example of a modern media alliance that keeps the parties involved from speaking against each other when they oppose Islamic teachings would be the Estes-Naik Media Partnership, involving Dr. Zakir Naik of Peace TV (India) and controversial American preacher, Yusuf Estes.
We have recently highlighted a very disturbing point of deviation away from Islamic teachings shared by both Zakir Naik and Yusuf Estes – that “Allaah is not able to do everything”. [click here] While they share the same deviant beliefs about this issue, the connection is a bit deeper than just one shared point of opposition to basic Islamic beliefs. Their connection transcends into an alliance that does not allow for disagreement ever, as stated explicitly by Yusuf Estes himself on Huda TV:
I would NEVER contradict this man (points to Zakir Naik). First of all, he is my beloved. I love him too much. Number two, he is my teacher. Uh, number three, I like to go visit him in India when they have the conferences. Uh, number four, uh, you know he is our media partner for our GuideUS TV project, as you guys [Huda TV] are as well. And, I could give a long list, so there’s, Don’t say there is any problem between me and my beloved Dr. Zakir Naik.
Source: A segment from the Huda TV program entitled “Ask Huda”, uploaded to YouTube [here] on December 14, 2011. The quoted selection above occurs near the beginning of the seventh part.
As explained by Yusuf Estes in the presence of his media partner, Zakir Naik, this alliance which does not allow any contradiction between the two is based upon at least four main foundations:
- Yusuf Estes’ love for Zakir Naik, “too much” love
- Zakir Naik’s position as one of Yusuf Estes’ teachers
- Yusuf Estes’ desire to continue speaking at Peace TV events in India
- The “media partner” relationship that exists between the two
To be very clear: Islam does not allow this kind of allegiance. Its called hizbiyyah, or biased partisanship or sectarianism. Muslims are required to support their brothers in the truth and not forsake them, just as they are required to support their brothers when they are wrong by correcting them. Any alliance that includes the concept of immunity to criticism and corrections for any of the parties involved is impermissible, as everyone errs at some point, and in such cases the truth requires us to contradict them.
To be fair, it is not evident from the video that Dr. Zakir Naik has the same commitment to this alliance. One could argue that his silence when hearing these words from Yusuf Estes is problematic. Furthermore, it is hoped that Dr. Zakir Naik would free himself from the corrupt teachings of Yusuf Estes, especially when some of them were spread on his Peace TV channel [example]. This would show that he does not share the commitment to hizbiyyah expressed by Estes.