Muslim Televangelists and the Construction of Religious Authority in the Modern World: The Case of Zakir Naik Open Access

Haqqani, Shehnaz (2011)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/1v53jx47x?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Muslim Televangelists and the Construction of Religious Authority in the Modern World: The Case of Zakir Naik
By Shehnaz Haqqani

The notion of religious authority in Muslim societies has been a subject of scholarly debate for centuries, and this includes the authority of popular preachers. It has been acknowledged that there is competition for authority among different groups of the 'ulama, or scholars of Islam trained in traditional Islamic institutions and preachers. However, as of yet, no academic studies seem to have addressed the phenomenon of a rising Indian preacher named Zakir Naik. This study aims to fill that gap by showing how Naik is able to gain authority among Sunni Muslims of South Asian background and by discussing the modern changes and tools that enable him to assert authority.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction …………………………………………………………..….…………… 1

Chapter 1: Preaching in the Muslim World ……………………….…..………… 5

1.1: Religious Authority in Islam …………………………..………......….……. 7

1.2: Previous Scholarship ……………….……..………….………….…….…… 14

1.3: Contemporary Changes in the Islamic World ……………….……....... 16

Chapter 2: Zakir Naik and Other Preachers ……………………..………….… 20

2.1: Zakir Naik's Biography …………...….………………………..………....… 20

2.2: Other Preachers ……….…………………………………..…………....…… 28

Chapter 3: Zakir Naik's Presentation …………..……………………..…........ 35

3.1: Naik's Audience …………………………………………..…….….............. 35

3.2: Zakir Naik on Science ……….……………………...…..…..….…………... 45

3.3: Zakir Naik on Women's Rights in Islam ……………..…..…………….…. 51

Chapter 4: Virtual Religious Authority ………………..…………………….….. 64

Conclusion ……………………………………………………………...….....……… 71

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