Countering Zakir Naik’s challenge to Hindus

Zakir Naik is again in the news. His organisation is allegedly involved in financing the CAA protests and Delhi riots.

He tries to appear as a scholar but his scholarship is based only on unverifiable belief – the belief that Muslims need to dominate the world. Only then Allah would be happy and the world at peace.

Many are impressed by him. It flatters people if they are told that their group is superior to all others and soon they will be ruling the world. Unfortunately, they don’t question if their belief is based on truth.

A few years ago, Zakir Naik had allegedly told his Muslim audience that it’s easy to convert Hindus. Muslims only need to point to Ganesha, with his Elephant head, big belly, love for laddus and a mouse as his vehicle and ask them whether this is their God whom they worship. He threw a challenge to prove that Ganapati is God.

On my blog someone commented, “We Hindus are pathetic. We complain about feeling insulted, but we don’t counter him.”

This comment stuck with me, but who was I to counter? It would need to be done by a Hindu representative. But probably no Guru, Swami, or Sanskrit scholar would do it. Hindu representatives generally don’t criticise other religions in spite of the fact that Christian and Islamic clergy not only criticise, but demean Hinduism badly. Zakir Naik is only one example. Do Hindus even know what is preached in the innumerable churches and mosques across India? I know for sure that Hindu gods are called devils by Christian clergy. Yet strangely, Hindus neither explain their faith nor challenge the unacceptable dogmas of those religions which claim they alone are true and those who don’t accept it, will burn in hell.

So I sat down and gave a counter to Zakir Naik.

Namaste Dr. Zakir Naik,

You challenged to prove that Ganapati is God. I assume you mean by God the Supreme Being that Muslims call Allah. Now what do we know about Allah?

Foremost, Allah is compassionate and merciful, thus starts Al-Fatha, the first Sura of the Quran. Allah also knows what all human beings are doing, but he is separate from them. It is claimed that Allah has communicated his final words to Prophet Mohamed. Those words are in the Quran. Allah declared that Islam alone is true. So, all human beings must follow Islam because other paths are wrong. And they must hurry up, because every human being has only one life.

Those, who do not accept Islam during their lifetime, will be thrown into eternal hellfire where “boiling water will be poured over their heads that not only melts their skin but also the inner parts of their bellies…” (Q22.19-22)

Clearly, here is where Allah’s mercy ends. He does not brook any dissent. And Al-Fatha, which started compassionately, ends with: “Oh Allah, guide us to the Right Way. The Way of those whom You have favoured, not of those who have earned Your wrath…”

This means, Allah is merciful only to his followers who are called Muslims and he is wrathful to those who are not Muslims.

Dr. Zakir Naik, I am confident that I got the concept of ‘God’ in Islam right because Christianity has a similar concept. And I dare to claim that this concept is not true. Can you prove (and this challenge goes also to Christian clerics) that Allah/ God is indeed so unfair and divisive? Can you prove there will be this huge cauldron of fire where billions of people will burn for ever after Judgment Day? Do these claims of “eternal hellfire for unbelievers” not rather have the purpose to keep the flock in check? To divide and rule?

There are about 2 billion Christians, who are told they have to remain Christians, otherwise they can’t go to heaven. And then there are about 2 billion Muslims who are told that they have to remain Muslims, otherwise they can’t go to paradise. Both religions had plenty of time to sort out which one is true, but they did not do it. Why? Because they cannot prove it. They can only make claims and counterclaims and fight among themselves, between Muslims and Christians and with heathens or infidels. They do this for the last 2000 years.

Under these circumstances, can anyone claim that Islam or Christianity is beneficial for humanity? Is it not time to have a thorough check of what REALLY is the truth?

In regard to the absolute Truth, Dr. Zakir Naik, your ancestors, the Indian Rishis, made valuable contributions and you can be proud of them. In ancient times, long, long before Christianity or Islam appeared on the scene, the Rishis had a very mature understanding of Brahman which would be ‘Truth’ or ‘Supreme Being’ or ‘God’ in English. Brahman is not personal, not a superhuman entity somewhere in heaven, not male or female, not jealous of other gods, not revengeful if ignored, but is Sat-Chit-Ananda, the conscious, one essence in all names and forms – like the one ocean is the essence of all the waves.

The Rishis realised that this universe is a wrong perception of Brahman. They called it Maya, not really true, only apparently true.

For anything to qualify as absolute Truth, it has to be always – past, present and future – and it has to be self-evident.

The Rishis came to the conclusion that nothing fulfils these criteria except pure (= thought free) consciousness. This consciousness is here and now, always, everywhere. Yet we miss it because we focus only on things or thoughts, emotions, etc.  – like, when we focus a torchlight in a room only on the furniture and miss the empty space. Infinite space, which throbs with life and love is actually a good metaphor for Sat-Chit-Ananda – the highest truth that underlies names and forms (nama-rupa).

Science has meanwhile discovered the Sat-aspect of the truth. Oneness is there. To discover that this Oneness is also aware (Chit) and blissful (Ananda) scientists would need to turn to their own consciousness to research further instead of looking outside. Let us see whether in future the scientists will support also the claim of the Rishis that this whole manifestation is alive and full of bliss.

In one point, however, you are right, Dr. Zakir Naik: There is only one Truth, one God, which the wise call by different names. But the nature of that one God you got wrong. It does not send non-Muslims or non-Christians eternally into hellfire. The Supreme Being is indeed merciful and compassionate.

But you wanted to know who is Ganapati.

May I explain a bit of your ancestors’ tradition which struck me as most profound when I came to know of it?

Sanatana Dharma is not only about intellectually knowing Sat-Chit-Ananda, but about realising it. Since Brahman is all pervading, it must be also in us (“Ayam Atma Brahma”, and “Aham Brahmasmi” claim the Upanishads). So we can tap and feel it. For this, however, we need to follow certain rules. We need to purify ourselves, lead a moral life, speak the truth, etc. To eat plenty of meat and have plenty of sex is not conducive for this purification. Yet one factor is very conducive: Bhakti – love for God.

Here Hindu Dharma brings in Ishwara.

The concept of Ishwara is close to the Abrahamic notion of a personal God but more benevolent. There is no eternal hell for unbelievers, though temporary hell for bad karma exists. Everyone gets chance after chance in life after life till he realises that he is not a separate wave, but one with the ocean.

Ishwara is God with attributes and has innumerable aspects, as this universe has innumerable aspects or human nature has innumerable aspects. These aspects are personified in different deities or gods and the devotee can choose the one who is dearest to him. It helps to develop love for the invisible Truth – for example through Ganapati.

Those Devas are mistakenly much maligned by Christianity and Islam. They are not separate entities but kind of access points to the one Brahman, which is otherwise unimaginable. It is possible to feel familiar with them, to love them, to talk with them. And the scriptures leave no doubt that devas are ultimately Brahman.

And here, Dr. Naik, you may get an answer to your question whether Ganapati is ultimately the Supreme Being.

The Ganapati Atharvashirsa Upanishad, which is part of the Atharva Veda, states: “Tvameva kevalam karta si, tvameva kevalam dharta si, tvameva kevalam harta si.

Tvameva sarvam khalvidam brahmasi, tvam saksadatma si nityam.”

It means: You alone are the creator, you alone are the sustainer, you alone are the annihilator. All this is Brahman and you are that Brahman. You are indeed the Atman eternally.

This declaration, however, is not unique for Ganapati. It is said for other deities, too.

Yet the fact that this is written in a sacred text, is not proof enough. There are plenty of sacred texts in this world and if everything in them is blindly accepted as true, we end up with all kind of proclaimed truths which are not true. We need to verify what is declared as truth on the touchstone of reason, intuition and experience. If it contradicts all of these, it is not worth believing it and certainly not dying for it.

The proof that all deities are Brahman is because only Brahman really exists. Brahman is like the ocean. The waves are not separate from it. The name by which one worships the Divine, does not matter. What matters is how much devotion one feels. The greater the devotion, the more miracles can happen. Ganapati is loved by millions of Hindus worldwide. He is the door through which they try to access Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Sanatana Dharma is very ancient. And yet the Rishis had such deep insights, for example that the world is a wrong perception of what is really true, like seeing a snake at dusk when in fact there is only a rope. Westerners who ridiculed Hindus because they believe that the world is an illusion keep now quiet as science supports the Hindu view.

Meanwhile NASA scientists have detected the building blocks of DNA in meteorites. The Max Planck Institute in Germany published the first picture of the whole universe. It had an oval shape. Could it be possible that those who ridicule Hindus for worshipping a Shiva lingam might soon rethink their attitude, as well, lest they embarrass themselves?

Great men have come and gone in India’s ancient civilisation. Some have been made into gods. There is nothing wrong with it. The Divine is in all.

It should make you reflect, Dr. Naik that science keeps validating the insights of the Rishis, for example the mindboggling age of the universe, or the ultimate Oneness of all.

Attempts to vilify Indian tradition by you and others are successful because the British weaned Indians away from their tradition and most people know little about it. Yet if you are sincere, you will realise that the wisdom of your ancestors scores high over the worldview and the mind set of Abrahamic religions. The attitude of “We alone are right and you go to hell if you don’t accept our religion” is doing great harm to humanity. It may be helpful for world dominion, but do you want to live in a world where everyone has to wear a strait-jacket?

If I were you, Dr. Naik, I would be worried especially about one thing: what if you wake up after death and there is NO paradise waiting for you? What if all those Jihadis, who were inspired by you, cursed you after realising there was no paradise for them? What if you are taking birth again in another form and reap the fruits of your actions of this life where you consciously or unconsciously distorted the truth? Rebirth is not only mentioned in the Indian texts. There is also plenty of evidence for it – over 3000 cases are documented in the archive of Virginia University.

Dr. Naik, I don’t know how deeply you believe what you preach. I know from personal experience how effective brainwashing in childhood can be. But I also know that it is possible to get out of it.

For me, it was a great relief to come out of the Christian religious strait jacket and I would encourage you to also genuinely enquire into the truth. Your concept of God is not the ultimate Truth. You quote a book as support. Truth does not fit into a book. Truth is THAT WHAT TRULY IS.

Your ancestors, the Indian Rishis, spoke from experience, not from book knowledge.

Yours Sincerely

Maria Wirth




  1. First of all, Koran is the revelation of a vengeful angel. The revelation of God comes directly through realized sages who have crossed the seventh spiritual sky in the spiritual hierarchy, and not through someone possessed by an angel. Ganapati means the Lord of the Ganas or hosts of devatas. The position of Ganapati is equal to a Rishi who has transcended the seventh spiritual sky. Ordinary Hindus also do not know about it. Islam and Christianity do not have knowledge about spiritual stages and the theory of spiritual evolution through yuga cycles and several births and deaths. Every yuga has a certain number of spiritual guides or gurus to lead humanity towards spiritual evolution. It does not end with a particular guru or prophet. Angels are said to corrupt human beings through their intervention. So through Koran, a bloodthirsty angel was successful to mislead a large number of people who indulge in coercion and violence in the name of God. Millions of people died due to Islam and continue to die.

    Sanatana Dharma upholds the concept of Parabrahm or Paramatma, the One God of the universe. Between the Paramatma and man, there is only one medium – His messengers, the sages, seers, and gurus who appear from time to time at appropriate intervals and at different places for the spiritual guidance of humanity. Sanatana Dharma is the spiritual culture of such Rishis and Sages in the Manu Parampara, from time immemorial. Although Sanatana Dharma accepts the existence of devatas in the pyramid of the spiritual hierarchy, the object of worship in Sanatana Dharma is Parabrahm, the absolute Truth alone, under the guidance of a realized Guru.

    Although the prophetic religions advocate the belief in One God and the mediumship of a Prophet, the idea of creation presented through them does not satisfy the scientific temper of the man. Moreover, they lack important concepts related to the Cosmic architecture, Manvantara Time Cycles, the evolution of Jeevas through various Lokas, the theory of Karma and rebirth, etc. that are fundamental to Sanatana Dharma. They also lack a profound spiritual past in comparison with the long history and refinement of Indian thought and spirituality, states Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru in his book, ‘A Dialogue on Human Prospect’:

    “Islam and Christianity are prophetic religions that do not have a long history. Besides, there is a deviation from the time of Moses. Also, these two religions have more or less performed their functions, in their respective paths…. However, elevated these religious groups might have become through education and affluence and however long they might have stayed close to political power there is something lacking. That is the refinement of Sanatana Dharma that comes with a virtuous way of life combining cleanliness, tidiness, and humility envisaged in the Hindu way of life.

    “Besides, other Paramparas have not been able to go deep into spirituality as the Sanatana or perennial law of the Manvantara system. It is a matter of divine intervention. Such depth of spirituality as this is difficult to find elsewhere. And so is such extensive history and religious culture. Still more significantly, the responsibility of working for the remaining time-period of this Manu Parampara is vested in the dharma of the Hindus. The Manu Parampara is the means to impart the Law of the Supreme to the world. Therefore, the essence of all religions inheres in this system. An alternative to this way cannot evolve easily in the world.

    “India is a land of great wisdom and great civilizations grown over vast periods of time. It should therefore strive to establish the perfect culture willed by the Almighty. Not only Christians or Muslims alone—all religions ought to heed this. Though each world religion is essentially part of a totality, each has been separately ennobled by many great men from time to time with their self-sacrifice and effort which have given rise to different customs and traditions. Many such traditions are visible in Hindu¬ism itself. It is doubtful if any other religion is enriched to this extent. In order to mould life in keeping with this Age—the Kali—theolo¬gians and all believers of various religions should assess this Kali and its composite culture, the samskara mentioned in the Gita. This is a process to be achieved by the present and future generations”. (Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru, A Dialogue on Human Prospect).

    The concept of the last Messenger or the only Saviour is foreign to the Dharmic civilization of Bharat. Such a concept means the death of the spiritual evolution of mankind and further inquiries into the questions of life and death or about God and the Universe by the generations to come. It negates both the significance and possibilities of spiritual interventions in the past as well as in the future. Viewed thus, the religious concepts presented by the Jews and Arabs through their theology are contrary to the very evolutionary spiritual process of God. While the God of their Book is compassionate to the believers, he speaks of hell and torment to non-believers. It only reflects the value system of an immature tribal civilization to which the early Jews and Arabs belonged.

    The God of Dharmic religions is dispassionate. He is not revengeful; he is equally compassionate to the virtuous as well as to the sinners including the non-believers. He does not say a soul is a born sinner. He transforms the non-believers into believers not through threats and promises of torment but through the assurance that they can reach him through the realization of truth by self-effort and self-experiences. It may take many lives, but in the end, the soul sees light and realizes the truth of God. That is the firm basis of faith. The flowering of the love of God and the yearning to unite with God springs from such inspired love. Forcing people to believe can only blunt the mind and kill reason. It leads to intolerance, injustice, and annihilation of human freedom.

  2. Wonderful post. And blog. 😤

      1. Michele da Bari · ·

        Your insights are a revelation for Europeans as well. Thank you Madam.

  3. Maria ji, excellent rebuttal. I request you to post YouTube of the same. Many people lack patience to read something and anything in video format would draw more audience.

    1. I am not good at talking 🙁

  4. Muthukumar R · · Reply

    Dear Maria

    I appreciate your writings. I must confess I have tried to pray for protection to Sanatana Dharma against all disruptive forces but that only leads to tension in my mind. How come God has allowed decent of such a vile religion on this earth.

    At the same time God appears to be saying be patient and watch as things evolve. I am afraid of the bloodshed that will come in the wake of Islamic expansionism.

    Once I, keen to know Islamic teachings, tried to buy quart in English – somehow I could not buy Zakir Nails books – as if some unseen hand prevented me from buying them. Instead I bought some other authors writing.

    Most Hindu saints of the status of incarnations have not said anything against Islam – such as Sai Baba, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Anandamayi Maa, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt.

    They are all cool ad confident – is there some secret behind their calm? There is some theory that Mohammed was given a boon – which led to brith of Islam and it shall run out in due course. Once the period of benediction is over Islam will wind up. God knows what is the truth but Norway, Sweden and Europe are also burning because of Islamic aggression.

    I request you to do some research on origins of Islam and what led to its coming into being and when will it end.


    Muthu >

    1. It’s an interesting angle to look at Islam. Ultimately it’s not in our hands yet nevertheless we need to do our best what we think is right

    2. Sir, Your article was enlightening.

  5. Colonel Arun joshi · · Reply

    Spot on. You are super

    1. Thanks for appreciating it

  6. P V Venkatakrishnan · · Reply

    This post is simply fantastic. You are truly a Rishi yourself going by your understanding of Hinduism. May Brahman give you strength for your efforts to educate people about the Sanathana Dharma.

    1. Thank you, but am a sadhak. Really amazing what caliber the Rishis had.
      I wonder how could they map the sky, how know the influence of planets? Etc etc

  7. Dr.S.Himesh · · Reply

    Kudos Mam  wonderfull article, analytical, objective, scientific  Dr.S.Himesh

    1. thank you, sorry, see your comment only now…

  8. arishsahani · · Reply


  9. Most Propagated Phrase is :-


  10. Oh boy, Dr. Zakir Naik this fake intellectual doesn’t deserve any reply. He is the ultimate snake oil sales man. Within 5 mins. of watching any of his videos it is clear what a sham artist he is. Alas most of the people think he makes sense. But the rebuttals here are fantastic!

  11. excellent replay. thank you. in your reply you have used the words “reason, intuition and experience” instead of the word “reason” it should have been “logic that supports experience” should have been there. please visit and go to publications section (English section) and download all the books free of cost and please read. all the books contained in tha website is on Vedanta only. thanks and regards. RAVI

    1. sorry to approve so late, see your comment only now

  12. A great post. Zakir is a criminal, period. He has great convincing capacity, he uses that for brainwashing people. This type of evil people are enemy to the mankind.

    1. sorry for approving so late. see your comment only now…

  13. Dayal N Harjani aka Daduzen · · Reply


    My love, subtle as ether, the One
    Permeating all, untarnished by none

    Substrata & origin of supreme thought waves
    Our Rishis to fathom meditated in caves

    They heard the sound& heartily gave
    Spiritual knowledge for us to sustain and save

    No dogma, no pressure, no force
    Freedom and choice to reach ultimate source

    Higher than the highest, replete with treasure
    To scale and seek, seekers divine pleasure

    One & only One in this galactic centre
    Gods, Goddesses revolve around benign epicentre

    Motherly, delicate, receptive its domain
    Sanatana Dharma is its eternal name

    Poised to spread in purity & love
    To every corner as a white dove

    Call it of Sindhu, Hindu or Sanatana dharma
    It’s all about gyan, dhyan, bhakti & karma

    If I am born again & again
    Under its umbrella, I shall eternally remain

    My eternal Love- Daduzen (c) on 5th September 2020

  14. Surya, USA · · Reply

    Many Muslim preachers spread hatred unfortunately. Most muslims are aware of this fact they remain complicit as the retribution will be severe should they choose to criticize.

  15. Maria Wirth Ma’am
    Read your article and found it enlightening ,it added to my knowledge .Thanks

  16. Wow what a great piece of writing. love your insights Mam. Whether one follows Hinduism or not, we “Accept” everyone. Acceptance is one of the most beautiful trait of any religion. Trying to dominate others religion will only lead to one’s self destruction.

    1. thank you. however being accepting of the intolerant and declared enemy is not advisable…

  17. Suhas Patil · · Reply

    We Hindus & Hinduism will be thankful to you mam for your awesome knowledge share & standing firm on Hinduism beliefs….

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