KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Controversial Indian televangelist Dr Zakir Naik led four more non-Muslims in their conversion into Islam at his sole lecture in the capital titled “Is Quran the word of God?” last night.
The two men and two women recited the “shahadah” — the Islamic declaration of faith — after Dr Zakir answered their questions on Islam and their own religions in the six-hour session which stretched into the early morning.
The first person to convert was an Indian national, Harinder Pal Singh, who said he has been residing here for three years and had learned about Islam over the past year.
“He told me everything about my [previous] religion and Islam, that there is no image of any God. I will follow Islam. I will be good in Islam. I’ll do my best,” he told reporters later, referring to Dr Zakir.
He earlier had asked the Mumbai-based preacher about the requirement for a non-Muslim to embrace Islam if one wanted to marry a Muslim.
Harinder’s conversion just after midnight was followed by a series of conversions in the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil here, which despite the rain drew tens of thousands of attendees.
The next conversion by Dr Zakir saw an unidentified local woman dressed in a black robe and headgear, claiming to be a Roman Catholic. Instead of asking any question, the woman immediately said she too wanted to convert, allegedly impressed with the lecture.
The woman insisted that her request was out of her free will and she was not paid to do so, and was in tears after she was embraced by volunteers and several Muslim women around her following her conversion.
Around 1.30 am, another non-Muslim man who initially wanted to ask a question gave way to allow a Buddhist girl identified as Michelle to convert.
The last conversion of the night saw Joel anak Along, 26, embracing Islam, after admitting that he has been Dr Zakir’s staunch follower and was also moved by the lecture.
The man from Sarawak said he had been learning about Islam from missionaries at the Hidayah Centre Foundation.
Dr Zakir’s lectures regularly see some members of the audience convert into Islam, almost always during the question-and-answer session, and usually purportedly as a result of their awe of his speech.
Last Thursday, Woo Nina Grace, 19, left Christianity for Islam in Dr Zakir’s lecture in Kemaman, Terengganu after learning about Islam in secret for six years. She has since been adopted by the Terengganu state government.
The Bukit Jalil lecture last night was part of Dr Zakir’s one-week tour organised by Terengganu, and his last lecture in Malacca today will be on the topic of “Islam — Problems and solutions to humanity”.