On Shk. Ahmed Deedat: Controversy in Nabeel Qureshi’s Latest Book

In chapter 15 of No God but One: Allah or Jesus? Dr Nabeel Qureshi writes distastefully about Shk. Ahmed Deedat:

Along with Deedat’s fame grew his inflammatory rhetoric. As a response to the pope’s positive stance to interfaith dialogue, Deedat challenged John Paul II to a debate. When the pope refused, Deedat published a pamphlet titled “His Holiness Plays Hide and Seek with Muslims.” He also famously began to argue that the Bible was pornographic. Further inflammatory speech during a Good Friday lecture earned him the castigation of the Australian government, and he was even banned from entry into Singapore.

In 1996, at the height of his career, Deedat suffered a severe stroke. Among other neurological deficiencies, Deedat was no longer able to speak, and he remained bedridden until his passing in 2005. Some suggested that God had punished him for his words, and other rumours spread that Deedat repudiated Islam just before his passing. Within the Islamic world both these suggestions are resolutely dismissed. Deedat’s fame continues to grow, even after his death, into legendary status.

The problem here is Nabeel lists 3 inflammatory incidents in the career of Shk. Deedat and then he veers off to talk about how he died. OK, not such a big problem…yet. The problem is, straight after this he inexplicably throws in a statement informing the reader what “some” people suggested after his death. He leaves it open ended – he doesn’t opine on  what these “some” people suggested so we don’t know whether he thinks there could be truth in what these “some” or “other” people suggested. He doesn’t say who these “some”  people are so we don’t know whether he’s talking about internet trolls or serious theologians and scholars.

As a professional author one suspects the editing and proof-reading assistance Dr Nabeel Qureshi gets is considerable and the fact he is an experienced author one is left aghast at how this statement wound up in there – it’s almost like a deliberate ploy to sow seeds into the mind of the reader. Seeds suggesting that these “some” people may be right!

Here’s the thing, a teacher could walk into a classroom full of kids and start teaching them about the moon. These kids don’t know anything about the moon and they are relying on the teacher to teach them. If the teacher slips in the old “some people say” tactic and leaves it at that he/she could get the kids going away thinking the moon may be made out of cheese:  “The moon is not a planet, it’s a satellite of the Earth and it rotates at 10 miles per hour. Some people say the moon is made of cheese. OK folks let’s open up those maths books, that’s enough about the moon!”

Do you see what the teacher did there? The teacher tossed a few facts about the moon so the kids were seriously invested in what was being discussed and then boom, the “some people say” tactic is tossed in!

The suggestion Shk. Deedat repudiated Islam while bed-ridden

Let’s be clear here, these “other” people who claim Shk Deedat repudiated Islam on his deathbed are internet trolls. There’s no evidence for this whatsoever. Why is Nabeel paying heed to  baseless claims from internet trolls in a  professional publication?

In fact just by reading his biography or news reports concerning Shk. Deedat’s passing away Nabeel can see this claim is a load of nonsense as he was serving Islam even whilst bed-ridden up to his passing away:

August 8 marks 10 years since Deedat’s death of kidney failure at the age of 87. He was bedridden for the final 10 years of his life, after suffering a stroke that left him paralysed and unable to speak.

Though doctors initially gave him little chance to live, Deedat continued to engage in religious work until his deathcommunicating by using a grid of the alphabet, which he used to spell out words letter-by-letter by signalling with his eyes. [Al Jazeera]

The punished by God claim

More upsetting, why is Dr Nabeel Qureshi leaving the door open for Christians (I’d imagine the bulk of his readership will be Christian) to think Shk. Deedat’s stroke and subsequent paralysis was divine punishment for his words against Christianity.

The “some suggested that God had punished him for his words” statement is a minefield of problems. Nabeel doesn’t tell us his theological views on this. Why leave it open ended at such a critical juncture? You know his Christian readers are left wondering whether (or even believing!)  Jesus punishes people with strokes for things they have said against Trinitarian Christianity.

Why did Nabeel mention these people’s suggestion and remain silent on it?

I’ve been aware of this Christian internet smear to try and undermine the impact of Shk. Ahmed Deedat’s work for a number of years. I wrote about this smear years ago.

Dr Nabeel Qureshi is medically trained so he will know that it really isn’t anything unusual for an aged man of 78 (yes, he was 78 when he had the stroke!) to have a stroke as yearly “around 110,000 people have a stroke in England and it is the third largest cause of death”. It’s even less unusual for an aged man of a south Asian ethnicity (Shk. Deedat was of Indian origin) as this ethnicity along with those of African and Caribbean heritage are predisposed to developing higher blood pressure thus more likely to have strokes! [Medical information and stats on stroke taken from the NHS]

So why the big deal about him having a stroke at 78?

On top of this, Dr Nabeel Qureshi would know having communication problems after a stroke is common: Many people have communication problems after a stroke.  About a third of stroke survivors have some difficulty with speaking or understanding what others say [Source]

But, the fact he had problems speaking is neither here nor there as Shk. Deedat was blessed by God to be able to communicate still to the extent of debating members of the clergy whilst bed-ridden:

Despite his condition, Deedat was able to discuss politics and debate with members of the Christian clergy who visited him. Using a grid of the alphabet, Deedat signalled with a blink for ‘yes’ or a widening of the eyes for ‘no’, guiding his son to spell out words letter by letter. [Al Jazeera]

Dr Nabeel Qureshi and these “some” people need to be careful as this opens the door to stigmatise all stroke victims and all those, young and old, who are disabled and have difficulties speaking.

If Dr Nabeel just doesn’t want to directly say he believes Jesus *may* have punished Shk. Deedat due to it impacting the “Jesus loves you” emotionalism Dr Nabeel and his colleagues preach then why be indirect about it by hiding behind internet trolls? If Nabeel truly believes this *may* be the case, why not say it upfront? Right now, it’s all rather unclear but it doesn’t paint Nabeel in a positive hue as it stands.

Well, let’s wait for Dr Nabeel Qureshi to answer. He’s producing vlogs – I’ve been keeping tabs on them as well as praying and fasting for him –  so it will not be an issue for him to spend a couple of mins just explaining his comments in his book as this is both upsetting and disappointing.


Questions for Nabeel to touch on with grace

  1. Why did you write about what some people suggest (internet trolls) with, what appears to be, strategic placement to sow the seeds of thought that these “suggestions” may be true?
  2. Do you believe Jesus may have punished Shk. Deedat, yes or no? I know as a Trinitarian you do believe Jesus allowed the severe beating of female slaves in Exodus 21:20-21 and ordered the killing of children and mothers in 1 Samuel 15:3.
  3. Will you apologise for any offense caused?

Ending with positivity and respect

A few thoughts on Shk. Ahmed Deedat. He showed tenacity in character and conviction in Allah when he was afflicted at an old age with health problems. If anything, Shk. Deedat should be heralded as an inspiration to people who are suffering from health problems – he not only continued with his work but he also continued to resolutely affirm Allah’s mercy:

Right up to his death, Deedat was studying. He dictated tracts and continued his communication with people around the world.”The latter part of the shaikh’s career was extremely focused,” Hendricks said. In his room, Deedat had two framed quotations by his bedside.

One was a verse from the Quran, Chapter 21, The Prophets: “And (remember) Job, when He cried to his Lord, ‘Truly distress has seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful’.”

The second read: “There is no end to what a man can achieve if he does not mind who gets the credit.” [Al Jazeera]

Categories: Islam

16 replies

  1. >”More upsetting, why is Dr Nabeel Qureshi leaving the door open for Christians (I’d imagine the bulk of his readership will be Christian) to think Shk. Deedat’s stroke and subsequent paralysis was divine punishment for his words against Christianity.”

    Didn’t Nabeel get cancer?

    Let me guess “Oh but that’s different…”

    From his facebook:

    >”This is an announcement that I never expected to make, but God in His infinite and sovereign wisdom has chosen me for this refining, and I pray He will be glorified through my body and my spirit. My family and I have received the news that I have advanced stomach cancer, and the clinical prognosis is quite grim.”

    When Nabeel gets cancer it’s “chosen me for this refining”, but when Deedat is ill it’s divine punishment.

    No consistency. No shame. Just hypocrisy, double standards, and flawed logic.

    In the real world, when old people (or anyone really) get sick, we don’t conclude God has decided to punish them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Consistent,

    I just think Nabeel’s audience is that of his own echo chamber and people who are moved by emotions rather than serious minded research and thought.

    Nabeel is a slapdash apologist who makes a lot of mistakes in logic (mainly that of inconsistency) and factual errors.

    I thought his attempt to prove the Trinity idea is in the Old Testament was testimony to how slapdash he is an apologist

    And to understand the level of the ppl Nabeel’s presentations are geared for just check out this absurd claim to try and shoehorn the Trinity into the Shema

    There’s so much more from Nabeel in his arguments against Islam and his arguments for the Trinity and Christianity that I could use to highlight the low level of apologetics he employs. It speaks volumes to the current trend in Christian apologetics of speaking to the already convinced (their own echo-chamber).


  3. Nabeel Qureshi …. What a liar! I’m really upset and angry.
    I think he wrote that passage before he has been diagnosed with cancer.
    He should have learned from Sh Deedat how the believer should behave when something bad happanes to him. Sh Deedat – May Allah have mercy on him- was patient ( Saber) for that test. Why didn’t he ask his students about the last years of Sh Deedat? He was prasing Allah till he died.
    Nabeel keeps complaining and crying although he knows for sure that his god loves him, and god has saved him.
    Nabeel has been officially a shoe for the clown and missionaries.
    May Allah expose them all.
    Those arrogant missionaries,how could they escape from the judgment of Allah. How many years are they going to live? 70 …80 … 100? They will eventually die and face the consequences of these lies.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. May Allah have mercy on and bless the soul of Sh Ahmed Deedat.

    The fact that he continued to make Dawah in a state of illness is a testament to the good in him Inshaa’a Allah. What would most of us do in that state?

    In fact what are most of us doing whilst healthy?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amin..i had the pleasure of meeting Sh Ahmed Deedat during his debate here in Melbourne Australian… Alhumdulilah he was such an amazing character 🙂 ..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yahya Snow, you are doing the best pieces, in my opinion, especially those documenting Dr Qureshi and the recent video exposing Shamoun, who provided evidence that Islam is true! Of all the people, it is Shamoun who provided proof that Islam is true! Wow! It seems you are reading Nabeel’s Book, could you maybe do a quick refutation of it as well, and send it to him?


    • Avi,

      Yusuf Ismail completed the book and he wasn’t impressed. He thought it was as though Nabeel was borrowing from anti-Islam websites. That’s the low level of the book – it’s not academic. Internet polemics.

      I had his book but have now lost the download but it’s a good idea to review it. Could be something for the future. Thanks for the suggestion.


  6. What a outrageous falsehood that was circulated about Ahmad Deedat.

    I remember Imam Siraj Wahaj speaking at a conference I attended in the US talking about Ahmad Deedat’s condition and how all he wanted after he had his condition is for his son to read him the Qur’an.

    Sirah Wahaj knew him well….Imam Siraj is the moderator in the famous Deedat and Swaggart debate.

    May Allah guide Nabeel to Islam.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, as a Christian, I want to say that what happened to Deedat was very sad. He certainly didn’t deserve to live the last decade of his life like that. I would never attribute this misfortune to the Divine as I don’t know the mind of God. Does everyone who has a stroke suffer from it because of God? I would never claim to know and neither should Qureshi.

    Regardless, I have absolutely no respect for Ahmed Deedat. He was like a schoolyard bully. He picked weak opponents and was rarely respectful in his debates. He never debated people that could respond to his arguments. The exception was McDowell who crushed him in debate. He had absolutely no class whatsoever. The man was rude and extremely disrespectful. Could you imagine Shabir Ally, Abdullah Kunde, or Bassam Zawadi behaving like Deedat? No. Thankfully most Islamic apologists have moved away from his poor conduct and argumentation. Regardless, his name is held in high regard amongst Muslim apologists. This is probably because he’s essentially the pioneer of modern Islamic apologetics.


    • “He picked weak opponents ”
      This is not true. He was open for any challenge, and his style was so impressive for crushing those who are ignorant in their own religion although some of them had Phd degrees!

      “rarely respectful in his debates”? Why? Have you seen what his opponents said at that time? His Style is very good for certain of people.
      BTW, he raised questions and analysis which christians till this day have not answered such as the example of Jonah’s sign & the problematic of three days.


  8. Hi Allan,

    I see what you mean but please be mindful of the context of Deedat’s environment. He would witness regular Bible thumping and deceitful tactics used to try to convert people, including Muslims, to Christianity.

    And he was living in Apartheid South Africa. Most Muslims were probably of Indian origin or Africans….and thus were beneath the Whites.

    Deedat explicitly stated that his purpose was build up the morale of Muslims undergoing underhand missionary tactics.

    Deedat was a very good and kind man. Don’t judge his attitude by the debates in the peculiar context he was in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point. Somebody’s debate/on-stage persona isn’t necessarily the way they carry themselves in everyday life. In fact in many cases there’s a theatre added when on stage.


  9. what was jesus sin for which he was crucified and had such a terrible death? huh these christian zombies should be left alone.


  10. Form the Islamic perspective,
    1)The prophet (ﷺ) said “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Sahih Muslim).

    Remember! This applies for no one EXCEPT the believer.

    2) Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: ” There is no trouble that comes to a believer except that it obliterates from his sins, even if it is the pricking of a thorn ” (Sahih Muslim).

    On the other hand, I’m wondering what the christian perspective is to what happaned to Nabeel. I mean christians believe and sometime arrogantly that they defeat the sins already once they believe in death of god and his resurrection!, and the good deeds don’t play any role with the all loving god.

    يارب أحيينا على الإسلام وتوفنا عليه وارحم ضعفنا ولا تؤاخذنا بما لا طاقة لنا به



  1. Did Nabeel Qureshi Mocked Ahmed Deedat about his Death? – Seasoned Apologist

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