Born in the Surat district of India in 1918, Ahmed Hoosen Deedat had no recollection of his father until 1926. His father a tailor by profession had immigrated to South Africa shortly after the birth of Ahmed Deedat.
With no formal education and fighting off the extreme pangs of poverty, he went to South Africa in 1927 to be with his father. His farewell to his mother in India in 1927 was the last time he saw her alive for she passed away a few months later.
In a foreign land, a boy of nine with no formal schooling nor any command of the English language he began preparing for the role he was to play decades later without realizing it.
Applying himself with diligence to his studies, the little boy not only was able to overcome the language barrier but excelled in school. His avid passion for reading helped him gain promotions until he completed standard 6. Lack of finance interrupted his schooling and at the early age of about 16 he took on the first of many jobs in retailing.
The most significant of these was in 1936 where he worked at a Muslim owned store near a Christian seminary on the Natal South Coast. The incessant insults of the trainee missionaries hurled against Islam during their brief visits to the store infused a stubborn flame of desire within the young man to counteract their false propaganda.
As fate would have it, Ahmad Deedat discovered by pure chance a book entitled Izharal-Haq, meaning the Truth revealed. This book recorded the techniques and enormous success of the efforts of Muslims in India in turning the tables against Christian missionary harassment during the British subjugation and rule of India. In particular the idea of holding debates had a profound effect on Ahmed Deedat.
Armed with this new found zeal, Ahmed Deedat purchased his first Bible and began holding debates and discussions with the trainee missionaries. When they beat a hasty retreat in the face of his incisive counter arguments, he personally called on their teachers and even priests in the surrounding areas to discuss and debate topical issues of the day.
These successes spurred Ahmed Deedat in the direction of Daw’ah. Not even his marriage, birth of Children and a 3 year sojourn to Pakistan after its independence dampened his enthusiasm or dulled his desire to defend Islam.
With missionary zeal to project the truth and the pure clinical beauty of Islam, Ahmed Deedat immersed himself into a host of activities over the next three decades. He conducted classes on Bible studies and gave numerous lectures. He established the As-Salaam, an institute to train propagators of Islam. He, together with his family, almost single-handedly erected the buildings including the masjid which is still a landmark today.
He was a founder member of the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI) and became its President. He has published over 20 books and distributed millions of copies free of charge. He has delivered thousands of lectures all over the world and successfully engaged Christian Evangelists in public debates. Several thousand people have come into the fold of Islam as a result of these efforts.
In a fitting tribute to this monumental achievement, he was awarded the King Faisal International award in 1986, a prestigious recognition of enormous value in the world of Islam.
No number of awards and honors can truly capture the man’s essence and zeal for Islam. This anthology of books is no exception. It demonstrates Sheikh Deedat’s analytical compilations drawn from personal encounters and experiences against many prevailing distortions.
In 1996 Shaikh Ahmed Deedat suffered from a serious stroke and remained paralyzed and bedridden for 9 years. On 8th August, 2005 he passed away. May Allah (swt) bless his soul with Jannatul Firdous for his path-breaking and excellent efforts for Daw’ah of Islam worldwide as well as reigniting the spirit of self-esteem and renaissance amongst millions of Muslims the world over.
Books by Shaikh Ahmed Deedat: The Choice – Between Islam and Christianity – Volume I The Choice – Between Islam and Christianity – Volume II Is the Bible God’s Word? Al Qur’an the Miracle of Miracles What is His Name? Christ in Islam What was the sign of Jonah? What the Bible says about Muhammed (pbuh)? Resurrection or Resuscitation? Arabs and Israel – Conflict or Conciliation? Crucifixion or Crucifixion?
The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010-2012 Books: “Shaikh, Muhammad Founder of the International Islamic Propagation Center (IIPC), a da’wa organization based in Karachi, Pakistan, Mohammad Shaikh is well-known as an influential public speaker. He has given numerous lectures on the Qur’an and also founded the English-language IIPC TV channel which broadcasts to viewers across the globe. He was ranked 4th most influential Muslim in the world on a public poll by Reuters in 2009.”
Ranked 4th Most Influential Muslim in the World on a public poll by Reuters in 2009 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/11/17/poll-the-worlds-top-500-muslims-read-and-vote/
Certificate in Comparative Studies: In 1988, Mohammad Shaikh was awarded a certificate from IPCI presented by the honorable Sheikh Ahmed Deedat in Durban, South Africa.
Turning Point in Life: An event early in his career which had a profound effect on Mohammad Shaikh occurred on 15th December, 1986 when some armed criminals broke into his office in Karachi. Soon a struggle ensued and one of the men pulled the trigger, but he was not hit. It was at this point in time, he recalls, that he closed his eyes and prayed to Allah deep in his heart, that if his life were spared, he would dedicate it to His cause – it was as if his prayer was heard, that the armed men all of a sudden broke loose and fled, leaving him physically and psychologically drained.
Approach to The Quran: By explaining the Qur’an through the inflection of Ayaat, he makes it obvious in a subtle manner that most traditional beliefs that have crept within Islamic canon have their origin from the Bible and not the Qur’an.
Opposition from extremists and an attempt on his life: An armed intruder broke into the IIPC building in Karachi and fired gunshots at Mohammad Shaikh from a very close range. Luckily the assassin’s bullets did not prove fatal, and the brother was immediately rushed to hospital and underwent life-saving surgery. He has since then grown stronger in his resolve to propagate the message of Allah to the masses through whatever means available to him.