Saturday, August 8, 2015

10 years ago: The death of Islamic apologist Ahmed Deedat

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 (also Proverbs 16:25)

On August 8, 2005, Indian-born South African Islamic missionary and apologist Ahmed Deedat died at the age of 87. Mr. Deedat began his missionary work in 1942 and co-founded the Islamic Propaganda Centre International (IPCI) in 1957. He became known for debating Christians in South Africa and throughout the world. A prominent example was his debate before 4,000 people at West Ridge Park Stadium in Durban, South Africa in August 1981 with Campus Crusade for Christ apologist Josh McDowell on the topic Was Christ Crucified? Click on the link for a free download of the book The Islam Debate (1983) by Mr. McDowell and John Gilchrist, which includes the entire text of the debate. Click on the link for a free download of the book Mr. Deedat wrote in response, Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction. It hardly needs to be said (but I'll say it, anyway) that the issue of whether or not Jesus Christ was crucified isn't a minor point of contention between Christianity and Islam, but a life-or-death difference:

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; I Corinthians 1:23

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I Corinthians 2:2

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah"; - but they did not kill him, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they did not kill him: - The Qur'an, Surah 4:157

Mr. Deedat was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in 1986 for his 50 years of missionary work, but began to attract increasing criticism when he increased his own criticism of other religions. It was said that Christians in South Africa warned Mr. Deedat that if he didn't stop his attacks on Christianity, God would strike him down. I don't know if South African Christians issued such warnings--that may be an urban legend--but Mr. Deedat was indeed struck down by a severe stroke on May 3, 1996, leaving him with "locked-in" syndrome, bedridden and unable to communicate except through moving his eyes. This may very well have been the Lord's way of getting Mr. Deedat's attention in order to encourage him to repent; tragically, Mr. Deedat continued to promote the false gospel of Islam during the remaining nine years of his life.

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