Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is a renowned non-Arabic Islamic scholar, public orator and an acclaimed authority on comparative religion. Born in Mumbai, Maharastra, India on October 18, 1965, Dr. Naik attended St. Peter’s High School in Mumbai and the Kishinchand Chellaram College before joining Topiwala National Medical College and Nair Hospital and the University of Mumbai, attaining his bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery (MB, BS).
Dr. Naik’s dedicated efforts in the field of Islamic Dawah (Call) date back to 1991, when he established and led the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) of India. He then founded the Islamic International School in Mumbai and the United Islamic Aid, which provides scholarship to poor and destitute Muslim youth. He also established a series of schools in some Arabic and Islamic countries to train non-Arab Muslim students from an early age on Arabic language and Quranic studies. Another important6 achievement of Dr. Naik’s was founding Assalam television channel (Peace TV), the only channel in the world specialized in comparative religion. Its programs are broadcast in English, Urdu and Bangali languages and viewers of the English channel alone are estimated to exceed 100 million. Naik’s vast religious knowledge is not limited to one faith but to several other religions including Christianity, Hindu, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism. He has even established a specialized organization for comparative religious studies and organized several training courses for scholars of this field worldwide.
Over the years, Dr. Zakir Naik presented hundreds of public lectures and debates around the world which explain the Islamic faith, defend its teachings and propagate its principles on the basis of the Holy Quran and authentic Sunna (sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad). Many of his lectures and debates are recorded and widely distributed in video and DVD media, booklets and online. His talks are also broadcast on cable networks in Mumbai’s Muslim areas, and on the Peace TV channel. Topics he speaks on include: “Islam and Modern Science”, “Islam and Christianity”, and “Islam and secularism”. Many of his speeches and debates have also focused on correcting misconceptions about Islam in the minds of some Muslim youth. He exerted strenuous efforts to counter anti-Islamic sentiment in the Western media following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Not only did he emphasize that Islam is a religion of reason and logic but also that the Holy Quran contains hundreds of verses relating to science. His passionate defense of Islam has contributed to the conversion of about 34,000 Americans to Islam from September 2001 to July 2002″.
Dr. Naik’s remarkable accomplishments have been recognized by prestigious awards and honors. In 2004, he was awarded An honorary doctorate degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) by the University of the Gambia. In 2013, the Malaysian Head of State presented him with the Distinguished International Personality Award. In the same year, he received the Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work from the Ruler of Sharjah and the 2013 Islamic Personality Award for World Peace from the Ruler of Dubai. In 2014, the President of the Gambia awarded him the Insignia of the Commander of the National Order of the Republic of the Gambia.
He was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in recognition of his outstanding services to Islam, including the following:
1- As one of the most renowned non-Arabic speaking promulgators of Islam, Dr. Zakir Naik has presented hundreds of public lectures and debates which explain the Islamic creed, defend its teachings and propagate its principles on the basis of the Holy Quran and authentic Sunna (sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad).
2- He has also paid considerable attention to comparative religion, and became a renowned authority on this subject throughout the Islamic nation. His vast religious knowledge is not limited to one faith but to several other religions including Christianity, Hindu, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism. He has even established a specialized organization for comparative religious studies and organized several training courses for scholars of this field worldwide.
3- He has founded a television channel, Assalam (Peace Channel), which remains the only television channel in the world specializing in comparative religion. Its programs are broadcast in English, Urdu and Bangali languages and viewers of the English channel are estimated to exceed 100 millions.
4- He has also established a series of schools, initially in India and subsequently in a number of Arabic and Islamic countries. These schools train non-Arab students from an early age on Arabic language and Quranic studies, in addition to regular classes of other curricula in English.