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• Name: Zakir Naik
• Born: 18 october 1965 (age 50)
• Religion: Islam
• Education: MBBS
• Residence: Dubai, Arab United Emirates
• Occupation: President of Islamic Research Foundation
• Zakir Naik (born 18 October 1965 in Mumbai, India) is
an Indian Islamic preacher, who has been called an
"authority on comparative religion", "perhaps the most
influential Salafi ideologue in India", and "the world's
leading Salafi evangelist". He is the founder and president
of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), and founder of
the "comparative religion" Peace TV channel, through
which he reaches a reported 100 million viewers. Unlike
many Islamic preachers, his lectures are colloquial, given in
English not Urdu or Arabic, and he wears a suit and tie
rather than traditional garb.
• Zakir Naik was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Later he enrolled
at Kishinchand Chellaram College, before studying medicine at Topiwala
National Medical College and Nair Hospital and later the University of
Mumbai, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
(MBBS). His wife, Farhat Naik, works for the women's section of the IRF
• In 1991 he started working in the field of Dawah, and founded the Islamic
Research Foundation. Naik says he was inspired by Ahmed Deedat, an
Islamic preacher, having met him in 1987 (Naik is sometimes referred to as
"Deedat plus", a label given to him by Deedat himself.
• Naik has held many debates and lectures around the world.
Anthropologist Thomas Blom Hansen has written that Naik's style of
memorising the Quran and Hadith literature in various languages, and
his related missionary activity, has made him extremely popular in
Muslim circles. Many of his debates are recorded and widely
distributed in video and DVD media and online. His talks are usually
recorded in English and broadcast on weekends on several cable
networks in Mumbai's Muslim neighbourhoods, and on the Peace
TV channel, which he co-produces. Topics he speaks on include:
"Islam and Modern Science", "Islam and Christianity", and "Islam and
secularism”. The Indian government banned the Peace TV channel in
• Islamic Personality of the Year Award 2013 from The Dubai International Holy
Quran Award. The award was presented by Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler
of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates.
• On 5 November 2013, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia conferred
aMa'al Hijrah Distinguished Personality award to Naik. In a ceremony at
the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, the award was presented by Yang
di-Pertuan Agong, Malaysia's head of state.
• On 2 February 2015, he was awarded the King Faisal International Prize for
Services to Islam.
• He is listed in the book The 500 Most Influential Muslims under honourable mention,
in the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013/2014 editions.
• Naik says that his goal is to "concentrate on the educated Muslim youth who
have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel the
religion is outdated". He considers it a duty of every Muslim to remove
perceived misconceptions about Islam and to counter what he views as the
Western media's anti-Islamic bias in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001
attacks in the United States. Naik has said that "despite the strident anti-
Islam campaign, 34,000 Americans have embraced Islam from September
2001 to July 2002". According to Naik, Islam is a religion of reason and logic,
and that the Quran contains 1000 verses relating to science, which he says
explains the number of Western converts. Some of his articles are published
in magazines such as Islamic Voice.
RECEPTIONS, AWARDS, HONOURS AND TITLES
• Naik was ranked 89 on The Indian Express's list of the "100 Most Powerful
Indians in 2010“. He was ranked 82 in the 2009 edition.According
to Praveen Swami, Naik is "perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in
India“. Sanjiv Buttoo says he is acknowledged as an authority on Islam, but
is known for making negative remarks about other religions.Sadanand
Dhume writes that Naik has a "carefully crafted image of moderation",
because of his gentle demeanour, his wearing of a suit and tie, and his
quoting of scriptures of other religions. He is also listed in the book The 500
Most Influential Muslims under honourable mention, in the 2009, 2010, 2011,
2012 and 2013/2014 editions. In July 2013, Naik was named as the Islamic
Personality of the Year, announced by the 17th Dubai International Holy
Quran Award (DIHQA).