A medical doctor by professional training, Dr Zakir Naik is renowned as a dynamic international orator on Islam and Comparative Religion. He is the President of Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai, India. He is 49 years old. Dr Zakir clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears misconceptions about Islam, using the Qur’an, authentic Hadith and other religious Scriptures as a basis, in conjunction with reason, logic and scientific facts. He is popular for his critical analysis and convincing answers to challenging questions posed by audiences after his public talks.
In the last 20 years (by the year 2015) Dr Zakir Naik has Alhamdulillah delivered over 2000 public talks in the USA, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Morocco, Algeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Guyana (South America), Trinidad, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Maldives and many other countries, in addition to numerous public talks in India. In March 2012, his public talk in Kishanganj, Bihar, in India was MashaAllah attended by over one million people, being one of the largest gathering in the world for any religious lecture by a lone orator.
Amongst the billion plus population of India Dr Zakir Naik was ranked No. 82 in ‘The 100 Most Powerful Indians’ list published by Indian Express in the year 2009 and ranked No. 89 in 2010. He was ranked No. 3 in the ‘Top 10 Spiritual Gurus of India in 2009’ and topped this list in 2010. He was ranked in the top 70 list of the ‘500 Most Influential Muslims in the World’ issued annually by Georgetown University, USA, in the years 2011, 2012, 2013/14 and 2014/15.
He has successfully participated in several symposia and dialogues with prominent personalities of other faiths. His public dialogue with Dr William Campbell (of USA) on the topic, “The Qur’an and the Bible in the Light of Science” held in Chicago, USA, on 1st April 2000 was a resounding success. His interfaith Dialogue with prominent Hindu Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the topic, “The Concept of God in Hinduism and Islam in the Light of Sacred Scriptures” held at Palace Grounds, Bangalore, on 21st January 2006, was highly appreciated by people of both faiths.
Shaikh Ahmed Deedat, the world famous orator on Islam and Comparative Religion, who had called Dr Zakir “Deedat Plus” in 1994, presented a plaque in May 2000 with the engraving “Awarded to Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik for his achievement in the field of Da’wah and the study of Comparative Religion.” “Son what you have done in 4 years had taken me 40 years to accomplish, Alhamdulillah.”
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud presented the prestigious ‘King Faisal International Prize’ - 2015 for ‘Service to Islam’ to Dr Zakir Naik on 1st March 2015 in Riyadh. This prize is the most Prestigious Prize in the Muslim world, similar to the Nobel Prize. The prize consisted of a certificate indicating Dr Zakir’s achievements, a commemorative 24-carat 200-gram gold medal and Saudi Riyals 750,000 (US $ 200,000). The entire prize money was donated by Dr Zakir Naik to the Waqf of Peace TV Network.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, presented the prestigious Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award’s ‘Islamic Personality of 2013’ Award and Citation to Dr Zakir Naik on 29th July 2013, for providing outstanding service to Islam and Muslims at a global level in Media, Education and Philanthropy. Along with he received a reward of UAE Dirhams 1 million (US $ 272,000) which he donated to start a Waqf (endowment) fund for Peace TV Network. Dr Zakir at 47 years then, was the youngest recipient of the award.
The Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, the King of Malaysia, presented to Dr Zakir Naik the highest award of Malaysia the ‘Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah Distinguished International Personality Award for the Year 2013’ for his significant service and contribution to the development of Islam on 5th November 2013. Also presented to Dr Zakir was a citation plaque signed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib Razak.
Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, conferred on Dr Zakir Naik the ‘Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work’ for the year 2013, for his voluntary service for Islam on an international scale, on 16th January 2014.
Dr Yahya Jammeh, the President of the Republic of The Gambia conferred Dr Zakir Naik with ‘The Insignia of the Commander of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia’ the Highest National Award in The Gambia on 15th October 2014. He was also presented an Honorary Doctorate — ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ (Honoris Causa) — by the Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and dissemination of knowledge in promoting research and delivery of community services internationally.
As of June 2015, Dr Zakir Naik Alhamdulillah received more than 8 million likes on his Facebook Page in less than 2 years, it being not only one of the highest amongst the Muslim English Speakers on Religion but also one of the highest amongst any English Speaker on Religion in the world. YouTube Vice President, Tom Pickett, certified Dr Zakir as ‘awesome’ for his ‘likes’ and ‘popularity’ on YouTube.
Dr Zakir Naik appears regularly on many International TV channels in over 200 countries of the world. He is regularly invited for TV and Radio interviews. Over a hundred of his talks, dialogues, debates and symposia are available on DVDs. He has authored many books on Islam and Comparative Religion.
Dr Zakir Naik is the ideologue and driving force behind Peace TV Network. He launched Peace TV English, in January 2006, it being the largest watched ‘Islamic’ as well as ‘any Religious’ Satellite TV channel presently in the world, with over 100 million viewership, of which 25% are Non-Muslims. In its footsteps he launched Peace TV Urdu in June 2009, Peace TV Bangla in April 2011 and will In Sha Allah launch Peace TV Chinese in October 2015. ln Sha Allah, he plans to expand the Peace TV Network to cover the ten major languages of the world.