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Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, commonly known as Zakir Naik born on 18th October 1965 to Abdul Karim Naik and Roshan Naik in Bombay, India. He is an Indian Salafi Islamic televangelist and public orator who focuses on comparative religion. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and the Peace TV Network, one of the largest religious satellite channel networks in the world. Naik has said 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the educated Muslim youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel the religion is outdated”.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 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.
Zakir Naik attended Kishinchand Chellaram College and studied medicine at the Topiwala National Medical College & BYL Nair Charitable Hospital and later the University of Mumbai, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS).
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. Dr Zakir clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears misconceptions about Islam, using the Quran, 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.
Naik started his career in 1991 working in the field of dawah and founded the Islamic International School in Mumbai and the United Islamic Aid, which provides scholarships to poor and destitute Muslim youth. Naik’s wife, Farhat Naik, is the president of the women’s section of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). He established United Islamic Aid, which provides scholarship to poor and destitute Muslim youth.
Naik said in 2006 that he was inspired by Ahmed Deedat, an Islamic preacher whom he met in 1987. (Naik is sometimes referred to as “Deedat plus”, a label given to him by Deedat.)
Unlike many Islamic preachers, his lectures are colloquial, given in English, not Urdu or Arabic, and he usually wears a suit and tie. Naik has held many debates and lectures and is said to “have delivered over 4000 lectures around the world” as of 2016. 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 have been 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”.
His first debate was in 1994, a debate on the views of writer Taslima Nasreen on Islam in her book Lajja, organised at the “Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh”, entitled “Is Religious Fundamentalism a Stumbling block to Freedom of Expression?”. With the presence of four journalists, the debate went on for hours. In April 2000, Naik debated with William Campbell in Chicago on the topic of “The Qur’an and the Bible: In the Light of Science”, one of his most-cited debates. On 21 January 2006 Naik held an inter-religious dialogue with Ravi Shankar in Bangalore about the concept of God in Islam and Hinduism. In February 2011 Naik addressed the Oxford Union via video link from India. Every year since November 2007 Naik has led a 10-day Peace Conference at Somaiya Ground, Sion, Mumbai. Lectures on Islam have been presented by Naik and twenty other Islamic speakers.
Zakir Naik’s View of Islam
Naik said that Islam is the “best” religion because “The Quran says it. No other religious text or scripture claims this fact.” He added that, “Islam is also labelled as intolerant, and it is indeed, but towards corruption, discrimination, injustice, adultery, alcoholism, and all evils. Islam is the most ‘tolerant’ religion as far as promoting the human values is concerned.”
Zakir Naik on Music
Naik equated music with alcohol and stated that both are intoxicating in nature. He has condemned dancing and singing because they are prohibited in Islam.
Zakir Naik says about Homosexuality
Naik referred to the LGBT community as “patients suffering from sinful mental problems” and said that “It’s because they watch pornographic movies. The TV channels are to be blamed”. “According to Quran and Sunnah”, he recommends the “death penalty” for homosexuals.
Zakir Naik Net Worth
Zakir Naik’s Children
Zakir Naik is married to Farhat Naik and they are blessed by three children – Fariq Naik, Zikra Naik, Rushdaa Naik.