By Umer Nangiana
Renowned Islamic scholar from India, Dr Zakir Naik, is coming to Doha to deliver a public lecture on ‘Does God Exist’ later this week. Dr Naik will speak at Katara Amphitheatre on May 26 (Thursday) at 8pm for two hours.
A medical doctor by training, Dr Naik is a dynamic international orator on Islam and Comparative Religion. He is also the president of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai, India. “Dr Zakir Naik will take questions from the public for about 30 minutes after his lecture which is scheduled to be an hour-and-half long,” Manzoor Shaikh, Administration Manager at IRF-Mumbai told Community.
Dr Naik is popular for his critical analysis and convincing answers to challenging questions posed by audiences after his public talks. In his lectures, Dr Naik clarifies Islamic viewpoints, and misconceptions about Islam, using the Holy Qur’an, Hadith and other religious scriptures as a basis, in conjunction with reason, logic and scientific facts.
In the last 18 years, Dr Zakir Naik has delivered over 2,000 public talks in the USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Algeria, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Malaysia and many other countries, in addition to numerous public lectures in India.
In April 2012, his public talk in Kishanganj, Bihar, in India was attended by over 1mn people being one of the largest gatherings in the world for any religious lecture by a single orator.
Amongst the vast billion-plus population of India, Dr Naik was ranked No 82 in the ‘100 Most Influential People in India’ 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 is ranked in the top 70 list of the ‘500 Most Influential Muslims in the World’ published by George Washington University in the year 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Dr Naik has participated in several symposia and dialogues with prominent personalities of other 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”.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, bestowed the prestigious Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award’s ‘Islamic Personality of 2013’, for providing outstanding services to Islam and Muslims at a global level in Media, Education and Philanthropy, to Dr Naik, along with a cash reward of UAE Dirhams 1mn, which Dr Naik promptly donated to start a Waqf (endowment) fund for Peace TV Network. Dr Naik, at 47, was the youngest recipient of the award.
Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, the king and head of state of Malaysia, conferred Dr 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 in 2013.
Dr Naik was also presented a citation plaque signed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of UAE and Ruler of Sharjah, presented Dr Naik the ‘Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work’ for the year 2013.
In 2014, Dr Zakir Naik was conferred with two prestigious accolades at a special event in Gambia, the Insignia of the Commander of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia (the highest national award in Gambia) by the President of The Gambia Dr Yahya Abdul Aziz Jammeh as well as The Honorary ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ (Honoris Causa), by the Governing Council of the University of The Gambia (UTG).
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Ibn Abd al-Aziz al-Saud, presented the prestigious ‘2015 King Faisal International Prize’ for ‘Service to Islam’ to Dr Naik at a glittering ceremony in Riyadh.
The prize consisted of a certificate indicating the laureate’s achievements, a commemorative 24-carat 200g gold medal and Saudi Riyals 750,000. The entire prize money was donated to the Waqf for Peace TV Network by Dr Naik.
With more than 6mn likes on his Facebook in less than 18 months, Dr Naik is not only one of the highest amongst the Muslim Religious English Speakers but also one of the highest amongst any Religious English Speaker in the world.
Dr Naik appears regularly on many international TV channels in more than 150 countries of the world. He is regularly invited for TV and radio interviews.
The idealogue and driving force behind Peace TV Network is Dr Zakir Naik. 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 100mn viewership of which 5% are non-Muslims.
In its footsteps, he launched Peace TV Urdu in June 2009 and Peace TV Bangla in April 2011. And InshaAllah, he plans to expand Peace TV network to cover the 10 major languages of the world.
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