Who Is Zakir Abdul Karim Naik?
Zakir Abdul Karim Naik (born 18 October 1965) is an Indian Islamic preacher, and the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). He is also the founder of the “comparative religion” Peace TV channel through which he reaches a reported 100 million viewers.
He has been called an “authority on comparative religion”, “perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in India”, “the rock star of tele-evangelism and a proponent of modern Islam” and “the world’s leading Salafi evangelist”. 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.
Before becoming a public speaker, he trained as a medical doctor. He has published booklet versions of lectures on Islam and comparative religion. Although he has publicly disclaimed sectarianism in Islam, he is regarded by some as an exponent of the Salafi ideology, and, by some, as a radical Islamic televangelist propagating Wahhabism. His preaching is currently banned in India, Bangladesh, Canada and the United Kingdom. He is said to have more critics within the Islamic community than those outside it.
Born in 1965 in Mumbai, Zakir Abdul Karim Naik went to St. Peter’s High School in Mumbai. He studied in KC College and later studied medicine (MBBS) in Topiwala National Medical College and Nair Hopsital in Mumbai.
In the year 1991, almost 25 years ago, he founded IRF – Islamic Research Foundation after he started working in the field of Dawah. IRF is a non -profit charitable trust that promotes Islamic Dawah i.e. understanding of Islam through presentations through various channels including TV.
Unlike other Muslim preachers Dr. Zakir Naik goal is to concentrate mainly on the educated young Muslims who have become apologetic about Islam. Through his presentations, he mainly tries to focus on those young educated Muslims who think their religion Islam is now outdated.
He has received several awards including Malaysia’s Ma’al Hijrah Distinguished Personality Award. This award was conferred to him in 2013. In Dubai, he was named as the Islamic Personality of the Year by DIHQA – Dubai International Holy Quran Award. In 2015, Dr. Naik was awarded Saudia Arabia’s most prestigious award – the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam.
Zakir Naik is married to Farhat Naik who too hails from Mumbai. Mrs. Naik has a master’s degree in Commerce. She is also the principal of Islamic school opened by Dr. Naik. She often gives lectures on Islam not only in India but other countries as well including US, Canada and Australia. The couple has 3 daughters and 1 son.
In 2010, Zakir Naik was banned in the United Kingdom and Canada after both the countries had apprehensions on his comments and statements. While, UK’s Home Secretary Theresa May banned him by stating that “Dr. Naik’s comments are evidence of his unacceptable behavior, he was forbidden to enter Canada after the founder of Muslim Canadian Congress Tarak Fateh warned the country of Naik’s opinions and views.
Muslim scholars across the world hate Zakir Naik for his statements on Allah and Prophet. In one of his speeches he even praised Yazid, the villain in Muslim theology whose army killed Husain – the Prophet’s grandson. Dr. Naik had used the expression of Radiallah Tala Anho for Yazid meaning May Allah be pleased with him and this annoyed the audience. In another speech, he had mentioned how Muslims shouldn’t seek favors from Prophet in their prayers but only from Allah.
Zakir Naik’s speeches are quite famous. The 50 year old has around 200 million viewers of his channel – The Peace TV AND AROUND 14 Million Followers on Facebook. Interestingly, four years ago in 2012, the government of India has banned Peace TV which runs in various languages including Bengali, Chinese and Urdu.
According to sources, Ibrahim Yazdhani, the chief of Hyderabad Module of ISIS was inspired by Naik’s speeches. It is said that Ibrahim had also attended a 10 day camp run by Dr. Naik and had even volunteered the same. Besides, another terror suspect Najibulla Zazi, who was accused in 2009 of conspiring to bomb the New York subway is also said to be a big fan of Naik and his speeches.
Wife-beating, Sex slavery, execution of apostates, punishment for homosexuals is something that Zakir Naik preaches in is speeches. Yes, all those things that have been discarded by mankind and forbidden by the society are promoted by Dr. Naik. Surprisingly, he even justifies his lines by quoting from Quran.