DISTINGUISHED INTERNATIONAL PERSONALITY AWARD FOLLOWS A SIMILAR HONOR CONFERRED BY DUBAI
MUMBAI, Nov 9: Popular Islamic preacher and religious scholar from India Dr Zakir Naik has been conferred Malaysia’s highest civilian honor. Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, the King and head of state of Malaysia, conferred on Dr Zakir Naik the prestigious ‘Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah, the Distinguished International Personality Award for the Year 2013’
The award has been conferred on the renowned Islamic scholar and preacher for his distinguished services to Islam, in particular, and humanity at large.
Along with him, former minister in Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin was named national-level Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah for the year 2013.
Both the awards were given at a special ceremony at Putrajaya International Convention Centre in Malaysia on November 05.
Dr. Zakir Naik (48) is a graduate in medicine and surgery from University of Bombay. He was recently awarded the Islamic Personality of the Year award for 2013 by the United Arab Emirate (UAE).
Dr Naik is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization that owns the Peace TV channel. Before becoming a public speaker, he trained as a medical doctor.
Zakir Abdul Karim Naik was born on 18 October 1965 in Mumbai, Maharastra, India. He attended St. Peter’s High School in Mumbai. 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).
In 1991 he started working in the field of preaching Islam, and founded the IRF. Naik was inspired by Ahmed Deedat, an Islamic preacher, having met him in 1987. 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the educated Muslim youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel the religion is outdated”.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. He says 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.
Abdul Hamid (69) who holds a master’s degree from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University had served as Mara Chairman, a Member of Parliament and senator and as the Director-General of Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).–With Ummid.com inputs