Zakir Naik is an Indian public speaker on the subject of Islam and comparative religion. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF),Before becoming a public speaker, he trained as a medical doctor.He has published booklet versions of lectures on Islam and comparative religion.
Zakir Naik was born 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).[non-primary source needed] His wife, Farhat Naik, works for the women's section of the IRF.
In 1991 he started working in the field of Dawah, and founded the IRF. Naik says he was inspired by Ahmed Deedat, an Islamic preacher, having met him in 1987. (Naik is sometimes referred to as "Deedat plus", a label given to him by Deedat himself.) 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the educated Muslim youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel the religion is outdated".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.Naik has said that "despite the strident anti-Islam campaign, 34,000 Americans have embraced Islam from September 2001 to July 2002". 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. Some of his articles are published in magazines such as Islamic Voice.
Naik is the founder of the Islamic International School in Mumbai. and United Islamic Aid, which provides scholarship to poor and destitute Muslim youth.
Lectures and debates :-
Naik has held many debates and lectures around the world. 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 are usually 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". Peace TV channel has been banned in India since 2012.
One of Naik's most-cited debates was with William Campbell in Chicago in April 2000, on the topic of "The Qur'an and the Bible: In the Light of Science". On 21 January 2006 Naik held an inter-religious dialogue with Sri Sri 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.
Naik argues that scientific theories were prophesised by the Quran. For example, he says certain verses of the Quran accurately describe embryological development.