Dr. Zakir Naik, or "Doctor PEACE" as we like to call him, has been named the #1 Most influential Muslim Personality of the Year by the well known, Dubai International Holy Quran Foundation in the United Arab Emerits.
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Dubai: The Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) has announced Dr. Zakir Naik of India as the Islamic Personality of the Year for 2013, replacing Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, who was earlier named by DIHQA.
In an emergency press conference called by DIHQA organising committee at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, venue of DIHQA programs the decision was announced to the media.
The Dubai International Holy Quran Award Committee changed the Award for Islamic Personality of the Year, for the first time ever in the award’s 17-year history.
Earlier, the award had announced Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayyeb as Islamic Personality of the year.
Ibrahim Bu Melha, Chairman of the organising committee of the award, said due to the unstable situations and political unrest in Egypt, the award organising committee has decided to postpone honouring Dr Al Tayyeb to later years in response to his request.
"Instead, the award has chosen the popular Indian scholar Dr Zakir Naik as the Islamic Personality of the Year in appreciation to his tireless effort in the service of Islam and Quran."
Dr Zakir, who is also a surgeon, is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation. He has written two books on Islam and comparative religion. He is regarded as an exponent of the Salafi ideology.
In an interview with Khaleej Times last year, Dr Naik said all of his children - one son, 18, and two daughters, 16 and 14, have memorised the Holy Quran in full, have black belts, speak Arabic fluently, and study Islamic sciences. They are combining religious and world knowledge together.
“My son is even better than me; I only give lectures in English and Urdu, but he additionally speaks Arabic and sign language fluently. He also fully memorised the Quran unlike me. Also, my wife is giving Dawa in English and Urdu. Thanks to Allah, all my family members are calling from Islam.”
Ebrahim Bumilha, is the Chairman for DIH Quran Award's organising committee.
Bumilha said that the decision was taken due to Shaikh Al Tayyeb's inability to travel as a result of Egypt's worsening security situation.
"Shaikh Al Tayyeb is unable to travel due to the situation in Egypt, which is very sensitive. Compelled by the situation the organising committee has made a decision to name Dr. Zakir Naik, renowned Islamic scholar and preacher as the Islamic Personality for the 17th session," announced Bumilha.
Mumbai-based Dr. Naik is a medical doctor by training but has made name world over as dynamic Islamic Orator on Islam and Comparative religion.
Dr. Naik has held hundreds of lectures and debates world over, several of them in Dubai, and is popular for critical analysis and scientific explanations of religious subjects.
The 48 year old scholar, who is a disciple of late South African Islamic scholar Ahmad Deedat, has also authored several best-selling Islamic books.