Naik was born in Mumbai, India. In 18 th October 1965 ,His full name is Zakir Abdul Karim Naik , He is a Muslim open speaker, apologist and writer on the subject of Islam and other relative religion. he is a medical doctor by profession, having attained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Mumbai.
He attended St. Peter's High School (ICSE) in the town of Mumbai. Later he attached the Kishinchand Chellaram College and then studied medicine at Topiwala National Medical College and Nair Hospital in his native city and received his MBBS degree from the University of Mumbai. In 1991 he started working in the field of Da'wah, or proselytizing Islam.
Naik says he was inspired by the late Ahmed Deedat, who had been active in the field of Da'wah for more than forty years. According to Zakir Naik, 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the educated Muslim youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel the religion is outdated”.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 responsibility of every Muslim to remove perceived misconceptions about Islam to counter, what he views as the Western media’s anti-Islamic bias in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. He has lectured and authored several books on Islam and comparative religion ,as well as those directed towards removing misconceptions about Islam. Some of his articles are also published in Indian newspaper like the Islamic Voice.
Anthropologist Thomas Blom Hansen has written that Naik's style of memorizing the Qur'aan and hadith literature in various languages and related missionary activity has made him extremely popular in Muslim and non-Muslim circles.Many of his debates are recorded and widely distributed in video and DVD media as well as online. His talks are usually recorded in English, to be broadcast at weekends on several cable networks in Mumbai's Muslim neighborhoods, and on the channel Peace TV, which he co-promotes. Topics he speaks on include: "Islam and Modern Science", "Islam and Christianity", and "Islam and secularism".
In an issue of Indian Express dated 22 Feb 2009, in a list of “100 Most Powerful Indians in 2009” Naik was ranked :82. In the special list of the "Top Ten Spiritual Gurus of India" Naik was ranked :3, after Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and was the only Muslim on that list.
Naik is the founder and president of the (IRF), Islamic Research Foundation .a non-profit organization which also owns and broadcasts the free-to-air global Peace TV channel from Mumbai.
Naik's views On Apostasy under Islamic Shari'a Rule
Zakir has stated that within Islam there is no compulsion in religion and any Muslim is free to convert out of Islam if the person so chooses, but added that if a Muslim converts then speaks and propagates against Islam then that is considered as treason to Islam which under islamic Shari'a law is punishable by death.
During Q & A at one of Zakir's lectures May 29th on the Maldives, a 37-year old Maldivian citizen named Mohamed Nazim stood up and announced that he was struggling to believe in any religion and did not consider himself to be a Muslim, Nazim further asked what his verdict would be under Islam and in the Maldives. Zaik responded that he considers the punishment for apostasy not necessarily to mean death since Muhammed was reported in the Hadith scriptures to on some occasion to have shown clemency towards apostates, but added that if a Muslim apostate speaks and propagates against Islam under Islamic Shari’a rule then the apostate should be put to death.
Mohamed Nazim was reported to have been arrested and put in protective custody by the Maldivian Police. He later publicly reverted back to Islam in custody after receiving two days of counseling by two islamic scholars, but was held awaiting possible charges
Lectures and debates
Naik has held many debates and lectures around the world as well as in Mumbai, India. One of Naik's most cited debates took place in Chicago in April, 2000 featuring Dr. William Campbell of Pennsylvania, USA on the topic "The Qur'aan and the Bible: In the Light of Science".
Delivering a lecture titled Why Westerners embrace Islam in November 2002 at King Fahd Hospital auditorium in Jeddah, Naik argued that Islam offers practical solutions to various problems facing the West such as adultery, alcoholism, and filial ingratitude.
Naik also stated that "despite the strident anti-Islam campaign, 34,000 Americans have embraced Islam from September 2001 to July 2002." He cited an article by Edward Said published in the Time Magazine, which said that 60,000 books about Islam and the Orient have been written between 1800 and 1950 alone.
In the lecture at Melbourne University, Naik argued that only Islam gave women true equality. He stressed the importance of the headscarf by arguing that the more "revealing Western dress" makes women more susceptible to rape.
On 21 January 2006, Naik held an inter-religious dialogue with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The event was about the concept of God in Islam and Hinduism, the aim being to bring understanding between the two major religions of India, and at best to point out the commonalities between both Islam and Hinduism, such as how idolatry is prohibited. It was held in Bangalore, India with up to 50,000 attending at the Palace Grounds.