One of the world’s most influential Muslims Dr. Zakir Naik will return to Qatar this week to give a lecture titled, “Does God exist?”
Naik, a popular Islamic scholar who has memorized the Qur’an, as well as parts of the Bible and Hindu scriptures, is known for his ability to easily recall religious knowledge and juxtapose it with pop culture references.
His lecture, titled as “Does God Exist?” will be held on May 26 at the Katara Cultural Village amphitheater at 8pm and is open to all.
The scholar has previously visited Qatar many times, including in 2010 and 2011.
Naik, who has over 13 million Facebook fans, hails from Mumbai, India, and began practicing da’wah, or the “preaching of Islam,” in 1991.
The 51-year-old obtained his bachelor’s in Medicine and Surgery and has since utilized his medical background to stress the compatibility of the Quran and modern science, authoring a book on the subject.
Since 2011, Naik has consistently been ranked among the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” in an annual report produced by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, in conjunction with Georgetown University.
He is also the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation and Peace TV, which reportedly has an English-speaking audience of 100 million people.
Last year, he was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in the Service to Islam category, one of only a few non-Arabs to win the honor.
Qatar has been criticized in the past for inviting controversial Islamic scholars to speak in the country, especially those who advocate violence against non-Muslims.
Naik’s views are not so extreme, but his remarks have sometimes put him at odds with others, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
In 2010, he was barred from entering the UK for allegedly supporting terrorism. A week later, he was also barred from entering Canada.
Since then, Naik has given several lectures on misunderstandings about Islam in the media.