Dubai: Dr Zakir A Naik, a non-Arabic Indian Islamic scholar and a renowned authority on comparative religion, has won the prestigious King Faisal International Prize for his service to Islam.
Mecca Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and KFIP Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Othaimeen announced the names of this year's winners on Tuesday in Riyadh, Arab News reported.
The prize consists of a handwritten Arabic certificate summarizing the laureate's work, a commemorative 24-carat, 200-gram gold medal and a cash award of 750,000 Saudi Riyal (USD 199,901).
Naik, 49, is the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation of India.
Naik, a non-Arabic Indian Islamic scholar has become a renowned authority on comparative religion, Al-Othaimeen said.
Referring to the prize given in science category, the KFIP secretary-general said that Gratzel, a professor at Swiss Federal Institute, is recognized for "his foundational and practical discoveries in the development of photo- electrochemical systems for solar energy conversion."
Two internationally acclaimed scholars of chemistry, Professor Omar Mwannes Yaghi from the US and Professor Michael Gratzel from Switzerland, were declared co-winners of the prize in science category (chemistry).
The award for Islamic studies went to Dr Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Kaki, a consultant at Madinah Development Authority.
Prof Jeffrey Ivan Gordon from the US was declared winner of the prize in medicine. The co-winners in any category share the monetary grant.
The co-winner in science category, Yaghi, has made seminal contributions in the field of metal organic frameworks.