Dr. Zakir A. Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation of India, won the 2015 King Faisal International Prize (KFIP) for Service to Islam on Tuesday.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and KFIP Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Othaimeen announced the names of the winners at a glittering function held at Al-Khozama Center.
Two internationally acclaimed scholars of chemistry, Professor Omar Mwannes Yaghi from the United States 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. Each 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 SR750,000.
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The co-winners in any category share the monetary grant.
According to the citation read out by Al-Othaimeen, Naik, a non-Arabic Indian Islamic scholar, has become a renowned authority on comparative religion. “He has founded a TV channel called Peace TV, which remains the only channel in the world specialized in comparative religion with huge audience profile,” said the citation.
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.”
The co-winner in science category, Yaghi, has made seminal contributions in the field of metal organic frameworks.
He applauded the achievements of Kaki in Islamic studies for “his distinguished research on cultural heritage of Madinah.”
The award for Arabic language and literature was withheld as none of the nominees met the criteria laid down by the selection committee this year.

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