Dubai: The Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) has named 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.
The decision was announced by Ebrahim Bumilha, Chairman of DIHQA's organising committee, on Monday.
Bumilha said that the decision was taken due to Shaikh Al Tayyeb's inability to travel because of the worsening security situation in Egypt.
"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," Bumilha said.
Mumbai-based Dr. Naik is a medical doctor but has made a name as a dynamic orator on Islam and Comparative religion.
Dr. Naik has held hundreds of lectures and debates around the world, 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 the late South African Islamic scholar Ahmad Deedat, has also authored several best-selling Islamic books.