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.
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).
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.