MUMBAI: Dr Abdul Karim Naik, physician, educationist and father of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, passed away here on Sunday. He was 87.
“Dr Naik, who was not keeping well for quite sometime now, suffered a massive heart attack around 3.30 am. Janaza started from his residence at Rosery house in Mazgaon around 11.30 am and prayer meeting was held at the Nariyal Wadi qabrastan in the same area around 1 pm,” a close associate of Dr Naik told the Express. “It was not possible for Zakir Naik to reach India at such a short notice. So, he did not attend the last rites. However, Zakir’s brother Mohammad and his son Fariq along with other male members of the family were present at the funeral,” said the associate.
Born in 1928 at Ratnagiri in coastal Maharashtra, Dr Naik served as president of the Bombay Psychiatric Society, a private organisation of mental health professionals, in 1994-95. He was active in the field of education. Dr Naik, who retained a keen interest in religion and humanities, played a key role in Zakir’s decision to work as an Islamic preacher. “We wanted Zakir to become a neurosurgeon. But he started working for God and religion. People blamed me for wanting to turn a doctor into a Maulvi (preacher). But, I told them that I want to make him a ‘scientific Maulvi’,” Dr. Abdul is seen saying in an old video. Zakir is likely to visit the city soon to pay respects to his father.