Roshan Abdul Karim Naik is the mother of the dynamic orator on Islam and Comparative Religion, Dr Zakir Naik. She was brought up in poverty but defied the odds to pursue her education. After completing her schooling from St Belasis High School in Mumbai, Mrs Naik obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Arts (Special), followed by a Master’s degree in Islamic Culture, both from Bombay University. She also achieved a Diploma in Physical Education from the Department of Education, Bombay State.
After marriage, Mrs Roshan Naik shifted her focus to the upbringing of her children, nurturing them so that they could become intellectually and spiritually empowered individuals. Later on in life, she began to study the stock market keenly, and went on to obtain a Diploma in the Art and Science of Investment from the Indo-American Society, Bombay. She invested the family earnings and procured good returns to settle all five of her children as well as partly finance the charitable activities undertaken by the Naik family.
It was her desire that her son Zakir become a cardiac surgeon like Dr Christiaan Barnard, the first person to successfully perform a human heart transplant. Later, when Zakir was inspired by Shaikh Ahmed Deedat while pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery, he asked his mother, “Do you want me to become like Shaikh Ahmed Deedat or Dr Christiaan Barnard?” She wittingly replied, “Both.”
After Dr Zakir Naik started giving public talks on Islam, he asked his mother the same question again, “Do you want me to become like Shaikh Ahmed Deedat or Dr Christiaan Barnard?” And she replied, “I can sacrifice a thousand Dr Christiaan Barnards for one Shaikh Ahmed Deedat.”
Thus, Mrs Roshan Naik fully supported Dr Zakir Naik in his Da’wah activities after the completion of his MBBS course, to the extent that she gave up on her longing of wanting her son to become a cardiac surgeon. She even supported Dr Zakir’s desire to give up his medical profession entirely to become a full-time Daa’ee.
Both parents of Dr Zakir Naik not only supported him financially to enable him to become a full-time Daa’ee but also financed all his Da’wah activities for the initial several years. Not only did this let Dr Zakir remain worry-free about earning a living, he also did not have to worry about collecting funds for the initial stages of all his Da’wah activities.
Now Mrs Roshan Naik is 88 years of age and well-taken care of by her children, especially her eldest son Dr Mohammed Naik. Had it not been for the special care given to her by Dr Mohammed Naik, it would have been impossible for Dr Zakir Naik to do Hijrah and leave India for the sake of Allaah.
Despite being bedridden and afflicted by Alzheimer’s, she engages in spirited conversation with a vigor reminiscent of her youth.