The 2021 King Faisal Prize for Service to Islam has been awarded to Mohamed Al-Sharikh from Kuwait, chairman of Sakhr Software Company.
He was honored for his work to benefit Islam and Muslims, including the development of the first software that offered English translations of the Qur’an and Hadith, and his work updating the Islamic Information Archive, which includes the Qur’an, the Encyclopedia of Hadith and the Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence.
He is one of five winners chosen by a selection committee led by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Prize Board.
The others are Moroccan Professor Mohamed Mechbal of Abdul-Malik Al-Saadi University in Tétouan, Morrocco (Arabic language and literature); Stephen Mark Strittmatter, an American neurologist at Yale School of Medicine; British Professor Robin Franklin of the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (co-winners in medicine), and Professor Stuart Parkin from the UK, an experimental physicist at Stanford University in California (science).
Mechbel was recognized for work that lays the foundations for the creation of modern Arab rhetoric within a vision inspired by the call for renewal. Strittmatter and Franklin were rewarded for their pioneering work in the field of regenerative medicine in neurological conditions, which has led to advances in therapeutic approaches to the regeneration of the central nervous system.
Parkin was honored for innovative research that has resulted in a 1,000-fold increase in the storage capacity of magnetic disk drives.
The service to Islam award aims to support Muslims by recognizing and honoring the distinguished contributions of individuals and organizations that have excelled in serving Islam. Previous winners in this category of the King Faisal Prize have included rulers, heads of state, think tanks and social scientists, as well as many distinguished institutions.