World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims: Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan, Mahmood Madani, Badruddin Ajmal included
By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: Among 500 Most Influential Muslims of the world, there are more than a dozen personalities from India. The top 50, however, include three known figures from the country of second largest Muslim population: Barelwi leader Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind leader Maulana Mahmood Madani and Dawoodi Bohra leader Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhannuddin.
While the top 10 list, overwhelmed with the presence of kings and rulers, has no Muslim personality from India, the list of top 50 influential Muslims from across the world and walks of life has got three from India. While Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan is on 26th Maulana Mahmood Madani and Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhannuddin are on 40th and 47th rank respectively.
The list has been prepared by Oman based The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC).The website of RISSC says it is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought is an international Islamic non-governmental, independent institute headquartered in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This is the second year that RISSC has released such list.
Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre: http://www.rissc.jo/
Full list of 500 Most Influential Muslims: http://www.rissc.jo/docs/0A-FullVersion-LowRes.pdf
The list of top 50 also has Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Rank 3), and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Iranian Opposition Leader (Rank 46). However, Iranian president is missing. The list also includes Hajji Mohammed Abd al Wahhab, Amir of Tablighi Jamaat, Pakistan (Rank 16), Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah (Rank 18), Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Brother Leader of the Revolution of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Rank 27) and Khaled Mashaal, Leader of Hamas (Rank 38).
His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey
His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Majesty King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id al Sa’id, Sultan of Oman
His Eminence Professor Dr Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad al Tayeb, Grand Sheikh of the Al Azhar University, Grand Imam of the Al Azhar Mosque
His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani, Marja of the Hawza, Najaf,Iraq
His Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
His Eminence Sheikh Dr Ali Goma’a, Grand Mufti of The Arab Republic of Egypt
RISSC describes 63-year-old Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qaadiri Al Azhari as Grand Mufti of India, Barelwi Leader and Spiritual Guide. His influence, RISSC says, is among approximately 2 million Barkatiya Barelwis worldwide. His school of thought is traditional Sunni, Hanafi, Sufi. Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan is the leader of the Indian Barelwis and considered by his followers as the Grand Mufti of India. He is the great-grandson of Ahmed Raza Khan (d. 1921), who founded the Barelwi movement in South Asia.
46-year-old Maulana Mahmood Madani is leader and Executive Member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, India. His influence spreads over 10 million Muslims who are “members of Madani’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. His Source of Influence is Scholarly, Political, Administrative. A little down in ranking (in 2009 at 36, and in 2010 at 40) Maulana Mahmood Madani, a leading Islamic scholar and politician in India, has gained influence for his forthright condemnations of terrorism and unfaltering support of the Indian Muslim community, says the institute.
85-year-old Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhannuddin Saheb is the 52nd Da‘i l-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras. His influence is among 1 million Dawoodi Bohras in the world. His school of thought is traditional Ismaili Shi’a, Dawoodi Bohra. He has also slipped. In 2009 he was at 45,now at 47. “Mohammad Burhanuddin Saheb is the leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community,which stems from the Ismaili Shi’a sect of Islam. As leader of the Bohras, he has been influential in the fields of education and the development of community institutions in Mumbai, India and across the globe.
The 500 Most Influential Muslims have been put in 15 categories of influence – Scholarly,Political, Administrative, Lineage, Preachers, Women’s Issues, Youth,Philanthropy,Development,Science/Technology/Medicine/Law, Arts and Culture, Media, Radicals, International Islamic Networks, and Issues of the Day.
Scholarly: Asghar Ali Engineer, Prof Sayid Ameen Mian Qaudri (in 2009, he was at rank 44
among top 50), Maulana Kalbe Sadiq (New)
Administrative: Syed Ahmad Bukhari [New]
Preachers: Dr Zakir Naik
Philanthropy: Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi [New]
Science/Technology/Medicine/Law: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Arts and Culture: Maqbool Fida Husain, Shahrukh Khan, Allah Rakha Rahman
Asghar Ali Engineer has also been listed in the category of Issues of the Day for working among Muslims on AIDS/HIV. “The Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), of which Engineer is chairman, seeks to build awareness and capacity among Muslim communities in Asia so that they may effectively respond to the growing problem of HIV/AIDS,” says RISSC.