Muslim Stars of the Year ((Names Announced)

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Receiving a big number of e-mail messages and comment posts from the readers, OnIslam.net has the pleasure to announce the names of Muslim Stars of the Year 2012.

The figures highlighted here are based on the nominations of OnIslam’s readers, on what they perceived as remarkable contributions from these candidates to the development of their communities; so this project should not by any means be considered as an endorsement from our part.

Through its goals of highlighting Muslims achievements and contributions to the development of mankind, OnIslam is glad to present these names as a kind of a token appreciation for their remarkable endeavors.

And always remember that each one of us can also be a star on his own way, so take the chance to serve your community.

Check below the nominations (please note that the names’ list is arranged alphabetically)...




Dr. Bahauddeen Muhammed Nadwi:  An Influential Muslim (India)

Born in April 1951, Dr. Bahauddeen Muhammed Nadwi, an Indian Islamic Scholar and Educator, is the founder and Vice Chancellor of Darul Huda Islamic University.

Dr. Nadwi, who is elected as one of the most influential 500 Muslims in 2012 by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, has written about 50 books on Qur'anic Sciences, Islamic Jurisprudence, Prophetic Hadith, Educational system, Sufism, Comparative Religions, Christianity, Arabic Language, Literature and Islamic History.

His works include the Malayalam Translation of Holy Qur’an.

In 1986, Dr. Nadwi founded Darul Huda Islamic Academy and this was upgraded to become an Islamic University in 2009. Presently DHIU has more than 20 affiliated colleges all over India and has the memberships in the Morocco-based League of Islamic Universities as well as the Cairo-based Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World. In 2012, DHIU launched its Kolkata Campus which is 3000 KM far from main campus.

In 2012 January, Dr. Nadwi was nominated by the government of India as an executive member in the National Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education, a constitutional board under the ministry of HRD, Govt. of India. He has membership in many local, national and international associations including International Union of Muslim Scholars. He did his PhD and Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Calicut and did Diploma in Islamic Propagation at Al Azhar University, Egypt.

In the way of propagation and education, he visited more than 30 countries including USA, UK, Malaysia, Senegal, Germany& GCC countries.

Dr. Nadwi is the Chief Editor of the English Journal: Islamic Insight International Journal of Islamic Studies Published from Kerala, India.




Late Sheikh Emad Effat: An Icon of the Egyptian Revolution (Egypt)

He is the beloved Muslim cleric of Egyptian revolutionaries, who has been dubbed as Shaykh al-Thawra (Sheikh of the Revolution).

Effat was born in Giza Governorate in Egypt to Ahmed Effat, a calligrapher. He was one of four children.

In 1991, Sheikh Effat received his bachelor's degree in Arabic Language from Ain Shams University. He received another bachelor's degree in Shariah (Islamic law) from Al-Azhar University in 1997. He also received a diploma in general Fiqh (jurisprudence) in 1999.

Sheikh Effat taught Fiqh and Arabic at al-Azhar Mosque for seven years. He held several positions in al-Azhar's Dar al-Ifta before becoming a senior official in the department in 2003.

He was also the director of Fatwas at Egypt's Dar Al-Iftaa (from 2003 to 2011). He also worked as a Shariah researcher at the House of Authentication of Religious Studies and a researcher at MSX International Programming Company.

On December 15, 2011, Sheikh Effat died of a gunshot wound sustained when military police attempted to violently disperse the sit-in held by the protesters at Tahrir Square.

Effat’s funeral was held in the presence of thousands of mourners, including Al-Azhar officials, political activists and Coptic Christian figures.

Nashwa Abdel-Tawab, Effat’s widow and Ahram Weekly journalist, said in a video that her husband had been participating in popular demonstrations since Egypt’s January uprising in 2011. “During sit-ins at Tahrir Square, he would go to work in the morning and spend the night in the square,” Abdel-Tawab recalled of her husband. “He wasn’t able to join the Cabinet sit-in, but when he saw [the violence], he couldn’t just stand and watch people dying, so he went down to the protest.”

“He didn’t advocate violence,” she added. “He was there to show solidarity with the protesters.”



Irfan Hafiz: Silent Fighter and Islamic Writer (Sri Lanka)

Irfan Hafiz is a very special writer and poet from Dharga Town, Sri Lanka. He established himself as a poet first in the Facebook page IiWords (Islamic Inspiring Words) and then on February 19, 2012, his first book of poems was published.

The book titled “Silent Struggle” is not just a book of poems; it is the survival of a vibrant hope that was being hailed to the world. The book is not mere words of a poet; rather it stands as a vessel of a warrior’s tales about his struggle in the battle of life.

Irfan is a person confined to his bed for fifteen years. Suffering from a rare disease called Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), he gradually lost his ability to move the voluntary muscles. At present, he can only use the movement of his fingers and his facial muscles. So, he weaves poetry with the help of an on-screen keyboard. He had to stop schooling at the age of 10 due to his illness.

Though English is his second language, he self-tutored himself to the present level that his poetry is nothing less than any other English poet.

Irfan’s poems can be found in his Facebook page Silent Fighter

Or through IiWords- A platform for aspiring writers in Facebook



Al Asmar: The Entrepreneur of Volunteerism (Jordan)

Kamel is a passionate entrepreneur and a man of vision.  He has been  involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, freelance projects and volunteer, that shaped his dream and pushed him to pursue a vision.

Kamel’s first volunteering experience was working with special needs children; dealing with those children deeply inspired him, due to the feelings he had from this experience. His will to urge others to make a difference by going through similar experiences and personal enrichment made him create his first Facebook group named Volunteer Jordan. The simple group page is considered as a congregation hub between community actors and any problems encountered any member of society.

Based on his voluntary background, Kamel noticed that volunteerism has not been professionalized as it should. This goes back to the scarcity of information available on volunteerism for youth, as youth are in particular unaware of volunteering opportunities in their own communities.

Kamel conducted a study with students from 161 universities and discovered that the majority of students were willing to volunteer but did not find a suitable way to do it. Moreover, and during the pre-project strategic plan before his website launching, Kamel found out that the concept of volunteerism was not familiar to majority of students. This again is due to the little information available on volunteerism.

Based on his voluntary experience, in addition to his expertise and his computer science education, Kamel created his own company, call Nakhweh.

Kamel is promoting the concept of volunteerism through his Nakhweh website and provides a wide-ranging database of possible volunteer opportunities.

Kamel’s innovation and will to make a change made him a fellow of the King Abdullah Award in October 2006, a finalist at the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition and a “Global Shaper” for the World Economic Forum during the latest meeting at the Dead Sea on employment and job creation in the Arab World  in October 2011.





          Malala Yusufzai: Model of Courage (Pakistan)

    Malala Yusufzai, the young Pashtun girl who wrote a diary of life under the Taliban published on the BBC Web site, was attacked and critically wounded when she boarded her school van along with her schoolmates on Monday, October 9, 2012 in Mingora town, the capital of scenic valley of Swat.

    Malala wrote a diary under the pen name of Gul Makae (corn flower) in which she exposed the “atrocities” of Taliban, belonging to Tehrik Nifaz-e-e Shari’ah Mohammadi (TNSM) who later took refuge in neighboring Afghanistan as their new base camp. (Read more).

    Gordon Brown, former British prime minister and current UN special envoy for global education, launched a United Nations petition in Yousafzai's name, using the slogan "I am Malala" and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced that 10 November will be celebrated as Malala Day.

    On January 3, 2013, Yousufzai was released from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in the West Midlands. Later it was announced that she would have a procedure to attach a titanium plate to cover the hole in her head and implant a cochlear hearing device to replace her eardrum. On February 2, 2013, Yousufzai had a five-hour operation to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing and was reported in stable condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.



    Patients Know Best Only Because of Mohammad Al-Ubaydli (The UK)

    Mohammad Al-Ubaydli’s character was shaped in a very young age; mainly because of the circumstances he lived. His parents were exiled from Bahrain as they were democracy supporters. This meant that the family had to move from country to country, until they settled in UK.

    He struggled throughout his adolescence from undiagnosed rare genetic immunity deficiency. Inability to diagnose Mohammad illness was ascribed to his family constant move between countries, as he had no documented records anywhere. His mother decided to keep a thorough record of her son condition, which she took to every appointment. Thanks to this record, finally, doctors managed to diagnose Muhammad condition at the age of 15.

    His personal struggle shaped his perspective and how he wanted to enhance lives, through patients’ medical records centralization. 

    Muhammad, as a long-term patient, an IT specialist and a doctor himself, incepted the Patients Know Best project. He found that delivering a better health care doesn’t necessarily mean getting expensive services. Muhammad’s project depends on the patients themselves; it empowers patients by making them the main focus of their healthcare. As per Mohammad who asserted that he strongly believes that “by providing the flow of information to the person with the most stake in a successful outcome—the patient—the unnecessary use of the health care system will be reduced and overall care will improve”.

    Through his project, patients gain access to all their clinicians, only after a single patient view, without repetition or re-entry of patient records. In addition, sharing securely their data with whoever they want, whether doctors or family members, patients can be in the loop.

    Simply the project made a revolution in the health management and medical filing and more importantly a mind shift in patient’s way of thinking: to be active and in-control patient and not passive one.

    The more a patient can manage their own health, the lower the costs of healthcare. Patients Know Best offers tools to do just that by exchanging messages and consultations online, which can save valuable time and energy for both the patient and the doctor.

    Currently, Patients Know Best is the world’s first center for patients’ medical records and is still the only one integrated into the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) secure network for use by any patient with any clinician in the U.K. or overseas.


    Ashoka Arab World Website




    Oppressed Muslims

    Based on the readers’ comments, Syrian refugees and Ethiopian Muslims were nominated to be the stars of 2012 for their struggles.

    The situation for Syrians- both inside the Syrian border and outside- has been deteriorating rapidly.

    Responding to these sorrowful circumstances, many renowned charitable organizations have taken measures to support the Syrian refugees.

    Humanitarian organizations are putting in place measures to help the people, with total of more than 600,000 refugees in many neighboring countries, to rescue them from the harsh winter conditions. There are currently 612,134 people registered or awaiting registration as refugees in Syria’s neighboring countries according to a report by the United Nations. (Click here to help Syrian refugees and read more about their situation in Egypt).


    As for the struggle of Ehiopian Muslims, Onislam.net ran this report: “Ethiopian Muslim activists are reporting torture and abuses by security forces over growing opposition to an alleged government campaign to indoctrinate the community with Ahbashism campaign.

    “An Ethiopian activist died after being tortured by electric shock and inhumane acts by government security forces,” villager Ibrahim Nuseyra told OnIslam.net.

    He said a female activist, Firdaws, died last week after being tortured by security forces after attending a meeting called for by the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (Majlis).

    The meeting, led by Federal Affairs Minister Dr Shiferaw Tekelemariam, was attended by only three members, including Firdaws.” (Read more).



    Sami Yusuf: The Rising Star

    Sami Yusuf is a rising star in the sky of Islamic Inshad. Composition, superior voice, carefully chosen lyrics and, above all, devotion to Islam, make him the perfect model for a true artist with a noble cause.

    Sami Yusuf has his own view of how music can play a central role in delivering his beautiful message to the average westerner; making them receives it with sympathy, or at least without enmity or malice.

    In an interview with Onislam.net, Yusuf said: “I came from a musical background and it would be fair to say that music played, and still plays, an integral part in my life. My whole family is musical, including my two nephews and 60 or so cousins! Al hamdu-lillah, by His grace I have been fortunate enough to have my father as my main teacher. I am indebted to him for spending relentless hours teaching me the correct adab (good manners) required for a person who learns not only art but also all kinds of knowledge.

    He taught me "dast balaye dast besiyaar ast", an old Persian proverb that literally translated would be "hands above hands are many", of course it sounds much more beautiful and eloquent in Persian! It basically means that however much one might think he or she is good, or is arrogant because of what he or she knows, they should remember that there will always be people who are better than they are and know more than they know. As Allah said in Surat Yusuf (translated meaning): “and over all endowed with knowledge is One, the All-Knowing.” My father also taught me to fear Allah and that everything should be done for His sake, because we are only answerable to Him.” (Read the rest of the interview here).



    Mr and Mrs Siddeeq:  a Successful Muslim Couple (USA)

    Husband: Shakoor Siddeeq

    Inventor and electrical engineer

    Ever since he was a young child Shakoor loved to design and build things. When he would receive toys as a young boy, he was more interested in taking them apart to see how they worked rather than playing with them. It is with this same curiosity today that he approaches his professional interest as a technology entrepreneur.

    Shakoor received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 2000. Since then, he has accumulated over ten years experience in B2B and B2C mobile software, hardware, and product application, development, and design while founding two companies.

    He was formerly the CTO at QuadTri Technologies, LLC, where he was responsible for mobile software development, project management, intellectual property procurement and strategy, and mobile product development and design. Projects were completed for various large and small corporations, state, and federal government agencies spanning multiple industries including medical, educational, transportation, construction, law enforcement, and retail.

    Clients included the U.S. Dept. of Health, North Carolina Administrator of the Courts, Internal Revenue Service, Verizon Wireless, and more.

    Shakoor is currently the President/CEO/Founder of Judoka Mobile,LLC, established in 2009, located in the U.S. in Indianapolis, IN and has two patents granted and three pending from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    His company, Judoka Mobile, has developed an innovative patented and patent pending dynamically self-stabilizing multi-tiered flexible key switch technology that is nearly as thin as a sheet of paper.

    Wife: Debalina Siddeeq

    Educator, mother, and scientist

    Mrs Siddeq was born in 1975, India. She currently lives in Indianapolis, IN and is one of the co-founders of the Algebraic Institute for Human Excellence School.  Below is a summary of Debalina’s recent work and experience:

    ·         Current principal and teacher at the Algebraic Institute School

    ·         One of the founding teachers at the Algebraic Institute; she has taught various subjects including Algebra, Chemistry, French, and Islamic Studies

    ·         Math Professor at a local Indiana community college

    ·         Former Biochemist at Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company and Researcher at various institutions including Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

    ·         Mother of eight children

    After observing the effect of public school on Muslim children, Debalina along with a concerned group of parents and teachers, decided to start the Algebraic Institute.

    The Algebraic Institute for Human Excellence is a faith-based educational institution that embraces an interfaith connection.

    Logo of The Algebraic Institute for Human Excellence.

    One God. One nation. One school. Many faiths, is the goal of the Algebraic Institute. It aims at providing a safe, wholesome environment all while promoting excellence in education. The mission of the Algebraic Institute for Human Excellence is to help to restore our God given human excellence.

    The school is founded upon the concept of Shared Freedom Space, espoused by the late Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, which advocates a principled respect for all God’s creation and a mutual responsibility of all citizens to remember the rights of others within their own rights.

    The Algebraic Institute’s goal is to provide the highest quality education to their students by promoting inquiry and project-based learning, innovative and creative thinking, and entrepreneurship in the classroom. However, in addition to academic rigor, they strive to integrate the principles of multiculturalism and community service into their curriculum to inspire students to serve as ambassadors of peace as they go out into the greater society.

    The school started with less than five students and has grown to almost 40 students and 9 teachers in the span of two years.



    Zeneefa Zaneer: The LiWords Founder (Sri Lanka)

    Zeneefa Zaneer (aka Umm Zaid) is a Sri Lankan bilingual writer. Writing fiction is her main interest and she began her journey in writing as a child. She was privileged to publish two Sinhala novels.

    Born in an ordinary Muslim family and grown up in the non-Muslim environment, Zeneefa was questioned about Islam and its belief by the fellow members of the community.

    The atmosphere encouraged her to represent Muslims through her writings. Her intentions were to write fiction as an entertainment while striving to create awareness and clear the misconceptions of Islam through her writing skills. And by now, many of her short fictions, children stories, articles based on social issues, poems are being published in local and international magazines.

    Zeneefa  is the founder of IiWords, a Global Muslim Youth Creative writing Organization, a member of Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA).

    Related Links:
    Qaradawi, Khan and Qadhi: Scholars of the Year
    Muslim Stars of the Year 2011

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