CAIRO – Depicting the effects of the current world events on the Muslim world, an annual list of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims has appeared to help people understand the different ways Islam and Muslims impact the world today.
“This publication sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on this community, or on behalf of the community,” the book chief editor Abdallah Schleifer, professor emeritus at the American University in Cairo, wrote in the book’s introduction.
“The influence can be of a religious scholar directly addressing Muslims and influencing their beliefs, ideas and behavior, or it can be or a ruler shaping the socio-economic factors within which people live their lives,” he added.
The Muslim 500: The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2012, the fourth list in this series started in 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC) in Amman.
The report is issued annually in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at George Town University in the United States.
The book starts with an overall top 50 influential Muslims list, and then surveys the remaining 450 most prominent Muslims in 15 categories, from politics to religion, media, arts, science and development, but without ranking.
The top ten spots are all occupied with political and religious leaders.
Topping the list as the most influential Muslim in the world for the second consecutive year, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz, the custodian of the two Holy Mosques, was named as the most influential Muslim in 2012.
He was followed by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as No.2.
Erdogan advance gave him advantage over Morocco’s King Mohammed VI who took the third place.
Fourth place went to Dr Mohammed Badie the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose name appeared in the top 10 for the first time.
He is followed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani who took the fifth place.
Sheikh Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb and prominent Islamic scholar Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi who is President of Global Association of Muslim Scholars, also made it to the top 10 ranks.
The RISSC 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 Kingdom of Jordan.
This publication is part of an annual series that provides a window into the movers and shakers of the Muslim world.
It gives valuable insight into the different ways that Muslims impact the world and also shows the diversity of how people are living as Muslims today.
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