Oct. 4: A Jordan-based Islamic research centre has put two Indians Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qadiri Al-Azhari and Moulana Mahmood Madani among the top 50 influential Muslims of the world.
Mufti Al-Azhari is the great grandson of Ahmed Raza Khan who founded the Barelwi movement in the India and the present leader of the Barelwi Muslims. Moulana Madani is the leader and executive member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
Some others who figure in the list of top 50 are Jordan’s King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Al-Azhar University’s Grand Imam Prof. Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad Al-Tayyeb, Egypt’s military ruler Abdel Fatteh Al-Sisi, Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas and Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah.
Several other Indians have also been mentioned among the remaining 450 most influential Muslims of the world in the 7th annual issue of ‘The Muslim 500-the World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims’ released by Amman-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC) recently. They are; Dr. Zakir Naik, Alama Zia Al-Mustafa, Moulana Wahiduddin Khan, Rabey Hasani Nadvi, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Sheikh Abobacker Ahmed, Syed Ibrahimul Khaled Al-Bukhari, Moulana Sheikh Ali Noorid, Asaduddin Owaisi, Moulana Qamaruzaman Azmi, Arsad Madni, Syed Amin Mian Qadir, Bohra leader Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Sheikh Shuab Thika.
Kashmir’s chief Muslim cleric and chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference alliance Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi are the only two prominent Muslim politicians from India who figure in the list of remaining 450. In the art and culture category, Bollywood actors Shabana Azmi and Amir Khan and music director and composer Allah-Rakha Rahman (A.R.Rahman) have also been mentioned as being influential Muslims of the world.
The RISSC survey says it focused on any person who has the power, be it spiritual, cultural, political, ideological, financial or otherwise to make a change that will have a significant impact-positive or negative- on the Muslim world. In the obituary section, the report pays tribute to former President APJ Abdul Kalam after placing him in ‘science and technology’ category.