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POLL: The world’s top 500 Muslims? Read and vote

November 17, 2009

500-most

If you’ve ever been confused by Muslim names you read in the news or unsure who’s important in the Islamic world, help is near. A new book entitled “The 500 Most Influential Muslims – 2009″ lists prominent Muslims from different fields — politics, religion, women, media, even radicals — with informative short biographies explaining who they are. It starts with an overall “top 50″ list and then surveys the most prominent Muslims in their fields. Here it is in PDF.

The book, edited by Professors John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin at Georgetown University in Washington, is the first in what is planned to be an annual survey of the top Muslim personalities around the world. It’s a joint effort by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Esposito is director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center and Kalin is spokesman for the Common Word dialogue initiative we’ve written about on this blog before.

As the editors say in their introduction: “Influence in the Muslim world is particular to its context. There is not a clear hierarchy or organised clergy for Muslims to identify a leader, such as a patriarch for Orthodox Christians or a pope for Catholics.” They took a mix of factors into account in working out their top 50 list and have even asked readers to send in suggestions for next year’s list. You can vote for your candidate for “most influential Muslim” in the poll at the bottom of this post.

(UPDATE: The online poll has been closed after more than 1.8 million votes but comments are still open. See the results below.)

abdullahSo who are the world’s most influential Muslims, according to this book? Here are the top 10:

1. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, king of Saudi Arabia, custodian of the two Holy Mosques
2. Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
3. King Mohammed VI, king of Morocco
4. King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
5. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of the republic of Turkey
6. Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id al Sa’id, sultan of Oman
7. Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani, Marja of the Hawza, Najaf
8. Sheikh Al Azhar Dr Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, grand sheikh of the Al Azhar University, grand imam of Al Azhar Mosque
9. Sheikh Dr Yusuf Qaradawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
10. Sheikh Dr Ali Goma’a, grand mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt

(Photo: Saudi King Abdullah, 17 Nov 2009/Philippe Wojazer)

A few initial comments about these 10 andthe other 40 (check the PDF for the full list):

– Lots of kings and sultans crowding the top of the full list, with Recep Tayyip Erdogan the highest elected politician (5th). “Influential” is clearly interpreted broadly here, including political, religious and other types of influence.

– The first solely religious leader is Iraq’s Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (7th), and even he has political power behind the scenes.

Fethullah Gülen, who won an Internet poll on “the world’s top public intellectuals ” in Foreign Policy magazine last year apparently thanks to a click-in campaign by his supporters, still comes a strong 13th.

– The heads of Hezbollah (Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah, 17th) and Hamas (Khaled Mashaal, 34th) are also listed.

– The highest-ranking American (and highest-ranking convert, it seems) at 38th place is Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, founder of the Zaytuna Institutein Berkeley, California. Right after him comes the highest-ranking European, Sheikh Mustafa Ceric, grand mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

aqkhan– Even Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist behind Islamabad’s nuclear program who sold nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, gets ranked (46th).

(Photo: Abdul Qadeer Khan, 28 Aug 2009/Mian Khursheed)

Beyond the top 50, there are chapters on leading Muslims in different fields but no ranking. So Osama bin Laden is there under “radicals,” Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) under “arts and culture” and microcreditor Mohammad Yunus under “development”. There are short essays on Islam and the Muslim world. All in all, an excellent reference work.

What do you think? Who is the most influential Muslim in the world? To give us your own view, enter the name of your choice into the box below. The poll will automatically tally the answers and produce a top 10 according to the number of votes each person receives.

Comments
1,083 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Fethullah Gülen is my favorite muslim leader on the world. he is my pionier. I don’t think a peacefull world withoutFethullah Gülen. thank you very much hocam.

Posted by DAVUT | Report as abusive
 

FETHULLAH GULEN

Posted by AHMET | Report as abusive
 

adnan oktar

Posted by murat | Report as abusive
 

Fethullah Gülen

Posted by samil | Report as abusive
 

Mohammad Shaikh

Posted by Feroz | Report as abusive
 

I like to vote Mohammad shaikh because of his intelligence he is doing a great job i admire him and he is the best

 

Mohammad Shaikh gives evidence of the Quran to prove a point and according to the Quran the greatest evidence in matters of religion is the Quran itself, not science, not philosophy of people, not number of followers but the Quran itself is the greatest evidence. I dont know any one scholar in the world today that does that (without mixing other peoples or their own scholarly view point and history and philosophy. On the other hand Mohammad Shaikhs lecture has only the Quranic verses to details and euse as evidence on the TRUTH of a matter. watch yourself on http://www.iipc.tv

 

MOHAMMAD SHAIKH DESERVES TO BE AMONG TOP TEN MUSLIM SCHOLARS OF THE MUSLIM WORLD AND I FEEL HE SHOULD BE VOTED ALSO THE FIRST MUSLIM SCHOLAR TO BE HONOURED FOR NOBLE PEACE PRIZE BY HIS MESSAGE OF PEACE AMONG THE MUSLIM UMMAH ALL OVER THE WORLD.

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Fethullah gulen

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Fethullah Gülen

Posted by Esen | Report as abusive
 

Maulana Sheikh Nazim Adil Al-HaqqaniHe is indeed the most influential muslim around the world.Who else but he has the credit of having over ten million europian converting on his hand and embrassing islam.His effortless charisma, his love for all and devine inspiration are clear evidence of this claim.In July 2007, when i visited Maulana’s Home town Lefke, Turkish Cyprus, I was told by many non muslims living there that they cherished his devine presence in that beach side town, they quoted among many reasons, a fact that since maulana’s coming to Lefke, they haven’t seen any doctor doing business there as people seldom get ill to see one since decades.he inspires….those in doubt must take my challenge. See his picture for ten minutes eye ball to en eye ball, and recite la ilaha illAllah. he shall inspire him/her in dream in the next three days especially about his/her most thought of concern.

 

Fetullah Gülen

Posted by Hakk? Çiçek | Report as abusive
 

These kind of surveys are very subjective since they are more “fan-based” than “user-based”. All fans of a particular person can vote before it is heard by most people interested. Anyway, many of these leaders are very influential on the Muslim World as well as the world itself. To me, Fethullah Gulen would be the most influential leader, directing many people have a life towards God’s mercy. But if you are talking about politics only, I would say Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Many will remember him saying “One minute” in Davos.. :)

Posted by Sertach | Report as abusive
 

Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al Qubrusi Al HaqqaniHe is indeed the most influential muslim around the world.Who else but he has the credit of having over ten million europian converting on his hand and embrassing islam.His effortless charisma, his love for all and devine inspiration are clear evidence of this claim.In July 2007, when i visited Maulana’s Home town Lefke, Turkish Cyprus, I was told by many non muslims living there that they cherished his devine presence in that beach side town, they quoted among many reasons, a fact that since maulana’s coming to Lefke, they haven’t seen any doctor doing business there as people seldom get ill to see one since decades.he inspires….those in doubt must take my challenge. See his picture for ten minutes eye ball to en eye ball, and recite la ilaha illAllah. he shall inspire him/her in dream in the next three days especially about his/her most thought of concern.

Posted by Muhammad Ali | Report as abusive
 

Adnan oktar is the most influence islamic schooler elhamdulillah. I follow his work for almost 5 years now. One day the whole world will know his work insallah. Darwinsm is history, free masonry is history thanks to him insallah. Turkish islamic Union is very close and the second coming of jesus a.s. also. Mehdi a.s. is among us. I recommend to read his books for those who don’t know him.Selamun aleykum,Cengiz

Posted by Cengiz Eminov | Report as abusive
 

Fethullah Gülen

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Fethullah Gülen

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Fethullah Gülen

Posted by edvin | Report as abusive
 

“Darwinsm is history, free masonry is history thanks to him insallah.”If this is what Adnan Oktar claims, then I never heart a more stupid word!!! I am really sorry to say this. As long as wars are going on, darwinism and badness will be alive. The strong will hit the weak. The fast will hit the slow. The big will eat the small. We all hope that WWIII will never happen. With all the horrible weapons developed today, we could easily destroy our planet. Only a Divine Intervention can help to save us, then.It is an egoistic, a materialist and thus Darwinian idea to believe, one can remove all badness by publishing books on badness and faults of masonry and Darwinism.You can’t reach and change the mind of 6 to 7 Billion people with books!! Not even 7 Billion books would be able to change the egos!!!You need spiritual power and divine permission to change the minds!! So a man of spiritual highness don’t need to publish books to change the world. Only when God calls him to service, he will simply do in a blinck of an eye. This is what we call DIVINE INTERVENTION.We Muslim should be more humble, more humble, more humble…

Posted by Alparslan | Report as abusive
 

Mohammad Shaikh tops my mind, and for of a surety he is the most influential Muslim which in English literally means Submitter. He has to his credit a service devoted To the Cause of ALLAH/ The GOD for more then over 2 Decades. And his work is a witness a proof to his Devotion. He has serviced the purpose of life by delivering GOD’s Message in its true essence by elaborating The Ayaat/ Signs from Al-Quran/ The Reading, The Book of ALLAH/ The GOD. I invite all the world to come and view and analyze his works that he has done in the service of ALLAH/ The GOD, enlightening mankind regardless of their faith, creed, cult, religion, race, color, language. Promoting the Message of ALLAH/ The GOD, can surely be the only criterion to judge a Muslims Character. I am sure you will not find anyone from anywhere in the world whose works are preserved and so readily available in general for all to come and witness. Please visit http://www.iipc.tv.Mohammad Shaikh has helped mankind reshape their lives in accordance with the Message and Command of ALLAH/ The GOD, thus proving his dedication and influence he has on himself from GOD.Can anyone influence anyone better then the one who influences after being influenced by The Almighty GOD?What a beautiful Influence and What a beautiful gain thereby.

Posted by Mohammad Taj | Report as abusive
 

Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al Qubrusi Al Haqqani

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Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al Qubrusi Al Haqqani

Posted by Muhammad Risat | Report as abusive
 

Fethullah GÜLEN is very important person world famous. Because, he conduces crucial for peace of world.

Posted by Eyyub | Report as abusive
 

Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil al Qubrusi al Haqqani

Posted by Usman | Report as abusive
 

Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al Qubrusi Al Haqqani

Posted by Abdul Halim | Report as abusive
 

Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al Qubrusi Al Haqqani

 

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

 

Fethullah Gülen

Posted by erman | Report as abusive
 

Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil al Qubrusi al Haqqani

Posted by husni | Report as abusive
 

the best popiler muslim is ?mam ?skender Ali Mihr Hz.

 

Fethullah Gülen

Posted by özcan | Report as abusive
 

Fethullah GÜLEN love of Allah(CC) and love of Mohammed(SAV)we are friend in the afterlife Fethullah GÜLEN Number OneGOD BLESS YOU… we are applause on stand him.?zmir E?refpa?a Ya?hanelerÖzcan HASY???T

Posted by özcan | Report as abusive
 

Sheik MehmetNazim Adil al qubrusi al Haqqani.

Posted by mirhaniya | Report as abusive
 

Fethullah Gülen.

Posted by Mehmet Ulu | Report as abusive
 

Fethullah Gülen

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FETHULLAH GULEN

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Fethullah Gülen

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Fethullah Gülen

Posted by ersin | Report as abusive
 
 

This list does not make sense, all the kings are at the top. It should have been scholars not some kings.

 

Muhammad Shaikh truly deserves this honour! He has sacrifised his whole life in preaching Islam according to QURAN!!…I believe nobody can ever take his place,neither can stop him and nor can do anything against him!. He WAS,HE IS and HE WILL be number one and will stay in our hearts forever n ever INSHALLAH !! GOD BLESS HIM! AMEEN

Posted by sana farid | Report as abusive
 

FETHULLAH GÜLEN HOCAEFEND?

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Fethullah Gülen

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Fethullah Gülen

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Fethullah Gülen

Posted by Y?lmaz Çiçek | Report as abusive
 

Sheik MehmetNazim Adil al qubrusi al Haqqani

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Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al Qubrusi Al Haqqani

Posted by ertekin | Report as abusive
 

The results do show a very interesting slice of the influential Muslims in the world. Obviously this does not paint the complete picture but it does show some of the foremost scholars and distinguished individuals with a very strong set of followers, which can be seen by the comments pouring in from the respective followers of these leaders. I really think all of these scholars have important work to contribute in their own respective ways and i look forward to their inclusion in the next years list. Thumbs up!

Posted by Jack Shultz | Report as abusive
 

i vote for sheikh nazim aadil haqqani and then for sheikh hisham kabbani

Posted by fara | Report as abusive
 

Influential people really don’t ASK For VOTE and does not NEED TO Ask for VOTE, then why did MUHAMMAD SHAIK requested others to vote for him? Check his facebook for evidence.

Posted by critic | Report as abusive
 

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