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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ten Indians among 500 most influential Muslims in the world: Georgetown University List


The list of 500 most influential Muslims in the world had hit headlines in India due to the names of some celebrities. Though such lists shouldn't be taken too seriously, still, they do evoke interest.

Many of these influential persons include monarchs and sheikhs of middle-east apart from heads of religious organisations and sects. Some of them haven't made much impact on public consciousness across the globe but have influence in their own countries and territories.

However, like most lists that draw criticism and commendation at the same time, the Georgetown University's selection comprises a number of Muslim scholars, professionals, thinkers, doctors, experts in various fields et al.


Importantly, the highest number of Muslims included in the list are from United States of Ameria [71] followed by Britain [32]. The countries together make for over 100 personalities. And this is the positive aspect of the listing. The rankings are only for the top 50.

Of the 10 Indians in the list the head of the Dawoodi Bohra communit Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, former President Abdul Kalam, Islamic scholar Wahiduddin Khan and preacher Zakir Naik are the notable ones.

The names of Shahrukh Khan and AR Rahman, who have also been included in the list, were splashed in papers because of their celebrity status. Others are Maulana Mahmood Madani, Asghar Ali Engineer, Syed Ameen Miyan Qadri and Ahmad Sheikh Abu Bakr.

There are 16 persons from Pakistan including Abdus Sattar Eidhi. Even Bilawal Zardari has found a place. The list has Muslims from almost every country ranging from Canada to New Zealand.

Countries that make up for most personalities in the list inlude Iran 25, Saudi Arabia 24, Egypt 23, Turkey 20, Indonesia 15, South Africa 12, Morocco 11, Iraq 11, Jordan 10, Lebanon 10, Palestine 10 and France 5. Rest of the countries have less than five persons each in the list.

There are biographies of the personalities making it to the top 50. All the 500 persons have been categorised as scholarly, administrative, political, preachers, women, lineage, youth, philanthropy, art & culture, media and even radicals.

There are around 45 women. Though one can name many other individuals that have greater impact, the 2009 edition of the list, which is the first, and would become an annual feature, seems to be an interesting exercise.

Read the entire list here. The photos add to its attraction.