Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News | 04 December 2012

A medley of prominent South African Ulama, artists, sportspeople and journalists have again secured the local Muslim community an honorable mention on a prestigious listing of the World’s most influential Muslims.

Now in its fourth edition, The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims, is an annual publication that sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on, or on behalf of, the wider Muslim community. The listing, published by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan selects Muslim individuals from a range of categories of influence including scholarly, political,  preachers and spiritual guides, philanthropy/charity, arts and culture and the media.

As in previous editions, this years lists – moreso its Top 50, are dominated by religious scholars and heads of state. For a fourth year running, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al Aziz tops the list, followed closely by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Mohammed of Morocco.

Figures emboldened by the Arab Spring also feature prominently with the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Mohammed Badie, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani,  Mohammed Morsi, the President of Egypt, Egyptian Grand Mufti Dr Ali Goma’a and Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi all securing coveted spots.

South African Ulama appearing on this year’s list include Moulana Igsaan Hendricks, President of the Muslim Judicial Council and Sheikh Seraj Hendricks of the Zawiya Mosque, both based in Cape Town. Mufti Ebrahim Desai of Durban is also cited for his contributions to the AskImam.org website, amongst others.

In the media category, City Press editor Ferial Haffajee and award-winning journalist Shafiq Morton are acknowledged. Haffajee is the first Muslim woman to become the editor of a major newspaper in South Africa and Morton presents a current-affairs show on the
Voice of the Cape.

Humanitarian,  Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman is credited on the list for managing the largest disaster relief organization of African origin on the African continent. Gift of the Givers reportedly has delivered over $37 million in aid to 25 countries around the world.

500 Muslims also highlights South African Minister for Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel for the strategic portfolio he holds amidst South Africa’s uneven economic development and spiraling unemployment rates.

Appearing on the list for a fourth time is Nasheed Artist Zain Bhikha, considered a pioneer in his genre’. National cricketer, Hashim Amla also reflects on the Celebrities and Sports list.

Other listings from Southern Africa are Sheikh Dinala Chabulika of the Islamic Information Bureau in Malawi and Mufti Ismail Menk of Zimbabwe.

According to The Muslim 500, impact of listed individuals can be either positive or negative, depending on one’s point of view.

The full list can be viewed HERE


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