Nigerian President, Muhammad Buhari; Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’d Abubakar III and 10 other Nigerians have been named among the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World for the year 2020.
The annual compilation, released by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC), a think-tank based in Amman, Jordan, is aimed at ranking Muslims around the world according to the level of impact they have in their communities.
Muslim News findings reveal that the areas of influence considered include scholarship politics, administration of religious affairs, philanthropy, charity, development, social issues, business, science & technology, arts & culture, media, sports, entertainment, preachers & spiritual Guides, Qur’an recitation, among others.
President Buhari made the top 50 of the World most influential Muslims for the fourth time consecutively since 2016, retaining the 17th position he held last year.
According to the publication, President Buhari was honoured for his efforts in improving Nigeria’s economy and infrastructure, preservation of wildlife, the fight against corruption and Boko Haram whose leader, Abubakar Shekau, was incidentally also listed among ‘top extremists’ segment in the list of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
On President Buhari’s fight against Boko Haram, the organisers wrote that the President has put defeating Boko Haram on top of his agenda. Boko Haram’s actions have consistently caused international outrage, and the President has publicly committed to stop the terror attacks.
The Sultan of Sokoto also got the prestigious mention since inception in 2009. The Amir-ul-Mumineen, who was listed 21st last year, made it to the 20th most powerful Muslim in the latest edition that had the Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan and the US congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib as the Man and Woman of the year.
Apart from his lineage as the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s enormous Muslim community, Sultan of Sokoto was recognised for his initiative in countering and reducing the influence of Boko Haram and working to strengthen Muslim-Christian ties by inviting an international joint Muslim-Christian delegation to visit Nigeria.
Although, not within the top 50, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; Africa richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is’haq Oloyede; National Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad; President-General of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Datti; Head of Supreme Council for Fatwa and Islamic Affairs in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Salih also made the last 450.
The former Attorney General and the Minister of Justice of Nigeria, Prince Bola Ajibola; leader of the Tijjaniyya Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Tahir Usman Bauchi; the leader of Jama’at Izalatil Bid’ah wa Iqamatus Sunnah (Izala), Sheikh Yakubu Musa Katsina, and head, Interfaith Mediation Center of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Kaduna State, Imam Muhammad Ashafa made the compilation of about 292 paged-Muslim 500 list.
By Abdul Waheed Shotonwa