At a time the global Muslim community is in disarray, divided and even shamelessly taking up arms against one another, there is one man who is trying to lead the way in establishing a strong historical move to unite the Ummah, to become the most peaceful and the best community ever raised by God as firmly established in the Muslim Holy Book, the Noble Qur’an 3:110. That man is no other than Yab Tun Dr. Mahathir Muhamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Interestingly, he is 94-year-old, making him the oldest premier and head of government in the world. Yet, he is doing what the proponents of the ‘not too young to run’ legislation couldn’t do for their country and the Muslim world – calling on them to “rebuild and restore the strength of Islamic civilisation and for Muslims to be united and work closely together”.
This perhaps led to the December 2019 Summit of Hope held in Kuala Lumpur, a collaborative effort with other regional like minds and leaders from some of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority countries including the President of Turkey, Recep Toyyip Erdogan; Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, whose country has been embroiled lately in a conflict with the United States of America over the assassination of one of its top military commanders, Qassem Soleimani.
“Muslim countries must unite to protect themselves against external threats, Mahathir said, on Tuesday, January 7, while deprecating the Donald Trump administration’s targeted assassination of Iranian General as “immoral” and warned that it could lead to an escalation in “what is called terrorism”.
“We are no longer safe now. If anybody insults or says something that somebody doesn’t like, it is alright for that person from another country to send a drone and perhaps have a shot at me,” he added.
We, the management of Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper, Muslim News are pleased to announce Dr. Mahathir as the first runner-up of Top 5 Global Muslim personalities of the year 2019, the position occupied by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in the maiden 2018 edition. In that first edition, Dr. Mahathir came third.
Driven by the passion to reform the Malaysian economy and save it from sliding into recession, the iconic Muslim figure offered a great sacrifice by leading the country for the second time when he’s supposed to be resting and living a sedate ‘good life’ considering his old age.
Muslim News findings revealed that at a time when the world is clamouring for youth participation in governance, millions of Malaysian citizens practically begged 94 year old Dr. Mahathir, their former leader, who once ruled the Muslim majority country for 22 years (1981 to 2003), to take another shot at the Premiership, which his newly formed political coalition won convincingly.
In May 2018, he defeated the incumbent and former protege, Najib Razak in a fiercely contested poll to become the country’s Prime Minister for the second time.
Not only is he the oldest sitting head of government in the world, Mahathir’s quest for justice and equity for all in accordance with the dictates of Islam, the religion of the Federation and commitment to the plights of the Muslims across the world – especially the Palestinians and the ethnic Uighur Muslim minority in China – has made him one of the world’s most respected Muslim personalities.
We strongly believe that Dr. Mahathir was deemed worthy of this recognition due to his many feats, chief of which are his bold decision to step out from retirement in a bid to salvage and save essentially the global Muslim capital from relegation and political/economic disaster; denying himself the rest he rightly deserves with his old age in repositioning the Muslim capital and making it stand shoulder to shoulder with the US and UK in terms of global, international and competitive education.
He is also recognised for his support for the renaissance of state-level Islamic activism as pioneered by him alongside Erdogan of Turkey, Tamim of Qatar, and Khamenei of Iran; thereby giving the world a fresh, viable and reassuring ray of hope that indeed peace, unity, tranquility and unification can once again occur within the ranks of the world’s Muslims especially across sectarian divides.
The renowned reformer is keenly interested in the affairs of Muslims and the restoration of unity among Muslims across various backgrounds. His love for religiousity is not in doubt. This is why despite his age, he wakes up as early as possible to offer his prayers which is always the first thing on his daily schedule; tours different religious conferences geared towards the achievement of peace and unity among Muslim brothers; and accommodates Muslims from all parts of the world in his home country for educational and learning purposes.
It is our honour to present to the world, PM Yab Tun Mahathir Mohamad, the first runner up of the 2019 Muslim News Global Muslim Personalities of the Year.
NOTE: Like every other human being, Dr Mahathir Muhamad is not perfect. May Allah forgive his shortcomings. May Allah bless him with the strength and courage to do more for Islam and the oppressed Muslims. Ameen
– Rasheed Abubakar, publisher, Muslim News Nigeria
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