By Mumini AbdulKareem
For a second year running, the National Missioner, Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and Overseas, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, has been listed among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
This was contained in the ninth annual issue of The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims 2018, published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Amman, Jordan.
The publication put the current population of world Muslims at approximately 1.84 billion making up 24.38 per cent of the world’s population.
It listed President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, as the only Nigerians among the top 50 most influential Muslims globally.
While President Buhari dropped two spots from 17th position in the 2017 ranking to 19th in 2018, the Sultan dropped a spot from 22nd position to 23rd.
The Grand Sheikh of the Al-Azhar University, Prof. Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Al-Tayyeb retains the first spot as the most influential Muslim on the face of the earth.
King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, emerged second most influential Muslim a12 months after being rated third.
Aside the first 50 rankings, the latest edition of the publication also contains 25 Honourable Mentions, both of which were categorised in terms of Rulers and Politicians; Scholars and Preachers; and Social Issues, Media, Social Media, Arts, Culture and Sports.
The final 450 rankings were categorised into Scholarly; Administration of Religious Affairs; Preachers and Religious Guides; Social Issues; Business; and Philanthropy, Charity and Development, among others.
In Nigeria, Sheikh Ahmad was listed under Administration of Religious Affairs, alongside Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, and a former head of the Nigerian High Commission in London, Prince Bola Ajibola.
Sheikh Tahir Usman Bauchi and Sheikh Yakubu Musa Katsina, were the only Nigerians listed under Preachers and Spiritual Guides, while the Co-director of the Muslim-Christian Interfaith Mediation Centre in Kaduna, Imam Muhammad Ashafa, is the only Nigerian listed under Social Issues.
The Chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, emerged the only Nigerian listed under business category.