By Mumini AbdulKareem
For three years on the trot, 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.
The latest listing has been described by Islamic scholars in the country as a testament to Sheik’s Ahmad influence among the Muslim community in the world based on his cumulative influence over 10 years.
This was contained in the tenth annual issue of The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims 2019, published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Amman, Jordan.
The publication put the current population of world Muslims to over two billion and named President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as number one.
It listed President Muhammadu Buhari in the 17th position, and the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar in the 21st position, as the only Nigerians among the top 50 most influential Muslims globally.
While President Buhari gained two spots from 19th position in 2018 rankings to 17th in the 2019 rankings, the Sultan also gained a spot from 22nd position to 21st.
King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, emerged second most influential Muslim. He was rated second in the 2018 rankings also.
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 category, alongside Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, JAMB Registrar, Professor 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 category, while the Co-director of the Muslim-Christian Interfaith Mediation Centre in Kaduna, Imam Muhammad Ashafa, is the only Nigerian listed under Social Issues category.
The Chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, emerged the only Nigeria listed under Business Category.