By Enyichukwu Enemanna
President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has for the first time been listed among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
The Nigerian leader was listed along with first class traditional ruler, the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and 12 other Nigerian Muslims
Before now, Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State who won a disputed national election in February has not featured in the annual publication of the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Amman, Jordan, but his predecessor, Katsina-born former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari had consistently featured in the list.
Sultan of Sokoto was enlisted among the top 50 in the publication.
Shaykh Habib ‘Umar bin Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, Director of Dar al-Mustafa in Yemen emerged the world’s most influential Muslim leader followed by the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as the second most influential Muslim in the 15 edition of the publication.
The Supreme Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, grabbed the third position.
The publication further puts the World’s Muslim population at 2,074, 718,394.
It highlights people who are influential as Muslims and how they have been able to, through their influence, benefit the community both within the Islamic world and in terms of representing Islam to non-Muslims.
Apart from Sultan and HE Ibrahim Saleh Al-Hussaini, the head of the Supreme Council for Fatwa and Islamic Affairs in Nigeria, who were listed in the first 50 emerging numbers 18 and 45 respectively, other 450 were categorised into Scholarly; Administration of Religious Affairs; Preachers and Religious Guides; Social Issues; Business and Philanthropy, Charity and Development, among others.
In Nigeria, Tinubu who is a new entrant was listed under the political leaders’ category while President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the only Nigerian listed in the Business Category, emerged number 162 most influential Muslim leader.
Other Nigerians listed in the publication are 14th Emir of Kano and the Grand Khalifat of the Tijaniyah, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Secretary General of NSCIA and Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Olanrewaju Oloyede; Ado Bayero and Sheikh Ahmad, who were listed in the category of administration of religious affairs.
The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, was listed in the scholarly category.
Others listed are Sheikh Tahir Usman Bauchi; Imam Muhammad Ashafa; HE Ibrahim Saleh Al-Hussaini; Sheikh Yakubu Musa Katsina and Sheikh Professor Ibrahim Ahmad Maqari.
Late Prince Ajibola Bola, a former Judge of the International Court of Justice, Hague, who died on April 9, 2023 was recognised in the obituary category.