KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan, youngest Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel have been featured among the World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims.
Published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, the list includes Muslims around the globe who are recognised for their efforts and contributions in their respective fields.
The list also mentions prominent personalities including father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, Award-winning scientist Umar Saif and renowned chemist Dr Attaur Rehman.
Among the top 50, Premier Imran ranked at 29th position for his eminent contributions not only as a political leader but also as a philanthropist and a sporting legend. His take on corruption and bringing accountability to the forefront has earned him praises around the world.
The prime minister has already implemented cutbacks in extravagant government expenditure and is using his personal credibility to fundraise for a dam, according to the publication.
PM Imran’s humanitarian contributions include establishment of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre and National University of Modern Languages (NUML). Built in 1994, Shaukat Khanum Hospital successfully aids 75 per cent of patients receiving free treatment whereas NUML university provides scholarship assistance to over 90 per cent of its students.
Imran’s 22-year long journey as a cricketer and recognition as one of the game’s finest all-rounders is not new to ears. “His ability to lead and unite an often disparate team, culminated in Pakistan winning the 1992 world cup. It is this same ability and success that many hope can be replicated in the political field,” read the publication.
Malala, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, also receives an honourable mention in the category of ‘social issues’. It is not the first time when Malala’s endeavours are commended on global forums. She has also been listed as one of the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 by Times Magazine and has been granted audiences with royalty and world leaders.
Back in 2013, Malala also addressed the UN, received the prestigious Sakharov Prize and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize which she co-received in 2014 at the age of 17.
Maulana Tariq Jamil, one of the most prominent preachers in the country, was also featured in the publication. In addition to running a madrassah in Faisalabad, he has delivered thousands of lectures around the world which have been very effective in influencing all types of the community ranging from businessmen to minsters, actors and sports celebrities, according to the publication.
The list also highlighted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq.
Other noted scholars including Dr Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, Javed Ghamdi, Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani and Dr Farhat Hashmi were also mentioned in the list.
Alongside these acclaimed names, contributions of Pakistani women were also highlighted in various walks of life. Bilquis Edhi, philanthropist and wife of late Abdul Sattar Edhi, received an honorary mention in the category of ‘philanthropy, charity and development’. Other names also include Oscar-winning Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, legendary Sufi singer Abida Parveen and artist-turned activist Muniba Mazari.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tops the list, followed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud.
King of Jordan Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein stands at third, while Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei came fourth.