Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb – Egypt Today/Kareem Abdulkareem
CAIRO – 3 November 2017: Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb was named the world’s most influential Muslim in the 2018 edition of “The Muslim 500”.
The 2018 edition of “The Muslim 500”, which lists the world’s 500 most influential Muslims, has ranked Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb as the world’s most influential Muslim for the second year in a row, followed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud (2) and Jordanian King Abdullah II (3).
Tayeb’s global influence stems from his position as the “highest scholarly authority for the majority of Sunni Muslims” as the head of al-Azhar. The publication also credited Tayeb for being “outspoken against the Muslim Brotherhood for their exploitation of Islam as a political ideology,” as well as “trying to diffuse the influence” of the Islamic State terrorist group and improving foreign relations.
In addition, former Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa was ranked 20th, while President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was ranked 31st.
Other prominent Muslims to make it on the publication’s Top 50 list include Mauritanian scholar Abdullah bin Bayyah (9), Yemeni scholar and spiritual leader Habib Umar bin Hafiz (10), Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (13), American scholar Hamza Yusuf (27), Tabah Foundation Director General Habib Ali al-Jifri (28), Egyptian preacher and televangelist Moez Masoud (32), Egyptian preacher Amr Khaled (35), and Egyptian scholar Usama al-Sayyid al-Azhari (39).
“The Muslim 500” is published annually by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, an affiliate of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought based in Amman, Jordan. It lists prominent Muslims who have “the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim world,” whether positive or negative.
The Muslims on the list are selected based on 13 categories of influence: Scholarly, Political, Administration of Religious Affairs, Preachers and Spiritual Guides, Philanthropy/Charity and Development, Social Issues, Business, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Qur’an Reciters, Media, Celebrities and Sports Stars, and Extremists.
The entire publication can be found at
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