World’s 500 most Influential Muslims in 2012 (particularly from India and Pakistan)

Well this years worlds 500 most influential Muslims list is out which is done by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center of Jordan. The report is issued in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at George Town University in the United States. The list was first published in 2009 and since then it is published annually. The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought which is headquartered in Amman. The books chief editor, Abdallah Schleifer, who is a professor emeritus at the American University in Cairo in the book’s Introduction talks about the euphoric romance of the Tahrir Square, the Syrian uprising & the insurgency, the intervention in Libya, the Arab-Iranian cold war undergoing currently, the rise of Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood & Salafis and also about the Facebook generation, as how they have influenced the Muslim world. The editor tells us that more western Muslims have made into the list than expected but explains that the book is not about the Most Influential Muslims in the Muslim world only but Most Influential in the whole World so the Muslims residing in west have greater role in allaying the fears of any proverbial Clash of Civilizations for a peaceful Common World. It needs to be mentioned that American Muslims have dominated the list for the first time in four years since it began its publication. The book points out that it is to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on this community, or on behalf of the community. Further the book says that, ‘The influence can be of a religious scholar directly addressing Muslims and influencing their beliefs, ideas and behavior or it can be of a ruler shaping the socio-economic factors within which people live their lives, or of artists forming popular culture.’

       The publication has selected Muslims from a range of categories of influence which are 13 in number. These are :-

  1. Scholarly
  2. Political
  3. Administration of Religious Affairs
  4. Preachers and Spiritual Guides
  5. Philanthropy/Charity and Development
  6. Social Issues
  7. Business
  8. Science and Technology
  9. Arts and Culture
  10. Qur’an Reciters
  11. Media, Celebrities
  12. Sports
  13. Radicals                                                                                                                        

              Most of the top 50 slots are dominated by Political & Religious figures with all of top 10 being Political and Religious figures. The top position was maintained by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud who is holding this spot continuously for last 4 years due to the vast influence as proclaiming himself the Custodian of Holy cities of Mecca & Medina, being the controller of globes largest oil reserves & heading the worlds largest Daawa network promoting the Salafism. He is followed by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is numbered as second due to his charisma in driving his country to success. At 3rd position is Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, a descendant of Holy Prophet (SAW) and has been talked as someone who successfully blended reforms & evolution not a revolution for his country. Fourth place went to Dr Mohammed Badie, a veterinary pathologist, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood at present. At 5th place is Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani who is more known for the establishment of Al Jazeera Network. At 6th position is Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei & at 7th is King Of Jordan who is the custodian of Holy Sites in Jerasulem also. Sheikh Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb is numbered at 8. Indonesian president who is also a pop singer is numbered at 9 & Turkish spiritual preacher & thinker, Fatehullah Gullen, a follower of Said Nursi is listed at number 10. His Gullen Network has considerable influence in Turkish society which also run the Turkish newspapers, ‘Zaman’ & ‘Todays Zaman’ besides a bank & a TV & Radio Channel. Others in Top 50 include :

  • Muhammad Morsi Isa Al-Ayyat
    Egypt
  • Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id Aal Sa’id
    Oman
  • Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani
    Iraq
  • Sheikh Dr Ali Goma’a
    Egypt
  • General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
    United Arab Emirates
  • Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi
    Qatar
  • Amir Hajji Muhammad Abd Al Wahhab
    Pakistan
  • H.E. Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah Aal Al Sheikh
    Saudi Arabia
  • Dr K.H. Said Aqil Siradj
    Indonesia
  • Sheikh Salman Al Ouda
    Saudi Arabia
  • H.E. Sheikha Munira Qubeysi
    Syria
  • Sheikh as Sultan Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III
    Nigeria
  • Sheikh Ahmad Tijani bin Ali Cisse
    Senegal
  • President Abdullah Gül
    Turkey
  • Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah
    Brunei
  • Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qaadiri Al Azhari
    India
  • Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Bouti
    Syria
  • Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah
    Lebanon
  • H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah
    Mauritania
  • Mohammad bin Mohammad Al-Mansour
    Yemen
  • Shah Karim Al Hussayni
    France
  • Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani
    Pakistan
  • Sheikh Mohammad Ali Al Sabouni
    Syria
  • Dr Amr Khaled
    Egypt
  • President Mahmoud Abbas
    Palestinian Territories
  • Habib Umar bin Hafiz
    Yemen
  • Queen Rania Al Abdullah
    Jordan
  • Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned
    Qatar
  • Professor Dr M Din Syamsuddin
    Indonesia
  • Maulana Mahmood Madani
    India
  • Habib Ali Zain Al Abideen Al Jifri
    United Arab Emirates
  • Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson
    United States of America
  • Professor Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
    Turkey
  • Professor Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr
    United States of America
  • Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al-Qubrusi Al-Haqqani
    Cyprus
  • Sheikh Professor Dr Mustafa Ceric
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri
    Saudi Arabia
  • Khaled Mashaal
    Palestinian Territories
  • Dr Aref Ali Nayed
    Libya
  • Timothy Winter (Sheikh Abdal-Hakim Murad)
    United Kingdom
          From the subcontinent, at 17th position is the 89-year-old Amir (leader) of Pakistan’s Tablighi Jamaat, Hajji Abd Al Wahhab.
           At 26th position is Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qaadiri Al Azhari, a Barelwi Leader and Spiritual Guide from India having given over 5000 rulings till date.
           At 32nd position is Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a leading scholar of Islamic jurisprudence of Deoband school of thought from Pakistan.
           At 40th position is Maulana Mahmood Madani, Leader and Executive Member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, India.
           Also American Muslim Scholar, Shaikh Humza Yusuf is ranked at 42nd, the leading American Muslim in the list.
           Among the Honorable mentions, Dr Tahir ul Qadri, Dr Zakir Naik, Tariq Ramadan & Sheikh Al Sudais are there in the list.
           In the Scholarly list include – Allama Zia al-Mustafa Sahib who has been nominated as successor of Mufti Akhar Raza Khan, Asghar Ali Engineer, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Bahauddeen Muhammed Jamaluddeen Nadwi & Maulana Kalbe Saqiq, all from India. From Pakistan, Dr Tahir ul Qadri, Dr Akbar Ahmed, Dr Farhat Hashmi & Grand Ayutullah Muhammad Hussain Najafi are included. Besides them, Shaykh Ninowy, Tariq Ramadan, Shaykh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi, Shaykh Imdad Hussain & Ingrid Mattson are also included.
         Among the Politicos, Ahmedinejad, Khatami, Larijani, Major Jaffri, Mir Hossein Mossavi, Jalili Saeed, Dr Masoumeh & Dr Zahra are from Iran. Sirajjudin Haqqani, Hekmatyar, Hamid Karzai & Mullah Omar are from Afghanistan. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani & Imran Khan are from Pakistan. From UK, its Lord Nazir & Lady Sayeeda Warsi
          In the list of Administration & Religious Affairs, Shaykh Aboobackar Ahmed, VC of Sunni Cultural Center in Kerala & Sayeed Ibrahimul Khaleel Al-Bukhari, patron Ma’din Academy, are from India. From Pakistan it is Ameer Jamaateislami Pakistan, Syed Munawar Hassan & Dr Anwar Hussain Siddiqui.
           In the List of Preachers & Spiritual Guides, from India they are Allama Qammaruzamman Azmi of Barelvi school of thought, Syeddna Burrhanudin of Bohra faith, Dr Zakir Naik & Professor Syed Ameen Miyan Qadri of Barkatiya Silsila. From Pakistan, Dr Ahmed Rafique Akhtar, Maulana Shah Hakeem Akhtar, a sufi scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas Qadri, patron of Dawateislami, Maulana Tariq Jameel of Tablighi Jamaat & Shaikh Muhammad of IIPC. From UK, it is Pir Allauddin Siddiqui (actually from Mirpur, Kashmir), Shaykh Abd alQadir As Sufi & Abd al Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq. Others include Yusuf Estes, Imam Suhail Webb, Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani & Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
           In the Field of Philanthropy, Charity & Development : Azim Premji & Maulana Badruddin Ajmal from India and Abdul Sattar Edhi & Professor Dr Adib Rizvi from Pakistan.
           Under Social Issues list, Nobel Prize winners Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Tawakul Karman (Yemen), , Yunus Muhammad (Bangladesh) are included. Also Malalai Jolla from Afghanistan, Salman Khan of famed Khan Academy from USA & Dalia Mogahed, a senior analyst at Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in USA are in the list.
            In the Business List, Bakr Bin-Laden of famed Bin Laden Constructions of Saudi, Iranian Business-Woman Anousheh Ansari, Prince Abdul Waleed Bin Talaal, Sri Indrwati of Indonesia & Dr M El Erian, CEO of PIMCO from USA are included.
            In Science & Technology list, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam from India, Dr Ali Akbar Salehi from Iran & Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan from Pakistan who are all nuclear scientists are in it. Also from Pakistan is co-ordinator general of OIC’S COMSTECH, Ata ur Rehman. Turkey’s Adnan Akhtar, more famously known as Harun Yahya is also in the list.
             In Arts & Culture List, from India are Music Composer AR Rehman, Actors Shahrukh Khan & Irrfan Khan. From Pakistan former Pop Singer Junaid Jamshed, Qawalli singer Abida Parveen, & famous reciter of naats, Owais Raza Qadri are found. Also Zain Bhika, Maher Zain, Sami Yusuf & Yusuf Islam are the popular singers in the list.
             In the Quran Reciters, none from subcontinent has made it into the list.
             In the Media List, Wadda Khanfar ex DG of Al Jazeera, Red Capped self-styled Defense Analyst, Zaid Hamid from Pakistan, & Mir Shakil ur Rehman, owner of Pakistan’s biggest media network, the Geo/Jang Group, Asif Maandvi, Saad Mohseni, Riz Khan, Fareed Zakariya & Rageh Omaar are in the list.
              In the Celebrity & Sports list, Hashim Aamla, Zinedine Zidane, Fredric Kanoute, Mohammad Ali, Mo Farah and Cardio-thoracic sugeon Dr Mehmet Oz are included.
              In the Radicals list, Ayman Al Zawahairi & Hafiz Saeed are included.
   The Book concludes with talking of issues which have engulfed the Muslim World right now which are :

1. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Muslim World

2. Islamophobia

3. Circumcision Controversy – In Germany

4. Interfaith

5. Jerusalem

6. Palestinian Statehood

7. Gaza

8. Massacre of the Rohingya Muslims

9. Destruction of  Sufi Shrines – In Libya, Mali & Egypt

10. The Fight for Al-Azhar – Between Traditionalists & Muslim Brotherhood

11. The Integral Chairs – The International Initiative for the Islamic Integral Professorial Chairs.

You Can Download the 2012 Book of Worlds 500 most Influential Muslims  here below :

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Language we Speak, Language we cannot write – Kashmiri

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“For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” – Eudora Welty

Language we Speak, Language we cannot write – That is how Kashmiri Language can be best described right now. Indeed, it is undergoing a dark period for which it would not be wrong to say that our earlier generations are responsible. I am not taking any pleasures by blaming them for the current mess in which the Kashmiri Zabaan is right now but where the political tumult has taken continuously for decades, language seems too small a problem to be taken care of. Language is an identity which stands distinct. As India got independence from British, new states were carved out keeping language in mind. East Bengal began to get isolated from erstwhile Pakistan as Bengalis didn’t like the idea of Urdu being imposed on them & Bengali language be given inferior status to it. The situation degraded so much that with other political factors, East Bengal became a new nation, Bangladesh afterwards & United Nations began to observe the International Mother Language Day in memory of the students killed demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla at Dhaka in 1952. Such is the power of the language that it has created a nation! But we still have not taken any cue from it. I am not bragging that i know Kashmiri that much or i can write Kashmiri as i also am in the league which can be called as the one who speaks the language with average vocabulary & can’t write because we were never taught that how to write it & never have been told about any Kashmiri grammar rules in writing. Whatever we speak Kashmiri language in good eloquence is because we have been speaking it since our childhood and have developed the sense what is correct or wrong unconsciously. Well that occurs to all races of mankind for their mother tongues so it is not a big deal. My point here is not about spoken Kashmiri as it has been discussed in past that the parents don’t communicate through Kashmiri as the first language but only second or third after Urdu & English and that has contributed a lot to the mess in which the Kashmiri language is now found. My point here is about written Kashmiri language. It’s a shame that we never were made to read Kashmiri books or write even the basic words of the language, leave Kashmiri novels. Although we like to hear or see the Kashmiri quotes of our Sufi poets like Nund Reshi, Lalded, etc and they are now on tip of the tongue but the sad thing is that we somehow develop repulsion in writing it in Kashmiri language, either we write it in Kashmiri-Roman script or translate it into English. How many of us literates do know the names of Kashmiri novels, we may name one or two to maximum but aren’t there more? Our national poet is Mahjoor and we often love to say that he is our pride but have we fulfilled the duty of reading his books and poetry. Have we done Justice to Kashmiri which is our native language? We may have a couple of Kashmiri newspapers or magazines published from the valley but are they popular? The answer is negative. We all fall flat on this question apart from few people who are trying very hard to revive the spirit of Kashmiri language. Only a renaissance will help our culture but when, that is the question, the clock is ticking…. May we all step in to save the language from being extinct on paper. Let us not be entangled in the web of communal overtones along the lines of Urdu-Hindi feud that whether Perso-Arabic script is better or Devanagari script as it all depends which script is convenient to you and not on your religion. Amen !

Writing is not language, but merely a way of recording language by visible marks.– Leonard Bloomfield

Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s Ode in Persian for Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Ay tu keh hast har dil-i-mahzoon saraa-ye tu 
Aavardeh-am saraa-ye digar az baraa-ye tu

Oh Thou whose home is every melancholy heart
I have brought other homes too just for thy sake

 

Khwajeh beh takht bandah-i-tashveesh-i-mulk-o-maal
Bar khaak rashk-i khosraw-i-dawraan gadaa-ye tu

The rulers on their thrones are slaves to anxiety of land and wealth
Upon the dusty earth, Oh envy of the rulers of the age, is thy mendicant!

Aanjaa qasida-khwaani-ye-lazzaat-i seem o zarr
Eenjaa faqt hadees-i nishaat-i laqaa-ye tu

There are odes in praise of the pleasures of silver and gold
Here, only the tradition of the joy of thy countenance

Aatish-fashaan zi qahr o malaamat zabaan-i shaykh
Az ashk-i-tarz-i-dard-i-ghareebaan radaa-ye tu

The fire-breathing tongue of the shaykh speaks of terror and reproach
From the tears of the way of pain of the poor, is thy cloak!

Baayad keh zulmaan-i jehaan ra sadaa konad
Roozi ba-soo-ye adl o inaayat sadaa-ye tu!

This sinner of the world will definitely cry out
On a Day when for justice and grace there is only thy cry!

“By bowing down…

People assembled at Chrar Shareef shrine

“By bowing down, thou shalt not become a Rishi, the pounder in the rice mill did not ever raise up its head.”

“By entering a cave, God cannot be attained, the mongoose and the rat seldom come out of their holes.”

“By bathing, the mind will not be cleansed, The fish and the otter never ascend the bank.”

“If God was just pleased by fasting, the indigent rarely cook food in pots.”

Shaykh ul Aalam

15 Questions to NC Headed Government in Jammu Kashmir

As J&K moves closer to four years of NC-Congress coalition Government, I want to ask 15 questions to NC party. These are :

1) On Autonomy: Whereas you have talked of restoration of autonomy in the election manifesto of 2008 which has been your party stand for years, what steps have you steered for its restoration?

As NC has been in coalition with BJP led NDA & also is now in echelons of power with Congress led UPA, has there ever been a whisker on it off lately with UPA on official level other than some occasional brouhaha on the issue of restoration & eroding of autonomy? Isn’t the word ‘Autonomy’ been now NC’s bluff which feels very monotonous to our ears due to your hollow trumpeting? What about the ‘Autonomy Plus’ which your Party had promised to unveil to the people in 2009?

2) On Separatists: Whereas you have said in the manifesto to solve Kashmir imbroglio, all sections of the society including separatists & extremists have to be taken on board, have you not further pushed the dialogue table to oblivion with their frequent house arrests as well as stopping them to offer Friday prayers? While you have used the word ‘extremists’ who you think should be taken on board but have you done any favor to the moderates so that the extremists shun their approach? Hasn’t this approach been more counterproductive leading to more dissent in the society? Also why hasn’t the much talked Rehabilitation Policy been successful here?

3) On LOC Trade: Whereas you have said in election manifesto that NC will ‘strive for free trade & traffic compared to present trickle across LOC & hassle free entry/exit of state subjects & better coordination between Srinagar – Muzafarabad’, not much is seen in this regard. The barter system with which the trade was started four years back still exists, while the Trade across the Salamabad,Uri has increased over years but the trade across Poonch has significantly decreased & there exists still lag in communication due to the ban on Telecommunication links across LOC. People still are hoping when the travel across the LOC would be liberalized so that they could see each other’s relatives.

4)  On TRC & SHRC: Whereas you have said that ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be formed to know what triggered the volcano of insurgency in late 80s & the guilty should be punished plus also that the report would be made public’, what have you done to keep that promise? Also you have pledged to restore the crippled SHRC & do away laws like DAA, AFSPA, has any progress been there so far? But point should be noted that the chief minister has gone on record saying that Kashmir is a political problem. As the problem is still lingering on where does this introducing of the idea of TRC fit in when the conflict hasn’t been solved yet. Further the words of TRC don’t evoke any interest in the minds of commoners as like all toothless commissions it will also lead to nowhere. The recent interlocutors report is one of the examples. There have been no concrete steps in restoring the crippled SHRC. Isn’t it your crippling factor that J&K Government has asked the SHRC to dispose of the cases in matters related to the unmarked graves so that it would be sorted out in yet to be made & much fancied TRC?

5) On Chenab & PirPanjal: Whereas you have said that you pledge to form PirPanjal & Chenab development council, has any progress been done so far apart from a resolution passed in Legislative Council in 2009? What prevents you in granting the autonomous hill development council to the state’s most backward areas? If the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council is working fine administratively, then why not for Chenab Valley? The sooner the better if it would be made functional.

6) On Unemployment & SKEWPY: Whereas you said & are saying that you will explore all avenues for unemployed youth for their gainful employment locally, nationally & internationally, leave that aside, what is happening to the much hyped SKEWPY ? As newspaper reports suggest, the VSA has been hit by financial crunch with the unemployed youth not getting their allowances for past 4-5 months. Compared to rest of the neighboring states, J&K has the highest unemployment rate at 5.3% which needs to be specially addressed.

7) On Energy & Power: Whereas you said and are also saying that you will impress upon the center to compensate our state in case of electricity as the electricity generated by the water resources of our own state are shared by others, what steps have you taken? Didn’t the Union Power Minister for Power & the Union Power Secretary categorically reject the demand of handing over the power projects from NHPC back to the state government in their statements recently? Let it be reminded that the state is this time reeling under serious Energy crisis due to the shortage of LPG cylinders.

8) On SAC & SVC: Whereas you promised that the State Accountability Commission which was made defunct by previous government would be restored, it in fact has been made more toothless as recently your Government objected to the suo moto powers of the State Accountability Commission to initiate action against its legislators in corruption related cases. Further in the manifesto you had promised to strengthen the Vigilance organization for which you strengthened the State Vigilance Act in 2011 but the irony is that no state vigilance commission has been made so far.

9) On Women: Whereas you say that you will establish a Women’s university, so far no word on it. According to the economic survey the female unemployment in state is at 17.1% compared to 5.6% unemployment in males here. Keeping in view of the over growing unemployment in the state, wouldn’t it be better if you open a new industry which would help women empowerment?

10) On HR Violation: Whereas you have said in election manifesto that, ’One kind of terrorism cannot be fought with another’, on the issue of human rights violation by security agencies, what steps have you taken? What about the over 100 people getting killed in the summer agitation of 2010 on which the CM said that it is a cross he has to take all life along? Has any justice been done yet which was promised?

11) On Education: Whereas you talk of increase in literacy rate of state to 68% & 15% increase in female literacy, we would like to know the reason that why there has been an increase in school dropout rate in our state from 3.47% in 2009-10 to 5.3% in 2010-11 with over 43,000 drop-outs currently according to a recent survey.

12) On Health Care: Whereas India Today group has titled J&K as number one state in health sector for which I am congratulating you but isn’t it absurd that in the backdrop of messy GB Pant fiasco recently, do we deserve the number one position? Didn’t the CAG report this year term the Health care system in Jammu in shambles? What about the much talked Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the field of Health care? Any Progress on it?

13) On Roads: Whereas you promised of better & wider roads across the state & you claim to have built a wide network of roads, with the Chief Minister also quoting sometime back that, ‘Roads are arteries to progress’, has the road networking been better as promised? Take for example the summer capital, Srinagar, when during the poll campaign the chief minister promised that Srinagar would be transformed into Venice while as it seems quite opposite is the situation where the roads which had been dug up in the name of drainage & sewerage system have failed to re-carpet leading to spurge in nuisances of a common man.

14) On Panchayat: Whereas you were successful in conducting the Panchayat Polls in the state but aren’t they now being used as mere pawns in order to score political mileage with other opposing forces of your party?

15) On Shahtoosh Shawl Trade: Whereas in the election manifesto you have said that you feel that ‘Toosh’ has fallen prey to a certain elitist lobby, what steps have you taken to break this myth?