The king of Jordan has been named the most influential Muslim in the world.
The honour was bestowed on King Abdullah II by the “Muslim 500,” an annual publication which ranks the most influential Muslims in the world.
The Muslim 500 is compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in the United States.
The publication says the main reasons for its choice are simple – location, politics and religion.
“Jordan is a relatively small state with a population of only 7+ million, but HM King Abdullah II has become a central figure in the two most consequential conflicts in the Islamic World: the conflict over Palestine and the conflict in Syria and Iraq with Daesh.
“The King is thus in the eye of two hurricanes. Jordan controls the southern flank of Syria and the southwestern flank of Iraq. With the Kurds now limiting Daesh’s ambitions to the north; Iran and Shia Iraq limiting
them to the east; and with Daesh coming up against the rebels in the northwest and the Alawite/Hezbollah strongholds in the southwest, the crucial upcoming stage of the conflict will very much depend on King Abdullah II and Jordan.
“Jordan stands literally and figuratively between Daesh and Saudi Arabia – especially since Saudi Arabia is currently occupied with another war to its south, in the Yemen. As Jordan goes, so will go Saudi Arabia, and then the rest of the Islamic world.
“Jordan is also the frontline Arab-Islamic state with Israel; the one with the largest border and one of only two states (the other being Egypt) with a finalised peace treaty with Israel. The King is using his inherited peace
treaty with Israel to mediate a solution between Israel and Palestine and to protect the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Compound of which he is the Official Custodian.
“Finally, Jordan stands at the greatest geographical crossroads in the world – the land crossroad between Asia, Africa and Europe. It is also wedged between Mecca and Medina to the south and Jerusalem to the west, and therefore is part of the blessed land that the Qur’an mentions (Al-Isra, 17:1) as being ‘around’ the Al-Aqsa Mosque…
“Today, it stands at the crossroads between five different and competing larger regional powers: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Turkey to the north and Iran to the east. What Jordan does (and what happens to Jordan)
will tip the balance between these powers one way or another – or will keep the healthy buffer between them.”
The other figures who filled the rest of the top 10 spots were:
2. Ahmad al Tayyeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar university in Cairo.
3. King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
4. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
5. King Mohammed of Morocco.
6. Sultan Qaboos of Oman.
7. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the UAE.
8. Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan.
9. Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
10. Hajji Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab, amir of Tablighi Jamaat Pakistan.
Other notable figures who made the top 50 were:
12. Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Aal Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
15. Hodjaefendi Fethullah Gülen. Turkish Muslim Preacher.
19. Abdel Fattah Saeed Al-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
23. Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies.
30. Rached Ghannouchi, Tunisian leader.
32. Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Head of the International
Union of Muslim Scholars.
35. Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah.
36. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Teacher and Co-Founder
of Zaytuna College, USA.
41. Khaled Mashal, Leader of Hamas.
42. His Highness Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar.
Meanwhile, the top extremists are…
1. Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Leader of ISIS.
2. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Leader of Al-Qaeda.
3. Abubakar Shekau, Leader of Boko Haram.
4. Abu Bakar Bashir, Spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah.
5. Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Spritual leader of the Al-Nusra Front.