The Most Influential Muslims of All Time
I decided to create a list of most influential Muslims several years ago, when I read once (or Newsweek, I forget which) magazine article on the most influential people of the year (I think it was 2003).
There were too many Muslims in that list, of course. But I was shocked to see that Murtada Ayaan Hirsi Ali on that list.
How the hell does a woman whose only claim to fame leaving Islam became one of the most influential people on the planet? What has he done so great? In addition to her, she has helped? Who benefits from his writings, outside of himself and his publisher?
Also, I bet that many people around the world have probably never heard of her.
This upset me very much like the list has shown a great imbalance of prejudice against Muslims. There are many Muslims, even here in America, who hold power over others that Ayaan Hirsi Ali could never.
Anyway, enough ranting for now. After seeing that list, I decided it was time to create my own personal list of most influential Muslims. But I did not want to use people that were popular at the time or power. I wanted to use historical figures. I wanted to create a list of most influential Muslims of all time.
My criteria for inclusion in this list are pretty simple.
1. The person must have been Muslim (Sunni or Shia).
2. It must be dead.
Therefore, people who belonged to heretical sects like the Nation of Islam or Ahmadiyyahs would not be included.
And the person must be dead so we know that he or she died while still a Muslim. Although unlikely, I wanted to avoid the possibility of including a person in this list, which could leave Islam later in life.
This list is far from complete, but here are the names I have compiled so far:
1. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
2. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him)
3. Umar ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)
4. Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him)
5. Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him)
6. Fatima bint Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with her)
7. Aisha bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her)
8. Malik (may Allah have mercy on him)
9. Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy on him)
10. Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him)
11. Imam Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him)
12. Imam Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him)
13. Imam Muslim (may Allaah have mercy on him)
14. At Salahuddin Ayyub (may Allah have mercy on him)
15. King Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz
16. Ayatollah Khomeini
17. Gamal Abdel Nasser
18. Malcolm X
Do you have other suggestions that I may have left out? If so, please let me know.