The Amman, Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in collaboration with the Prince Alwaleed BinTalal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Georgetown University, Washington DC, has issued a list of 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre is an off shoot of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought which launched the Amman Message in November 2004 in a bid to reach a broad definition of who is a Muslim. The Amman Message, unanimously approved by Muslim scholars, attempted to describe what Islam is and what it is not, and what actions represent Islam and what actions do not?
To reach a precise definition of who is a Muslim, the Amman Message recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi'a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash'arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of 'true' Salafi thought. Based upon this definition it forbade takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims. The Amman Message also set forth the subjective and objective preconditions for the issuing of fatwas (Islamic rulings), thereby restricting 'ignorant and illegitimate edicts in the name of Islam.'
The 500 Most Influential Muslims is an extension of the Amman Message. The Editors of the list have not given any criteria for choosing an influential personality but the list unveils a pattern and agenda behind the selection.
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