Forbes lists ten Muslims among world’s most influential 70 people


Recently released ranking by Forbes magazine lists ten Muslims among the most influential 70 people in the  world.  Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, was again selected the most influential person among Muslims and the sixth person in all 70 people, due to the location of Islam’s holiest site in KSA and his impressive social reform in Saudi Arabia. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, the second most influential Muslim, ranked at the 26th position due to his influential character in the Iran affairs. Ali Al-Naimi, the oil minister of the Kingdom that contains 20% of the world’s known oil reserves, is another person ranked at the 31st position. Most of the Muslim influential persons are the head of states or have governmental administration backgrounds.

Azim Premji and Alisher Usmanov are among business leaders featured in the most influential people’s list and they are also listed among the world’s richest people ranking by Forbes. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India each have two Muslim influential persons listed in the ranking, while Iran, Turkey and Russia have a single person each. A list of the top ten people is shown in the table below:

World’s Rank Name Title Country Age
6 Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud King, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 87
26 Ali Hoseini-Khamenei Grand Ayatollah Iran 72
31 Ali Al-Naimi Oil Minister, KSA Saudi Arabia 76
34 Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Chief of Army Staff Pakistan 59
48 Recep Erdogan Prime Minister Turkey 57
53 Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan President, UAE UAE 63
56 Ahmed Shuja Pasha Director-General of ISI Pakistan 59
57 Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar Leader, D-Company India 55
61 Azim Premji Chairman, Wipro India 66
70 Alisher Usmanov Oligarch Russia 58


US president Barack Obama regained his position at the top, followed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, taking the second position, while Chinese President Hu Jintao has slipped from the No. 1 spot on the magazine’s annual rankings to the third place. Sonia Gandhi (11th), Manmohan Singh (19th), Mukesh Ambani (35th) and Lakshmi Mittal (47th) are other Indians who are ranked as most influential persons, besides the two Indian Muslims, Dawood and Azim Prem Ji.

Shafeeq Rahman is a professional researcher on India-centric socio-economic and political databases and can be reached at


Mobile with Muslim friendly features launched in India

To cater the needs of more than 160 Indian Muslim consumers, first of its kind Islamic mobileI-Tel i786 has been launched in India by I – Tel Group.  The I – Tel Group is already an experienced player managing and distributing the best mobile brands in Africa, Dubai, UK and India over 10 years.


This dual SIM mobile handset with necessary feature of conventional mobile is integrated withspecial software for Muslims like Azan Alarms, Prayer Timings, Wallpapers, Ring Tones, Hijri and Gregorian Calendars, and Zakat calculator. It also provides the Qibla direction by five different methods and has the special software to give automatic direction to Makkah.  Switch on and switch off followed the sound of Islamic music BismiAllah and ShukranAllah respectively. It supports English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Turkish, Bengali, Burmese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai language.

I-Tel also introduced 2GB Preloaded Micro SD Cards for running Muslim friendly application on Mobile like Full Quran for Mobile, 99 Names Of Allah, Halal Meat Guide, Zakat Software, Pre Loaded Ramadan Songs, Islamic Wallpapers & Islamic Screen Savers.

I- Tel group is also committed to give 2.5% Zakat on every sale of the handset to needy and poor Muslim Children NGO for education purposes. According to statement by company, reason behind the name of Islamic mobile model I-Tel i786 is very special as 786 number is highly auspicious for Muslim in Indian subcontinent as it means “we start in the name of Allah“

India is an emerging destination for Halal and Muslim friendly products and has the largest market size of consumers after Indonesia and Pakistan. Most of Indian Muslim population group is young and looking to fashionable products in accord to their religion. Such products with the provision of Muslim ethics would definitely be chunked the loyal Muslim consumer. Further, India is major trade partner of almost all OIC countries and Muslim friendly products would increase the volume of overseas exports. I-Tel i786 is a valuable start but the lot of lucrative sector and industries are highly untapped for Muslim friendly products in India.


Indian Hajj and Umrah Market

Recently released information by Ministry of External Affairs shows the number of applications received for Hajj 2011 is more than three times of its allocated quota.  Hajj services in India are mainly performed through a government organization, the “Central Hajj Committee of India” which allocates its quota of pilgrims to all thirty five states as per their share of Muslim population. Excess applications are put through the method of Qurrah (Randomly selection).IndiaHjj

Government of India does provide subsidy in airfare and offers other services at cheaper rates compared to private tour operators.   A small share of pilgrims also offer Hajj through private tour operators to whom the Government allocates a select number of seats.  Since the living standard in India is improving greatly, given higher economic and per capita income growth, the number of affluent Muslims has also increased causing an increase those pursuing Hajj.

For the Hajj 2011, Indian government had been initially allotted 104,000 seats by the Ministry of Hajj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but overwhelming response with 302,616 numbers of applications for Hajj forced the government to request the revision of quota from Hajj Ministry (KSA) and finally it is approved 108,240 seats for Indians.

As on 12.08.2011, numbers of excess applications are 194,376.  All these figures and Indian Muslim trend lead to a potential market of Umrah which is not bound to any quota.  Rejected person of Hajj in Qurrah system may be encouraged to register for Umrah.