Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah named Among world’s most influential Muslim
President of Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, SHAYKH ABDULLAH BIN BAYYAH, has been named the 9th most influential Muslim in the world, according to a new survey.
The 81-year-old Mauritanian scholar was noted for addressing the role moderate religious leaders can play in enlightening Muslim public opinion about contemporary issues in line with a temperate attitude that calls for establishing a culture of peace, love and respect of the otherThe honour was bestowed on him 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.
Born: 1935 (age 81)
Source of Influence: Scholarly
Influence: Significant influence as
a leading contemporary scholar of
School of Thought: Traditional Sunni
2011 Rank: 31
2012 Rank: 29
2013 Rank: 23
2014/15 Rank: 20
2016 Rank: 23
His Eminence Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah
President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies
Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah’s influence is derived from his scholarship, piety and preaching.
Uniquely, all of the different sects and schools of Muslims respect him as a scholar.
A testament to this is the notable fact that whilst he is not a Salafi, the Saudi government
promulgates his fatwas as authoritative. He is an instructor at King Abdulaziz University in
Jeddah and was the deputy head of the Union of Muslim Scholars having previously been
a Judge at the High Court of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Head of Shariah
Affairs at the Ministry of Justice.
Education: Sheikh bin Bayyah was raised in a household
famous for its scholars, and his Sheikh Mahfoudh
bin Bayyah, was the head of the Conference of
Mauritanian Scholars established after the country’s
independence. Sheikh bin Bayyah studied in the
Mauritanian centres of learning known as Mahadhir,
in which all the sacred sciences were taught including:
jurisprudence, legal theory, syntax, language, rhetoric,
Qur’anic exegesis and its auxiliary sciences, and the
science of Prophetic tradition.
Diplomat: As a member of the International Islamic
Fiqh Academy or Al Majma’ al Fiqhi of the
Organization of the Islamic Conference, Sheikh
bin Bayyah is at the forefront of the legal arm of a
dynamic organization with a permanent delegation
to the United Nations.
Author: Having written numerous texts, Sheikh
bin Bayyah’s scholarly explorations have gone global
through speaking engagements that draw crowds of
tens of thousands. He has spoken at length about
the endurance of the Islamic legal tradition and also
written extensively on rulings for Muslims living as
minorities in foreign lands, or fiqh al aqaliyaat.
Activist: In June 2013, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah
visited the White House where he met with senior
advisers and aides to President Obama. He called for
the protection of the Syrian people and the Muslim
minority in Myanmar. Also, he met with Bill Gates
during the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi in
April 2013. He recently initiated the ‘Muslim Council
of Elders’ which embraces leading scholars (including
the Sheikh of Al-Azhar), and presided over a large
gathering of religious scholars at a forum entitled
‘Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies’.
The Marrakesh Declaration: Sheikh Abdallah bin
Bayyah led around 250 Muslim religious leaders, in
addition to approximately 50 non-Muslim religious
leaders, in a three day summit in Marrakesh entitled:
‘The Rights of Religious Minorities in Predominantly
Muslim Majority Communities: Legal Framework and
a Call to Action’. The summit used the original Charter
of Medina, drawn up by the Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH) himself, as a basis for addressing the current
crisis of religious minorities in parts of the Muslim
world. With extremists committing violence in the
name of Islam against other religions, as well as against
most Muslims, it was necessary to voice the position of
normative Islam vis-à-vis religious minorities through
a gathering of its leading scholars. The summit concluded
with the release of the 750 word Marrakesh Declaration