Kuala Lumpur, Dec 31 (UNB) -Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been picked as Muslim Man of the Year by The Muslim 500, a ranking of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims, reports New Straits Times.
In the 2019 edition of the publication, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, Dr Mahathir is lauded for leading Pakatan Harapan to win the 14th general election, before being appointed as Prime Minister for the second time.
Dr Mahathir is described as a “one in a million” who pushed Malaysia towards becoming an East Asian economic leader during the era of his previous rule.
Despite being named Muslim Man of the Year, Dr Mahathir ranked 44 among 500 Muslim luminaries in his first ever appearance in the publication.
"This quite extraordinary man has had a dynamic political career spanning 70 years and yet at the same time been the author of 17 published books. Aside from two memoirs, all of them are direct narratives responding to the immediate problems confronting Malaysian governance and economy, a concern often extended to Asia as a whole and the global economy and his plans for rectifying those problems.
"Not bad for a 93 year old politician with a history of two heart attacks and one bypass surgery," said Prof S Abdallah Schleifer in his writeup in the online publication.
Also on the list are King Abdullah II of Jordan, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Meanwhile, for the most influential Muslim women, the Woman of the Year Muslim title was given to Ahed Tamimi, 17, a Palestinian teenager known for her courage in slapping Israeli troops in December 2017.
The 500 Most Influential Muslims is an annual publication published in 2009, which recognizes the most influential Muslim individuals in the world.
Nominations are evaluated on the basis of the influence that particular Muslims have had within the Muslim community and the manner in which their influence has benefited the Muslim community, both within the Islamic world and in terms of representing Islam to non-Muslims.
"Influential" for the purposes of the book is defined as "any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim World".
It is compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre based in Amman, Jordan.