Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar & Dato' Sri Siti Nurhaliza Among Malaysians In 2021 List Of World's Most Influential Muslims


Ili •  Oct 20, 2021

World's Most Influential Muslims 2021

The Muslim 500 is an annual publication that ranks the most influential Muslims in the world. It provides a window into the various ways that Muslim impact and contribute to society across different fields - from science & technology and business to arts & culture. Compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan, they've just released their 2021 edition and a total of 16 Malaysians have made the list! Keep reading to find out who they are and what they do ?

P.S. You can check out the full list here.

Dato' Sri Siti Nurhaliza

Credit: @ctdk on Instagram

  • Dato' Sri Siti Nurhaliza is one of Malaysia's best-selling artists of all time with a strong influence and presence in the entertainment industry. Based on her record sales alone, she has sold more than 6 million units today.
  • She made headlines when she performed for the first time at Royal Albert Hall in 2005 in celebration of her 10th year in her music career.

P.S. Feeing inspired? Here's a list of 24 influential Malaysian women who are making waves overseas.

Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor 


  • Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar is the first Malaysian to venture into space on 10 October 2007 onboard the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft.
  • The expedition was under a joint agreement between Russia and Malaysia's Angkasawan program, the latter of which he was selected for after a series of rigorous tests. During his expedition he carried out several experiments related to scientific and medical research, some of which were intended to benefit Malaysian industries.
  • The mission coincided with Ramadan, resulting in the first-ever guidebook for Muslims in space. The guidebook is a 7-page word document that includes advisories on how to locate the qiblat from space, how to pray in low-gravity, and how to fast.

P.S. Read all about these 11 inspiring Muslim astronauts who made their journey to space!

Datin Vivy Yusof

Credit: @vivyyusof on Instagram

  • Datin Vivy Yusof co-founded FashionValet in 2010 where the e-commerce brand is now one of the region’s biggest brands.
  • She was listed in the Prestige Magazine’s 2015 List of Top 40 Under 40 and in 2017 and also made the list of Forbes as one of Asia’s Top 30 Under 30.
  • Datin Vivy also had the honour of collaborating with Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah of Brunei Darussalam in coming up with The Royal dUck, a headscarf collection carrying an empowering message for every woman.

Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

Credit: @drwanazizah on Instagram

  • Datuk Seri Wan Azizah was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (the first woman to serve in that position) from 2018 to 2020.
  • She was as a government doctor for 14 years before deciding to support her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, when he was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia in 1993.
  • Since then, she has re-entered the political field, forming parties, alliances and winning seats at the general election.

Sheikh Dr Mahmoud MrGlani

  • Dr Mahmoud MrGlani was born to a family of prophetic lineage and his teachings emphasize the need to establish love for the Prophet.
  • He has founded a number of zawiyas around the world to re-establish the practice of regular and abundant dhikr and salawat.
  • He also delivers a series of widely-attended public lectures titled "Divine Gifts on the Path to Allah" in major Malaysian cities and universities.

Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

Credit: @chedetofficial on Instagram

  • Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad served as the Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003, during which he won five consecutive general elections and has been regarded as a dominant political figure ever since.
  • In post-retirement, Dr. Mahathir registered a new political party in 2017 and joined the coalition Pakatan Harapan which went on to win the 2018 elections, making him the Prime Minister at 94 years old - the world's oldest sitting head of government at the time.

Prof Mohammad Hashim Kamali

Credit: @adamalhabshi on Instagram; Prof Mohammad Hashim Kamali (pictured in the middle)

  • Prof Mohammad Hashim Kamali was the dean and professor at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) and International Islamic University in Malaysia and is currently the Founding CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Malaysia.
  • He received the prestigious King Abdullah II bin Hussein International Award in 2010 in recognition of his academic contributions towards serving Islam and Muslims.

Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary

Credit: Forbes (image by Al Bukhary Foundation)

  • According to Forbes, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary is regarded as one of the top ten richest Malaysians.
  • He owns a variety of companies one of which is the Malaysian Mining Corporation and has established many humanitarian projects including was rebuilding the lives of Afghan refugees and establishing an AIDS hospital in Uganda.

Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Bin Hashim

  • Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Bin Hasim is regarded as the mayor of one of Malaysia's most successful industrial townships and served as President and CEO of Johor Corporation for more than 28 years.
  • He was awarded Malaysia's Ma'al Hijrah Appreciation Award and has three books about how to realise the highest levels of social responsibility and environmental sustainability standards while integrating Islamic aspirations into business practice.

Dr Osman Bakar

  • Dr Osman Bakar currently holds the Al-Ghazali Chair of Islamic Thought at ISTAC-International Islamic University Malaysia and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science at University of Malaya.
  • He is an author and editor of 38 books and numerous articles on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization, namely Islamic science and philosophy and interreligious and inter-civilizational dialogue.

Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi bin Awang

Credit: Abdul Hadi Awang on Facebook

  • Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi bin Awang is the current President of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, otherwise known as PAS.
  • He was recently appointed as the Prime Minister's Special Ambassador to the Middle East with ministerial status.

Dr Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas

Credit: Merdeka Award

  • Tan Sri Syed Naquib has made contributions towards the contemporary world of Islam in the domains of the Islamisation of contemporary knowledge and of Muslim education.
  • He was reponsible for the conceptualization of the Islamic University as well as founded and directed the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC).

Dato Dr Muhammad Afifi Al-Akiti

Credit: @faizalriduan on Instagram; Dato Dr Muhammad Afifi pictured on the right

  • Dato Dr Muhammad Afifi is a scholar, trained theologan and philologist.
  • He is a lecturer of Islamic studies with the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University and is internationally acclaimed for his 2005 fatwa "defending transgressed by censuring the reckless against the killing of civilians", written in response to the 7 July London bombings.
  • He was appointed Privy Councillor to the State of Perak, Malaysia by the Crown Prince of Perak.

Want more inspiring articles like this? Check these out: