Get to Know Inspirational Muslims

We may not know it, but there have been many Muslims who have contributed to science, academics, technology, humanitarian efforts, and so much more. Here is a list of several notable Muslims who have been an inspiration!

AcademicsArt | Business | Entertainment | Economics | Health | History | Humanitarian / Activism | Literature | Media | Military | Music | Politics | Science | Sports | Technology / Engineering

Academics 

Tahera Ahmad

Ahmad is a prominent Muslim scholar and leader in the Chicago area. She was honored at the White House as a leading Muslim female in the US during Women’s History Month 2014. She has been featured on NPR, Chicago Public Radio, Chicago Sun Times, USA Today and a PBS documentary on faith.

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Nouman Ali Khan

Khan is an American Muslim speaker and founder, CEO and lead instructor at The Bayyinah Institute for Arabic and Qur’anic Studies. Nouman founded Bayyinah in 2006, after serving as a professor of Arabic at Nassau Community College. He also lectures internationally on the matters of Tafsir and learning Arabic to understand the Quran

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Salman Khan

Khan is an American teacher, entrepreneur, and a former hedge fund analyst. He is the founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform. Khan has produced over 4,800 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and sciences.

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Dalia Mogahed

Mogahed is the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and previously chaired the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. President Obama selected her to be an advisor on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In addition to a number of positions, awards and publications, Mogahed was recognized as one of the most influential Arab women by Arabian Business in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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Yasir Qadhi

Qadhi is a Muslim scholar and writer, and dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute. He was described as “one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam” in a 2011 New York Times Magazine essay.

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Hamza Yusuf

Yusuf is an Islamic scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College. He is an advisor at the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and is a member of the board of advisors of One Nation, an initiative that promotes pluralism and inclusion. He is considered ‘perhaps the most influential Islamic scholar in the Western world’ by The New Yorker.

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Art

Samira Abbassy

Abbassy is an artist who helped found Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Center in New York City. Her exhibitions have been reviewed by critics at the New York Times and Newsday. Her work has been acquired by numerous collectors and foundations worldwide.

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Shirin Neshat

Neshat is an artist known for her work in film, video and photography. In 2006 she was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life”. She was also named Artist of the Decade in 2010 by a critic at the Huffington Post.

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Mimar Sinan

Sinan was the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III. He was responsible for the construction of more than 300 major structures and other more modest projects, such as his Islamic primary schools. His works are scattered all over Turkey.

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Rabia Yalcin

Yalcin is a Turkish fashion designer. She has a strong presence in the European fashion scene, and focuses her designs on Turkey’s past and local cultures.

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Business

Mohamed A. El-Erian

El-Erian is the CEA at Allianz, a multinational financial services company and is the former CEO and co-CIO at PIMCO. He served as a chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council, and is a regular contributor at a number of prominent national media outlets.

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Talal Abu-Ghazaleh

Abu-Ghazaleh is the chairman and founder of the Talal Abu Ghazaleh organization, which is accredited for promoting the importance of intellectual property in the Arab World. He is recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the world and has accumulated numerous awards, achievements and distinctions.

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Farooq Kathwari

Kathwari is the chairman, president and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. He is also active in numerous nonprofit organizations, including being a Chairman Emeritius of Refugees International and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Shahid Khan

Khan, whose net worth exceeds $4.7 billion, is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, the Fulham F.C. English Football League team, and is the manufacturer of automobile parts for Flex-N-Gate in Urbana. He is the 367th wealthiest person in the world and is considered the richest person of Pakistani origin.

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Entertainment

Shohreh Aghdashloo

Aghdashloo is an actress whose first major film role was The Report, which won the Critics Award at the Moscow Film Festival. She has been in numerous international and American films and television shows and has won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.

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Ahmed Ahmed

Ahmed is a comedian and performer. He currently tours internationally for his stand-up comedy performances, has appeared on several shows such as MTV’s Punk’d, and has been a guest for many media outlets such as NPR. His acts often touch on Islamophobia and his experiences as a Muslim in America.

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Moustapha Al Akkad

Al Akkad is a director and producer best known for his role as executive producer in the classic horror Halloween movies. He was the only producer to participate in the making of all eight films in the series. He also directed movies such as Mohammad, Messenger of God and Lion of the Desert.

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Dave Chappelle

Chappelle is a comedian, screenwriter, producer and actor. He is known for his stand-up comedy, acting roles in movies including The Nutty Professor, and began his own sketch comedy show series, Chappelle’s Show in 2003. He retired in 2005, but occasionally performs stand up.

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Casey Kasem

Kasem is best known for his work as a voice actor and radio celebrity. He has voiced numerous roles, including Shaggy of Scooby-Doo and multiple voices on Sesame Street. He co-founded the American Top 40 radio franchise and hosted the show for many years. Kasem was a supporter of Lebanese-American and Arab-American causes, and spoke up against Arab stereotypes pervading American entertainment.

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Allah Rakha (A.R.) Rahman

Rahman is best known for being the first Indian to receive a Golden Globe Award and two Academy Awards for his soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire. Likewise, he has won a BAFTA Award, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South. He was also appointed the position of global ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership project.

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Economics

Muhammad Yunus

He is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below”.

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Health

Fuad El-Hibri

El-Hibri is the chairman of the board of directors of Emergent BioSolutions, a company that develops vaccines and antibody therapeutics for infection diseases, oncology and autoimmune disorders. Emergent BioSolutions also produces the only anthrax vaccine currently licensed by the USDA.

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Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was the first Malaysian commercial astronaut. He spent 11 days in space under an agreement with Russia through the Angkasawan program. While in space, Sheikh Muszaphar performed experiments relating to liver cancer, leukemia cells and microbes.

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Elias Zerhouni

Zerhouni is the National Institutes of Health director and is a well-respected leader in the fields of radiology and medicine. He has won multiple awards for his CT and MRI research.

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History

Al-Battani

Al-Battani was an astronomer, astrologer and mathematician in the 9th century. He introduced numerous trigonometric relations and was at the forefront of astronomical discoveries. He was the first person to correctly calculate there are 365 days in a year, as well as introducing sines and tangents in trigonometry.

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Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan explorer in the 14th century. He is generally considered one of the greatest travelers of all time and traveled to most of the known world during his time.

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Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi

Al-Khwarizmi was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer in the 9th century who introduced Hindu-Arabic numerals and the concepts of algebra into European mathematics. He also introduced linear and quadratic equations to algebra, and “Algebra” is derived from the word al-jabr, the term he used to describe the quadratic equations.

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Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan was a Mughal emperor of India from 1628-1658, the fifth Mughal emperor after his father. He was considered one of the greatest Mughal emperors, and his most notable contribution was the creation of the Taj Mahal.

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Ibn Sina

Ibn Sina is regarded one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. He is known to have written over 450 works primarily in the fields of philosophy and medicine. His medical works became standard texts at many medieval universities.

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Humanitarianism/Activism

Robert Dickinson Crane

Crane is the former adviser to Richard Nixon and former deputy director of the United States National Security Council. He has been greatly involved in Muslim-American activism since the 1980’s. Among other positions, he is the editor for the online magazine The American Muslim and was the founding president of the American Muslim Bar Association.

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Abdul Sattar Edhi

Edhi is a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic and humanitarian. He is the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare organization in Pakistan, and helped create Pakistan’s first ambulance service.

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Tawakkol Karman

She is a Yemeni journalist, politician and senior member of the of Al-Islah political party, and human rights activist. She leads the group “Women Journalists Without Chains,” which she co-founded in 2005. She became the international public face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising that is part of the Arab Spring uprisings. Likewise, she is a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize becoming the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the second youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date.

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Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

Malik Mujahid is the founding president of Sound Vision, a Chicago NPO that develops Islamic content and promotes public relations for peace and justice. He serves as the chair for Council for a Parliament of World Religions and has contributed to the Huffington Post.

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Zainab Salbi

Salbi founded Women for Women International in 1993, a humanitarian organization dedicated to serving women survivors of war. She has been named on the Top 100 list of Most Influential Women by Newsweek and The Guardian, and she was nominated as one of the 21st century heroes by former President Clinton in Harper’s Bazaar, among many other notable awards.

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Betty Shabazz

Shabazz was an American educator, civil rights activist and the wife of Malcolm X. After his assassination, Shabazz pursued a higher education while simultaneously raising six daughters as a single mother.

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Malcolm X

Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and one of the most prominent human rights activist during the peak of the Civil Rights movement.

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Malala Yousafzai

Yousafzai is an activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in history. In 2012, Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban because of her efforts to improve female education in Pakistan. She has continued her human rights work and has received a number of awards and titles for her work.

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Literature

Leila Abouzeid

Abouzeid is the first female Moroccan writer to have her works translated and published in English. Some of her works that have been translated include Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Woman’s Journey Toward Independence, and The Director and Other Stories from Morocco.

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Mahmoud Darwish

Darwish was a Palestinian poet and author who is known for his poetry inspired by his and the shared Palestinian experiences. He received numerous awards for his work, and after his death in 2008, was honored with three days of mourning in Palestine and the equivalent of a State funeral.

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Khaled Hosseini

Hosseini is a celebrated novelist known for his Afghanistan-based novels The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. All three of his works have become bestsellers and received tremendous praise from international critics.

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Naguib Mahfouz

Mahfouz is one of the most critically acclaimed and well-known writers from the Middle East. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. One of his most well-known works is the three-book series, The Cairo Trilogy.

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Orhan Pamuk

Pamuk received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. He is known for his English-translated works such as The White Castle, The Black Book, and Snow, in addition to numerous works in Turkish.

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Rumi

Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufimystic. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians,Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet” and the “best selling poet” in the United States, among Muslims

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Marjane Satrapi

Satrapi is best known for her graphic novel, Persepolis. The themes of this novel detail important events in her life that resulted in her understanding her own identity. Satrapi has won numerous awards for her graphic art, writing and animation. She has regularly spoken up about women’s rights, particularly Muslim women’s rights.

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Media

Nabil Zouheir Abou-Harb

Abou-Harb is a filmmaker, writer, producer and director. He co-founded “Five on Fifty Films” and is best known for his short film, Arab in America. His film provides a satirical social commentary on the post-9/11 Arab and Muslim prejudice in America. The short won the audience award for “Best Short Film” at the Arabian Sights Film Festival.

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Hala Alsalman

Alsalman worked as a photojournalist for Time, Reuters, and Current TV. She has produced several documentaries and wrote a comedy short. She has also worked for CBC, Food Network and Investigation Discovery channel.

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Reza Aslan

Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer known for frequenting American media outlets in relation to Islam and Muslims. He is also the founder of AslanMedia, which is a social media network that highlights news and entertainment in the Middle East and the world.

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Shirin Ebadi

Ebadi is a Nobel laureate who wrote Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope. Her book discusses her public career and private self, including her early professional success as Iran’s most accomplished female jurist in the mid-1970s. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her human rights activism and was the first ever Iranian to receive the prize.

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Asma Gull Hasan

Hasan is an award-winning writer best known for her biographical account of growing up as an American Muslim in Red, White, and Muslim. She has been selected to give educational presentations and missions by the US Department of State. She has frequently appeared as an American Muslim voice and political commentator in national media outlets.

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Aasif Mandvi

Mandvi is best known for his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is an accomplished actor, comedian and author that often provides commentary on current Islamic, Middle Eastern, and South Asian events. He has been involved in disaster-relief organizations such as Relief 4 Pakistan and has performed to raise money for those affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Currently, he is writing, directing, acting and producing a show called Halal in the Family, a satirical show based on a Muslim family desperately trying to blend in with America’s culture.

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Azadeh Moaveni

Moaveni is a journalist and writer, and has worked as a reporter for Time and The Los Angeles Times. She also wrote a memoir entitled Lipstick Jihad.

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Jehane Noujaim

Noujaim is a documentary film director best known for her documentary The Square, which depicted the recent Egyptian revolutions in Cairo. The Square received a nomination for an Academy Award in 2014.

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Dr. Bassem Yousef

Yousef is the host of Egyptian satire news shows likened to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His shows have gained over 186 million views total on YouTube and was listed among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. Among many other awards, he received the International Press Freedom Award of 2013 from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Fareed Zakaria

Zakaria is one of the most well-known journalists in America. He is host of CNN’s flagship international affairs program, a columnist for the Washington Post, a contributing editor to The Atlantic, and a New York Times bestselling author.

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Military

Mbaye Diagne

Diagne was a UN military observer during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He is known for defying UN rules of engagement and carrying out rescue missions. He is credited for saving hundreds of lives. The UN Security Council created the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage in his honor in 2014.

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Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali)

Ali was one of the first (and only) camel drivers hired by the US Army to lead the camel driver experiment in the southwest in 1856. The US government used camels to experiment with transporting goods across the deserts in the southwest. Although the experiment ultimately failed, Ali continued his life in America and continued to occasionally work for the government and military.

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Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

Khan was a US Army specialist who died at the age of 20 in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service.

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James Yee

Yee is a former US Army chaplain with the rank of captain. He ministered to Muslim inmates at Guantanamo Bay and has since actively condemned the mistreatment of prisoners during his time there.

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Music

Brother Ali

Ali Douglas Newman, known as Brother Ali, is a hip hop artist and activist. He is well-known for his stand against US government practices and is a proponent for social justice, gay rights and racial equality.

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Art Blakey (Abdullah Ibn Buhaina)

Blakey was a prominent jazz drummer and band leader in the 40s and 50s. He has been inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (1981), the Grammy Hall of Fame (1998, 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2005).

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Ice Cube

Ice Cube is a rapper, record producer, actor and filmmaker. He was part of the influential rap group called N.W.A, and has since focused on a solo career. He was ranked #8 on MTV’s list of the 10 Greatest MCs of All Time and is known for his television series/movies Barbershop, Are We There Yet?, and 21 Jumpstreet. 

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Ahmet Ertegun

Ertegun was a musician and one of the founders of Atlantic Records. Atlantic is one of the most successful record labels and has housed world-renowned artists such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

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Ahmad Jamal

Jamal is a jazz pianist, composer, group leader, and educator. He has received over a dozen awards for his work as a small-group jazz leader, and his music has been used in movies such as Clint Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison County.

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Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco is a Chicago rapper who is signed under Atlantic Records. He is considered part of the conscious hip hop movement and focuses on social issues such as Islam and religion, war, and critiques of American government and policy.

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Yusuf Islam

Yusuf Islam, commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist. A trailblazing artist in the 1970s, Islam took a break until 2006 when he returned with a new album and band.

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Dawud Wharnsby

He is a Muslim Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, performer, educator and television personality. A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known for his work in the musical/poetic genre of English language nasheed and spoken word.

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Politics

Andre Carson

Carson is the US Representative (D) for Indiana’s 7th congressional district. He is the second Muslim to be elected to Congress.

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Shirin Ebadi

She is an Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugee rights. She was the first ever Iranian to receive the prize.

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Mohamed ElBarabei

He is an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat who was the last Vice President of Egypt. He was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations, from 1997 to 2009. He and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei was also an important figure in recent politics in Egypt, particularly the 2011 revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état.

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Keith Ellison

Ellison is the US Representative (D) for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. He is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, and is a prominent voice in Muslim politics.

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Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina is the current prime minister of Bangladesh. She is ranked 47th on Forbes’ list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. She is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers.

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Begum Khaleda Zia

Khaleda Zia was the first female prime minister of Bangladesh. She is considered the second women in the Muslim world to head a democratic government as prime minister and was awarded the title, “Fighter for Democracy” by the New Jersey state senate in 2011.

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Zalmay Khalilzad

Khalilzad was the US Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. He was the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Bush administration.

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Farah Pandith

Pandith was the first special representative to Muslim communities for the US Department of State. She has traveled to over 80 countries and launched youth-focused initiatives to counter extremism.

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Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen Rania is known for her advocacy work in education, health, community empowerment, youth, cross-cultural dialogue and micro-finance. She has received a number of international titles and awards for her work, including UNICEF’s first Eminent Advocate for Children, Honorary Global Chair of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, and the PeaceMaker Award from the NPO Seeds of Peace.

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Anwar Sadat

He was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. As president, he re-instituted a multi-party system, and launching the Infitah economic policy. He led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate.

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Science

Mostafa El-Sayed

El-Sayed is a chemical physicist and leading nanoscience researcher known for a spectroscopy rule named after him. He was listed as one of the top chemists of the past decade by Thomson-Reurters in 2011 and was awarded the US National Medal of Science in 2007, in addition to numerous other accolades.

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Ibn al-Haytham

Alhazen made significant contributions to optics, number theory, geometry, astronomy and natural philosophy. His main work is Kitab al-Manazir (Book of Optics).

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Mujaddid Ahmed Ijaz, Ph.D

Ijaz was an experimental physicist whose discoveries enables advances in medical research, especially in the field of cancer treatment.

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Atta ur Rahman, Ph.D

Rahman is the most decorated chemist from Pakistan and a leading scientist in the field of natural product chemistry. His works are referenced in 155 books largely published by publishers in Europe and the US. He has received over one dozen awards both nationally and internationally for his work in organic chemistry.

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Mohammad Abdus Salam

He was a Pakistani theoretical physicist who, when he shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contribution to electroweak unification, became the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize and also the second Muslim to win the prize, after Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and the first Muslim to win the prize in science.

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Omar M. Yaghi, Ph.D

Yaghi is the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley. His work in hydrogen storage and accomplishments in the design and synthesis of new materials has awarded him with numerous titles and honors. He was the second most cited chemist in the world from 2000-2010 and was most recently awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Chemistry in 2015.

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Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi

He was an Arab Muslim physician and surgeon who lived in Al-Andalus, and considered the greatest medieval surgeon to have appeared from the Islamic World. His greatest contribution to medicine is the Kitab al-Tasrif, a thirty-volume encyclopedia of medical practices. His pioneering contributions to the field of surgical procedures and instruments had an enormous impact in the East and West well into the modern period, where some of his discoveries are still applied in medicine to this day.

He was the first physician to describe an ectopic pregnancy, and the first physician to identify the hereditary nature of hemophilia.

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Ahmed Zewail

Zewail is the first Egyptian scientist to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. He won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry, which studies chemical reactions on extremely short timescales. He is also known for his work as an intermediary between the post-Mubarak Egyptian military regime and revolutionary youth groups.

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Sports

Oday Aboushi

Aboushi is a guard and tackle for the New York Jets NFL team since 2013. He is one of few practicing Muslims in the NFL and one of the first Palestinian players. He has also worked with the Islamic Medical Association of North America to help repair cleft lips and cleft palates in Sudan for the last two years.

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Muhammad Ali

Ali is a former professional boxer and is regarded to be one of the greatest heavyweights in the sport’s history. He is known for his success in the ring and his activism in religious freedom and racial justice.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Abdul-Jabbar is a retired NBA player. He was a record six-time NBA MVP for the Los Angeles Lakers during his career and was selected by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be a US global cultural ambassador in 2012.

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Amir Iqbal Khan

Khan is a highly accomplished English professional boxer and is a former two-time world champion. He is the youngest British Olympic boxing medalist and is known for his involvement and fundraising for charitable and community causes.

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Imran Khan

Khan is considered the most successful captain in the history of Pakistan cricket and led his team to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He played international cricket for twenty years and subsequently became involved in political activism and philanthropy.

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Frank Ribery

Ribery is a French professional footballer who formerly played for France’s national team. He is a three time winner of the French Player of the Year and one time winner of the German Footballer of the Year. In 2013, he was ranked fourth in The Guardian’s list of best players in the world.

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Shaquille O’Neal

O’Neal is a former NBA player known for his towering height and being a dominant force on the court. He won the MVP award, three Finals MVP, as well as ranking 6th all-time in points scored. Presently, he works as an analyst for the program Inside the NBA.

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Technology/Engineering

Anousheh Ansari

Ansari became the first Muslim woman in space in 2006. She is also co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. She is the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station.

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Jawed Karim

Karim is the co-founder of YouTube and contributed to the design and implementation of core components of PayPal.

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Fazlur Rahman Khan

Khan was a structural engineer and architect. He designed the Willis (Sears) Tower and the John Hancock Center in Chicago. He is considered one of the most influential architects and engineers of the 20th century for his work in structural systems for skyscrapers.

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Sultan bin Salman al Saud

Sultan bin Salman is the first Muslim, Arab and member of a royal family to have flown as an astronaut in space. He traveled in space for seven days in 1985 as a payload specialist on STS-51-G Discovery.

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