Sheikha Mariama Niasse is a revered scholar and leader who is known as the “Khadimatul Qur’an” (Servant of the Qur’an) for establishing one of the largest and most widely known Qur’an schools in West Africa. The “Dar Al-Quran Ecole Sheikha Mariama Niasse” in Dakar houses 1300 students from preschool to secondary years and instructs Arabic, French and Islamic studies alongside Quranic education. She is the daughter of one of Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, one of the founders of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the greatest icons of the Tijaniyya Sufi order in the 20th century. Sheikha Mariama carried her father’s legacy of providing Islamic traditional knowledge and spiritual guidance to thousands of people in West Africa, especially women. She is also well-known for her influence over local and regional politics, and for negotiating conflicts between Senegal and Iran, as well as Senegal and Sudan.

Source of Influence: Social Issues

Status: Featured in current year