Egyptian preacher Amr Khalid took the top spot in Forbes Arabia's list of the Muslim world's richest preachers with a cool 2.5 million dollar income in 2007.
According to the Da'awa Stars or Star Preachers list in Forbes' Arabic edition -- the first list of its kind in the Arab world -- Khalid was followed by the Kuwaiti preacher Tareq al-Suwaidan with 1 million dollars in net income.
Aaidh al-Qarni, the Saudi author of the popular self-help book La Tahzan (Don't be Sad), came third with 533,000 dollars, followed by UAE-based Egyptian preacher Omar Abdel-Kafi with 373,000 dollars and Saudi's Salman al-Ouda with 267,000 dollars.
The magazine reported in its March 2008 issue that the main source of income for the preachers was TV programs broadcast on several terrestrial and satellite channels in the Arab World, as well as religious CDs and books.
According to an editorial by Forbes, religious preaching in the Islamic world has become a major money-spinner not unlike regular businesses. But the magazine said the commercial gain does not reduce the value of the vocation of preaching or the ideas being presented.
Net income was calculated based on a variety of sources, including intellectual property rights from record labels, profit from the sale of books, and payments for TV appearances.
In addition, preachers generate income from training courses and religious lectures, and receive gifts from government and non-government sources.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).