Grand Imam of al-Azhar

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The Grand Imam of al-Azhar (Arabic: الإمام الأكبر), also known as Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar (Arabic: شيخ الأزهر الشريف), currently Ahmed el-Tayeb, is a prestigious Sunni Islam title and a prominent official title in Egypt.[1] He is considered by some Muslims to be the highest authority in Sunni Islamic thought and Islamic jurisprudence[2] and holds a great influence on followers of the theological Ash'ari and Maturidi traditions worldwide. The Grand Imam supervises the al-Azhar Mosque, and by extension al-Azhar University, and is responsible for official religious matters along with the Grand Mufti of Egypt.

History of the title

The title of the Grand Imam of al-Azhar was officially established in 1961. In the 14th century the head of al-Azhar was granted the title of Mushrif of al-Azhar, then later Nazir of Al-Azhar[3] and, during the Ottoman Empire, the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar. Today the holder of the title also carries the title of the Grand Sheikh.

Holders of the title

Grand Imam Began End Madhhab
Muhammad al-Kharashi 1679 1690 Maliki
Ibrahim al-barmawi 1690 1694 Shafii
Muhammad al-Nasharti 1694 1708 Maliki
Abd al-Baqi al-Qalini 1708  ? Maliki
Muhammad Shanan  ? 1721 Maliki
Ibrahim al-Fayyumi 1721 1725 Maliki
Abdullah al-Shubrawi 1725 1758 Shafii
Muhammad al-Hiffnawi 1758 1767 Shafii
Abd al-Rauf al-Sajini 1767 1768 Shafii
Ahmed al-Damanhuri 1768 1778 Shafii
Ahmed al-Arusi 1778 1793 Shafii
Abdullah al-Sharqawi 1793 1812 Shafii
Muhammed al-Shanawani 1812 1818 Shafii
Muhammed al-Arusi 1818 1829 Shafii
Ahmed al-Damhuji 1829 1830 Shafii
Hasan al-Attar 1830 1834 Shafii
Hasan al-Quwaysini 1834 1838 Shafii
Ahmed al-Sa'im al-Safti 1838 1847 Shafii
Ibrahim al-Bajuri 1847 1860 Shafii
Mustafa al-Arusi 1864 1870 Shafii
Muhammad al-Mahdi 1870 1882 Hanafi
Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Imbabi 1882 1895 Shafii
Hassunah al-Nawawi 1895 1900 Hanafi
Abd al-Rahman al-Qutb al-Nawawi 1900 1900 Hanafi
Salim al-Bishri 1900 1904 Maliki
Ali al-Biblawi 1904 1905 Maliki
Abd al-Rahman al-Shirbini 1905 1909 Shafii
Hassanuh al-Nawawi 1909 1909 Hanafi
Salim al-Bishri 1909 1917 Maliki
Muhammad al-Jizawi 1917 1927 Maliki
Muhammad al-Maraghi 1927 1929 Hanafi
Muhammad al-Zawahiri 1929 1935 Shafii
Mustafa al-Maraghi 1935 1945 Hanafi
Mustafa Abd al-Rizq 1945 1947 Hanafi
Muhammad Ma'mun al-Shinnawi 1948 1950 Hanafi
Abd al-Majid Salim 1950 1951 Hanafi
Ibrahim Hamrush 1951 1952 Hanafi
Abd al-Majid Salim 1952 1952 Hanafi
Muhammad al-Khadi Husayn 1952 1954 Maliki
Abd al-Rahman Taj 1954 1958 Hanafi
Mahmud Shaltut 1958 1963 Hanafi
Hassan Mamoun 1963 1969
Muhammad al-Fahham 1969 1973
Abdel Halim Mahmoud 1973 1978
Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Bisar 1979 1982
Gad al-Haq 1982 1996
Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy 1996 2010 Shafii
Ahmed El-Tayeb 2010 Maliki

References

  1. ^ Beattie 2000, p. 225
  2. ^ Bennett 2005, p. 220
  3. ^ Dodge 1961, p. 83
  • Dodge, Bayard (1961), Al-Azhar: A Millennium of Muslim learning, Middle East Institute 
  • Beattie, Kirk J. (2000), Egypt during the Sadat years, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-312-23246-7 
  • Bennett, Clinton (2005), Muslims and modernity: an introduction to the issues and debates, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8264-5481-2 
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