He was born in Damascus, the son of Kurdish theologian Mohammed Amin Kuftaro, whose position as head of the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqa he inherited. He was a founding member of the League of Muslim Ulemas. He became Mufti of Damascus in 1946, Grand Mufti of Damascus in 1958, and Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic in 1964.
He was an advocate of inter-religious dialogue. He was invited to many countries around the world as an unofficial ambassador of Islam. These visits culminated in 1985 with a visit to the Pope in Rome. Even in his later years, as his health began to wane, he made a point of traveling around the world to speak on Islam. He met with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 1990 and gave him a signed copy of the Quran.
Kuftaro had twelve children from the same wife. He first visited the USA in 1966, giving lectures on inter-faith dialogue.
He died of a heart attack and was buried at Abu Nur, the conservative Damascus quarter where he worked in one of the city's larger mosques.
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