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), is a respectable prestigious Sunni Islam title and a prominent official title in Egypt,[1] and 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 world wide. The grand imam supervises on al-Azhar Mosque and by extension Al-Azhar University and is responsible for the official religious matter aside with the grand mufti of Egypt. The current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar is Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb.

History of the title[edit]

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

Grand Imams of Al-Azhar[edit]


  1. ^ Beattie 2000, p. 225
  2. ^ Bennett 2005, p. 220
  3. ^ Dodge 1961, p. 83