Saleh Al-Fawzan

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Saleh Al-Fawzan (Arabic: صالح بن فوزان الفوزان), born 1933,[1] is an Islamic scholar and has been a member of several high religious bodies in Saudi Arabia.[1][2][3]

His surname is also transliterated Al-Fozan or Al-Fawzaan. He is also known as Saleh Ibn Fawzan Ibn Abdullah, Saleh Ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan,[4] Saalih Ibn Fowzaan Ibn 'Abdullaah Ibn Fowzaan,[1] Saleh Bin Fauzan Al-Fawzan,[2] and Saleh Al-Fawzan.[3]


According to his official biography at, Fawzan is from the family of Fawzan from the people/tribe of ash-Shamaasiyyah.[1] His father reportedly died when he was young, and he was subsequently brought up by his extended family. He learned the Quran, the basics of reading and writing from the Imam of his hometown mosque.[1]


Fawzan studied in the state school in ash-Qamariyah when it opened 1948.[1] In 1950 he completed his studies at the Faysaliyyah school in Buraydah and subsequently was appointed a teacher at the school.[1] Fawzan joined the Educational Institute in Buraydah when it opened in 1952, and graduated from it in 1956.[1] He was a student at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, where he initially studied at the faculty of Sharia, graduating in 1960, before earning a master's and doctorate in Fiqh.[1]


According to, after the completion of his doctorate, he became a teacher at the faculty of Shari'ah at the Imam Muhammad educational institute in Riyaadh before being transferred to the Department for Higher Studies within the Faculty of the Principles of the Religion (usool ad-deen). He was later the head of Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court of Justice, where he was appointed the head. He then returned to teaching there after his period of headship came to an end.[1]

As of 2013, he was a member of the Council of Senior Scholars,[2] Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, which advises the king on religious matters.[5] He is also currently a member of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas,[6] a committee of the Council of Senior Scholars. The Council issues rulings in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and prepares research papers for the Council of Senior Scholars.[7]

He is also the Imam, khateeb and teacher, of Prince Mitaeb Mosque (Prince Mut'ib Ibn 'Abdul-'Azeez Masjid), in al-Malzar in Riyadh,[1] and a member of the Fiqh Committee in Mecca (part of ar-Raabitah), and a member of the Committee for Supervision of the Callers (du'aat) in Hajj.[1]

He also contributes to answering questions on the radio program "Noorun 'alad-Darb" (Light along the Path).[1]


Al-Fawzan's views on slavery—given in lectures recorded on cassette—came to light and caused some controversy in 2003. In the tape he was quoted as saying, “Slavery is a part of Islam ... Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” As for the mainstream Muslim interpretation that Islam worked to abolish slavery by introducing equality between the races, he dismissed its exponents saying, “They are ignorant, not scholars. ... Whoever says such things is an infidel.” [3][8]

According to the report in, Al-Fawzan’s "most famous book", “Al-Tawheed – Monotheism”, was "taught to Saudi high school students", at least as of 2003. In it, he reportedly said that "most Muslims" are polytheists, and "their blood and money are therefore free for the taking by `true Muslims.`"[3]

Among Al-Fawzan’s other controversial beliefs is the right to ban the marriage of Arab women to non-Arab Muslims.[3][9]


Fawzan has produced the following works, some of which have been translated into the English language:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Scholars Biographies. Shaykh Dr. Saalih Ibn Fowzaan Ibn 'Abdullaah Ibn Fowzaan". Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Council of Senior Ulema reconstituted". Saudi Gazette. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Author of Saudi Curriculums Advocates Slavery". SIA News. Archived from the original on November 7, 2003. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "SHEIKH SALEH IBN FAWZAN AL-FAWZAN". Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia: The Coming Storm" By Peter W. Wilson p. 26-27
  6. ^ The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa Fatwa
  7. ^ Carnegie Endowment: "Saudi Fatwa Restrictions and the State-Clerical Relationship" by Christopher Boucek October 27, 2010
  8. ^ "Taming a Neo-Qutubite Fanatic Part 1". salafi publications, p. 24. Retrieved 27 May 2014. "
    Questioner: ... one of the contemporary writers is of the view that this religion, at its inception, was compelled to accept the institution of slavery ... [but] ... that the intent of the Legislator [i.e. God] is to gradually end this institution of slavery. So what is your view on this?
    Shaikh Salih alFawzaan: These are words of falsehood (baatil) ... despite that many of the writers and thinkers -- and we do not say scholars -- repeat these words. Rather we say that they are thinkers (mufakkireen), just as they call them. And it is unfortunate, that they also call them `Du'at' (callers). ... These words are falsehood ... This is deviation and a false accusation against Islaam. And if it had not been for the excuse of ignorance [because] we excuse them on account of (their) ignorance so we do not say that they are Unbelievers because they are ignorant and are blind followers .... Otherwise, these statements are very dangerous and if a person said them deliberately he would become apostate and leave Islaam. ...""
    [Source of Q&A: Cassette Recording dated 4/8/1416 and subsequently verified by the Shaikh himself with a few minor alterations to the wording.]
  9. ^ reportedly in his book al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee (A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence).

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