Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh

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Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh
Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh Senate of Poland 01.jpg
Chairman of the Majlis ash-Shura
Assumed office
15 February 2009
Prime MinisterKing Abdullah
King Salman
Preceded bySalih bin Abdullah al Humaid
Minister of Justice
In office
November 1992 – February 2009
Prime MinisterKing Fahd
King Abdullah
Preceded byMuhammad Al Jubair
Succeeded byMuhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa
Personal details
Born1948 (age 70–71)
NationalitySaudi Arabian
Alma materImam Muhammad bin Saud University
Al-Azhar University

Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh (born 1948) is the chairman of the Majlis ash-Shura (Consultative Assembly) of Saudi Arabia since February 2009.[1] He was the minister of Justice from February 1992 to February 2009.

Background and education[edit]

Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh is a member of a noted family of Saudi religious scholars, the Al ash-Sheikh.[2] He was born in Diriyah in 1948[3] and was educated by his father, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al ash-Sheikh former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. He also studied the interpretation of the Quran and jurisprudence principles with the late Sheikh Abdulrazaq Afifi. He attended the Shariah College in Riyadh (later renamed Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University) and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sharia in 1975. He then studied Sharia at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and returned to Saudi Arabia to obtain a doctorate degree in 1987.[3] He earned his PhD degree in Fiqh from Imam Mohammed bin Saudi University in 1987.[4]


After obtaining his doctorate, Al ash-Sheikh became a lecturer and professor in the Sharia College of Imam Muhammed bin Saud Islamic University until his appointment as minister of justice.[3] in November 1992.[5][6] He replaced Muhammad Al Jubair as minister.[5] On the instructions of the King, he drew up the judiary law of 2007. These reforms envisaged the creation of specialized courts to operate in parallel with the traditional sharia courts, particularly in areas of commercial litigation. In effect, the reform may allow certain cases to be judged without reference to Sharia. Another important aspect of the reform was the creation of a Supreme Court. The laws covering the judicial reforms were passed in October 2007, but implementation was slow.[7]

Al ash-Sheikh announced in July 2008 that he had submitted a plan of action for the judiciary reforms to the King, but little was heard further until it was announced in 2009 that he would cease to be minister of justice[7] in a major cabinet re-shuffle. He was replaced by Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa as justice minister on 14 February 2009.[7] It was reported that King Abdullah's objective in the re-shuffle was to replace conservative incumbents with younger, more progressive candidates.[8] It was also reported that he was one of the conservatives in the cabinet replaced.[9]

Later, he was appointed chairman of the Majlis ash Shura in 2009.[10]

Other appointments[edit]

He is a member of Council of Senior Ulema and the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.[3]


  1. ^ The Shura Council of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - A Brief History
  2. ^ Baamir, Abdulrahman Yahya (2010). Shari'a Law in Commercial and Banking Arbitration. p. 29 (n. 87). ISBN 978-1-4094-0377-7.
  3. ^ a b c d "H.E Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh". Majlis ash-Shura, Government of Saudi Arabia. Archived from the original on 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "Saudi consultative council". Wikileaks. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b The Middle East and North Africa 2003. Taylor & Francis. 22 November 2002. p. 949. ISBN 978-1-85743-132-2. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  6. ^ "The Council of Ministers". Saudia Online. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "Tentative steps in Saudi Arabia: The King of Saudi Arabia shows some reformist credentials". The Economist. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Saudi king appoints successor's successor to throne". CNN. 27 March 2009. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Analysis: Female minister just one of Saudi king's steps forward". CNN. 16 February 2009. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "Shura Council members appointed". Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington D.C. 14 February 2009. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)