Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili
|Other names||Abu Suliman|
The Grand Mufti appears regularly on TV, where he answers the public's questions on Islam. The Grand Mufti declared in the midst of the Arab Spring that gyms and health clubs were "dens of vice", and should be closed down. He also urged the government to ban alcohol in Oman, one of the more liberal states in the Arabian Peninsula.
Ahmed bin Hamad Al-Khalili was born on the island of Zanzibar on 27 July 1942, when Zanzibar was still under Omani Arab rule. His tribal home is the town of Bahla.
As a child he studied at Koranic schools on the island of Zanzibar from which he graduated at the age of 9 years old, having memorised the Quran. He then followed the teachings of several prominent clerics, including Sheikh Issa bin Saeed Al Ismaili, Sheikh Hamoud bin Saeed Al Kharusi and Sheikh Ahmed bin Zahran Al Riyami. He also attended the workshops of Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Tfayyesh when he visited Zanzibar. Sheikh Ahmed did not go to a secular school, but devoted himself to reading and learning.
Along with his studies, he assisted his father in the field of trade in Zanzibar until the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution ended Omani Arab rule in Zanzibar. Sheikh Ahmed, with his father and many Omanis, emigrated to Oman. The Sheikh returned with his father to the wilayat of Bahla in Oman. He was asked to teach at the Bahla Mosque, and did so for ten months. He was then appointed as a teacher at the Al Khor Mosque in Muscat until 1971. In 1971 he was appointed a judge at the Court of Appeal; he continued his studies at the same time.
He was then appointed Director of the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, and in 1395 (1975 CE), a royal decree appointed him the Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman, the highest Islamic authority in Oman, after the death of the scholar Sheikh Ibrahim bin Said Al Abri. 
- "Religious edicts forbidding the declaration of any Muslim". Al Bawaba. July 6, 2005.
- "Gyms are 'dens of vice', says Oman’s Grand Mufti". arabianbuisness.com. March 16, 2011.
- Al-Khalili's official reply to Amman Message
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