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