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The Grand Mufti (also called Chief Mufti, State Mufti and Supreme Mufti) is the head of regional muftis, Islamic jurisconsults, of a state. The office originated in the early modern era in the Ottoman empire and has been later adopted in a number of modern countries.
Muftis are Islamic jurists qualified to issue a nonbinding opinion (fatwa) on a point of Islamic law (sharia). In the 15th century, muftis of the Ottoman empire, who had acted as independent scholars in earlier times, began to be integrated into a hierarchical bureaucracy of religious institutions and scholars. By the end of the 16th century, the government-appointed mufti of Istanbul came to be recognized under the title Shaykh al-Islam (Turkish: şeyhülislam) as the Grand Mufti in charge of this hierarchy. The Ottoman Grand Mufti performed a number of functions, including advising the sultan on religious matters, legitimizing government policies, and appointing judges. After the dissolution the Ottoman Empire the office of the Grand Mufti has been adopted in a number of countries across the Muslim world, often serving the role of providing religious support for government policies. The Grand Mufti is generally an individual appointed by the state, although the office has collective or elective character in some modern countries.
Muftis are Muslim religious scholars who issue legal opinions (fatwas) interpreting Sharia (Islamic law).:16–20 The Ottoman Empire began the practice of giving official recognition and status to a single mufti, above all others, as the Grand Mufti.:5 The Grand Mufti of Istanbul had, since the late 16th century, come to be regarded as the head of the religious establishment. He was thus not only pre-eminent but bureaucratically responsible for the body of religious-legal scholars and gave legal rulings on important state policies such as the dethronement of rulers. This practice was subsequently borrowed and adapted by Egypt from the mid-19th century.:5 From there, the concept spread to other Muslim states, so that today there are approximately 16 countries with sizable Muslim populations which have a Grand Mufti.:85 The relationship between the Grand Mufti of any given state and the state's rulers can vary considerably, both by region and by historical era.
The State Mufti of Brunei is nominated by the Sultan.
Throughout the era of British colonialism, the British retained the institution of Grand Mufti in some Muslim areas under their control and accorded the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem the highest political stature in Palestine. During World War I (1914–1918), there were two competing Grand Muftis of Jerusalem, one endorsed by the British and one by the Ottoman Empire. When Palestine was under British rule, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a position appointed by the British Mandate authorities. In the Palestinian National Authority, the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Grand Mufti is appointed by the president.
Malaysia has a unique system of collective mufti. Nine of the fourteen Malaysian states have their own constitutional monarchy; nine are ruled by their own constitutional monarch while the country is led by a monarch elected from the nine. These nine monarchs have authority over religious matters within their own states: therefore, each of these nine states have their own mufti who usually controls the Islamic Council or Islamic Department of the state. At the national level, a National Council of Fatwa (Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan) has been formed under the Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia or JAKIM). JAKIM appoints five Muftis for the five states which do not have monarchs. The muftis of the nine monarchical states, together with the five officials appointed by JAKIM in the National Council of Fatwā, collectively issue fatāwā at the national level.
In the Mughal Empire, the Grand Mufti of India was a state official.
The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, with office created in 1953, is appointed by the King.
List of Grand Muftis
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|Albania||Bujar Spahiu (1976 – )||Appointed as Chairman of the Muslim Community of Albania (KMSH) by the Muslim Community of Albania||March 2019|
|Australia||Ibrahim Abu Mohamed ( – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Australia by the Australian National Imams Council||September 2016|
|Bangladesh||Mufti Noor Ahmad[verification needed]||Appointed as Chief Mufti of Bangladesh by the Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Husein Kavazović (3 July 1964 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina||November 2012|
|Brunei||Abdul Aziz Juned (22 December 1941 – )||Appointed as State Mufti of Brunei by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah||1 September 1994|
|Bulgaria||Mustafa Hadzhi (31 March 1962 – )||Appointed as Chief Mufti of Bulgaria by the Supreme Muslim Council||1997 – 2005 (first term)|
|Egypt||Shawki Allam (12 August 1961 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Egypt by the Council of Senior Scholars of Al-Azhar and approved by the President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi||February 2013|
|Ghana||Osman Nuhu Sharubutu (23 April 1923 – )||National Chief Imam of Ghana (De facto)|
|Guinea||El Hadj Mamadou Saliou Camara ( – )||Grand Imam of Guinea (De facto)|
|India||Sheikh Abubakr Ahmad (22 March 1931 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of India by the Islamic Community of India||2019 –|
|Iraq||Mahdi Al-Sumaidaie (20. century – )||Grand Mufti of Iraq (De facto)|
|Jordan||Abdul Karim Khasawneh (1944 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Jordan by the Cabinet of Jordan and Abdul Hafez Rabtah as Chief Islamic Justice of the Kingdom of Jordan||11 November 2019|
|Kazakhstan||Nauryzbai Kazhy Taganuly ( – )||Appointed as Supreme Mufti of Kazakhstan by the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kazakhstan as per nomination of former Supreme Mufti, Serikbai Kazhy Oraz||7 February 2020|
|Kosovo||Naim Ternava (7 January 1961 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Kosovo by the Islamic Community of Kosova|
|Kyrgyzstan||Maksatbek Toktomushev ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of Kyrgyzstan||2014|
|Lebanon||Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian (3 April 1953 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Lebanon by the Higher Islamic Council||10 August 2014|
|Libya||Sadiq Al-Ghariani (8 December 1942 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Libya by the National Transitional Council||May 2011|
|Lithuania||Ramadan Yaqoob ( – )||Grand Mufti of Lithuania (De facto)|
|Macedonia||Sulejman Rexhepi (1947 – )||Reis-ul-ulema of the Islamic Religious Community of Macedonia|
|Malaysia||Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri (16 January 1969 – )||Mufti of the Federal Territories||20 June 2014|
|Mohd Tahrir Samsudin||Mufti of Johor (Website: mufti.johor.gov.my)||13 November 2008|
|Syeikh Fadzil Awang||Mufti of Kedah (Website: mufti.kedah.gov.my)||20 July 2017|
|Mohamad Shukri Mohamad||Mufti of Kelantan (Website: muftikelantan.gov.my)|
|Abdul Halim Tawil||Acting Mufti of Malacca (Website: muftimelaka.gov.my)|
|Mohd Yusof Ahmad||Mufti of Negeri Sembilan (Website: muftins.gov.my)||1 April 2009|
|Abdul Rahman Osman||Mufti of Pahang (Website: mufti.pahang.gov.my)|
|Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor||Mufti of Penang (Website: mufti.penang.gov.my)||7 June 2014|
|Harussani Zakaria ( – )||Mufti of Perak (Website: mufti.perak.gov.my)||December 1985|
|Asri Zainul Abidin (1 January 1971 – )||Mufti of Perlis (Website: mufti.perlis.gov.my)||2 February 2015|
|Bungsu Aziz Jaafar||Mufti of Sabah (Website: mufti.sabah.gov.my)||10 August 2012|
|Kipli Yassin||Mufti of Sarawak (Website: muftinegeri.sarawak.gov.my)|
|Mohd Tamyes Abd Wahid (1 January 1928 – )||Mufti of Selangor (Website: muftiselangor.gov.my)||16 March 1998|
|Zulkifly Muda||Mufti of Terengganu (Website: mufti.terengganu.gov.my)||1 April 2013|
|Mauritania||Ahmed Ould Murabit||Grand Mufti of Mauritania|
|Montenegro||Rifat Fejzić ( – )||Reis-ul-ulema of the Islamic Community of Montenegro|
|New Zealand||Sheikh Mohammad Amir Faizur Rahman ( – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of New Zealand|
|Nigeria||(1938 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Nigeria by the Supreme Council for Fatwa and Islamic Affairs in Nigeria|
|Oman||Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili (27 July 1942 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman by the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said||1975|
|Palestine||Muhammad Ahmad Hussein (20. century – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas||July 2006|
|Poland||Tomasz Miśkiewicz (9 July 1977 – )||Appointed as Mufti of the Republic of Poland by the Muslim Religious Union in the Republic of Poland||2004|
|Romania||Murat Iusuf (18 August 1977 – ) (Murād Yūsuf)||Grand Mufti of Romania||2005|
|Russia||Rawil Gaynetdin (25 August 1959 – )||Grand Mufti of Russia||1 July 1996|
|Salah Mezhiev ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of Chechnya by Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov||12 June 2014|
|Ahmad Afandi Abdulaev (15 September 1959 – )||Appointed as Mufti of Dagestan||1998|
|(22 March 1985 – )||Appointed as Mufti of Tatarstan||17 April 2013|
|Aynur Birgalin ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of Bashkortostan|
|Khazrataly Dzasezhev ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of Kabardino-Balkaria|
|Isa Khamkhoev ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of Ingushetia|
|Askarbi Kardanov ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of Adygea and Krasnodar Krai|
|Saudi Arabia||Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh (10 February 1943 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia by the King of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia||June 1999|
|Serbia||Sead Nasufović (22 June 1979 – )||Mufti of Serbia||July 2016|
|Singapore||Nazirudin Mohd Nasir ( – )||Appointed as Mufti of the Republic of Singapore by the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura, the statutory board of Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth||1 March 2020 –|
|South Africa||Yasin Muhammad Yaqeenullah||Appointed as Grand Mufti by the Muslim Supreme Council of South Africa|
|Syria||Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun (25 April 1949 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of the Republic by the President of President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad||July 2005|
|Tunisia||Othman Battikh (17 April 1941 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Tunisia by the President of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2008 and Beji Caid Essebsi in 2016||2008 – 5 January 2016 (resigned for haj pilgrimage in 2016)|
12 January 2016 – (reappointed by the president after one week)
|Turkey||Ali Erbaş (1961 – )||Appointed as President of Directorate of Religious Affairs by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, acting as Grand Mufti of the country.||17 September 2017|
|United Arab Emirates||Ali Ahmed Mashael ( – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Dubai by Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department|
|Uzbekistan||Usman Alimov (1 January 1950 – )||Grand Mufti of Uzbekistan||8 August 2006|
|Zimbabwe||Ismail ibn Musa Menk (b. 1975)||Grand Mufti of Zimbabwe|
List of former Grand Muftis
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Mustafa Cerić (5 February 1952 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina||April 1993 – November 2012|
|Brunei||Ismail Omar Abdul Aziz (1911 – 1993)||Appointed as State Mufti of Brunei||1962–1994|
|India||ʽAbd al-Qadir Badayuni (21 August 1540 – 5 November 1615)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of India by the Mughal emperor, Akbar, appointed him to the muftiat in 1574 where he spent much of his career.||16th century – 17th century|
|Shah Fazle Rasool Badayuni (1 July 1798 – 8 August 1872)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of India by the final Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.||19th century|
|Kifayatullah Dehlawi (November 1882 - 31 December 1952)||20th century|
|Amjad Ali Aazmi (November 1882 – 6 September 1948)||Elected as Grand Mufti of India by Electoral college and Appointed by the Islamic Community of India.||20th century|
|Mustafa Raza Khan Qadri (18 July 1892 – 11 November 1981)||Elected as Grand Mufti of India by Electoral college and Appointed by the Islamic Community of India.||20th century|
|Akhtar Raza Khan (2 February 1941 – 20 July 2018)||Elected as Grand Mufti of India by Electoral college and Appointed by the Islamic Community of India.||20th century – 20 July 2018|
|Palestine||Mohammed Tahir al-Husayni (1842 – 1908) (Hanafi)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the ....||1869–1908|
|Kamil al-Husayni (23 February 1867 – 31 March 1921) (Hanafi)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the ....||1908–1921|
|As'ad Shukeiri (1860 – 1940) (Hanafi)||Appointed as Qadi by the Ottoman Empire during the World War I.||1914–1918|
|Amin al-Husseini (1 January 1895 – 4 July 1974)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the ....||1921–1937|
|Hussam ad-Din Jarallah (1884 – 6 March 1954)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the ....||1948–1952|
|Saad al-Alami (1911 – 1993)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf||1952–1993|
|Sulaiman Ja'abari (1912 – 1994)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the ....||1993–1994|
|Ekrima Sa'id Sabri (1939 – )||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the ....||October 1994 – July 2006|
|Saudi Arabia||Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al ash-Sheikh (24 July 1893 – 3 December 1969)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia by the ....||1953–1969|
|Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz (22 November 1912 – 13 May 1999)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia by the ....||1992–1999|
|Syria||Ahmed Kuftaro (1915 – 1 September 2004)||Appointed as Grand Mufti of Syria||26 October 1964 – 1 September 2004|
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With these words, the Grand Mufti of Mauritania, Ahmed Ould al-Murabit
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