Shawki Allam

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Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam
Born (1961-08-12) August 12, 1961 (age 55)
Beheira, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian
Education PhD Al Azhar University
Occupation Grand Mufti of Egypt
Years active February 2013 until present

Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam is the 19th and current Grand Mufti of Egypt through Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah succeeding Ali Gomaa.


Allam was born in the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira on 12 August 1961. He received his PhD in 1996 from the Al-Azhar University in Jurisprudence and Sharia law.[1] Prior to his appointment, he served as the chairman of the Department of Jurisprudence at the School of Sharia at Al-Azhar University’s Tanta branch.[2] Allam is a Sufi.[3]


In February 2013, he was elected by Al Azhar's Council of Senior Scholars[1][4][5] replacing outgoing grand Mufti, 61-year-old Ali Gomaa.[6] The bylaws of Al-Azhar say the new Grand Mufti must be under the age of 60, have worked continuously inside the religious establishment following his education, be a scholar of both Jurisprudence and Sharia law, and be fluent in a second language other than Arabic.[1] This makes the first time that the Grand Mufti has been elected by Islamic scholars rather than appointed by the president.[1]

The position of Grand Mufti is seen as very influential in Egypt as well as throughout the Arab and Islamic world.[2] The Grand Mufti is the government's first and primary source of religious authority, is seen as the symbolic religious representative of the government, and is able to issue fatwas on religious matters.[7]

His office, the Dar al Ifta (literally, the house of fatwas), a government agency charged with issuing religious legal opinions on any question to Muslims who ask for them, issues some 5,000 fatwas a week, including both the official ones that he himself crafts on important issues and the more routine ones handled via phone and Internet by a dozen or so subordinate muftis.[8]

In addition to issuing fatwas, the Grand Mufti of Egypt is responsible under Egyptian law for reviewing all death sentences in Egypt.[9]


Allam is known as a moderate who renounces fanaticism[10] and does not have any political allegiances.[7] In March 2013, he issued a statement warning that any attack on the Al-Azhar Institution or its head, the Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb "undermines Egypt's security" and called on all complaints against Al-Azhar "to be addressed with legitimate and peaceful means." This announcement came after 500 students fell ill with food poisoning in a dormitory at Al Azhar University [11] In April 2013, Al Azhar University's Council of Senior Scholars decided to hold elections to replace Al-Alzhar University president Usama al-Abd after the same incident.[12]


Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Ali Gomaa
Grand Mufti of Egypt
Succeeded by