Published On: Mon, Feb 11th, 2013

Egypt elected its new Grand Mufti for first time ever

By Samira Arabi                                                   

Morocco News Tribune

Agadir, Morocco — The Al-Azhar Senior Scholars Authority, headed by the Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb, elected Monday the country’s Grand Mufti for the first time.

After the approval of President Mohamed Morsi, the new Mufti, Shawqi Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, 55, who is elected out of twenty five Al-Azhar nominated professors, will replace the current mufti, Ali Gomaa, who is set to step down at the age of 61 in March.

Ali Gomaa has been in his tenure since 2003, to be extended for him in 2012 by the former ruling military council for one year. 

President Mursi rejected a request by the Al-Azhar Scholars to extend Gomaa’s tenure last month.

The Mufti elect Allam received his PhD in 1996 from the Al-Azhar. His most famous books focus on Islamic law and the political rights of Muslim women.

The criteria used by the Al-Azhar Senior Scholars Authority to elect the new Mufti were first his age, which should be under 60. Also, he must have worked all his life inside Al-Azhar following the completion of his studies. Third, he must be a scholar of Jurisprudence and Sharia law, and last he must master a second language other than Arabic.