Sisi extends Grand Mufti's mandate until August



Wed, 24 Feb 2021 - 11:47 GMT


Wed, 24 Feb 2021 - 11:47 GMT

Egypt's current Grand Mufti Shawki Allam - FILE

Egypt's current Grand Mufti Shawki Allam - FILE

CAIRO - 24 February 2021: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decision Wednesday to extend the mandate of Egypt's current Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, which concludes in nine days, to instead last until August 12. 

This decision comes after the Al-Azhar's Council for Senior Scholars requested the extension as Allam has not yet reached the retirement age.  


Who is Shawki Allam?

Allam is the 19th and current Grand Mufti of Egypt. He was elected by the Al-Azhar’s Council of Senior Scholars in February 2013, replacing outgoing grand Mufti 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.


Egypt’s Mufti role and selection

The position of Grand Mufti is seen as very influential in Egypt as well as throughout the Arab and Islamic world. His office is at Dar al-Ifta; an Egyptian Islamic advisory, justiciary and governmental body that offers Muslims religious guidance and advice through the issuing of fatwas on every day and contemporary issues.

As he issues fatwas (religious edicts) on different matters, the Grand Mufti is the government's first and primary source of religious authority.

The person nominated to Mufti chair must be under the age of 60 years old.


In the below lines, a number of steps that fall under the council’s authority in selecting new Mufti.

First: Azhar Imam calls on the council to convene one month ahead of the current mandate’s end to decide on nominating a new Mufti.

Second: The council nominates three of its member scholars who meet the criteria of eligibility for the position.

Third: The council proposes the nomination via direct secret ballot in a session attended by two-thirds of the council members. The one who gets the highest votes is considered the candidate of the Council of Senior Scholars for the position of fatwa, provided that he obtains the absolute majority of the members present.

Fourth: The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar submits the nomination to the President of the Republic to fulfill his jurisdiction in issuing a decision appointing the new Mufti of the Republic.



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