Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad al-Tayyeb was appointed as Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar in March 2010, after the passing of his predecessor, Dr Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi. Tayyeb was formerly the president of al-Azhar for seven years and prior to that, served for two years as the most powerful cleric in Egypt as its Grand Mufti.
Scholarly Influence: His scholarly influence as a leading intellectual of Sunni Islam spans the globe. He has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Aswan, and the theology faculty of the International Islamic University in Pakistan. He has also taught in universities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Political Stance: Over the past years of political uncertainty and unrest in Egypt and in particular during the months that led up to the Egyptian armed forces deposing Muhammad Morsi as President of Egypt, Tayyeb attempted to mediate between Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government on the one hand and opposition political forces on the other. It was the only time Morsi and the opposition sat together and given their mutual intransigence, Tayyeb’s attempt at mediation did not succeed. When the Egyptian armed forces overthrew Morsi and his cabinet, Tayyeb appeared the following day alongside the Coptic Patriarch and other leading figures with the head of the Armed Forces General Sisi. With his presence and in his brief remarks he effectively acknowledged the legitimacy of the new political order. But weeks later when the armed forces moved with brutality against a massive Muslim Brotherhood sit-in, Tayyeb declared his disapproval of the bloodshed. These two seemingly contradictory public expressions following the coup in fact reflect Tayyeb’s principled position.
But even before any of these events Tayyeb was the object of Muslim Brotherhood hostility precisely because of his defence of traditional Islam (including its spiritual (Sufi) dimension) in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood’s effort to transform Islam from a religion into a power seeking religious ideology.
Advocate of Traditional Islam: Sheikh Tayyeb has emphasized his mission to promote traditional Islam since becoming Grand Sheikh. He has stressed the importance of teaching students about Islamic heritage — considering al-Azhar graduates as ambassadors of Islam to the world. In an age where the claimants to authoritative Islam seem to be on every corner al-Tayyeb has both the institute and the personal skills to authentically claim to be a representative of traditional Islam, Islam as practiced by the majority of Muslims throughout the ages.
Leader of al-Azhar University: Sheikh Tayyeb leads the second-oldest university in the world, where teaching has continued without interruption since 975 CE. Al-Azhar represents the centre of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. It is a key institution that issues authoritative religious rulings and has provided extensive Islamic education to Egyptian and international students since its inception over a millennium ago. This history makes it a bastion of Sunni traditionalism. The university is considered one of the most prominent Islamic educational institutions, and the foremost centre of Sunni Muslim scholarship worldwide.
Administers al-Azhar Education Network: Al-Azhar is currently the largest university in the world, having risen from a group of three schools in the 1950s to its current state with 72 feeder schools, and close to 300,000 students studying there at any one time. Including schools that are part of Al-Azhar waqf initiatives, there are close to 2 million students. This immense size and grounded respect make the head of al-Azhar an extraordinarily powerful and academically influential person.
The head of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, blessed in public Mr Morsi's ouster, infuriating the Brotherhood's followers. Egyptian universities have seen clashes between students backing and opposing Morsi since the academic year began in late ...
The Coptic businessman also announced he will be donating money for the restoration of both churches and mosques, part of an initiative by The House of the Family initiative under the auspices of Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb. Edited ...and more »
Prosecution decided on Wednesday to refer 57 supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy to the Criminal Court. They are being accused of rioting in front of Mashyakhat Al-Azhar (office of Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb) and Qubba Palace.
The situation grew especially tense after some protesters boarded public buses and wrote graffiti condemning the military and Al-Azhar's Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb. Sources from the administrative security in Cairo University said they arrested Ahmed ...
Students who belong to Al-Azhar University Salafist Front announced taking part in protests over the coming week under the slogan the “Week of Durability.” The students added they would continue protests until Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb and ...
Meanwhile, Al-Azhar University on Tuesday expelled three students from the Faculty of Islamic Studies after they insulted the Armed Forces and Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb. The university administration on Tuesday also referred the three girls ...
Prime Minister Hazem el-Biblawi condemned the attack as “vicious” and contacted Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II to present his condolences. Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb and Mufti Shawki Allam condemned the incident and emphasized the ...and more »
Students were protesting in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist President Mohamed Morsy. Male and ... They chanted slogans denouncing Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb. Azhar University had ...and more »
Ancora un episodio di furia sanguinaria nei confronti della comunità cristiana d'Egitto, considerata dagli integralisti islamici complice nella destituzione dell'ex presidente Mohammed Morsi, avvenuta manu militari lo scorso 3 luglio. Domenica sera ...and more »
"This coup is a crime and treason," lawyer Mohammed al-Damati quoted Dr Mursi as saying. "I see this coup ... added the agency. The head of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, blessed in public Dr Mursi's ouster, infuriating the Brotherhood's followers.and more »
The unity between Muslims and Coptic Christians of Egypt is something of absolute importance.