Global Mufti: The Phenomenon of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

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ISBN: 9781850659303
Publisher: Hurst
Publication Date: 2009-06-22
Number of pages: 256
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An outstanding legal scholar, an Islamist activist and a renowned host of al-Jazeera's most popular religious programme, 'Sharia and Life, Yusuf al-Qaradawi is one of the best-known and most controversial figures of contemporary Islamism. Indeed, it is difficult to think of another Muslim scholar-activist whose global influence matches, let alone exceeds, that of Qaradawi. Born in 1926 in a poor village in the Egyptian Delta, as a young man he attended a lecture by Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and immediately joined the organisation's youth wing. In the late 1940s, Qaradawi studied at al-Azhar University in Cairo, excelling in theology, while running the Brotherhood's student wing. When in 1954 Nasser cracked down on the Brotherhood, Qaradawi was gaoled twice, but was released in time to obtain his degree from al-Azhar. In 1961 Qaradawi settled in the Gulf state of Qatar where he played a pivotal role establishing its Islamic higher education system. He eschewed any formal position in the Muslim Brotherhood when the movement was forced underground and instead developed into a major writer and ideologist of contemporary Islamist thought. From the mid-1970s Qaradawi became one of a handful of Islamist ulama (Muslim scholars) that became accepted as authorities on doctrinal and political matters, both by Islamists and within the wider Islamic resurgence. Since the 1990s Qaradawi has reached a global audience by cleverly exploiting new media: he was one of the first Sunni scholars to launch his own website, is involved with Islam Online and just celebrated ten years hosting his weekly religious affairs programme on al-Jazeera. Qaradawi's standing among ulama, Islamists and the Arab (if not the Muslim) public at large is such that he is undeniably considered the most important Sunni religious figure in the world today. This volume is the first book-length treatment of Yusuf al-Qaradawi in any European language.

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