Al-Qaradhawiy: An Eclipse Of The Luminous Moon


*Photo: Al-Qaradhawiy*

By Abu Mazeedatilkhayr Bn Sa’eed


Today, the global Mufti of the twenty first century, Shaykhul Islam, Al-A’llaamah, Abdullah Yusuf Al-Qaradhawiy, will be committed to the earth in Qatar. May Allah be pleased with him.

Qaradawi was born in the village of Saft Turab, Egypt, on 9 September 1926, as the only child of a poor peasant family of devout Sunni Muslims. Like the Messenger of Allah whose legacy he championed throughout his life, his father had died before he was born, and his mother died shortly after his birth.

As an orphan, Qaradawi’s aunts and uncles raised him into puberty; and they encouraged him to obtain a local profession. However, he chose to pursue a religious education, one of the few opportunities available to boys of humble backgrounds.


He memorized the holy Quran before his ten years of age and, after completing his secondary education, he enrolled at al-Azhar University in Cairo, one of the world’s oldest continuously functioning universities and the most important center for Sunni Islamic scholarship.

In 1953 ,Qaradawi graduated from al-Azhar University’s department of basics of religion and, in 1954, he earned a degree from the Arabic language department, finishing at the top of his class of five hundred students.

Following his graduation, Qaradawi worked at the Institute of Imams at the Waqf Ministry of Egypt (Ministry of Religious Endowments) and then at the Department of Islamic Culture at al-Azhar. It was during this time that Qaradawi began his career as a writer, teacher, and scholar, and often preached at mosques in Cairo.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, he was detained in an Egyptian prison several times because of his membership of the Muslim Brotherhood organization. In 1961, in an exchange of scholars, al-Azhar sent him to the Gulf State of Qatar to run the state’s Religious Institute in the capital city of Doha, where he remained in self-imposed exile till death.

He was generously received by the reigning Emir of Qatar of that era, Khalifah Bn Hamad (reigned 1972-1995), who provided for him the space to flourish with his knowledge. The son of the Emir, Hamad Bn Khalifah (reigned 1995-2013), who later reigned after his father, frequented Qaradawi’s circle of knowledge.

Even the current Emir, Temim Bn Hamad Bn Khalifah, had grown up to see the Shaykh as his teacher and that of his ancestors. Thus, as the teacher of the nation, Al-Qaradhawiy enjoyed the privilege of modernising the Gulf state of Qatar with knowledge and guidance of the Quran and Sunnah.

Prior to the 70s, the whole of Qatar had stuck to a single format of sermon for jumat service, until the Shaykh commenced the method of changing themes of discussion on weekly service. He also established the faculty of Sharee’ah in Universities, by designing the syllabus of religious studies.

In 1973, he established and became chair of the Department of Islamic Research at the University of Qatar. In the same year, he was awarded his doctoral degree. In 1989 ,Qaradawi founded the Research Center of Sunna and Biography of the Prophet at the University of Qatar, which he had continued to head, till death.

In 1997, Qaradawi helped create and lead the Dublin-based European Council on Fatwa and Research, a group of Islamic scholars who consider the moral, religious, political, and social issues facing Muslims and issue fatwas to help Muslims live within the Islamic law in the contemporary age.

In 2002, Qaradawi became head of the newly created International Union for Muslim Scholars, also based in Dublin. (The headquarters are in Ireland because Arab countries refused to allow these groups to function, whereas Irish law permits them.). Qaradawi is the author of more than 170 books, the latest being those wonderful volumes of Fiqh Salat, released to the market two weeks ago.

In his writing career, the Shaykh swam in the deep dark ocean of complex and controversial issues, feared by many of his contemporaries. For example, the idea of wealth distribution brilliantly espoused in his masterpiece, Fiqh Zakat; and those permissible tactics of war, documented in his two volume Fiqh Jihad, are far beyond whatever any contemporary Scholar had written.

Far from his humble beginnings, the elderly Qaradawi, who had long enjoyed the support of the Qatar royal family, lived in a comfortable, well-adorned home in Qatar. He was married and had seven children. He remained one of the most influential Islamic scholars in the Arab world; and perhaps, the greatest Scholar in the Muslim World, till death.

Shaykhul Islam Al-A’llaamah Yusuf Al-Qaradhawiy, hated by the ultra-conservative Muslim Salafists for his contemporary interpretation of Islam; condemned by the Takfiri Muslim extremists for his egalitarian view of the world; targeted for death by the tyrants of the Arab World, for championing Islamic change; scorned by the Judeo-Christian West for his call for the liberation of Quds, stood above all lies throughout his earthly sojourn, as he gallantly trampled upon the dark world of falsehood, until he breathed his last on Monday, 26th September, 2022.

Indeed, his death is an enclipse of the luminous moon. May Allah be pleased with our own teacher.

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