List of Grand Imams of al-Azhar

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The post of Grand Imam of al-Azhar, or shaykh of al-Azhar, has been filled by a member of the ulema, the religious scholars, of Egypt. The position of Grand Imam of al-Azhar is among the most prominent roles in Sunni Islam, the most prominent official religious role in Egypt,[1] and is considered by some Muslims to be the highest authority in Islamic jurisprudence.[2] Prior to the establishment of the post under the Ottoman Empire, the holder of that position was named mushrif then later a nazir.[3] Between 1860 and 1864 a board of scholars served the role as Grand Imam.[4]

Several of the Grand Imams served multiple terms; each term is listed separately. The original sources give the year based on the Islamic calendar, so the conversion to Gregorian years by later Western sources may not be precise.[4]


Serving 1st term.
Serving 2nd term.
Portrait Grand Imam Began End Madhhab Notes
1 Kharashy.jpg Muhammad al-Kharashi
(Arabic: محمد الخرشي‎)
1679 1690 Maliki al-Kharashi (1601–1690) was born in Abu Kharash, Beheira Governorate
2 Baramawy.jpg Ibrahim al-Barmawi
(Arabic: إبراهيم البرماوي‎)
1690 1695 Shafii al-Barmawi (died 1695) was born in Barma, Gharbia Governorate
3 Muhammad al-Nasharti
(Arabic: محمد النشرتي‎)
1695 1709 Maliki al-Nasharti (died 1709) was born in Nashart, Kafr El Sheikh Governorate
4 Kelleney.jpg Abd al-Baqi al-Qalini
(Arabic: عبد الباقي القليني‎)
1709 1709 Maliki al-Qalini was born in Qallin, Kafr El Sheikh Governorate
5 Muhammad Shanan
(Arabic: محمد شنن‎)
1709 1720 Maliki Shanan (1656–1720) was born in Al Gadeyah, Beheira Governorate
6 Fayomy.jpg Ibrahim al-Fayyumi
(Arabic: إبراهيم الفيومي‎)
1720 1724 Maliki al-Fayyumi (1652–1724) was born in Faiyum, Faiyum Governorate
7 Abdullah al-Shubrawi
(Arabic: عبد الله الشبراوي‎)
1724 1758 Shafii al-Shubrawi (1681–1758) was born in Cairo, Cairo Governorate
8 Hefny.jpg Muhammad al-Hiffnawi
(Arabic: محمد بن سالم الحفني‎)
1758 1767 Shafii al-Hiffnawi (1688–1768) was born in Hiffna, Sharqia Governorate
9 Abd al-Rauf al-Sajini
(Arabic: عبد الرؤوف السجيني‎)
1767 1769 Shafii al-Sajini was born in Sagin Al Kom, Gharbia Governorate
10 Damanhoory.jpg Ahmed al-Damanhuri
(Arabic: أحمد الدمنهوري‎)
1769 1778 Shafii al-Damanhuri was born in Damanhur, Beheira Governorate
11 Ahmed al-Arusi
(Arabic: أحمد العروسي‎)
1778 1793 Shafii Ahmed al-Arusi (1720–1804) was born in Manyal Arous, Monufia Governorate. He was the father of #14 Muhammed al-Arusi, grandfather of #20 Mustafa al-Arusi.
12 Abdullah al-Sharqawi
(Arabic: عبد الله الشرقاوي‎)
1793 1812 Shafii al-Sharqawi (1737–1812) was born in At Tawilah, Sharqia Governorate
13 Muhammed al-Shanawani
(Arabic: محمد الشنواني‎)
1812 1818 Shafii al-Shanawani (died 1818) was born in Shanawan, Monufia Governorate
14 Muhammed al-Arusi
(Arabic: محمد العروسي‎)
1818 1829 Shafii Muhammed al-Arusi was the son of #11 Ahmed al-Arusi, father of #20 Mustafa al-Arusi.
15 Damhoogy.jpg Ahmed al-Damhuji
(Arabic: أحمد الدمهوجي‎)
1829 1830 Shafii al-Damhuji (1761–1831) was born in Damhuj, Monufia Governorate
16 Hasan al-Attar
(Arabic: حسن العطار‎)
1830 1834 Shafii al-Attar (1766–1835) was born in Cairo, Cairo Governorate. He was of Moroccan origin.
17 Kwesny.jpg Hasan al-Quwaysini
(Arabic: حسن القويسني‎)
1834 1838 Shafii al-Quwaysini (died 1838) was born in Quesna, Monufia Governorate
18 Ahmed al-Sa'im al-Safti
(Arabic: أحمد السفطي‎)
1838 1847 Shafii al-Safti was born in Saft El Arfa, Beni Suef Governorate
19 Bagoury.jpg Ibrahim al-Bajuri
(Arabic: إبراهيم الباجوري‎)
1847 1864 Shafii al-Bajuri (1784–1864) was born in El Bagour, Monufia Governorate
20 Mustafa al-Arusi
(Arabic: مصطفى العروسي‎)
1864 1870 Shafii Mustafa al-Arusi (1798–1876) was the son of #14 Muhammed al-Arusi, grandson of #11 Ahmed al-Arusi.
21 Muhammad al-Mahdi
(Arabic: محمد المهدي العباسي‎)
1870 1881 Hanafi al-Mahdi (1827–1897) was born in Alexandria, Alexandria Governorate
22 Inbaby.jpg Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Imbabi
(Arabic: شمس الدين الأنبابي‎)
1881 1882 Shafii al-Imbabi (1824–1896) was born in Cairo, originally from Imbaba, Giza Governorate
23 Muhammad al-Mahdi
(Arabic: محمد المهدي العباسي‎)
1882 1886 Hanafi
24 Inbaby.jpg Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Imbabi
(Arabic: شمس الدين الأنبابي‎)
1886 1895 Shafii
25 Hassunah al-Nawawi
(Arabic: حسونة النواوي‎)
1895 1899 Hanafi al-Nawawi (1839–1924) was born in Nawai, Asyut Governorate
26 Abd al-Rahman al-Qutb al-Nawawi
(Arabic: عبد الرحمن القطب النواوي‎)
1899 1899 Hanafi al-Nawawi (died 1909) was born in Nawai, Asyut Governorate
27 Bischri.gif Salim al-Bishri
(Arabic: سليم البشري‎)
1899 1903 Maliki al-Bishri (1832–1916) was born in Mahallat Bishr, Beheira Governorate
28 Babalawy.jpg Ali al-Biblawi
(Arabic: علي الببلاوي‎)
1903 1905 Maliki al-Biblawi (1835–1905) was born in Biblaw, Asyut Governorate
29 Abd al-Rahman al-Shirbini
(Arabic: عبد الرحمن الشربيني‎)
1905 1907 Shafii al-Shirbini (died 1908) was probably born in Sherbin, Dakahlia Governorate
30 Hassanuh al-Nawawi
(Arabic: حسونة النواوي‎)
1907 1909 Hanafi
31 Bischri.gif Salim al-Bishri
(Arabic: سليم البشري‎)
1909 1917 Maliki
32 Gezawy.jpg Muhammad al-Jizawi
(Arabic: محمد أبو الفضل الجيزاوي‎)
1917 1927 Maliki al-Jizawi (1874–1927) was born in El-Warraq, Giza Governorate
33 Mustafa al-Maraghi.jpg Mustafa Al-Maraghi
(Arabic: محمد مصطفى المراغي‎)
1927 1929 Hanafi al-Maraghi (1881–1945) was born in El Maragha, Sohag Governorate
34 Muhammad al-Zawahiri
(Arabic: محمد الأحمدي الظواهري‎)
1929 1935 Shafii al-Zawahiri (1878–1944) was born in Kafr Ash Sheikh Dhawahri, Sharqia Governorate. He was of Arab origin.
35 Mustafa al-Maraghi.jpg Mustafa Al-Maraghi
(Arabic: محمد مصطفى المراغي‎)
1935 1945 Hanafi
36 Mustafa Abd al-Rizq
(Arabic: مصطفى عبد الرازق‎)
1945 1947 Hanafi Abd al-Rizq (1885–1947) was born in Abu Jirj, Minya Governorate
37 Muhammad Ma'mun al-Shinnawi
(Arabic: محمد مأمون الشناوي‎)
1948 1950 Hanafi al-Shinnawi (1878–1950) was born in El Zarqa, Damietta Governorate
38 Abdelmageed seleem.jpg Abd al-Majid Salim
(Arabic: عبد المجيد سليم‎)
1950 1951 Hanafi Salim (1882–1954) was born in Meet Shahala, Monufia Governorate
39 Hamroush.jpg Ibrahim Hamrush
(Arabic: إبراهيم حمروش‎)
1951 1952 Hanafi Hamrush (1880–1960) was born in Al Khawaled, Beheira Governorate
40 Abdelmageed seleem.jpg Abd al-Majid Sulaym
(Arabic: عبد المجيد سليم‎)
1952 1952 Hanafi
41 Muhamed El Khidhr Hassine 2.jpg Muhammad al-Khadi Husayn
(Arabic: محمد الخضر حسين‎)
1952 1954 Maliki Husayn (1876–1958) was born in Nefta, Tozeur Governorate, Tunisia. He was of Algerian origin.
42 Abd al-Rahman Taj
(Arabic: عبد الرحمن تاج‎)
1954 1958 Hanafi Taj (1896–1975) was born in Asyut, Asyut Governorate
43 Mahmud Shaltut.jpg Mahmud Shaltut
(Arabic: محمود شلتوت‎)
1958 1963 Hanafi Shaltut (1893–1963) was born in Minyat Bani Mansur, Beheira Governorate
44 Ma2moun.jpg Hassan Mamoun
(Arabic: حسن مأمون‎)
1963 1969 Mamoun (1894–1973) was born in Cairo, Cairo Governorate
45 Fa7aam.jpg Muhammad al-Fahham
(Arabic: محمد الفحام‎)
1969 1973 al-Fahham (1894–1980) was born in Alexandria Governorate
46 Abdelhaleem mahmoud.jpg Abdel Halim Mahmoud
(Arabic: عبد الحليم محمود‎)
1973 1978 Maliki Mahmoud (1910–1978) was born in Al Salam, Sharqia Governorate
47 Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Bisar.png Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Bisar
(Arabic: محمد عبد الرحمن بيصار‎)
1979 1982 Bisar (1910–1982) was born in As Salmiyyah, Kafr El Sheikh Governorate
48 Gad el7ak.jpg Gad al-Haq
(Arabic: جاد الحق علي جاد الحق‎)
1982 1996 al-Haq (1917–1996) was born in Batra, Dakahlia Governorate
49 Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy
(Arabic: محمد سيد طنطاوي‎)
1996 2010 Shafii Tantawy (1928–2010) was born in Selim ash-Sharqiyah, Tima municipality, Sohag Governorate
50 Ahmed el-Tayeb May 2015 (17963337671).jpg Ahmed El-Tayeb
(Arabic: أحمد الطيب‎)
2010 present Maliki El-Tayeb (born 1946) was born in Kurna, Luxor Governorate


  1. ^ Beattie 2000, p. 225
  2. ^ Bennett 2005, p. 220
  3. ^ Dodge 1961, p. 83
  4. ^ a b Dodge 1961, pp. 193–194