Update: Shawky Ibrahim named Egypt’s new grand mufti

Shawky Ibrahim has been selected as Egypt’s new mufti, succeeding Ali Gomaa, who has occupied the post since 2003, Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr reported on Monday.

Ibrahim is a professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Tanta University in Gharbiya Governorate.

According to Al-Azhar law, the institution’s Senior Scholars Authority will submit the nomination to President Mohamed Morsy for his approval.

The law requires the nominee for mufti to be an Al-Azhar graduate, to have published scientific and jurisprudential writings, to have had a professor position at an Al-Azhar affiliated university, and to be at least 54 years of age.

There had been much speculation that Abdel Rahman al-Bar, Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member, was the leading candidate for the post.

Last week, a source from Al-Azhar's Senior Scholars Authority said that the new appointee would not be affiliated with any political trend or party.

Ibrahim received the highest number of votes in the secret poll conducted by the scholars committee, according to al-Azhar's statement, heading off both Farahat Abdel Atty, professor of jurisprudence and Attiya Fayyad, professor of comparative jurisprudence.

The trio were shortlisted out of 15 nominees.

Incumbent Mufti Gomaa will end his term in March, when he reaches the legal retirement age.

According to the new Constitution passed in a referendum late last year, the president needs to approve the nomination. Before the January 2011 uprising, both the grand sheikh of al-Azhar and the mufti were directly appointed by the president.

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