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Al-Azhar Grand Imams

Al-Azhar Mosque/Al-Azhar Grand Imams
Al-Azhar Grand Imams

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mouṣṭafā Al-ˁArousī (1281 AH/1864 CE-1287 AH/1870 CE)

Mouṣṭafā Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Aḥmad Al-ˁArousī

Office assumption date

1281 AH/1864 CE.

Retirement date

1287 AH/1870 CE.

Era

Muḥammad ˁAlī and his Family.

A Note about the Grand Imam

     Grand Imam Mouṣṭafā Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Aḥmad Al-ˁArousī was born in Cairo on Friday Rajab 23, 1213 AH/December 30, 1798 CE in a family with long great history and authoritative positions. He was raised in a household known for knowledge and righteousness. His grandfather and father preceded him in assuming Al-Azhar Grand Imam’s position. He was interested in fighting religious innovations and myths that distorted Islam and Al-Azhar. He was interested in developing Al-Azhar; thus, he tried to apply a testing system for teachers to preserve to adopt Al-Azhar positions. Yet, before implementing his reforms, he was dismissed from his position by a decree of Khedive Ismāˁīl in Shawwāl 1287 AH / November 1870 CE.

Brief Biographical Notes

     Mouṣṭafā Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Aḥmad Al-ˁArousī, was born in Cairo on Friday Rajab 23, 1213 AH/December 30, 1798 CE in a family with long great history and authoritative positions.  His family lived in the village of Minyet ˁArous, Ashmoun, Al-Minoufiyya Governorate, Egypt. He was raised in a household known for knowledge and righteousness. His grandfather and father preceded him in assuming Al-Azhar Grand Imam’s position.

     Al-ˁArousī was educated by his father and the senior scholars and sheikhs of Al-Azhar. He excelled in seeking knowledge; thus, he was qualified to teach at Al-Azhar Mosque. In addition to his being a beneficial teacher, he wrote books and mastered various religious disciplines. He wrote a number of valuable books, including:

• An explanation of Ar-Risālah Al-Qushayriyah (The Qushairῑ Treatise) in Sufism, titled as: Natāˀij ul-Afkār il-Qudsiyyati fī Bayān Maˁānī Sharḥ ir-Risālati l-Qushayriyah (The Product of Sacred Thoughts: An Explication of the Meanings in 'Ar-Risālati l-Qushayriyah'.

Kashful-Ghummah fī Taqyīd Maˁānī ˀAdˁiyati Sayyid il-ˁUmmah (Clearing the Clouds in Determining the Supplications of the Master of the Nation).

Al-Qawl ul-Faṣl fī Madhhabi Dhawī ˀAhl il-Faḍl (A Decisive Ruling on the Virtuous Scholars' Approaches), that was explained by another manuscript named: Kashf ul-Ghummah (Clearing the Clouds).

Al-ˁUqūd ul-Farāˀid fī Bayāni Maˁāni l-ˁAqāˀid (Rare Gems on Explicating the Meanings of Creeds).

Al-Fawāˀid ul-Mustaḥsanah fῑmā yataˁallaqu bi l-Basmalah wa l-Ḥamdalah (Plausible Benefits Concerning the Sayings 'Bism Illāh' and 'Al-Ḥamdu Lillāh').

Masāˀilu ˀAḥkām il-Mufākahāti fī ˀAnwāˁ il-Funūn il-Mutafarriqāt (Issues on Entertainment Rulings Concerning Various Skills).

Al-Hidāyatu Bil-Wilāyah  fῑmā yataˁallaqu bi l-ˀĀyah 22:52 (A Piety-Based Guide Concerning the Qur'an's verse 22:52).

Al-ˀAnwār ul-Bahiyyatu fī Bayāni ˀAḥaqiyyati Madhhab i-sh-Shāfiˁiyyah (Bright Light on the Legitimacy of Ash-Shāfiˁῑ's Jurist School).

     Al-ˁArousī possessed a strong character, keen on regulations and perfection; thus, his students revered him, and the political rulers and princes respected him. He feared none but Allah. He was keen to implement the commands of the Islamic law with extreme precision, without compromising or slackness; thus, he managed to nullify the common heresies of his time.

     Grand Imam Mouṣṭafā Al-ˁArousī is considered one of the first reformers of Al-Azhar. He tried to make Al-Azhar scholars an effective administrative entity in order to improve the government departments and the judiciary. He made great strides in reforming Al-Azhar when he chose the best of his students to assume governmental, judiciary and teaching positions. In order to preserve Al-Azhar’s dignity, he tried to establish the first testing system for the teachers at Al-Azhar Mosque, so that only those who were qualified for such work were allowed to teach there. However, without any justification, he was suddenly dismissed by a decree of Khedive Ismāˁīl in Shawwāl 1287 AH / November 1870 CE.

Notable Contributions and Events

• Sheikh Al-ˁArousī possessed a strong character, keen on regulations and perfection; thus, his students revered him, and the political rulers and princes respected him.

• He feared none but Allah. He was keen to implement the commands of the Islamic law with extreme precision.

• He managed to abolish many of the heresies that were common in his time.

• Grand Imam Mouṣṭafā Al-ˁArousī is considered one of the first reformers of Al-Azhar. He tried to make Al-Azhar scholars an effective administrative entity in order to upgrade government departments and the judiciary. He made great strides in reforming Al-Azhar when he chose the best of his students to assume governmental, judiciary and teaching positions.

• He established the first testing system for the teachers at Al-Azhar Mosque. That system was not implemented due to his being dismissed, but his successor, Grand Imam Al-Mahdī, implemented it.

 

 


Categories: Grand Imams
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