Al-Azhar Grand Imams

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Ibrahim Ḥamroush (1370 AH / 1951 CE - 1371 AH / 1952 CE)

Ibrahim Ḥamroush

Office assumption date

1370 AH/1951 CE

Retirement date

1371 AH/1952 CE


Muḥammad Ali and his family

A note about the Grand Imam Ḥamroush

     Grand Imam Ibrahim Ḥamroush began his career as a teacher at Al-Azhar Al-Sharif. Then, he became a judge in the Islamic Sharīˁa Courts. After that, he was appointed the Head-Sheikh of Assiut Azhari Institute, then Zagazig Azhari Institute. Later, he worked as the Dean of the Faculty of Arabic language and then the Faculty of Islamic Sharīˁa. He was also a member of the Arabic Language Academy since its establishment in 1353 AH/1934 CE.

     He took office as the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar on Dhul-Qiˁdah 30, 1370 AH/September 2, 1951 CE. Grand Imam Ḥamroush resigned on Jumada Al-ˀOula 14, 1371 AH/February 9, 1952 CE. He took many patriotic stands against English colonialism. He had a diversified scientific production. He died in 1380 AH/1960 CE.

Brief Biographical Notes

     Grand Imam Ḥamroush began his career as a teacher at Al-Azhar on November 21, 1906 CE. When the Islamic Sharīˁa Judiciary School was opened, ˁĀtef Barakāt, who was in charge of this school, would scrutinize the selection of its teachers from prominent Azhari scholars. On Shaˁbān 29, 1326 AH/September 26, 1908 CE, Barakāt chose Sheikh Ḥamroush to work at the school.

     Grand Imam Ḥamroush was one of the most prominent scholars who studied Islamic Jurisprudence and its principles. Among his distinguished students were some scholars who shone in the positions of judiciary and left valuable scientific traces, viz. Sheikh Ḥasan Maˀmoun, Sheikh ˁAllām Naṣṣār, Sheikh Ḥasanein Makhlouf and Sheikh Faraj As-Sanhourī.

     Sheikh Ḥamroush continued to teach in Al-Azhar Mosque until 1335 AH/1916 CE, when he was chosen to work at the Islamic Sharīˁa courts. He performed his duty in the best way and was keen on achieving justice in all the court rulings he made. Among the most important cases in which he made historic rulings was the case with which King Fuˀād was enraged. As a result, he was returned to Al-Azhar, and appointed as the Head-Sheikh of Assiut Institute on October 12, 1928 CE.

     Sheikh Ḥamroush continued to be promoted to several positions until he became a member of the Senior Scholars on Ṣafar 28, 1353 AH/June 10, 1934 CE for his valuable thesis, “Factors of Language Growth”.

     Sheikh Ḥamroush played a prominent role in organizing Al-Azhar institutes and colleges and directing them to fulfill their missions. He spent his life dreaming of reforming Al-Azhar and working to achieve this goal; so he participated in all committees formed for that purpose. Grand Imam Al-Marāghī employed him to prepare the curricula of reform that he intended to implement in Al-Azhar during his office assumption period.

     Sheikh Ḥamroush left a great scientific heritage including research papers, articles and dozens of lectures on the radio in important occasions and celebrations. His house was considered a meeting point for the men of knowledge, thought and literature. While chairing Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee in 1351 AH/1932 CE, he issued many valuable fatwas. Grand Imam Ḥamroush was distinguished for memorizing a big deal of Arabic literature. He managed to revive the heritage of great linguists such as Sībawayh, Al-ˀAṣmaˁī and others, by studying their scientific heritage.

     Besides his interest in studying Arabic language and literature, Grand Imam Ḥamroush was also well known for his interest in the disciplines of Islamic jurisprudence and Sharīˁa. Grand Imam Ḥamroush did not limit his opinions to a narrow horizon of traditions and short sighted opinions, but he would rather care about the right of old thought. not forgetting the right of the new.

Notable Contributions and Events

  • His participation in Al-Azhar reform movement during the era of Grand Imam Al-Marāghī;
  • His success in reviving the heritage of senior linguists;
  • His adherence to increase the budget allocated for Al-Azhar;
  • Establishing a large number of Al-Azhar institutes during his era;
  • His interest in selecting qualified professors for the Faculty of Arabic Language, whether they were Azhari graduates or not.

Categories: Grand Imams
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