1999 News Story

Kingdom honors the late Grand Mufti Sheikh bin Baz

At the Holy Mosque in Makkah today, following Friday prayer, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz performed funeral prayers for Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz, who died yesterday morning.  Sheikh Bin Baz was Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Committee of Senior Ulema [religious scholars] and Chairman of the Department of Scientific Research and Ifta [guidance].  Funeral prayers were also performed by Crown Prince Abullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, and by Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General, as well as a large number of princes, sheikhs and scholars.

After the prayer, King Fahd received princes, ulema (religious scholars) and ministers who offered their condolences on the Sheikh's death.  He also received a number of foreign dignitaries from Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan.
Sheikh Bin Baz was born in Riyadh in 1330 H (1912 AD).  By the age of twenty, he had lost his sight as a result of illness. From an early age he had memorized the Holy Qur'an, having been taught by outstanding scholars. He worked in the judicial field in Al-Kharj from 1357 H to 1371 H.  After one year as a teacher in the Riyadh Institute of Science, he taught in the Faculty of Shariah [Islamic Law] from 1373 H to 1381 H.  He was then appointed Vice President, and later President, of the Islamic University in Madinah. In 1395 H (1975 AD) a royal decree named him Chairman of the [Government] Department of Scientific Research and Ifta [guidance] with the rank of Minister.  In 1414 H  (1993 AD) he was appointed Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Head of the Council of Ulema (Senior Scholars).  Over the years, he held a large number of positions as president or member of various Islamic councils and committees, and chaired a number of conferences both within the Kingdom and overseas, in addition to writing a great number of books in different fields and issuing a large body of fatwa [religious decrees]. In 1402 H (1982 AD) he was awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam.
In a press statement yesterday, the Makkah-based Muslim World League expressed its condolences on the death of Sheikh Bin Baz, who was Chairman of its Constituent Council.