Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al QaradawiHead of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
Birth: 9 September 1926 (Age: 91)
Source of Influence: Scholarly
Influence: Leading scholar for global Muslim Brotherhood movement, host of popular show with over 40 million viewers worldwide.
School of Thought: Muslim Brotherhood, Salafi, Sunni
Status: Featured in current year
Return to Egypt: In February 2011, Qaradawi returned to Egypt after a 30 year exile and addressed a crowd of over a million people at Tahrir Square during Friday prayers. He addressed all segments of Egyptian society (including the Copts and the military) and called for unity and a return to civilian rule.
Leading Figure of the Muslim Brotherhood: Qaradawi is the intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has twice turned down offers to be their leader—in 1976 and 2004—preferring to be free of institutional restrictions. As early as 1997 he stated categorically that he was not a member of the Brotherhood. Earlier in his life Qaradawi was jailed three times for his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and subsequently stripped of his Egyptian citizenship in the 1970s—driving him to seek exile in Qatar.
Fatwas: Qaradawi vocally supported the ‘Arab Spring’ movements issuing fatwas for the killing of Colonel Gaddafi, and fatwas against the Asad regime in Syria. He also issued a fatwa condemning the overthrow of Morsi, saying that it was an obligation to continue to support Morsi. He advised Al-Sisi to remain neutral and protect the legitimate rule of government. Finally, he criticised the Sheikh Al-Azhar for supporting a rebellion against the ruler of a country.