MAKKAH — Renowned Saudi Islamic scholar and former member of the Council of Senior Scholars Sheikh Abdul Wahhab Abu Suleiman passed away at the age of 88.
Funeral prayer was offered for him at the Grand Mosque in Makkah after Dhuhr prayer on Monday and his body was buried at Al-Moalla Cemetery in Makkah.
Abu Suleiman was the winner of the King Faisal International Prize in the category of Islamic Studies for the topic of “Civilizational Heritage in Makkah”. He was a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy under the Muslim World League.
King Abdullah honored him as the Cultural Personality of the Janadriyah Festival. He had served as member of several prestigious Saudi and international bodies, and these included Islamic Studies Branch of the King Faisal International Prize; Prince Naif International Prize for the Prophet’s Sunnah and Islamic Studies; Committee of Experts of the Encyclopedia of Jurisprudence in the Islamic Fiqh Academy; Scientific Committee of the Islamic Development Bank; International Shariah Authority for Zakat in Kuwait; Advisory Council for the Maliki Jurisprudence Project at the Research House for Islamic Studies and Heritage Revival in Dubai; and Committee of Advisors to the Encyclopedia of Makkah and Madinah.
Born in Makkah in 1356 AH, Abu Suleiman received his elementary education in the holy city from the Makkah orphanage and then he joined the Saudi scientific institute. After completion of studies there, he joined the College of Shariah, which was then affiliated with King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah before it converted into Umm Al-Qura University, where from he graduated in 1377.
Later, he obtained a diploma in education from the American University of Beirut, and then did postgraduate studies at the University of London, from where he obtained doctorate in 1390.
Abu Suleiman had begun his professional life in 1378 as a teacher of the subjects of jurisprudence and interpretation at Al-Zahir Intermediate School and later became teacher of religious sciences at Aziziya Secondary School. Afterwards, he was appointed teaching assistant at the College of Shariah in Makkah for the subjects of Principles of Jurisprudence and Comparative Jurisprudence.
After obtaining his doctorate, he was appointed in 1390 as assistant professor at the College of Shariah in Makkah and in 1398 he was promoted to Associate Professor, and then Professor of Fundamentals of Jurisprudence in 1403.
He held several administrative jobs at the Umm Al Qura University, including dean of the College of Shariah and Islamic Studies between the years 1391-1393, chairman of the Manuscripts Evaluation Committee, as well as member of the University Certificate Equivalency Committee at the Ministry of Higher Education. During this period, he visited several European and American universities.
Abu Suleiman was one of the eminent scholars and researchers in the history of Makkah and the holy sites. He served as research professor at the Faculty of Law at Harvard University in the United States in 1996; visiting professor at Duke University in America, visiting professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia,College of Arab and Islamic Studies in Dubai, and Emirates University of Al-Ain. He also represented Saudi Arabia in several international conferences and seminars.
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