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Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz

Islamic scholar and Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia

Died when: 84 years 173 days (1013 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius

 

Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baz (Arabic: عبد العزيز بن عبد الله بن باز‎) (21 November 1910 – 13 May 1999), also known as Bin Baz, was a Saudi Arabian Islamic scholar. He was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in 1999. According to French political scientist Gilles Kepel, Baz was a "figurehead" whose "immense religious erudition and his reputation for intransigence" gave him prestige among the population of Saudi Arabia and he "could reinforce the Saud family's policies through his influence with the masses of believers", and his death left the government without a comparable figure from within the Salafi clergy to "fill his shoes". Ibn Baz issued a fatwa authorizing a wealth tax to support the Mujahideen during the anti-Soviet jihad. His endorsement of In Defence of Muslim Lands, principally written by Abdullah Azzam, was a powerful influence in the successful call for jihad against the Soviet Union. It is said to be the first official call for jihad by a nation state against another nation state in modern times. Many of Ibn Baz's views and rulings are considered controversial (both inside and outside Saudi Arabia), including those relating to cosmology, women's rights, Saudi Arabia's support for the Oslo Accords, and the acceptability of stationing non-Islamic troops in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques (Haramayn) during and after the Persian Gulf War. Osama bin Laden bitterly condemned Bin Baz and his rulings that supported Saudi Arabia's foreign policy and alliances with Western powers.
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