Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz
Islamic scholar and Grand Mufti of Saudi ArabiaDied when: 84 years 173 days (1013 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Sheikh Abd al Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baz (Arabic: عبد العزيز بن عبد الله بن باز, romanized: ʿAbd al ʿAzīz bin ʿAbdullāh bin Bāz, 21 November 1912 – 13 May 1999) was a Saudi Arabian Islamic scholar who served as the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in 1999.
According to French political scientist Gilles Kepel, ibn Baz was a "figurehead" whose "immense religious erudition and his reputation for intransigence" gave him prestige among the population of Saudi Arabia.
He "could reinforce the Saud family's policies through his influence with the masses of believers".His death left the government without a comparable figure from amongst Salafi scholars to "fill his shoes".
He was a leading proponent of the Wahhabism school of thought.Ibn Baz issued a fatwa authorising 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-Muslim troops in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques (Haramayn) during and after the Persian Gulf War.
Osama bin Laden bitterly condemned Ibn Baz and his rulings that supported Saudi Arabia's foreign policy and alliances with Western powers.