Since 1984 (1404 AH) when he was appointed as Imam and Khateeb (preacher) of Masjid al-Haram; Islam’s holiest mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Sudais has touched souls of many Muslims across the globe with his soothing and melodious voice with which he recites the Glorious Qur’an.
His May 2012 appointment as head of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques (Makkah and Madinah) a position that elevated him to the rank of a minister in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not come as surprise – not because of his popularity in the Muslim world, but because of his accomplishments.
Born in February 1962 (1382 AH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sudais received early religious instruction that by the age of 12, he had memorized the Holy Quran.
In 1983 (1403 AH), aged 21, Sudais graduated from Riyadh’s College of Sharia Law and was appointed as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence.
In 1988 (1408 AH), Sudais passed a distinction in his Master’s Degree from the College of Shariah Law at the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad Bin Sa’ud, Riyadh. He then enrolled for doctoral studies at the College of Shariah Islamic Law at Umm Al Qurra University, Makkah, graduating in 1995 (1416 AH) with a PhD in Islamic Jurisprudence.
He was appointed as an Associate Professor at the same University, thereafter became a Professor in the year 2012 (1433 AH), specializing in the Principles of Jurisprudence.
Amongst the notable teachers he learned from are, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz and Sheikh Abdul Razaq Al Afeefee (May Allah have mercy on them).
He had worked as an Imam and Khateeb (a person who delivers the Friday sermon) at several Mosques in Riyadh until 1984 when he was appointed as an Imam and Khateeb at Masjid Al Haram, Makkah.
He is the general supervisor of the society of the charitable collaborative advocacy in Makkah. He is also the chairman of the Principles of Jurisprudence and Sharia at Imam Muhammad Bin Sa’ud University. He also acquired an award of “Islamic Personality of the year” by the Dubai International Holy Quran award in the year 2005 (1426 AH).
In addition to his specialisation in Principles of jurisprudence and Sharia, he has an interest in issues of moderation, intellectual security and he also written several books on the topic and cultural partnership.