Al-Azhar’s Association of Senior Scholars, headed by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, will meet Monday in order to nominate a replacement for departing Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
The association, comprising a group of high-ranking Islamic scholars representing all four schools of Sunni jurisprudence, will pick three out of a list of 25 candidates before voting between them.
Grand Imam el-Tayeb will then recommend the candidate receiving the most votes to President Mohamed Morsi for formal appointment.
Al-Azhar scholar Ibrahim Reda said that several prominent names were nominated, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s internal mufti Abdel Rahman Al-Barr. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Barr denied that he had nominated himself or that he knew he was nominated prior to the vote.
Other nominees included Abdel Fatah Idris, chairman of the comparative jurisprudence department at Al-Azhar University, Saad Al-Din Al-Helaly, a professor in the same department, Ramadan Mohamed Eid, dean of the school of law and Sharia, and Abbas Abdullah Shuman, chairman of the Islamic Sharia department.
Grand Mufti Gomaa reached the retirement age of 60 in 2012 but had his tenure renewed for one year by the then-ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF).
The Association of Senior Scholars reportedly recommended Morsi do the same but the president refused, asking el-Tayeb to nominate a new Grand Mufti instead.