WCC sends condolences over death of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar
Sheikh Mohammed Sayyid Tantawi, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar mosque and head of the al-Azhar University “will be remembered with great respect and appreciation for his remarkable contribution to Islamic scholarship, for his prominent role and genuine commitment to intercultural and inter-religious dialogue”, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit wrote in a condolence letter to the Ulama’ of al-Azhar al-Sharif on 11 March.
The sheikh died on March 10 of a heart attack at age 81. Since 1996 he had been the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar mosque, one of the most influential and important Sunni Muslim institutions.
In 2008, Sheikh Tantawi had met with a WCC delegation including the then general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia.
Related: WCC press release of June 26, 2008: Church unity and inter-religious dialogue discussed at WCC visit to Egypt