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Union Mourns Former Iraqi Sunni Waqf Head, Dr. Al-Samarrai

The International Union of Muslim Scholars received with hearts content with Allah's decree the news of the death of Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abdul Ghafour Al-Samarrai, the former head of the Iraqi Sunni Endowment and a former member of the Board of Trustees in the International Union of Muslim Scholars, following a terminal illness in a hospital in Amman on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

Birth and Upbringing

Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Ghafour Al-Samarrai was born in the city of Samarra, Iraq, in the year 1375 AH/1955 AD, and grew up in a family belonging to one of the Sufi orders of Al-Ghulam Al-Rifai. However, he chose an independent path from those orientations.

Religious and Academic Education

He completed his high school education in 1975, sought religious knowledge from scholars in Baghdad, graduated from the Teachers' Training Institute, enrolled in the College of Islamic Sciences in 1993, earned his Bachelor's degree with honors in 1998, obtained his Master's degree in Islamic History from the Institute of Arabic History and Scientific Heritage for Postgraduate Studies in 2001, and received his Doctorate degree in 2003 from the same institute.

Career and Activities

  • He spent many years in primary education as a teacher in Samarra schools.
  • He was assigned to deliver sermons in several mosques in Samarra, becoming renowned for his inspiring sermons at the Imam Al-Ghazali Mosque in Samarra since 1985, and in Baghdad mosques, especially in the Al-Ikhwa Al-Salihin Mosque. He continues to deliver Friday sermons at the Umm Al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad.
  • He had numerous radio programs, totaling over two hundred episodes, broadcasted by Baghdad Radio before 2003.
  • Participated in scientific conferences and appeared in over two hundred and fifty television episodes discussing Islamic affairs within and outside Iraq.

He was appointed as the head of the Iraqi Sunni Endowment in August 2005, a ministerial-level position, and resigned from the post at the end of 2013.

The deceased was a national symbol committed to the unity of Iraq and the issues of the Islamic world, an outstanding preacher, an inspiring orator, a talented writer, and dedicated to serving people.

He left a dignified legacy and a notable impact in the fields of preaching and thought, had a unique experience in the humanitarian and urban field, and continues to have a clear influence in the Sunni Endowment, leaving a strong administrative and religious mark.

The Islamic nation has lost one of its scholars and sincere, noble preachers. We pray to Almighty Allah to forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him, reward him with the best, honor his residence, admit him into Paradise Al-Firdaws, and gather him with the prophets, the truthful, and what an excellent company they are. May Allah grant patience and consolation to his family, loved ones, colleagues, and followers. Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.

Sunday: 15 Sha'ban 1445 AH Corresponding to: February 25, 2024 AD

Dr. Ali Muhammad Al-Sallabi , Secretary-General
Dr. Ali Al-Qaradaghi,President



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