President Mubarak has issued two decrees appointing Abdel Hady Ahmed el-Qasbi as the Grand Sheikh of the Sufis and Abdallah el-Husseini as chancellor of Al-Azhar, taking the place of Ahmed el-Tayeb who was recently appointed as Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh.
El-Qasbi is a member of the Shura Council from the district of Tanta, the High Sufi Council, the Supervisory Council and also leads the el-Qasbiya Sufi order. He is the son of a previous head of Sufi sheikhs, Ahmed Abdel Hady el-Qasbi, making it the first time that a father and son have occupied the position.
The appointment of el-Qasbi comes in the wake of judicial disputes that began a year and a half ago, after the death of Ahmed Kamel Yasin, the previous head of Sufi sheikhs. The sheikhdom at that time witnessed a conflict between el-Qasbi and Mohamed Alaa el-Din Abu el-Azayim, the head of the el-Azamiya order.
The appointment of el-Husseini as the chancellor of Al-Azhar follows his nomination by a minister and after the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar stipulated that whoever occupied the chairmanship should have taught at the university as a professor, as specified by Decree 103 of 1961.
The chancellor directs the academic, managerial and financial affairs of the university, represents the university in its interactions with other bodies and enforces the university’s rules and regulations. In the event of a disturbance, the chancellor has the authority to partially or completely shut down the university for a period of three days, after which the decision must be reviewed by the University Council.
The chancellor of the university presents a report to the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar at the end of every academic year a report on teaching affairs and academic research and other activities occurring at the university. He has four deputies that assist him in managing the university’s academic, managerial and financial affairs. In the event that the chancellor cannot perform his official duties, the most senior of his deputies assumes his position.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.