Imams of Makkah

The imam, or prayer leader, is a position of honor within the Muslim community. Imams are selected for their piety, knowledge of Islam, and skill in recitation of the Quran. The imams of the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram) in Makkah hold an especially important position.

Position

The imams of Makkah hold an esteemed position with great responsibility. Their Quran recitation must be accurate and inviting.

Satellite and online television now broadcasts the prayers of Makkah live around the world, and their voices become synonymous with the awe-inspiring feeling of the holy city and the diversity of the believers present. As spiritual leaders, people from around the world seek their counsel. Makkah is the holiest of Islamic cities, and to be the imam of the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram) is the pinnacle of an imam’s career.

Other Responsibilities

In addition to leading the prayers in the Grand Mosque, the imams of Makkah have other responsibilities. Some of them serve as professors or judges (or both), are members of the Saudi Parliament (Majlis Ash-Shura) or Council of Ministers, and participate in international interfaith conferences. They may also be involved in hosting esteemed visitors from other Muslim countries, serving the poor, facilitating educational programs, and recording recitations of the Quran for worldwide distribution.

Several of the imams also regularly give the sermon (khutbah) at Friday prayers. During Ramadan, the imams rotate duties for the daily prayers and special evening (taraweeh) prayers.

Selection

The imams of Makkah are selected and appointed by royal decree by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques ("King") of Saudi Arabia.

There are usually several imams on record, as they share duties during various times of day and year, and fill in if another is absent. The imams of Makkah are generally very well-educated, multilingual, mild-mannered, and have previously served as imams of other leading mosques in Saudi Arabia.

Current Imams

During Ramadan 2015 (1436 H), six imams took turns leading the prayers at the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. They were:

There are others who have served as imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, who will be highlighted in future. May Allah accept their hard work and sacrifice, and reward them for their service to Allah and the community.