H.E. Professor Abdul Wahab Bin Ibrahim Abou Sulaiman was born in Makkah Al-Mukarramah on 13/3/1937. He received his basic education in Makkah, where he completed, primary school education in Orphan,s home in 1949, then joined the Saudi Religious Institute graduating in 1952. He continued his studies at the College of Sharia from which he graduated in 1957, then pursued further learning at the hands of prominent religious scholars in the Holy Mosque in Makkah. He studied for seven years under the tutelage of the revered Shaikh Hassan Mohammed Al-Mashshat who taught him the fundamentals of Maliki jurisprudence, Hadith (Prophet Mohammed’s sayings and deeds) and Arabic language rhetoric, logic and grammer. In 1962, he obtained the Teachers’ Diploma of Education from the American University in Beirut. Thereafter, he went on a scholarship to the United Kingdom to study at London University from which he obtained his Ph.D. in 1970. Meanwhile, he also obtained a Diploma in British Law and Legal Studies from London City College.
Professor Abou Sulaiman’s career in education spans several decades. In 1958, he taught Islamic jurisprudence and interpretation in Zahir intermediate school in Makkah, then moved – in 1969 – to teach religious studies and Islamic jurisprudence in Aziziyya Secondary School. In 1964, he was appointed instructor of fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence and comparative jurisprudence at the Sharia College in King Abel Aziz University (Makkah Branch). After obtaining his Ph.D. from London University, he was appointed Assistant Professor at the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies in 1970, and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of the Department of Post-graduate Sharia Studies in 1978. He was appointed Dean of the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies between 1971-1972 and was awarded the University’s Medal of Appreciation (First Class) in recognition of his services during his deanship. In 1983, he became full professor of Islamic Jurisprudence and Fundamentals of Religion at the College of Sharia, Umm Al Qura University in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, where he served until his retirement in 1993. The following year, he was appointed Member of the Saudi Commission of Senior Religious Scholars.
H.E. Professor Abou Sulaiman is a prolific writer and researcher. He authored or edited dozens of books, research papers and general articles dealing with diverse issues in his field of specialization, such as Islamic fundamental studies, jurisprudence, research methodologies, modern religious sects and history of Makkah Al-Mukarramah. His studies into the cultural heritage of the Holy City of Makkah stand out as a distinguished effort to monitor and document cultural exchanges between people in the Holy Haram and its environs. This is exemplified by his book Bab As-Salam which portrays these interactions during important historical periods. His studies are distinguished by their objectivity, depth and richness of resources.
In addition to his copious academic publications, Professor Abou Sulaiman has also contributed significantly to the advancement of educational curricula of Islamic Sharia in Saudi Universities. He has also presided over, or participated in, several scholastic and advisory committees at both the academic and national levels. He was invited as a visiting professor and lecturer at a number of international universities, including Harvard and Dukes universities in the USA, the International Islamic University in Malaysia, Shaikh Zayid
University, Al Ain University, College of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Jumaah Al-Majid Center for Research and Islamic Studies in the United Arab Emirates, Mofid University in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Al-futwa (Islamic legal opinion) Home in the Sultanate of Oman. He has also participated in many national, regional and international conferences, symposia and seminars.
Professor Abou Sulaiman was awarded the prize for his illustrious academic studies which monitor and document cultural exchanges between people in the Holy Haram and its surroundings, particularly his text: Bab Al-Salam which portrays the issue during important historical periods. His studies are distinguished by objectivity, profundity and richness of resources.