Professor Shaikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi was born in 1926 in the village of Saft Turb, Mahallah al-Kubra District (Gharbiyya Governorate), Egypt. He memorized the Holy Quran by the age of nine. He was educated in Al-Azhar, receiving the Alimiyya degree (1952) from the College of Usul ad-Din (Religious Fundamentals of Islam), Post-Graduate Diploma in Arabic Language Studies (1958) from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Arabic Language and Literature, and Master’s (1960) and Ph.D. (1973) degrees from the Department of Quranic Studies at the College of Usul ad-Din.
Shaikh Al-Qaradawi, who holds Qatari citizenship, is at the forefront of contemporary Muslim thinkers and scholars. His vast contributions include more than 80 books and hundreds of articles on different Islamic issues, ranging from the fundamental principles and laws of Islam to the needs and challenges of modern Muslim societies. His knowledge, intellect, moderation and unrelenting efforts to bring Islam to a larger audience have gained him the respect of millions of Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide. He is also famous for his poplular Al-Jazeera Television program Ash-Shariah wal-Hayat (Sharia and Life), with an estimated 40 million viewers worldwide, and Islam Online, a web site he established in 1997. Many of his books have been translated into other languages. Shaikh Al-Qaradawi’s contributions to the study of Islamic law are best illustrated in his book Fiqh Az-Zakat (The Law of Alms), a major reference in the Islamic world.
Professor Al-Qaradawi was the founder and Dean of the College of Shari’a and Islamic Studies and founder and current Director of Sunnah Research Center at Qatar University. He is also the President of the World Muslim Scholars Association, the European Council for Islamic Guidance and Research, the Supervisory Commissions of Islamic Banks of Qatar and Bahrain, Vice-President of the International Commission for Alms in Kuwait, and Member of the Islamic Academy of Fiqh of the World Muslim League and several other Islamic research institutions and charity organizations. He is also a trustee of Oxford University Center for Islamic Studies and has been recently named technical consultant for an epic movie in English on the Prophet Muhammad.
In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, Shaikh Al-Qaradawi received a number of other international awards and honors for his distinguished contributions, including the Prize of the Islamic University in Malaysia, Dubai International Holy Quran Award, the Sultan Hasan Bolkiah Prize in Brunei and Al-Owais Prize (UAE). In 2008, Foreign Policy magazine placed him in third position on its list of the “20 top intellectuals worldwide.” The Islamic Studies Faculty in Qatar incepted “the Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi Scholarships” in 2009. It also named its newly established research centre “The Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal”.
In 2011, he was awarded the Jordanian Medal of Independence (First Class).
Professor AI-Qardhawi has been awarded the Prize for his continuous academic efforts to relate Islamic Law (Fiqh) to modern Muslim society. His work “Fiqh Az-Zakat” is characteristically comprehensive in content, academic method, and analytical approach.
The 1994 topic in Islamic Studies is “Studies Dealing with Thematic Commentary of the Holy Qur’an”.