Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, who is on a visit to South Africa, met South African leader Nelson Mandela and gifted him some of the books he authored on Islam and the Holy Qur’an. Qaradawi, who arrived in Johannesburg on Friday, hailed the South African leader as the “hero of Africa”. He also gave lectures at the Muslim Judicial Council on duties of Muslim minorities in the world. The scholar also met with leading figures from the Muslim community in South Africa as well as some Arab diplomats.
Youssef Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.