Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the contemporary Muslim world's foremost scholars, passed away today leaving behind a rich legacy of writings that have become a reference for Muslims worldwide. He was 96.
His death was announced by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).
"The Islamic nation has lost one of its most sincere and virtuous scholars,” IUMS, the organisation he founded, said on Twitter.
Qaradawi was born in Egypt, but spent the more important parts of his life in Qatar, where he lived in exile until his death.
He was often described as the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the pan-Islamic socio-political movement that inspired the short-lived Egyptian revolution in 2011.
Despite drawing Western condemnation for his strong views on the Palestinian conflict as well as his controversial stand on suicide bombing, many of Qaradawi's works did not sit well with the more extremist Muslim groups.
In the latter part of his life, in the wake of the tension between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Qaradawi, a Sunni Muslim, softened his stance on Shia Islam, and called for greater understanding between the followers of the two schools of thought.
His work, "The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam", has been translated into almost all languages, and is regarded as a major reference point for Muslims worldwide.
In 2009, the Malaysian government presented him with the "Tokoh Maal Hijrah" award, which recognises personalities for their services in conjunction with the Islamic new year.