A royal decree issued on Saturday, May 16, 1999, appointed Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Committee of Senior Ulema [religious scholars] and Chairman of the Department of Scientific Research and Ifta [guidance], with the rank of Minister, following the death on May 13, 1999 of Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz.
Sheikh Al-Asheikh was born in Makkah in 1943. His father died when he was eight years old. At an early age, he memorized the Holy Qur'an, and studied the Arabic language and Islamic thought under the supervision of a number of Ulema (Muslim scholars) such as the late Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Baz. He graduated from the University of Riyadh in 1964 with a BA in Arabic language and Islamic Law. He taught for eight years at the Riyadh Institute of Islamic Call before being appointed to the academic staff at the Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University. He also supervised postgraduate research papers there and at the High Institute for Jurisprudence, and became a member of a number of academic councils at different universities. Since about 1995 he has been Deputy Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia.