His Childhood and Youth Shaikh ibn Baz was born in the city of Riyadh during the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, 1330AH to a family with a reputation for their interest in Islam. His father died when he was only three, placing a big responsibility on his mother to raise him. When asked about his childhood, the sheikh said: “my father died when I was three years old, and I only had my mother who took care of me and educated me encouraging me to learn more about Sharia; she also died when I was twenty six.” By the time he was thirteen he had began working, selling clothing with his brother in a market. Despite the fact that he helped a great deal in supporting his family, he still found time to study the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh, and Tafsir. In 1346AH, when he was sixteen, he started losing his eyesight after being afflicted with a serious infection in his eyes. By the time he was twenty, he had totally lost his sight and become blind.
Education At that time, Saudia Arabia lacked the complex university system of today. However, Shaikh ibn Baz managed to learn a great deal through his constant reading of Islamic literature as well as his accompaniment to different scholars whom he learned from. These include:
1. Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem ibn 'Abd al-Lateef ash-Shaikh. Ibn Baaz studied under this scholar for ten years. 2. Shaikh Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Lateef ibn Hassan ash-Shaikh. 3. Shaikh Sa’ad ibn Hamad ibn Ateeq, the judge of Riyadh at the time. 4. Shaikh Hammad ibn Farris, under whom ibn Baaz studied the field of Arabic grammar. 5. Shaikh Sa’ad Wakhas al-Bukhari, one of Mecca’s most renowned scholars in Tajweed.
Job Titles The Shaikh had assumed a number of posts and responsibilities such as :- The judge of Kharj upon the recommendation of Shaikh Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Lateef ash-Shaikh from 1357AH to 1371AH.
- In 1371AH after spending fourteen years in Kharj as a judge, he was transferred to Riyadh where he became a teacher in the Riyadh Institute of Science and taught in the Faculty of Sharia from 1373AH to 1381AH. - In 1381AH he was then appointed Vice President, and later President, of the Islamic University of Madinah. - In 1395AH a royal decree named him Chairman of the Department of Scientific Research and Ifta with the rank of Minister. - In 1414AH he was appointed Grand Mufti of the Saudi Arabia and Head of the Council of Ulema.
Over the years, he held a large number of positions as president or member of various Islamic councils and committees, and chaired a number of conferences both within Saudi Arabia and overseas, in addition to writing a great number of books in different fields and issuing a large body of fatwa. In 1402AH he was awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam.
Death On Thursday morning May 13, 1999 and at the age of ninety, Shaikh ibn Baaz died. The next day, following Friday prayer, Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Sultan, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and hundreds of thousands of people performed funeral prayers at the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.