Abd Al-Aziz bin Baz was born in 1912 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His father died when he was three and by the age of 13, he had to work to help support his family. Despite this, he was relentlessly pursuing studies of the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Tafsir. By the age of 20, he lost his sight completely due to a mysterious eye infection. This did not deter him from continuing his education under the tutelage of many prominent teachers of Islam and Arabic language in his country until he became one of the most learned Islamic scholars in the world. He served first in the judiciary field and taught at the College of Shariah (Islamic Law) in Riyadh. Subsequently, he became Vice-President, President and then Chancellor of the Islamic University in Medinah. In 1975, he was named Chairman of the Department of Islamic Research and Guidance. In 1993 he was appointed Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, as well as Head of the Commission of Senior Islamic Scholars in that country. He was also Chairman of the Constituent Council of the World Muslim League.
Shaikh bin Baz dedicated his life to the spiritual guidance of his students and the Muslim community at large, and was particularly concerned with the state of the Islamic world.
His intense knowledge of Islamic doctrine and shar’ia and significant contributions to Islamic research and education gained him the respect of Muslims worlwide. He authored numerous books and articles dealing with different aspects of the Islamic religion. He was also a prolific speaker both in public and in his mosque, and devoted much of his time providing counseling for people.
The Prize was conferred on him as a distinguished Islamic scholar, an exemplar of diligence and good deeds and a person who follows Islam in his thought, conduct and life-style.
Sheikh Bin Baz’s activities were diverse and included preaching, research and Islamic education. He was prominent in all those fields and was highly regarded for his diligent and continuous efforts to promote Islam and disseminate the principles of the true creed, and for his dedicated care to the youth and his strife to find suitable solutions to Islamic issues and concerns of Muslims throughout the world.
Shaikh bin Baz died in 1999 at the age of 88. The Saudi King and members of the Royal family joined hundreds of thousands of mourners at his funeral in Makkah.