Cairo: Egypt`s leading religious scholars on Tuesday elected an apolitical Islamic law professor as the country`s grand mufti, a position whose holder carries wide influence over legislation and social affairs.
The 24-member Senior Scholars Authority elected Dr Shawky Ibrahim Allam, professor of Islamic law in Tanta University, as the new Grand Mufti and the matter has been sent to the president to issue his decision, a statement from al-Azhar said.
President Mohammed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, is expected to formalise his appointment soon.
Allam is to replace the outgoing mufti, Ali Goma, who will retire at the age of 61 next March. Goma had been in the position since 2003.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian presidency turned down a request by the Al-Azhar Scholars to extend Goma`s tenure, the website said.