Yusuf al-Qaradawi (Arabic: يوسف القرضاوي Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwiy), (born September 9, 1926) is an Egyptian Muslim scholar and preacher best known for his popular al Jazeera program, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat ("Shariah and Life"), and IslamOnline (a website that he helped to found in 1997), where he offers opinions and religious edicts ("fatwa") based on his interpretation of the Qur'an. He has also published some fifty books, including The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam and Islam: The Future Civilization.
Although al-Qaradawi has long had one of the more prominent roles within the thought leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, he has twice turned down offers for the official directorship role of the organization. Among many Muslims, he is considered a moderate conservative, who seeks to explain and adapt the ideals of the Islamic lifestyle with those of modern society.
Al-Qaradawi was born in Egypt. Following his father's death, the two year old Qaradawi was raised by his uncle. His family urged him to either run a grocery store or to become a carpenter. Instead, he read and memorized the entire Qur'an by the time he was nine years old. Qaradawi was a follower of Hasan al-Banna during his youth and was imprisoned first under the monarchy in 1949, then three times after the publication of Tyrant and the Scholar. He attended the Al-Azhar Theological Seminary before moving to Qatar....
During his time at al-Azhar, al-Qaradawi oversaw the Muslim Brotherhood's (Wafd-government-approved) paramilitary training camp there, alongside fellow Muslim Brothers Ahmed al-'Asal and Abdallah al-'Aqil. The camp, along with others like it at other Egyptian universities, taught university students how to use weapons and explosives, and drilled them in a doctrine of religious war against the occupying British and Israelis.
He worked in the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments, was the Dean of the Islamic Department at the Faculties of Shariah and Education in Qatar, and served as chairman of the Islamic Scientific Councils of Algerian Universities and Institutions.
He was a longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has turned down offers to be the Brotherhood's leader various times. Qaradawi is the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.