'Abdul 'Aziz ibn 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah al-Baz was born in Riyadh in 1910 (Dhul Hijjah 12, 1330) into a family of Islamic scholars. His father died when he was eight years old. Sheik Bin Baz was able to recite the entire Qur'an when he was eleven years old, and lost his sight when he was sixteen.

He studied under Shaikh Muhammad ibn 'Abdul Wahhab. In addition to the memorization of the Qur'an, he memorized all of the major hadith and many other important texts. His first position was as a judge in Kharj from 1936-1950. He taught at the Religious Institute of Riyadh and then at the faculty of Shariah. He became the Deputy Rector at the Islamic University of Madinah in 1950. He was promoted to Rector in 1970. A royal decree was issued which appointed him President of the Administration of Religious Research, Ifta, Da'wah, and Guidance at the rank of a minister. Sheikh Ibn Baz was appointed Grand Mufti by King Fahd in 1994.

Ibn Baz was a supporter of many Islamic causes. He called upon Muslims to support their brethren in Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo and Kashmir and won the King Faisal prize for Service to Islam.

He is most famous for his fatwa stating that the earth is flat. The Sheik decreed:

"The earth is flat. Whoever claims it is round is an atheist deserving of punishment." Yousef M. Ibrahim, "Muslim Edicts take on New Force", The New York Times, February 12, 1995, p. A-14.

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