Senior imam, who washed Sheikh Zayed’s body before burial, dies

Sheikh Sadeeq Al Mansoori was the former imam at the Presidential Palace's mosque

A former senior imam, Sheikh Sadeeq Al Mansouri, 90, died on Tuesday. Courtesy Ahmed Al Mansoori Twitter
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A senior Emirati imam who was a close friend of Sheikh Zayed, and even helped wash his body before burial, died on Tuesday evening.

Sheikh Sadeeq Al Mansoori, 90, was an Islamic scholar and a senior preacher at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Affairs Authority. He died after months of sickness, local Arabic press reported.

He began his career as an imam at the Presidential Palace’s mosque, which was attached to the home of Sheikh Zayed.

During his time at the palace imam, Al Mansoori grew close to the UAE's Founding Father and the royal's sons. After Sheikh Zayed's death in November 2004, Al Mansoori was chosen as one of people to wash the ruler's body before burial.

Islamic rituals dictate that a body must be washed and wrapped in white cloth before it is buried. The washing is often carried out by family members and people who were dear to the deceased, in addition to a professional washer.

Al Mansoori earned a degree in Islamic studies and justice, and accompanied some of the most prominent senior scholars of Al Madinah in Saudi Arabia for eight years before graduating in 1968s. He was among the first graduates from the Islamic University of Madinah.

After completing his education, he returned to his home town of Abu Dhabi, where he became the palace imam.

He was also a preacher at Al Otaiba Mosque and an Arabic-language and Islamic studies teacher. After the UAE was formed, he joined Awqaf as a senior preacher but retired in 2007.

Funeral prayers were held at Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan the First Mosque after Asr prayers. He was then buried at Baniyas Cemetery.

Al Mansoori is survived by three sons and 42 grandchildren.