What is Al-Azhar?
Al-Azhar University is an educational institute in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970~972 as madrassah, it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Sunni Islamic learning in the world. It is one of the oldest universities in the world and the oldest degree granting university in Egypt after Cairo University. In 1961 non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum. Al-Azhar is one of the main sources of fatwas in the world.
Al-Azhar University provides a balanced and diverse environment for students from all backgrounds. Although the university officially has a particular ideology, many students and teachers follow different and even opposing ideologies. This is one of the few institutions in the Muslim world that has this diversity.
It is associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo. The university’s mission includes the propagation of Islamic religion and culture. To this end, its Islamic scholars (ulama) render edicts (fatwas) on disputes submitted to them from all over the Sunni Islamic world regarding proper conduct for Muslim individuals and societies. Al-Azhar also trains Egyptian government appointed preachers in da’wah.
Everything you need to know about Al-Azhar
Some amazing Brothers and Sisters have created a website to help you with everything from applications procedures to Al-Azhar, to what to study to past exam papers. Please do dua for these Brothers/Sisters and click http://studyinegypt.org
Here are a few other links that you guys might find useful
Al-Azhar in the UK?
Yes Al-Azhar has opened an officially accredited branch in the United Kingdom, awarding degrees and diplomas in Islamic sciences. For more information please click http://www.al-azhar.org.uk/
Note for Women
Al-Azhar does not require female students to have a mahram (male guardian) to enrol/study at the university – hence single females are able to pursue their studies there without any problems or troubles. There is a great tradition of Female Muslim Scholars thought the ages as can be seen by Sheikh Akram Nadawi’s new volumes on Female Muslim Scholars, and many have come from Al-Azhar’s classrooms.