Al- Azhar

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Azhar, Al-


(al-Jami al-Azhar), a complex of Muslim religious and secular educational institutions. It was founded in Cairo in the tenth century under the auspices of al-Azhar Mosque, which was built in 970–72 during the reign of the Fatimid caliph al-Mu’izz (953–975). Reorganized in 1961, al-Azhar includes the High Academic Council of al-Azhar; the Academy of Islamic Studies; al-Azhar University, consisting of the faculties of Islamic jurisprudence, theology, Arabic studies, engineering, agriculture, medicine, and business administration, and the Islamic Girls’ College; and institutes and special religious establishments in Cairo and provincial centers. During the 1968–69 academic year, more than 30,000 students, 18 percent of them from other Muslim countries, studied at the university and its institutes. The university is headed by a rector, the sheikh of al-Azhar, who is the chief imam. The government of Egypt has a minister for the affairs of al-Azhar. The central library of al-Azhar has 80,000 volumes (1969) and 20,000 manuscripts. Al-Azhar publishes Majallyat al-Azhar (Journal of Azhar), known as Nur al-Islam (Light of Islam) from 1929 to 1936.


Mahmud abu-l-Uyyun. Al-Jami al-Azhar: Nubdhafi Tarihi. Cairo, 1948.
Al-Azhar fi ithnai ashara aman. Cairo, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
FILE: Al- Azhar university CAIRO, July 29 (MENA) - Al Azhar Undersecretary Saleh Abbas has announced the opening of a center for teaching Arabic to non-native speakers in Indonesia, given the deep relations with the Indonesian people.
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Article 3 of the law indicates that Al- Azhar's Grand Imam is the sole reference when it comes to religious affairs.
Summary: LATE in the 18th century Abdullah el- Sharqawi, the Grand Sheikh of Al- Azhar declared his solidarity with the peasants in the Delta province of Bilbeis, some 80 kilometres from Cairo.
This demand was one reason behind a series of demonstrations that have been recently held, in which protesters have asked that the post of the Sheikh of Al- Azhar should be assumed through election and not by appointment.
Al- Azhar institution--which groups a 10th century mosque, a university and several affiliated schools--is Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning.
FILE: Al- Azhar university CAIRO, July 4 (MENA) - Dr Kamal Boraiqa Abdel Salam, the general coordinator of the religious dialogue center, an affiliate to Al Azhar, praised the moderate doctrine of Islam adopted and promoted by Egypt's prestigious institution.
FILE: Al- Azhar university CAIRO, July 1 (MENA) - Acting under-secretary of Al-Azhar Saleh Abbas said Al-Azhar is ready for offering support to Uzbekistan in the field of training imams to deal with the contemporary issues, like extremism and terrorism.