Egypt's Al-Azhar celebrates 1083rd Hijri anniversary as ‘centre of Quranic, Sunnah wisdom’

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 Mar 2023

Al-Azhar, the world's most prestigious seat of Sunni learning, celebrated its 1083rd Hijri anniversary on Wednesday, with Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb hailing the institution as the "centre of Quranic and Sunnah wisdom”

Al-Azhar holds a celebration to celebrate the 1083th Hijri anniversary of the mosque with the attendance of Al Azhar Grand Imam s Undersecretary Mohamed El-Duwini and a number of Al-Azhar scholars and officials, 29 March 2023. Al-Azhar Facebook page


The Grand Imam’s statements came on the seventh of Ramadan of the Hijri year 1444.

The same day in the year 361 of the Islamic calendar saw the first-ever Friday prayers held in the mosque, confirmed by the institution.

“For 1,083 years, Al-Azhar has been a beacon designated by divine providence to be a centre for the wisdom of the Quran, the Sunnah and the sciences of reason and tradition," said El-Tayyeb in a Facebook post.

He added that it has been unique in its enlightened and moderate approach.

"Al-Azhar is not just a well-established institution or the oldest international university in the history of mankind; it is also, at its core, a message, approach and discourse of enlightened thought that aims for the good of all humanity," the Grand Imam added.

“We ask God to help us succeed in faithfully delivering his teachings,” El-Tayyeb said.

The ceremony was attended by Al-Azhar Undersecretary Mohamed El-Duwini and several scholars and officials.

In his speech, El-Duwini hailed the institution as a “safety valve" for Muslim nations that have protected the Islamic identity and the Quran’s Arabic language over centuries.

“Al-Azhar, under the Grand Imam’s leadership, currently wages a ‘vicious war to counter the lack of societal awareness’ and focuses all its abilities on educating people and enabling them to discern between what is right and what is not,” El-Duwini stressed.

“Al-Azhar Mosque has around 11,000 establishments that embrace more than two million students,” Abbas Shoman, former undersecretary of Al-Azhar, said during the celebration.

Meanwhile, Al-Azhar University has more than half a million students, including over 40,000 foreigners who come from more than 100 countries, Shoman added.

Al-Azhar, named after the Prophet Mohamed’s daughter Fatimah Al-Zahra, functions today as both a mosque and university. It was built on the orders of Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu’izz Ii-Din Allah and inaugurated in 972.

Over the decades, thousands of prominent scholars graduated from the highly revered centre of Islamic learning and culture in the Sunni Muslim world.

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