Al-Azhar University portal
Remains of a circular Roman tower at the Babylon Fortress (late 3rd century) in Old Cairo
Al-Azhar University portal
Excavated ruins of Fustat (2004 photo)
Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, built by Ahmad Ibn Tulun in 876–879 AD
Interior of Al-Azhar mosque left
A plan of Cairo before 1200 AD, as reconstructed by Stanley Lane-Poole (1906), showing the location of Fatimid structures, Saladin's Citadel, and earlier sites (Fustat not shown)
Floor plan of Al Azhar Mosque
The Cairo Citadel, seen above in the late 19th century, was begun by Saladin in 1176
Mausoleum-Madrasa-Hospital complex of Sultan Qalawun, built in 1284–1285 in the center of Cairo, over the remains of a Fatimid palace
An entrance to the mosque and university. The Minaret of Qunsah al Ghuri is visible on the right.
Funerary complex of Sultan Qaytbay, built in 1470–1474 in the Northern Cemetery (seen in lithograph from 1848)
An Azhari institute in Tanta
Map of Cairo in 1809, from the Description de l'Égypte.
Gateway
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933). On the Way between Old and New Cairo, Citadel Mosque of Mohammed Ali, and Tombs of the Mamelukes, 1872. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum
Interior of a dome in Al-Azhar mosque.
Qasr El Nil Bridge
A chandelier adorns the woodworked ceiling of a prayer hall.
Aerial view 1904 from a balloon where the Egyptian Museum appears to the right side.
A study hall
A panoramic view of Cairo, 1950s
Everyday life in Cairo, 1950s
A protester holding an Egyptian flag during the protests that started on 25 January 2011.
The river Nile flows through Cairo, here contrasting ancient customs of daily life with the modern city of today.
Aerial view looking south, with the Zamalek and Gezira districts on Gezira Island, surrounded by the Nile
Cairo seen from Spot Satellite
Cairo weather observations by French savants
View of the 6th October Bridge and the Cairo skyline.
Cairo University is the largest university in Egypt, and is located in Giza.
Library building at the new campus of the American University of Cairo in New Cairo
The interior of Ramses Station
The Autostrade in Nasr City
Cairo International Stadium with 75,100 seats
Cairo Opera House, at the National Cultural Center, Zamalek district.
Khedivial Opera House, 1869.
Solomon Schechter studying documents from the Cairo Geniza, c. 1895.
Statue of Talaat Pasha Harb, the father of the modern Egyptian economy, in Downtown Cairo
The NBE towers as viewed from the Nile
View of Tahrir Square (in 2008)
Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum, located at Tahrir Square
Cairo Tower at night
The Hanging Church in Old Cairo
Al-Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo
Al-Azhar Mosque, view of Fatimid-era courtyard and Mamluk minarets
Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan and the al-Rifa'i Mosque, seen from the Citadel
The Citadel of Cairo, with the Mosque of Muhammad Ali
A medieval gateway in Khan al-Khalili
Smog in Cairo
Traffic in Cairo
View of the Nile and the Cairo skyline.
6th October Bridge in Cairo
Cairo International Stadium with 75,100 seats
View of Tahrir Square (in 2020)
Smog in Cairo
Traffic in Cairo

The Al-Azhar University (جامعة الأزهر (الشريف),, "the University of (the honorable) Al-Azhar") is a public university in Cairo, Egypt.

- Al-Azhar University

Today, Cairo has the oldest and largest cinema and music industry in the Arab World, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University.

- Cairo

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Al-Azhar Mosque

The courtyard of the mosque, dating to the Fatimid period. Above, the minarets date from the Mamluk period. From left to right: the double-finial minaret of Qansuh al-Ghuri, the minaret of Qaytbay, and the minaret of Aqbugha (behind the dome).
The dome above the entrance to the prayer hall, crafted around 1138 under al-Hafiz.
A Mamluk bey
The Gate of Sultan Qaytbay, built in the late 15th century. (Photo from 1867)
Bab al-Muzayinīn (Gate of the Barbers), built by Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda during Ottoman rule. The minaret on the left, atop the Madrasa al-Aqbughawiyya, was also remodeled by Katkhuda, before being remodeled again in the 20th century.
Napoleon presenting an Egyptian bey a tricolor scarf (1798–1800).
Muhammad Ali, founder of the Alawiyya Dynasty which ruled Egypt from 1805 until the Egyptian Revolution in 1952
Courtyard of Al-Azhar Mosque, c. 1900
Gamal Abdel Nasser, who led the Egyptian Revolution in 1952 with Muhammad Naguib, instituted several reforms of al-Azhar
Hypostyle prayer hall with columns used from various periods in Egyptian history
The Fatimid mihrab of the mosque. This area has been modified and restored many times, but the stucco patterns in the half-dome (conch) of the niche are believed to be original.
Keel shaped arches along the courtyard wall with stucco ornaments inscribed
Minaret above the Madrassa al-Aqbughawiyya. Originally built during Mamluk rule as part of a stand-alone mosque, the minaret was remodeled by Katkhuda during the Ottoman period
The mihrab of the Madrasa al-Taybarsiyya.
The dome of the tomb and madrasa of Gawhar al-Qanaqba'i. (At the northeastern corner of the mosque.)
Minaret of Qaytbay
Double finial minaret of Qansuh al-Ghuri
Bab al-Muzayinīn (Gate of the Barbers)
Current mihrab and minbar in Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda's extension of the prayer hall.
The mosque in 2019, after a recent restoration

Al-Azhar Mosque (الجامع الأزهر), known in Egypt simply as al-Azhar, is a mosque in Cairo, Egypt in the historic Islamic core of the city.

Al-Azhar University has long been regarded as the foremost institution in the Islamic world for the study of Sunni theology and sharia, or Islamic law.

Scholars at an Abbasid library. Maqamat of al-Hariri. Illustration by Yahyá al-Wasiti, Baghdad, 1237.

Ulama

In Islam, the ulama (علماء ʿUlamāʾ, singular عالِم ʿĀlim, "scholar", literally "the learned ones", also spelled ulema; feminine: alimah [singular] and aalimath [plural]) are the guardians, transmitters, and interpreters of religious knowledge in Islam, including Islamic doctrine and law.

In Islam, the ulama (علماء ʿUlamāʾ, singular عالِم ʿĀlim, "scholar", literally "the learned ones", also spelled ulema; feminine: alimah [singular] and aalimath [plural]) are the guardians, transmitters, and interpreters of religious knowledge in Islam, including Islamic doctrine and law.

Scholars at an Abbasid library. Maqamat of al-Hariri. Illustration by Yahyá al-Wasiti, Baghdad, 1237.
Ijazah (diploma of competency) in Arabic calligraphy, written by 'Ali Ra'if Efendi in 1206 AH (1791 AD)
Endowment Charter (Waqfiyya) of the Hürrem Sultan Mosque, Madrasa and Imaret (soup-kitchen). AD 1556-1557 (AH 964). Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Seyh-ül-Islâm, watercolour, ca. 1809
Iranian Shaykh ul-Islam Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi (1627–1699)

As Berkey (1992) has described in detail for the education in medieval Cairo, unlike medieval Western universities, in general madrasas have no distinct curriculum, and do not issue diplomas.

Until 1954, all Syrian ulama aiming at higher degrees had to join Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

The three madrasas at the Registan of Samarkand, at the center of the Timurid Renaissance

Madrasa

Arabic word for any type of educational institution, secular or religious (of any religion), whether for elementary instruction or higher learning.

Arabic word for any type of educational institution, secular or religious (of any religion), whether for elementary instruction or higher learning.

The three madrasas at the Registan of Samarkand, at the center of the Timurid Renaissance
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The Madrasa al-Mustansiriyya in Baghdad, established in 1227, one of the only Abbasid-era madrasas remaining today
Courtyard of the Nur al-Din Madrasa in Damascus, originally built in 1167 by Nur al-Din
An illustration of an "Arab university in Cairo" from 1869's Die Gartenlaube Journal
The Sabil-Kuttab of Sultan Qaytbay in Cairo, built in the 15th century. The bottom floor contained a sabil and the top floor held a kuttab
Courtyard of the Al-Azhar Mosque and University in Cairo, Egypt
Bosnian Madrasa, c. 1906
Al-Azhar Mosque and University in Cairo
The medrese of the Atik Valide Mosque, part of a külliye sponsored by Nurbanu Sultan (wife of Ottoman sultan Selim II) and designed by imperial architect Mimar Sinan in 1571
Ince Minaret Medrese (13th century) in Konya, now housing the Museum of Stone and Wood Art
Interior of the Madrasa-Mosque of Sultan Hasan (14th century) in Cairo
Courtyard of the Ben Youssef Madrasa (16th century) in Marrakesh
Courtyard of the Ulugh Beg Madrasa (15th century) in Samarkand
The Salis Medrese, part of the Süleymaniye complex (16th century) in Istanbul
Şemsi Pasha Mosque and medrese (1580) in Üsküdar, Istanbul
Courtyard of the Bou Inania Madrasa in Fes
Alauddin Khalji's Madrasa, Qutb complex, built in the early-14th century in Delhi, India.
Quvvathul Islam Senior Madrassa, Taliparamba, India
This is a madarasa of the Jamia Masjid mosque in Srirangapatna, India. This mosque dates back to the 1700s and is where Tipu Sultan used to pray.
Madrasa e Faizan e Madina in Karachi, Pakistan
Students of Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah in Singapore
A Muslim kindergarten in Yangzhou, China

Although some major early mosques like the Great Mosque of Damascus or the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in Cairo had separate rooms which were devoted to teaching, this distinction between "mosque" and "madrasa" was not very present.

This was later followed by the Fatimid establishment of al-Azhar Mosque in 969–970 in Cairo, initially as a center to promote Isma'ili teachings, which later became a Sunni institution under Ayyubid rule (today's Al-Azhar University).

Gamal Abdel Nasser

Egyptian politician who served as the second president of Egypt from 1954 until his death in 1970.

Egyptian politician who served as the second president of Egypt from 1954 until his death in 1970.

Nasser in 1931
Nasser's name circled in Al-Gihad
Portrait of Nasser at law school in 1937
Nasser (center) with Ahmed Mazhar (left) in army, 1940
Nasser (first from left) with his unit in the Faluja pocket, displaying weapons captured from the Israeli Army during the 1948 war.
The Free Officers after the coup, 1953. Counterclockwise: Zakaria Mohieddin, Abdel Latif Boghdadi, Kamel el-Din Hussein (standing), Nasser (seated), Abdel Hakim Amer, Mohamed Naguib, Youssef Seddik, and Ahmad Shawki.
Leaders of Egypt following the ouster of King Farouk, November 1952. Seated, left to right: Sulayman Hafez, Mohamed Naguib and Nasser
Nasser (right) and Mohamed Naguib (left) during celebrations marking the second anniversary of the 1952 revolution, July 1954
Nasser and Naguib saluting at the opening of the Suez Canal
Liberation organization in Alexandria invitation to Nasser speech 26 October 1954
Nasser greeted by crowds in Alexandria one day after his announcement of the British withdrawal and the assassination attempt against him, 27 October 1954.
Nasser and Imam Ahmad of North Yemen facing the camera, Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia in white robes in the background, Amin al-Husayni of the All-Palestine Government in the foreground at the Bandung Conference, April 1955
Nasser submitting his vote for the referendum of the proposed constitution, 23 June 1956
Nasser raising the Egyptian flag over the Suez Canal city of Port Said to celebrate the final British military withdrawal from the country, June 1956
Nasser giving a speech at the opening of the Suez Canal
The signing of the regional defense pact between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan, January 1957. At the forefront, from left right: Prime Minister Sulayman al-Nabulsi of Jordan, King Hussein of Jordan, King Saud of Saudi Arabia, Nasser, Prime Minister Sabri al-Asali of Syria
Nasser seated alongside Crown Prince Muhammad al-Badr of North Yemen (center) and Shukri al-Quwatli (right), February 1958. North Yemen joined the UAR to form the United Arab States, a loose confederation.
Nasser (right) and Lebanese president Fuad Chehab (to Nasser's right) at the Syrian–Lebanese border during talks to end the crisis in Lebanon. Akram al-Hawrani stands third to Nasser's left, and Abdel Hamid Sarraj stands to Chehab's right, March 1959.
Nasser waving to crowds in Damascus, Syria, October 1960
Nasser (center) receiving Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella (right) and Iraqi president Abdel Salam Aref (left) for the Arab League summit in Alexandria, September 1964. Ben Bella and Aref were close allies of Nasser.
Nasser before Yemeni crowds on his arrival to Sana'a, April 1964. In front of Nasser and giving a salute is Yemeni President Abdullah al-Sallal
Government officials attending Friday prayers at al-Azhar Mosque, 1959. From left to right; Interior Minister Zakaria Mohieddin, Nasser, Social Affairs Minister Hussein el-Shafei and National Union Secretary Anwar Sadat
Nasser being sworn in for a second term as Egypt's president, 25 March 1965
Nasser (center), King Hussein of Jordan (left) and Egyptian Army Chief of Staff Abdel Hakim Amer (right) at the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces headquarters in Cairo before signing a mutual defense pact, 30 May 1967
Egyptian demonstrators protesting Nasser's resignation, 1967
Nasser observing the Suez front with Egyptian officers during the 1968 War of Attrition. General Commander Mohamed Fawzi is directly behind Nasser, and to their left is Chief of Staff Abdel Moneim Riad.
Nasser brokering a ceasefire between Yasser Arafat of the PLO (left) and King Hussein of Jordan (right) at the emergency Arab League summit in Cairo on 27 September 1970, one day before Nasser's death
Nasser's funeral procession attended by five million mourners in Cairo, 1 October 1970
Gamal Abdel Nasser Mosque in Cairo, the site of his burial
Nasser presenting prominent and blind writer Taha Hussein (standing in front of Nasser) with a national honors prize for literature, 1959
Nasser speaking to a homeless Egyptian man and offering him a job, after the man was found sleeping below the stage where Nasser was seated, 1959
Nasser waving to crowds in Mansoura, 1960
Anwar Sadat (left) and Nasser in the National Assembly, 1964. Sadat succeeded Nasser as president in 1970 and significantly departed from Nasser's policies throughout his rule.
Jaafar Nimeiry of Sudan (left), Nasser, and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (right) at the Tripoli Airport, 1969. Nimeiry and Gaddafi were influenced by Nasser's pan-Arabist ideas and the latter sought to succeed him as "leader of the Arabs".
Nasser and his family in Manshiyat al-Bakri, 1963. From left to right, his daughter Mona, his wife Tahia Kazem, daughter Hoda, son Abdel Hakim, son Khaled, son Abdel Hamid, and Nasser.

His funeral in Cairo drew five to six million mourners, and prompted an outpouring of grief across the Arab world.

To achieve this, he initiated several reforms to modernize al-Azhar, which serves as the de facto leading authority in Sunni Islam, and to ensure its prominence over the Muslim Brotherhood and the more conservative Wahhabism promoted by Saudi Arabia.

Evolution of the Fatimid state

Fatimid Caliphate

Ismaili Shia caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelvth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.

Ismaili Shia caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelvth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.

Evolution of the Fatimid state
Map of Abu Abdallah's campaigns and battles during the overthrow of the Aghlabids
Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, built by the Fatimids between 970 and 972
The Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, commissioned by Al-'Aziz in 990 and completed by al-Hakim in 1013 (later renovated in the 1980s by the Dawoodi Bohra)
Al-Juyushi Mosque, Cairo, overlooking the city from the Muqattam Hills
Bab al-Futuh, one of the gates of Cairo dating from Badr al-Jamali's reconstruction of the city walls (1987)
Al-Salih Tala'i Mosque in Cairo, built by Tala'i ibn Ruzzik in 1160 and originally intended to house the head of Husayn (the head ended up being interred instead at the present-day al-Hussein Mosque)
The original Fatimid-period mihrab inside the al-Azhar Mosque
Side chapel in the Hanging Church in Old Cairo, including frescoes (partly visible behind the screen here) dating from the late 12th or 13th century, before the church's later renovation
Cover page of the Leningrad Codex, a manuscript of the Hebrew Bible copied in Cairo/Fustat in the early 11th century
Entrance portal of the Great Mosque of Mahdia (10th century)
Fragment of a bowl depicting a mounted warrior, 11th century. Fatimid dynasty, found in Fustat, Egypt. Brooklyn Museum

In 969, during the reign of al-Mu'izz, they conquered Egypt, and in 973 the caliphate was moved to the new capital of Cairo.

Al-Azhar Mosque, which was also a center of learning and teaching known today as al-Azhar University, was named in honour of Fatimah (the daughter of Muhammad from whom the Fatimids claimed descent), who was called Az-Zahra (the brilliant).

Islamic Cairo

The excavated remains of Fustat in 2009
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, built in the 9th century. It is a rare and outstanding example of preserved Abbasid architecture outside Iraq.
Bab al-Futuh, one of the northern gates of Cairo built by the Fatimid vizier Badr al-Jamali in the late 11th century
Al-Azhar Mosque, founded by the Fatimids in 972. (The minarets were added later during the Mamluk period.)
The Citadel of Salah ad-Din (Saladin), founded in 1176 and further developed by other rulers after him. The 19th-century Mosque of Muhammad Ali is visible overlooking its walls.
Traditional residences in Cairo fronted by mashrabiyya windows (1867 photo)
Detailed map of Cairo from the Description de l'Égypte, c. 1802
Sabil of Isma'il Pasha, commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha in 1828
Map of historic Cairo, overlaid with present road network, with most of the main surviving monuments indicated.
Ghuriya buildings and the market street in between them, painted by David Roberts in 1839.
Khan el-Khalili, the major souq or bazaar center of medieval Cairo.

Islamic Cairo (قاهرة المعز, meaning: Al-Mu'izz's Cairo), also called Historic Cairo or Medieval Cairo, refers generically to the historic areas of Cairo, Egypt, that existed before the city's modern expansion during the 19th and 20th centuries; particularly the central parts around the old walled city and around the Citadel of Cairo.

Today, al-Azhar University is the foremost center of Islamic learning in the world and one of Egypt's largest universities with campuses across the country.

Dome of the Rock. The structure, the oldest extant example of early Islamic architecture, was completed in 691

History of the Quran

Timeline and origin of the written compilations or manuscripts of the holy book of Islam, based on historical findings.

Timeline and origin of the written compilations or manuscripts of the holy book of Islam, based on historical findings.

Dome of the Rock. The structure, the oldest extant example of early Islamic architecture, was completed in 691
The right page of the Stanford '07 binary manuscript. The upper layer is the verses 265-271 of the surah Bakara. The double layer reveals the additions made on the first text of the Quran and the differences with today's Koran.
Mary shakes the date tree for fresh dates, a myth described in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew also repeated in the Quran.
Manuscripts found in Sana'a. The "subtexts" revealed using UV light are very different from today's Qur'an. Gerd R. Puin believed this to mean an evolving text. A similar phrase is used by Lawrence Conrad for biography of Muhammad. Because, according to his studies, Islamic scientific view on the date of birth of the Prophet until the second century A.H. had exhibited a diversity of 85 years.

The influential standard King Fu'ad Quran of Cairo ("1342 Cairo text" using the Islamic calendar) is the first printed Quran approved by an Islamic authority, in this case Al-Azhar Mosque.

A committee of leading professors from Al-Azhar University had started work on the project in 1907 but it was not until 10 July 1924 that the "Cairo Qur’an" was first published by Amiri Press under the patronage of Fuad I of Egypt, as such, it is sometimes known as the "royal (amīriyya) edition."