- This article is a stub. We're still working to expand it, if you'd like to help with it you can request expansion. This tag should be removed, once the article satisfies the content depth criteria.
What is this?
al-Azhar, also known as the al-Azhar Mosque (الجامع الأزهر), is an Egyptian mosque-madrasa-university complex in the city of Cairo. Over the course of its over a millennium-long history, the mosque has been alternately neglected and highly regarded. Today, al-Azhar remains a deeply influential institution in Egyptian society that is highly revered in the Sunni Muslim world and a symbol of Islamic Egypt.
Cite this article
al-Azhar (n.d.). Retrieved on October 16, 2021, from https://madainproject.com/al_azhar
al-Azhar. Madain Project, madainproject.com/al_azhar.
"al-Azhar.” Madain Project, n.d. https://madainproject.com/al_azhar.
How to copy: Click blue text to copy the citation.
Note: Always review your references and make any necessary corrections before using. Pay attention to names, capitalization, and dates.
Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah of the Fatimid dynasty commissioned its construction for the newly established capital city in 970 CE. Its name is usually thought to derive from az-Zahrāʾ (meaning "the shining one"), a title given to Fatimah. It was the first mosque established in Cairo, a city that has since gained the nickname "the City of a Thousand Minarets".
After its dedication in 972 CE, and with the hiring by mosque authorities of 35 scholars in 989, the mosque slowly developed into what is today the second oldest continuously run university in the world after Al Karaouine in Idrisid Fes. 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. The university, integrated within the mosque as part of a mosque school since its inception, was nationalized and officially designated an independent university in 1961, following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.
The al-Azhar Mosque (الجامع الأزهر) literally meaning 'The Resplendent Congregational Mosque'), is the central and oldest part of the modern al-Azhar complex. The architecture of al-Azhar is closely tied to the history of Cairo. Materials taken from multiple periods of Egyptian history, from the Ancient Egyptians, through Greek and Roman rule, to the Coptic Christian era, were used in the early mosque structure, which drew on other Fatimid structures in Ifriqiya.
- Abdo, Geneive (2002), No God But God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-515793-2.
- Abu Zayd, Nasr Hamid; Amirpur, Katajun; Setiawan, Mohamad Nur Kholis (2006), Reformation of Islamic thought: a critical historical analysis, Amsterdam University Press, ISBN 978-90-5356-828-6.
- Aburish, Said K. (2004), Nasser, the Last Arab, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-28683-5.
- Asprey, Robert B. (2000), The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-04881-6.
- Barraclough, Steven (1998), "Al-Azhar: Between the Government and the Islamists", Middle East Journal, 52 (2): 236–249, JSTOR 4329188.
- Beattie, Andrew (2005), Cairo: a cultural history, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517893-7.
- Yeomans, Richard (2006), The art and architecture of Islamic Cairo, Garnet & Ithaca Press, ISBN 978-1-85964-154-5.
- Winter, Michael (2004), Egyptian Society Under Ottoman Rule, 1517–1798, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-203-16923-0.
- Williams, Caroline (2018), Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide (7th ed.), American University in Cairo Press, ISBN 978-977-416-855-0.
- Tibi, Bassam (2006), "Egypt as a Model of Development for the World of Islam", in Harrison, Lawrence E.; Berger, Peter (eds.), Developing cultures: case studies, CRC Press, ISBN 978-0-415-95280-4.
- Russell, Dorothea (1962), Medieval Cairo and the Monasteries of the Wādi Natrūn, Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- Rabbat, Nasser (1996), "Al-Azhar Mosque: An Architectural Chronicle of Cairo's History", in Necipogulu, Gulru (ed.), Muqarnas- An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World, 13, Brill, pp. 45–67, ISBN 978-90-04-10633-8.
- Izre'el, Shlomo; Raz, Shlomo (1996), Studies in modern Semitic languages, Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-10646-8.
- Hitti, Philip Khuri (1973), Capital cities of Arab Islam, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 978-0-8166-0663-4.
- Ghazzal, Zuhair (2005), "The 'Ulema': Status and Function", in Choueiri, Youssef (ed.), A companion to the history of the Middle East, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 978-1-4051-0681-8.
- Dodge, Bayard (1961), Al-Azhar: A Millennium of Muslim learning, Middle East Institute.
- Creswell, K. A. C. (1959), The Muslim Architecture of Egypt II, Ayyubids and Early Bahrite Mamluks, A.D. 1171–1326, Clarendon Press.
- Creswell, K. A. C. (1952), The Muslim Architecture of Egypt I, Ikhshids and Fatimids, A.D. 939–1171, Clarendon Press.
- Bloom, Jonathan (1988), "The Introduction of the Muqarnas into Egypt", in Grabar, Oleg (ed.), Muqarnas: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, 5, Brill, pp. 21–28, ISBN 978-90-04-08647-0.