Where is Al-Azhar University, ?
The mosque and university are named in honor of Fatima Az-Zahraa, the daughter of Muhammad, from whom the Fatimid Dynasty claimed descent.
The mosque was built in two years beginning in 971 AD. The school of theology (madrassa) connected with it was founded in 988 as an Ismaili Shia school, but it later became a Sunni school, which it remains to this day. It claims to be the oldest Islamic university in the world, but this is disputed by the Kairaouine Mosque in Fes, Morocco.
The core academic life of Al-Azhar has remained much the same for over a millenium: its students study the Qur'an and Islamic law in detail, along with logic, grammar, rhetoric, and how to calculate the lunar phases of the moon. Most of this learning is done by listening in a circle (halqa) at the feet of a sheikh and rote memorization. A ...more