Question: Entering al-Azhar and Studying Arabic


The Question:

Asalamu Alaykum,

Firstly, brother I think you are doing a brilliant job running this website and I pray to Allah you continue doing this. I have couple of questions: 1) I have applied to Al -Azhar via Regents Park Mosque (located in Central London), unfortunately I have not received a reply nor a notification that they are considering my application. I was wondering, when does the academic year start, I was guessing September.

2) If I don’t get accepted in al-Azhar, I intend to study at an institute for a year in Cairo and then progress to Al-Azaher from there. Which institution would you recommend.

Jazakumullahu Khayran

The Answer
Wa alaykum al-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh:

Asalamu alaykum,

I would not rely on long term application processes. The enrollment process is this month so I would encourage you, if you have a background in Arabic, Islamic studies and Qu’ran, to apply [if you are fluent in Arabic]. If not, then I would strongly recommend you take one year to study the basics in your homeland, if possible, improve your knowledge and then come to study, maybe for another year, in a center. If you take the exams now, you will be placed in a difficult position and find it hard to get into the university. Furthermore, the goal is scholarship and not a mere degree. A degree’s just a piece of paper. The best way to apply is to do so in person. Please see the article on this site (How does one enter al-Azhar).

May Allah facilitate things for you
Suhaib

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20 Comments

  1. Aboo 'Imraan al-Mekseekee says:

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

    This seems a more appropriate section to reiterate my previous question:

    Akhee Suhaib,

    Is there an age limit to enter al-Azhar?

    Baaraka Allahu feek,

    Aboo Imraan al-Mekseekee

  2. Suhaib Webb says:

    No

  3. SaqibSaab says:

    Have any stories of much older brothers being admitted? Like 39+?

  4. MoCo says:

    Assalamau alaykum Imam Suhaib

    i heard from some brothers who just came back from egypt that the govt. removed the study of the four madhabs from azhar’s curriculum. is this true?

  5. abu ubaida says:

    which arabic insititute would you recommend ust suhaib?

  6. OK says:

    There is no age limit to enter Al-Azhar. There are several Western students at Al-Azhar in their mid to late 30s. We have seen non-Westerners that are older.

    I’m single? How much does it cost to live there? Does Azhar teach Arabic?

    A single person can study at Al-Azhar and live in Egypt for around $800 a month. It would be more if the student needs to take Arabic lessons at one of the private institutes.

    Al-Azhar does have a program for teaching Arabic, but it is not very good. You would be better off taking Arabic for a year in a private institute in Cairo, and then apply.

    What about the 4 madhahib? I heard they are not taught?

    This is only true for the high school. They are still studied in the college of Shari3ah and in the college of Islamic Studies. Most students who go through the Al-Azhar grade school system (Egyptians) do not go to one of those colleges, and very few people in Egypt actually follow a madhab strictly, so this is why they changed the curriculum in the high school.

  7. Abu EESA says:

    Asalamualekum
    JazakAllah Khair for helping all the brothers. may Allah reward you.
    I am currently studying online with one of the teachers from cairo and plan to move cairo next year to prepare for alazhar.

    I want to know

    I have heard that the private schools are very expensive. like LE15,000 a year. Are there any good islamic schools for children, which cost less then that (english medium schools or atleast science and maths in english)

    What are the yearly fees of these schools

    Also what is the rent for a 2 bed in Nasr city disctirt 7 or 8

    Approximately if you move to cairo what is the cost of living for a family (two children)

    JazakAllah Khaira

    Abu EESA

    • Osman Umarji says:

      Wsalaam,

      1. Not sure about schooling. Good schools are really expensive.
      2. Rent for 2-3 bedroom apt- between $450- 650 a month
      3. Cost of living – hard to estimate, completely depends on lifestyle, tuition, etc.

  8. Amir says:

    Peace upon you ,
    Thanks brother for your blog,
    Please, I would like to ask a question.
    I have a good friend that is ( chinese ) and he wants to be muslim and comes here to study arabic and islam at the azhar. can you please provide me with fees and information?
    thanks alot for your help, Allah bless you and saves Islam.

    • Osman Umarji says:

      Wsalaam,

      Studying Arabic at al Azhar is not the best option. They do offer a remedial Arabic program, but the quality and pace are not the best. It would be better if could learn Arabic prior to enrolling.

  9. Ramat ziyada says:

    Salam,i will like to thank you for your efforts towards enlighten us on how,when and why on al azhar university.I can speak Arabic averagely,i can write and read but am not fluent.I have 3 juz’i memorized.Am preparing very well for al azhar,am coming for better for worse to study.The quetion i want to ask is”is al azhar still free?Do i need to apply from my country or shuld i come to al azhar in person?Thank u.Ramat inb Ziyada.Nigeria

    • Osman Umarji says:

      Wsalaam,

      Azhar is still free. All you have to do is pay for an application to enroll (~$40), around $10 a year for paperwork, and buy your books.

  10. Bermet says:

    Salam aleikum,

    Ramadhan Karim!
    As I have read above, you have mentioned that Arabic courses aren’t effective in Al-Azhar .What would be the other alternative?(Country,University).Currently I am studying Economics at International Islamic University of Malaysia, but wanted to improve my Arabic language skills at fluent level during my holidays.And is it a possible thing to learn Arabic in 1.5 month with some background in it?

    Jazakallahu khayron.

  11. Abdul Aziz says:

    * Important Clarification *

    Imam Suhaib – you say, “Furthermore, the goal is scholarship and not a mere degree.”

    Could you further elaborate on that?

  12. Dilawar Khan says:

    Asslam-o-Alikum,

    I am currently residing in Pakistan. I am Alhamdoulliah a Hafiz-e-Quran and recently completed the “Dars-e-Nizami” from Wafaqual-Madaris-Al-Arabia Pakistan and “Iftaah-fil-fiqh” from Jamia Anwar-ul-Quran Karachi. I have also authored a book by the name of “Lives of 100 Slave Jurisprudent’s”. I will like to come to Al-Azhar and do my PhD in Ilm-Hadees. If me the you kindly help me with the admission process and explain to me the procedure to gain admission at the prestigious Institute. I looking forward to you reply.

  13. Khadija says:

    I am a Romanian girl and I want to study Quran in Al Azhar Insha Allah how much does it cost now to study in 2011 and for strangers because I think is more expensive.Shokran

  14. Mohamed Taha says:

    Al-Azhar University is now offering an educational program that grants a B.A. in Islamic and Arabic Sciences via e-learning program. This program is offered in cooperation with “The World Association for al-Azhar Graduates” (WAAG). The course material will be available online and students will be able to communicate with their instructors via virtual online classes and electronic discussions. Please, visit our website http://www.azharegypt.net
    Terms of registration in e-learning program for the Faculty of Islamic Sciences for International Students
    1. The student applying for the e-learning program must hold either of the following certificates:
    • Azhari secondary certificate or its equivalent.
    • Azhari missionary secondary certificate or its equivalent.
    • The Egyptian general secondary certificate or its equivalent. In this case, the student must pass an equivalence exam to the Azhari secondary certificate.
    2. To be a Muslim with good conduct
    3. The student will not be considered registered in the program unless the registration is completed. The University has the right to accept or refuse the applicant without giving any reasons.
    4. Hold a certificate in Arabic language.

  15. Ahmad says:

    Hi All,

    For Learning Arabic in real arabic accent, you have to study arabic among arab students or teachers & speak with them in Arabic, Learning from book can help you but not to that extend.

    Also as mentioned by brother Mohammad Taha, Azhhar have recently opened its doors for Bachelour Degree Distance Learning (islamic sutdies)in Arabic Languangte. Pls log in to the site (azharegypt.net) for more info.

    Today, I’ve seen in the site that very soon, an Open Learning Sudies will be launched for Islamic Studies in English & in Arabic & this will really be helpful non Arabic speaking borothers.

    Pls remember me in your dua.
    Wassalam

  16. Ahmad says:

    As for the fees for (bachelour in Islamic Studies) distance learning in Arabic, its a below:

    Registration fees for the first time in the faculty: 50$; Tuition fees per level: 75$; Registration fees per subject: 80$; (The minimum registration is five subjects per level & maximum 17 subjects)

    Each year has 2 levels.
    The course is 4 years divide to 8 level.

    Payments can be made in 4 installments a year.

    The First Level Subjects as below:

    Qur’an, Hadith, Tafsir, Exegesis, Verses of provisions, Hadith studies, The history of Islamic Legislation, An introduction to Islamic theology (‘Ilm al-Kalām), Faith- theology, Hanbali school of Fiqh, Hanafi school of Fiqh, Maliki school of Fiqh, Shafi’I School of Fiqh, Arabic grammar, Arabic rhetoric

  17. salaahu says:

    if anyone need help regarding studying Arabic or azhar in egypt, please let me know am a foregin student studying at azhar university,accommodation or admission i can help both genders male or female

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