In his speech on the occasion of the 1081st anniversary of the opening of Al-Azhar Mosque, the Secretary General of Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy (AIRA) stated, “Al-Azhar Mosque is the destination of knowledge and patriotism which adopted various schools of thought and called for coalition.”
The AIRA Secretary General, Prof. Naẓīr ˁAyyād participated in Al-Azhar's celebration of the 1081st anniversary of Al-Azhar Mosque construction, on the seventh of Ramadan.
In his speech, the Secretary General said, “The history of nations is tied to the events they live. The history of Cairo is linked to the construction of Al-Azhar Mosque, which is really considered the mosque of Cairo. Since setting it up, Al-Azhar Mosque has been considered a true university and the link between schools of knowledge in the whole world. It was closely connected with Baghdad schools during the Abbasi State It was also in contact with knowledge and culture in the schools of Cordoba and Andalusia. According to such intellectual and spiritual connection, Al-Azhar Mosque was the link between Egypt and the entire Muslim World.”
In this context, ˁAyyād added that Al-Azhar Mosque was not just a mosque for performing prayers and acts of worship, but throughout its history, it has also been a rich source of knowledge. The Azhari scholars’ fatwas have been the light, which Egyptians follow in their long struggle. Al-Azhar Mosque Ruwāqs (classes) have also been a scholarly forum based on an academic system that relies on objectivity and methodology in teaching and education. Previously, Azhari studies had been encyclopedic that included most of the knowledge fields prevailing at that time, until Al-Azhar was developed into the contemporary shape through the wise leadership of its esteemed Imams. It has witnessed a tangible boom and development around all its institutions, including Al-Azhar Mosque with its active Ruwāqs and classes of knowledge, under the wise management of His Eminence Grand Imam, Prof. Aḥmad Aṭ-Ṭayyeb, to complete the process that has been extending for more than a thousand of years.
ˁAyyād concluded his speech stressing that Al-Azhar Mosque was keen to open up to other cultures. It did not overwhelm them, but it has purified them, until they became in harmony with the spirit of Islamic thought.