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Preparing for Al-Azhar

Once a student has decided to study at Al-Azhar University, the following preparations should be taken to prepare for studies at Al-Azhar.


General Prerequisites to Studying in Al-Azhar

A Western student attempting to attend Al-Azhar University should aim to place into the third year of high school through the entrance exams.  This is the best result that such a student can achieve.  It is possible for a student who has placed into the second year to complete the high school in a single year by taking two sets of exams.  It is also possible for a student go through the entire high school program or even the middle school program, or study Arabic through the Al-Azhar system for foreigners prior to taking the entrance exams.  However, a student can complete the studies required to enter the university much faster by preparing well for the entrance exams privately as follows.


A student aspiring to enter Al-Azhar university should be proficient in Arabic reading, writing, speaking, and listening with understanding.  A new student who is not very familiar with Arabic can achieve this proficiency by studying at a private Arabic institute in Cairo.  There are several excellent Arabic institutions for foreigners in Cairo, and although they are a bit pricey (20 - 30 LE an hour) they are well worth the price.  A student can study up to five hours a day with a private teacher at one of these institutes.

Once a student has achieved proficiency in the language, they should study advanced language subjects such as Nahu, Sarf (Etymology), and Balaagha (Rhetoric).  More information can be found on the Studying for the Al-Azhar Entrance Exams page.

A student who is new to Arabic can achieve the required level of Arabic in a year or so if studying full-time.  This does vary depending on the abilities of the student and the quality of the instruction.


A Westerner attempting to enter Al-Azhar should have at least two Juz of the Qur'an memorized well.  The student should also be proficient in Tajweed, the rules of reciting the Qur'an.  This can be learned at one of the Arabic institutes, with a private teacher, or even with a local imaam.

If the student is able to, he/she should memorize as a larger amount of the Qur'an.  Not only does this help for the written exams, but also every serious student of knowledge should have the goal of memorizing the Qur'an, whether or not he/she is aspiring to be an imaam/scholar or not.

Islamic Studies

The student should have a general understanding of the various Islamic sciences.


Created by: admin. Last Modification: Saturday 14 of February, 2009 19:48:01 IST by admin.