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Registering for the Al-Azhar Entrance Exams

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to apply to Al-Azhar University.  Note that these instructions apply to the 2008-2009 school year, and may change in the future.  There may be slight differences in these steps for a non-Westerner.

Registration usually opens in August of each year and continues until after Ramadan for the first round of exams.  If the student misses the deadline for the first round of exams, he/she can usually enter the second round instead.

All of these steps can be done in Ramadan.  Note that working hours change in Ramadan, and a student should plan on performing these steps before Zuhur prayer on a given day.

These steps can be performed on two separate days if the student begins early in the day. It is Highly recomeneded to start as early as possible, as the workers are less busy and less stressed in the mornings, and more helpful.   Depending on which hospital the student performs the blood work and the workload of the analysis office the student may have to wait from one day to one week for the results.  Therefore, a student should plan on taking a week to perform all of these steps but may be able to complete them in two days.



The student should meet the criteria mentioned in the page on Preparing for Al-Azhar.  The student should also read the Introduction to Studying at Al-Azhar.

The student should purify his/her intentions for entering Al-Azhar and ask for help from Allah (swt).  The student needs to be patient when going through this process.

The student needs to have a visa that is valid for at least a month after the day the application is turned in.  If necessary, the student should apply for a visa renewal prior to going through this process.


Initial Steps

The following can be done in one day if the student begins early in the morning.

  1. The student needs to go to his/her embassy and request a letter for permission to study at Al-Azhar for the department of foreigners (Al-Waafideen).  The US Embassy will give the student a letter stating that they witnessed the student saying he/she wants to study in Al-Azhar, as the US governement does not give or deny permission for these issues.  Other embassies may operate differently.  This letter costs $30 or 170 LE at the embassy.  The student must go to the American Citizen Services section in the embassy, which is open from 8-11 AM from Sunday to Thursday excluding Egyptian and American holidays.  The embassy is located in Garden City near the Nile River (
  2. The student then goes to the Azhar administration building called Majma3 Al-Buhooth Al-Islaamiyyah.  Note that the offices are closed on Friday and Saturday.
  3. The department for foreigners is on the fourth floor of this building, on the left side of the hallway that a student enters from the staircase or elevator.  The student needs to go to the office on the left side that is labeled Al-Iltihaaq Bi Al-Thaanawiyyah (some letters and dots may be missing), present to them a passport and the letter from the embassy, and ask for "Tahdeed Al-Mustawaa".  The student will be given the application form and be sent to another office down the hall to get the embassy letter translated.
  4. The student goes to the office down the hall where the translation is done (the workers in the first office will tell the student the translator's name so the student can ask for that person).  The translator will ask the student for some information and fill out the personal details section of the application form, as well as translate the embassy letter.  The student should ask him to translate the passport as well if his/her visa is valid for at least 6 weeks.  If not, the student can get the passport translated later when turning in the application.  The translator will hand all of the documents back to the student.
  5. The student continues to the end of the hall to pay for the application form.  In Egypt official payment is done through postal-style stamps, and the student will pay 4 LE and receive 4 stamps of 1 LE each or more stamps if the denominations are lower.  These stamps have to be put in 4 places on the application form where it says "Ad-Damghah".  If this office is closed, then there is a copy place across the street on At-Tayreen St. called Maktabah Al-Husayn where the student can get stamps.


Blood Work Steps

The following can be done on the same day as the above steps.  Note that most of the following steps are specific to the Al-Husayn hospital.  Students who went through this process more recently found that the Al-Zahraa' hospital in the 3Abbaasiyya area ( performs the blood work much faster, giving the results often on the same day, or the next day. Also, all the tests, (stomach,eyes,skin) can be performed on the same day here as the blood test for both males and females. Both of these hospitals should be open for this type of work every day except Fridays.
  1. The student goes to the Al-Husayn hospital to get his/her blood tests done.  The student will need 2 passport size pictures and the application form for this step.  The hospital is next to the original Al-Azhar campus in the Khan Al-Khalili / Maydaan Al-Husayn area (  If the student is performing these steps in Ramadan, then he/she should arrive at the hospital no later than 11:30 AM.  The hospital officially opens around 8 AM but it is better for a student to come after 9 AM.
  2. When a student enters from the main entrance of the hospital, he/she should continue straight through the hallways until he/she reaches the open area before the exit.  The blood work hallway is to the left.  The student goes to the end of the hallway, where the actual blood samples are taken.  The student shows the man sitting at the desk in front of this room the Al-Azhar application form and lets him know that he/she wants "Tahleel Al-Damm".  He will direct the student to the secretary.  The secretary's office is right before this desk to the right.  If she is not in this office, he will direct the student to another room behind the blood room.  This room can be found by going through the blood room, exiting the door in the back (out of the building), and going into to the room immediately to the right.
  3. The student gives the secretary the application form and the 2 pictures.  She will return the application to the student after attaching the pictures and give a receipt as well.  This receipt needs to be taken to the cashier to pay for the blood analysis.
  4. The cashier is at the front of the building.  From the main entrance the student takes the second door to the right in the reception area.  The student then walks to the left to the end of the hall, and will find the cashier (Al-Khazeenah Al-Iqtisaadiyyah).  The student gives the cashier the receipt and 45 LE.  They will give the student two receipts, one blue and one pink.
  5. The student takes the receipts and gives the blue one to the secretary along with the application (they will keep this for now).  Then the student takes the pink receipt and shows it to the man at the desk in front of the blood room.  He will give the student an empty test tube with the student's number written on it.  The student takes the test tube to the nurses in the blood room and has blood drawn.  If the student is female she can request that they take the blood out behind a curtain.
  6. The student should then ask the man at the desk when to return for the results.  He usually says from 5 days to a week.


Remainder of Hospital Steps

Although the steps below for male students apply to Al-Husayn hospital, if the student did his blood work in Al-Zahraa' he can follow the same procedure as the female students below to get his other tests in done in Al-Zahraa' as well.  Note that the room numbers will be different for men.

  1. The student goes back to the hospital to the secretary in the blood analysis department and gives her the pink receipt to get the application and results back.  The application will have some more information filled out, along with some signatures and ink stamps.  The student also receives a results paper with a passport picture attached.  The hospital tests for HIV and HCV (Hepatitis C).  If a student is positive for either of these he/she will unlikely be able to study at Al-Azhar (wAllahu a3lam).
  2. For male students, the student can get his stomach and eye tests done in Al-Husayn as well.  The student takes his application and goes back to the cashier, shows it to them and lets them know that he wants an eye and stomach test.  The cost is 5 LE for each, and the student receives two receipts.  The student takes the receipts, take a few steps down the hallway that is next to the cashier (parallel to the hallway that brought him to the cashier), and takes the first right (it is very close).  He will be in an area where the hallways make a rectangle.  The eye test room is the right hallway and labeled "Ar-Ramad" and the stomach test room is in the left hallway labeled something like "Al-Bataniyyah" for men (there is one for women too).  The student gives the nurse or doctor inside the receipt and the application, and they will sign the application form.
  3. Female students must go to Al-Zahraa' hospital in 3Abbaasiyyah for these tests.  If the student enters from the east entrance, she should go through the reception and go up the stairs one floor.  There is a cashier on one side in the reception area, and the other side has the examination room numbers labeled on the wall.  The student shows the cashier the form, but it seems she doesn't have to pay anything or get receipts.  She then goes to the stomach room (room 7) for the stomach exam and signature, and the eye room (room 15) for the other signatures.  The labels are the same as in Al-Husayn.


Turning in the Application

The final steps below can be done on the same day as the final hospital steps.

  1. The student assembles the application packet.  This requires 2 folders (the thin report style folders will suffice, the student should keep the papers loose in them without punching holes or stapling).  The first folder needs the following: 
    • The completed application form.  The student should write in the section below the personal information section "Al-Bu3ooth Al-Islaamiyyah" in Arabic for the Ma3had to enter, and sign where it is required.  That is enough for this section.  On the back, the student fills out the top section stating that the information is accurate.  The embassy section does not need to be completed.
    • The blood test results page.
    • The embassy letter.
    • The translation of the embassy letter.
    • The passport translation.  If a student has not had the passport translated they need to go to the translator's office to obtain it.
    • 2 copies of the picture page of the passport and 2 copies of the visa page.
  2. The second folder needs the following:
    • A copy of the completed application.
    • A copy of the blood test results.
    • A copy of the embassy letter.
    • A copy of the translation of the letter.
    • A copy of the passport translation.
    • A copy of the picture page and visa page from the passport.
    • One passport size picture in the front.
  3. If the student does not have a Muslim name, he/she may need a certificate of proof that can be obtained from the office of the Shaikh of Al-Azhar near the Al-Azhar masjid.
  4. There is a copy place (maktabah) on the other side of Tayraan St. across from the Majma3 where the student can make copies for the standard price of about 0.1 LE / copy and even buy folders and stamps.
  5. The student takes the folders to the office in the Majma3 for Al-Iltihaaq and lets them know that he/she is applying for Al-Bu'ooth Al-Islaamiyyah.  They will give the student a letter that has to be filled out that asks for permission from the department head (they may ask the student to make a copy of it and give back the original).  The student will also need to get a 1 LE stamp to put on this letter from the same office as before or from the copy place.  It may be possible to get this letter when getting the application instead.
  6. Turn in the folders with the letter to the office for Al-Iltihaaq.  They should tell the student if anything is missing in the paperwork.  Once turned in, they will likely tell the student when to go to the Ma3had Al-Bu3ooth Al-Islaamiyyah to find out when the exams are.
  7. The student should then thank Allah (swt) for facilitating this process.

The student should start checking for the oral exam announcement every Thursday after turning in the application, or after Ramadan if the application was turned in before then.  More information on the oral exam can be found on the page on Taking the Al-Azhar Oral Entrance Exam.

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 03 of November, 2009 17:36:51 IST by omarmh.