Al-Azhar University is a university in Cairo, Egypt. Associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo, it is Egypt's oldest degree-granting university and is renowned as "Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university". In addition to higher education, Al-Azhar oversees a national network of schools with approximately two million students. As of 1996, over 4000 teaching institutes in Egypt were affiliated with the University.
Founded in 970 or 972 by the Fatimids as a centre of Islamic learning, its students studied the Qur'an and Islamic law in detail, along with logic, grammar, rhetoric, and how to calculate the phases of the moon. It was one of the first universities in the world, and the only one in the Arabic world to survive as a modern university including secular subjects in the curriculum. Today it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world.In 1961 additional non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.
Its mission is to propagate Islam and Islamic culture.