Al-Azhar University (AHZ-har ; Arabic: جامعة الأزهر (الشريف) Jāmiʻat al-Azhar (al-Sharīf), IPA: [ˈɡæmʕet elˈʔɑzhɑɾˤ eʃʃæˈɾiːf], "the (honorable) Azhar University") is a university in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970 or 972 as a madrasa, or 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 lunar phases of the moon. By bringing together the study of a number of subjects in the same place it was one of the first universities in the world and the only one to survive as a modern university including secular subjects in the curriculum. It is today the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. It is the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt. In 1961 additional non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.
It is associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo. The university's mission includes the propagation of Islamic religion and culture. To this end, its Islamic scholars (ulamas) render edicts (fatwas) on disputes submitted to them from all over the Sunni Islamic world regarding proper conduct for Muslim individuals and societies. Al-Azhar also trains Egyptian government-appointed preachers in proselytization (da'wa).