The United Kingdom Branch of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG UK)The relationship between Jamia Al-Karam and the world’s oldest, uninterrupted centre of knowledge and learning, the Al-Azhar of Egypt, stems from the 1950s, when Shaykh Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari studied at Al-Azhar University with the great intellectuals and luminaries of that generation, in particular the notable Imam Muhammad Abu Zahrah. The tradition represented by Al-Azhar over the course of centuries plays a significant role with regards to the intellectual heritage of Islam and the current affairs concerning Islam and Muslims in the world.
Jamia Al-Karam gained academic affiliation with Al-Azhar University in 1999, becoming the effective route towards higher education at Al-Azhar from the United Kingdom. Many graduates of Jamia Al-Karam have pursued higher education at Al-Azhar and have graduated with BA degrees from various faculties including the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Islamic Studies and the Faculty of Islamic Jurisprudence and Law.
In recognition of the work of Jamia Al-Karam in the West and its longstanding relationship with Al-Azhar University, Jamia Al-Karam was honoured to be appointed as Al-Azhar’s United Kingdom Branch and Office of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates in 2011. The founder and principal of Jamia Al-Karam, Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, is the president of the UK Branch.
The World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates is an outreach arm of Al-Azhar University aiming to connect thousands of its graduates all around the world and to promote the central message of moderation in Islam in order to meet the challenges of the modern world. The World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates is chaired by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar, under whose patronage and leadership, the Association works around the world with numerous projects. The Association also holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
“This project firstly aims to make people aware of Islam, as it is in the holy Qur’an and as it was conveyed by the holy Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to the people. Moreover, as a way of life that landed as a reality for the people bringing great benefit for a long period all over the world, its East and its West. This reality contributed towards the building of human civilisation with which it has interacted over the centuries and its cultures have been affected by the contribution of knowledge, sciences, arts, literature, philosophy, legislation, ethics, sports, medicine, astrology and music as well as other treasures from the ancient and modern heritage and legacy of the scholars of Islam and its intellectual thinkers.“Indeed Al-Azhar, which has carried the burden and responsibility of protecting and preserving the purity of Islam, its moderation and balance over the centuries, is still powerfully dedicated to continuing this mission of clarifying Islam, maintaining its balance and stability and highlighting its creative contributions in all fields of knowledge as well as the cultural and moral development of humankind.”
– The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar