The idea of establishing the World Association for al-Azhar Graduates was put forward during the First World Symposium for al-Azhar Graduates which took place in Cairo between 12-14 Rabi al-Awaal 1427 H/11-13 April 2006. The members of the symposium felt the need for establishing an entity that could play several roles. They aspired for an entity that would strengthen communication between al-Azhar and its graduates worldwide. That entity would also enhance the universal role of al-Azhar and its moderate approach. In addition, it would preserve the identity and heritage of the Islamic nation (Ummah) and protect the values and the principles of Islam by confronting campaigns wishing to distort its image. The association was founded as a non-governmental organization registered by the Arab Republic of Egypt according to the Egyptian law no. 7145 for 2007 A.D/ 1428 H. It was founded by a group of prominent scholars headed by Prof. Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, the previous Grand Imam of al-Azhar (may God bless his soul), Prof. Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzooq, previous Minister of Endowments and Prof. Ahmad at-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar. 

The Mission of the Association
The Association aims to reach thousands of al-Azhar alumni living abroad, consolidating relations with them and helping them through activities and privileges it offers to its members. 

The Activities of the Association 

association offers several activities to members living in Egypt. It also offers scholarships in one of the Islamic sciences faculties at al-Azhar University such as Usul ad-Deen, Islamic Shariah, Arabic Language, Arabic and Islamic Studies and Islamic Dawah. Scholarships are offered at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Moreover, the association is considering a number of proposals to consolidate relations with al-Azhar alumni scattered in Islamic and non-Islamic countries. This requires coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian Azhari delegations. One of the ideas is the establishment of branches of the association in the countries where great numbers of al-Azhar alumni are found. Another suggestion is to invite some of the alumni scholars to attend conferences and symposiums organized by the Association. In addition, the association gives increasing attention to international students in Egypt by holding meetings to get acquainted with their problems and find the best ways to solve them. It also organizes seminars and conferences and provides students the opportunity to participate in cultural, social and entertainment activities. The association is also studying a number of proposals to upgrade and support al-Azhar alumni in foreign countries. This is achieved through holding an annual celebration for distributing excellence awards for best graduates such as the best Master's and Ph.D and theses awards in the field of Islamic Sciences. This is done after an academic committee chooses among the best theses that obtained the degree of excellent with honors. Awards are also given to the best research in the field of Islamic Sciences.