In the Name of the Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful ‎

All praise to Allah alone, and His peace and blessings be upon His messenger our Prophet ‎Muhammad, his family and his companions.‎
By God’s will, we inaugurate the new website of the World Association for al-Azhar ‎Graduates (WAAG) and al-Azhar scholars across the world, from South Africa to Europe, ‎and Russia in the north, and from the USA in the west to to China and Japan in the east.‎
In the name of thousands of al-Azhar scholars, who have been registered and counted to ‎add up to approximately four thousand scholars, I welcome the website’s visitors who are ‎searching for the truth of Islam and who are keen to gain knowledge of the Islamic ‎sciences, culture, morals and values through the leading scholars of al-Azhar. Al-Azhar, ‎established a thousand and five hundred years ago, has since then, carried the ‎responsibility of protecting Islam and clarifying its message, as Islam has concluded all ‎heavenly message. In fact, Islam is the last of a series of the heavenly monotheist ‎religions, which was first conveyed through Adam, and then passed down by Noah, ‎Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, peace be upon them, and finally by our dear prophet ‎Muhammad (pbuh).‎
This website aims to make people acquainted with Islam, as conveyed by the holy Qur’an ‎and by our prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The website also aims to make readers familiar ‎with Islam as a culture that addressed people’s reality all over the world. Indeed, the ‎Islamic culture has contributed to building the human civilization, and has interacted with ‎it over the centuries. In addition to that, Islamic culture’s attributes include science, art, ‎literature, philosophy, legislation, ethics, sports, medicine, astrology, music, and other ‎treasures of the ancient and modern legacy of Islamic thinkers and scholars.‎
Moreover, this website does not aim towards any objective other than rightly defining ‎Islam. Again, this website has no political or missionary agenda; our supreme objective is ‎to present Islam as a religion and culture in a pure and honest manner, and away from ‎scientific and historical misinterpretations that have distorted the true image and essence ‎of Islam in the eyes of seekers.‎
Al-Azhar has always carried and continues to carry the burden and the responsibility of ‎protecting and preserving the purity, moderation, and modesty of Islam over the ‎centuries. Meanwhile, al-Azhar is powerfully dedicated to continue its mission in ‎clarifying Islam, and the firm steps and innovative achievements it has done in all fields ‎of knowledge and in developing the moral welfare of humanity.‎
While we inaugurate this website, we put in front of our eyes the renewed tensions of late ‎‎20th century and early 21st century, that have negatively affected the relations between ‎Islam and the West. These tensions created “a gap” between the East and the West, or a ‎thick wall of mutual suspicion between the Westerns and Muslims. We were about to ‎regenerate the medieval conflicts and the crises of the Imperial age, which both the East ‎and the West had have forgotten about long ago. ‎
Being the greatest reference for Muslims in the past and in the present, al-Azhar is the ‎only qualified institution to carry on the mission of bringing civilizations together, and to ‎bridge this gap between Islam and the West. It is the only institution capable of building ‎mutual respectable human relations, across the world, among different faiths, doctrines, ‎ethnicities, and languages. As a matter of fact, our dear Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the ‎Messenger of Islam, declared that “people are equal like the teeth comb”, all humans are ‎of the same origin, sons and daughters of the same father and mother. Therefore, all ‎humans are equals created form the same soul, despite their different colors and races.‎
In the light of this vision, concerning human equality in Islam, the website is inspired by ‎the Qura’nic notion stating that Islam does not believe, claim, or practice any sort of ‎discrimination, racism, or distinction, based on race or color. The only thing that ‎distinguishes people in Islam is disciplined good work, as God says:‎

‎“ O people, fear your Lord, Who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, ‎and from the pair of them scattered many men and women; and fear God by whom you ‎claim [your rights] from one another and kinship ties. Surely God has been watchful over ‎you.” (Q:4:1)‎

‎“O mankind! We have indeed created you from a male and a female, and made you ‎nations and tribes that you may come to know one another. Truly the noblest of you in the ‎sight of God is the most God-fearing among you. Truly God is Knower, Aware.” ‎‎(Q:49:13)‎

Our prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Messenger of Islam spent twenty-three years ‎instilling in the Muslim conscience the idea of equality between people. He tried to ‎deepen and enhance this meaning in their hearts and in the way they treat others. In his ‎farewell sermon, which was delivered during his final pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad ‎‎(pbuh) stressed the concept of equality among people, as he said: ‎

‎"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be ‎amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE ‎THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.”‎

Dear visitor, we would like to welcome you once more on this website, which sets off ‎from al-Azhar, and radiates from its minarets and domes that are rooted in the depth of ‎all times and ages. We welcome you dear visitor as a brother in humanity, a colleague in ‎the thirst for science and knowledge, a friend in mutual dialogue and a partner in ‎achieving communication between the East and West. ‎

May God bless us all.‎
Peace Be Upon You.‎

Prof. Dr. Ahmad at-Tayyeb
The Grand Imam of al-Azhar
President of the World Association for al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG)  ‎