Agreement of Co-operation and Understanding between Al-Furqān and Al-Az’har
On 13th March 2012, Al-Furqān and Al-Az’har signed a Memorandum of Co-operation on a number of areas of mutual interest. The Agreement included several areas, such as the organisation of conferences, workshops, symposia, training courses and lectures in both manuscripts and maqasid fields.
The memorandum was signed by His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Chairman of Al-Furqān, and His Excellency Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Az’har.
Prior to this Agreement, the Managing Director of the Foundation, Mr. Sali Shahsivari, the Head of the Projects and Publications Department, Mr. Mohamedd Drioueche, and the Al-Furqan Cairo Office Manager, Mr Amgad Mohammed, had, on 28th February 2012, visited Al-Az’har and met with His Excellency Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Az’har, and Dr. Mohammed al-Sulaimani, his personal advisor.
Both parties considered methods for bilateral co-operation and subjects that were of mutual interest. His Excellency the Grand Imam promised to deliver a lecture on maqāsid under the title Maqāsid al-Shari’ah in the Perspective of the late Abdullah Draz.
The two parties also agreed to implement the points of the agreement by initially organising an intensive training course on the critical edition of manuscripts, in collaboration with the Centre for Critical Editing at al-Azhar, titled The Methods of the Critical Edition of the Texts and Its Rules. This was successfully held between the 2nd and 7th July 2012, with 42 participants who were highly skilled and academically experienced. A number of notable professors and specialists in the sphere of the critical edition of manuscripts delivered the training. Among the professors was Prof. Dr. Ayman Fouad Sayyid, Director of the Centre for Critical Editing, and Prof. Dr Hassan al-Shafe’i, Head of the Academy of Arabic Language in Cairo, senior consultant to the Sheikh of Al-Az’har, member of the Board of Senior Scholars and previous Dean of Dar al-Ulūm.
Both establishments also agreed to initiate courses on maqāsid al-Sharia‘h (philosophy of Islamic law), starting from 2013. This would be undertaken in co-operation with the World League of Al-Az’har’s Graduates, which was established in 2007 by a number of senior scholars, among whom was Prof. Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, head of the University of al-Azhar at the time. The League aims to reach the thousands of Al-Az’har’s graduates of postgraduate studies. Through this network, it aims to include them in cultural events and invite them to attend conferences, meetings and training courses. The League also provides awards of excellence in the fields of the Islamic sciences to the highest achievers, in the form of the ‘Best Masters Thesis’ and ‘Best Doctorate Thesis’ award.
At the end of the meeting, the Managing Director, Mr. Sali Shahsivari, expressed his pleasure at the agreement, thanked His Excellency the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb for his reception, and presented to him some of the recent publications of the Foundation.