Jawhar al-Siqilli, commander of Caliph Al-Mu'izz, started constructing Al Azhar Mosque in (359 H. / 970 A.D), following the establishment of the Cairo walls and completed it in (361 H. / 972 A.D). It was the first Fatimid mosque to be built in Cairo, and the fourth to be built in Egypt after the great mosques of Ibn Al-As. Al-Askar and Ibn Tulun. From the outset the Fatimids focused instruction of the Shiite doctrine in this great Mosque. Circles for learning were held, and great scholars of theology gathered to exchange knowledge. Since that time Al Azhar gained its worldwide reputation as a centre of religious education for the entire Muslim world and stands witness to a host of important events in the long history of Islamic Egypt.
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