The concept 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 from the 12th to 14th of Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1427 ah, equivalent to the 11th to 13th of April 2006 ce. 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 approach of moderation and balance. 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. Consequently, the Association was founded as a non-governmental organization registered in the Arab Republic of Egypt. It was founded by a group of prominent scholars headed by Shaykh Professor Dr Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi (the previous Grand Imam), Professor Dr Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzuq (former Minister of Religious Endowments of Egypt) and Shaykh Professor Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb (the present Grand Imam).
In May 2011, Jamia Al-Karam based at Eaton Hall in Retford, which has enjoyed a long standing academic relationship with Al-Azhar University, was appointed as the main contact office of the University and branch of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates tasked with promoting the aims and objectives of the Association in the United Kingdom. Subsequently, on the 25th of June 2011, the United Kingdom Branch of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG UK) was inaugurated in a formal meeting by Shaykh Professor Dr Abdul Fadeel al-Qawsi (Vice Chairman of WAAG International and Minister of Religious Endowments of Egypt), Mr Usama Yasin (Vice Chairman of WAAG International) and Dr Abdel Dayem Nusear (Secretary General of WAAG International).
WAAG UK is chaired by its President, Shaykh M I H Pirzada, and is the outreach arm of Al-Azhar University and the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates in the United Kingdom and serves to further the aims and objectives of the Association focussing on building bridges between the ancient seat of Islamic learning and scholarship of Al-Azhar and the modern Western world.
|The Grand Imam, Shaykh Professor Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb
President and Chairman
|Shaykh Professor Dr Abdul Fadeel al-Qawsi
Vice Chairman for Academic and Cultural Affairs
|Mr Usama Yasin
Vice Chairman for Financial and Administrative Affairs
|Professor Dr Abdel Dayem Nusear
|Professor Dr al-Qasabi Mahmoud Zalat
Academic and Scholarly Advisor
|Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada
|Bakhtyar Haider Pirzada al-Azhari
|Mahboob Hussain al-Azhari