Tracing Back Islam: University of al-Qarawiyyin (since 859 CE)

University of Al-Qarawiyyin 2 (image from Wikipedia)

The University of al-Qarawiyyin or al-Karaouine (Arabic: جامعة القرويين‎) is a university located in Fes, Morocco.

The al-Qarawiyyin masjid-religious school / college was founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859 with an associated school, or madrassa, which subsequently became one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the historic Muslim world. It was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963.

University of Al-Qarawiyyin 1 (image from skyscrapercity)

It is the oldest existing, continually operating and the first degree awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records and is sometimes referred to as the oldest university. These claims are subject to discussions as other institutions, such as the Zaytouna masjid-school founded in 703 in Tunis, predated the founding of al-Qarawiyyin.

Al-Qarawiyyin itself is named after the Qairaouan Mosque in Tunisia, the oldest mosque in the Maghreb and the cradle of the Muslim Maliki rite.

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Intro: Wikipedia

Images courtesy of skyscrapercity.com and Wikipedia

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