Firstly, brother I think you are doing a brilliant job running this website and I pray to Allah you continue doing this. I have couple of questions: 1) I have applied to Al -Azhar via Regents Park Mosque (located in Central London), unfortunately I have not received a reply nor a notification that they are considering my application. I was wondering, when does the academic year start, I was guessing September.
2) If I don’t get accepted in al-Azhar, I intend to study at an institute for a year in Cairo and then progress to Al-Azaher from there. Which institution would you recommend.
Wa alaykum al-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh:
I would not rely on long term application processes. The enrollment process is this month so I would encourage you, if you have a background in Arabic, Islamic studies and Qu’ran, to apply [if you are fluent in Arabic]. If not, then I would strongly recommend you take one year to study the basics in your homeland, if possible, improve your knowledge and then come to study, maybe for another year, in a center. If you take the exams now, you will be placed in a difficult position and find it hard to get into the university. Furthermore, the goal is scholarship and not a mere degree. A degree’s just a piece of paper. The best way to apply is to do so in person. Please see the article on this site (How does one enter al-Azhar).
May Allah facilitate things for you