Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, one of the world’s foremost Sunni Islamic academic institutions, has granted the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, an honorary doctorate in appreciation of his support for the country and the Islamic religion.
“Al-Azhar University council has decided to grant an honorary doctorate to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his courageous stance towards Egypt and for his support of the issues of Islam and Muslims across the Muslim world,” Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency quoted Al-Azhar University President Usama Al-Abd as saying.
In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Abd said this was the first such award granted by Al-Azhar for over two decades.
He said: “[Granting] an honorary doctorate is the least we can do to honor the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his heroic stance [in support of] the will of the Egyptian people. Therefore, I have proposed to the Al-Azhar University Council—the world’s largest such council—that they grant the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques an honorary doctorate.”
The University’s council unanimously agreed on the proposal, Abd said.
The president of the university said he had been commissioned by the Council to award the doctorate to King Abdullah in person. He added that he will be coordinating with the Saudi ambassador in Cairo, Ahmed Al-Qattan, before he heads to the Kingdom “in the next few days.”