The Egyptian University of Islamic Culture “Nur-Mubarak” is a unique institution of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan which trains qualified scholars of Islam, religious scholars, teachers of the Arabic language and literature, teachers of the English language. University “Nur-Mubarak” has the golden horizon on the way to the world civilization in the life of independent Kazakhstan.
In 1991, when Kazakhstan gained independence, there was a choice of a new direction for further political, social and economic development. To protect people from internal and external threats was the policy of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The adopted Constitution of independent Kazakhstan guaranteed the citizens of Kazakhstan the protection of the rights and freedoms of the individual, regardless of nationality and religious affiliation. The Basic Law enshrines the principle of secularism and the separation of state and religion. At the same time, most of the population of Kazakhstan professes traditional Islam of Sunni madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifa Agzam.
The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of the nation, after the official visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt in 1993 held talks with the Egyptian side and decided to open an Islamic higher educational institution in Kazakhstan. For this purpose, 6 hectares of land were allocated in Almaty. This bold decision was a firm step in building the bright future of the country and the development of the traditional values of Islam.
In June 16, 1993 the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Minister of Egyptian Endowments Muhammad al-Mahjoub participated in the laying of the first stone of the future campus. Later, the Governments of the two countries signed a bilateral agreement on the establishment of the University “Nur-Mubarak”, which was ratified by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and due to the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev of July 2, 2003 №460-11it gained the legal force.
According to the agreement of the two Governments the Board of Trustees was formed which consisted of the part of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- The Minister of Culture and Sport – equal to the chairman;
- The Minister of Education and Science of RK – member;
- The Chairman of the Muslim Board, the Chief Mufti – member;
- The Akim of Almaty – member;
- The Vice-Minister of RK foreign policy – member;
- Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Kazakhstan in the Arab Republic of Egypt – member;
- The Chairman of the Committee for Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan – member;
- The rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University – member;
- The Rector of Ablay khan University of International Relations and World Languages – member.
From the part of the Arab Republic of Egypt:
- The Minister of Awqaf of Egypt – equal to the chairman;
- The Mufti of Egypt – member;
- The Rector of the University “Al-Azhar” – member;
- The representative of the “Al-Azhar” – member;
- The Rector of the University of Cairo – member;
- Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Kazakhstan – member;
- Prominent three figures of the society in the Ministry of Endowments of Egypt – members.
The Board of Trustees approved the Status of the University, determined the primary goals and objectives at the first meeting. It was also decided to appoint the rector of the institution who would be the Egyptian citizen, the vice-rector would be a citizen of Kazakhstan. On recommendation of the Ministry of Awqaf of Egypt Professor Mahmoud Fahmy Hijazi, the academician was appointed as the first rector of the university; presenting the Kazakh side Doctor of philological sciences, professor Kerim Shamshadin Tursynovich was appointed as a vice-rector.
In 2014 there were changes in the teaching staff of the University. In March 2014 at the meeting of the Board of Trustees the new rector of the University Nur-Mubarak, Professor, Doctor of the University “Al-Azhar” Zhuda Abdulgani Basyuni was appointed. Zhuda Abdulgani Basyuni, who defended his doctoral dissertation on the Hanafi, was the Dean of the Faculty of Sharia and Law at the University “Al-Azhar”. His scientific works in the field of Shariah are known not only in Egypt but also in other Islamic countries. A positive assessment of the work of the first rector, Mahmoud Fahmy Hijazi was given, whose fruitful work was marked by the state awards of Kazakhstan.
The Board of Trustees evaluated the work of the doctor, professor Sh.T.Kerim who made contribution since the first days of the University, to strengthen the base of the institution, including the specialty “Islamic Studies” (code “5V05600 – Islamic Studies”) in the list of the state classifier, obtaining educational grants, opening of branches of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies, in the organization of scientific and research centers, and therefore, Kerim Sh.T. was reassigned to the post of the vice-rector for the third term.
The specialties at the university – “Islamic Studies”, “Foreign language: two foreign languages” (Arabic and English) and “Religion Studies ” are taught together by Egyptian and Kazakh specialists. Now 76 teachers work at the university, including 18 PhD doctors, 7 professors, 8 associate professors, 7 candidates of scientists.
In recent years, in order to provide young believers the opportunity to receive religious education in Kazakhstan the state allocated over 500 educational grants. Due to this state decision the youth which practices Islam from different parts of our homeland is able to get a basic understanding of the religion of Islam, study the Qur’an and learn the Arabic language.
Over the years, the University has trained more than 800 graduates, including highly qualified imams, religious scholars, translators and teachers of the Arabic language, and more than a hundred specialists graduate each year.
In 2008, within the framework of postgraduate education in all specialties, Masters department was opened; in 2012 under the state order the work on the preparation of doctors PhD started.
The university’s authorities undertakes efforts to improve the quality of educational services and bring the University “Nur-Mubarak” to the level of the world-famous University “Al-Azhar”, as well as the recognition of diplomas of the University “Nur-Mubarak” in the above prestigious Islamic educational centre.
This year the rector of the university Zhuda Basyuni taking into account that the majority of Muslims follow Hanafi in Kazakhstan conducted a careful selection of 11 doctors and professors from Egypt, who taught according to madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifa Agzam and had scientific works on his legacy. The teaching staff includes scientists from Egypt of “The First Class Honor” and a world-class doctors, who are known for their knowledge of ‘Aqeedah “,” Fiqh “,” Hadith “and other basic Islamic sciences.
As it is considered the Qur’an to be the foundation of Islam, the students study the Arabic language from the first year. The University training program is built according to the requirements of the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Kazakhstan, combining secular and Islamic disciplines. The students have possibility to gain knowledge of the Arabic language directly from native speakers. The university foreign teachers are doctors of the universities “Al-Azhar”, “Ain Shams”, the Cairo and Alexandria universities. They are well-known experts in the field of “Hadith”, “Fiqh”, “Islamic preaching”, the Arabic language and culture.
At the University extra courses are organized during the holiday period on memorization of the Holy Qur’an by Dr. Yasser Al-Sarudi and Abdulmazhita Side, as well as the Arabic language courses are conducted with the involvement of Kazakh and Egyptian teachers.
The university, which meets all state certification standards of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, has the teaching and methodical mosque, which was registered as a branch RIRO RK “Dumka”. The Mosque “Nur-Mubarak” actively supports university students in the manifestation of their knowledge and practices. It organizes meetings with prominent figures of religion and culture, every Friday and during religious holidays the mosque doors are open to all parishioners.
Since 2011, a new training building has begun operating , which has a library with more than 118 thousand books. The collection contains fiction, textbooks, works of Kazakh and Arab scholars, the scientific and educational literature, religious books in Kazakh, Russian and Arabic languages. In order to increase knowledge and develop better acquisition of the Arabic language labs, a computer lab and e-library are functioning here.
Since the beginning of the year 2015, a new student dormitory has accommodated over 600 students. Thus, the students have all necessary conditions for exploring knowledge and developing their skills. The University plans to build its own indoor sports complex that will meet all modern requirements.
In December 2011, by the order of the first rector, Mahmoud Fahmy Hijazi “The Research Centre of Abu Hanifa” was established at the university. The main goal of it is preparation of manuals and literature for the religious schools of all levels, the translation of foreign scientific works on values and foundations of Islam, preparation of dictionaries of different levels, the organization and carrying out scientific research, explaining works of religious leaders according to madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifa Agzam.
Today, the University enrolls 667 students who study in the undergraduate programme, 62 – in the postgraduate programme, 14 -in the Doctor of Philosophy programmes, 35 – on the basis of the first higher education. The conditions to improve knowledge at foreign universities in Egypt, Turkey and Malaysia are created for postgraduate and doctoral students.
Within the framework of international cooperation long-term relationship is established with the leading Islamic and secular institutions of the CIS countries and abroad, memorandums of cooperation with universities “Al-Azhar”, “Al-Minia”, “Ain Shams”, “Moscow Islamic University” Cairo and Alexandria Universities and the University of «Unisza» (Malaysia) are signed. The mentioned above allows to send students abroad to undergo their scientific practice and invite well-known scientists to the University from the leading 500 universities rated in the list of the World Academic Universities, to give lectures and conduct seminars to postgraduate and doctoral students.
The representatives of nine nationalities from all regions of Kazakhstan study at the University. This is the only educational institution in the CIS and Central Asia, which explores the science of Islam in-depth study. Of course, the university is only15 years old, but the roots of our common history lie very deep, because our ancestors for centuries not only adhered to the madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifa Agzam, but left their essays in libraries of distant Arab countries. Today, the goal of students of Nur-Mubarak University is to explore the works of our ancestors, and to convey the correct understanding of Islam to the current generation. Nur-Mubarak University, leading the training of theologians and scholars of Islam proves that Islam is a religion of peace and a source of deep knowledge. Today, graduates of Nur-Mubarak University work for the benefit of the people of Kazakhstan and the religion of Allah throughout the country. They carry on the ideological struggle with non-traditional and extremist movements, explain the values of traditional Islam, calling for peace, unification of the Muslim Ummah of the country and tolerance for the sake of the bright future of our Motherland.