Thursday, November 11, 2010

Converting to Islam at Al Azhar Mosque Cairo.

The process.

1. Foreigner wishing to convert.
2. Egyptian wishing to convert. (This includes foreigners who have become Egyptian citizens by marriage to Egyptian spouse).

Foreigner wishing to convert.

All foreigners wishing to convert to Islam are required to make a formal declaration of their intent with the Al Azhar Islamic Authority.
The applicant should go to the Mashyakhit Al Azhar. Salah Salem Road.
The Mashyakhit Al Azhar is beside Al Azhar Park in the Citadel area of Old Cairo. Take a scarf with you and have sleeves covering arms and legs covered. Scarves and long galabeyas are available if you forget.
The office opens at 9am and closes at 2pm.
3 photos are required and proof of identity ie passport. 2 Muslim witnesses are required, and can be found easily in the grounds.

You will be asked to recite in Arabic the shahada. If you do not speak Arabic the Imam will say it line by line for you to repeat after him. Once you have done this he will declare you a Muslim and issue you a certificate. You can also change your name formally to an Arabic one there in the same ceremony and the certificate will state this.
Process takes around 30 mins. You will be asked to fill in an application form and sign a few ledger entries.
This certificate must then be legalized.
The certificate is then taken to the Ministry of Justice Dept, Lazghouly Sq, Downtown, Cairo,  13th Floor for the official government stamp. No appointment is necessary. Proof of ID will be asked for plus a 3.50LE fee for stamps. The process takes around 20 mins.

Egyptian Citizen incl. ( Foreigner married to Egyptian spouse who now has Egyptian Citizenship)

The applicant goes with husband to Al Azhar Mosque (opposite Khan al Khalili bazaar) Al Azhar. (Not Mashyakhit Al Azhar, this is only for foreigners without Egyptian citizenship).
No appointment necessary. Open between 9am and 2pm.

You should take one photocopy of each of these:

Citizenship document
Marriage Certificate
Front page of passport
Husbands id (both sides)

3 photos wearing hijab (Kodak photo shop is directly opposite entrance to the Mosque in the middle of 6 small shops).

Process is the same as Foreigner (above). 2 Muslim witnesses are required and one can be your husband. Witnesses are easy to find in the mosque.
Certificate also has to be legalized at the Ministry of Justice.

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