Fri, 31st Mar, 2023 / 9 Ramadan, 1444
الجمعة ٣١ , مارس , ٢٠٢٣ / 9 رَمَضَان , 1444
Fri, 31st Mar, 2023 /
9 Ramadan, 1444
الجمعة ٣١ , مارس , ٢٠٢٣ / 9 رَمَضَان , 1444

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Praise be to Allah and may Allah raise the rank and protect the nation of our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him)
On 20th of December 2015 Dr. Abbas Shouman the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar visited Australia accepting the invitation of Darulfatwa – Islamic High Council of Australia. The visit was intended to review the situation of Muslims in Australia and share with them the festivities commemorating the birth of the Prophet of mercy, Muhammad, (peace be upon him).

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Praise is to Allah who raised minarets knowledge that crystallized the foundations of civilization. May Allah raise the rank and protect the nation of our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Master of those who dwell in the heavens and the earth our Master Muhammad, (peace be upon him), and who came with brilliant miracles. May Allah raise the rank of his Al and companions, equal the number of shining stars and planets

On 20th of December 2015 Dr. Abbas Shouman the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar visited Australia accepting the invitation of Darulfatwa – Islamic High Council of Australia. The visit was intended to review the situation of Muslims in Australia and share with them the festivities commemorating the birth of the Prophet of mercy, Muhammad, (peace be upon him).

The visit had a profound impact on the hearts of the Muslim community who regard Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif as a major religious reference and voice of moderation; something we are in desperate need of replicating and spreading to all corners of the globe.

Azhar building

This unprecedented visit was warmly welcomed and witnessed by crowds of Muslims from linguistically
and culturally diverse Arab and non-Arab communities, as well as by local, state and federal politicians, dignitaries, society representatives, heads of associations and representatives of the Arab and Australian media.

Airport welcome

Airport welcome 2

At the Mawlid concert

Mawlid attendance

Launching a series of major events for his official tour was the Multicultural Mawlid Concert the largest event held annually in Australia to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him). The event took place at the Olympic Park Sports Centre, Homebush, under the patronage of Darulfatwa Australia.

People from different backgrounds and a number of Australian states all came in love for Allah and express thanks for the blessing of our Master Muhammad, (peace be upon him).

Muslims rushed in jubilation to commemorate the birth of Muhammad the Master of mankind and the best of creation, whom Allah sent as a mercy to the world.

The Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre in Homebush is one of the largest indoor arenas in Sydney’s inner west, but it was jam packed with thousands who attended.

The Concert and the event inspired the audience and captivated the attending dignitaries.

Distinguished figures

Heading the assemblage of distinguished figures was his Eminence, the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan and, for the first time in Australia, the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, His Eminence Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman.

The impressive guests of honour included national, state and local politicians, key Muslim and non-Muslim community figures, local and interstate, diplomats, sheikhs and others. Prominent figures were:

Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency General David Hurley AC, DSC, the former senior officer in the Australian Army

  • Senator, the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, representing the Australian Prime Minister;
  • Hon. Phillip Ruddock MP;
  • President of the Islamic Charity Projects Association (ICPA), Dr. Ghayath Al-Shelh OAM;
  • Chairman of Muslim Community Radio, Mr. Rafic Hussein;
  • Ambassador of Morocco, His Excellency Mohammad Mael-Ainin;
  • Consul General of Egypt in NSW, Youssef Shawki;
  • Honorary Consul General of Bangladesh, Mr Anthony Khoury;
  • Consul General of Iraq, Mr. Bassam Dawud;
  • Honorary Consul General of Syria, Mr. Maher Dabbagh;
  • Jordanian Charge’ d’affaires, Mr. Hamze Al-Omari;
  • Leader of the Opposition in NSW, Luke Foley
  • Julia Finn MP
  • Paul Lynch MP
  • Key influential businessmen;
  • Media representatives and journalists.
  • Sheikhs, Imams and leaders from almost every Muslim community in Australia, including Iraqis, Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Moroccans, Palestinians, Somalians, Sudanese, Indonesians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Indians, Turks, Bosnians, Hararis, Africans, and Bangladeshi.

The Concert commenced with a blessed recitation from the Holy Qur’an, followed by a charming stage play, narrating the story of the honourable birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), performed by our talented youth.

A group of talented multicultural vocalists then took the stage captivating over 5,000 spectators as they sang in praise of the Prophet in their mother tongues including Turkish; Urdu; Sudanese; Malay; Indonesian; African; Bosnian and English.

In their many diverse languages, they expressed their deep love for the chosen Messenger and distinguished Prophet (peace be upon him).

The most invigorating stage performance was undoubtedly given by the popular chanting Band of ICPA Australia, led by the master of the stage and the star of the Concert, Hajj Mohammad Al-Kheir another special guest who arrived from Lebanon to support the Mawlid Concert.

Mohammad Alkhayr

The world renowned nashid singer also dedicated support to Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif in admiration of beloved Egypt and Al-Azhar, the land of Kinanah, and its peaceful Nile.

Performers, both young and old, felt privileged to participate and took part enthusiastically in the spectacular stage show leaving the audience in awe.

Kids chanting club

Their blossoming talents adorned the stage like a bouquet of colourful and scented flowers, expressing their eternal love for the Master of Messengers (peace be upon him) through beautiful Islamic songs of praise.

The memorable evening continued to unfold as a choir of teenage vocalists delivered to the world a timely message in English.

Its message was simple. It defended clearly the great religion of Islam and its true followers, rejecting the false image ascribed to it by extremists.

The songs made its sensational debut on the concert stage, connecting with thousands and earned a standing ovation from the cheering spectators, aptly titled, ‘Never in our name’.

The spotlight then shone upon Darulfatwa Australia Chairman, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan who delivered a sharp and concise message. He said:

Allah the Almighty said:

وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

[This means: We sent you only as a mercy to the world.]Dr Sheikh Salim Alwan

“Welcome to you all who have come to celebrate the birth of the Master of the Prophets, who have come to say “we love you, O Messenger of Allah”, who have come to say “O Muhammad, everything about you is great”.

“We at Darulfatwa Australia, and those we represent, love Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif and agree with the teachings of Al-Azhar and its moderate approach”.

“We are under its banner because we are convinced that moderation ensures the security and safety of a country. Moderation is the protective shield that guards our young people from going astray and from being drawn into destructive and deviant ideologies”.

“Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif carries the banner of moderation and we adhere to this methodology, as do hundreds of millions of Muslims”, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan said, as he introduced the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman, to the Muslim community.

Prof Dr. Abbas ShoumanHis Eminence Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman, said he had travelled from Cairo to Australia carrying a greeting from the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, and conveying his best wishes to the wider Australian society.

He described the happiness he felt in the VIP reception room before the Concert, where he met with key Australian politicians and numerous ambassadors of Arab and Islamic countries, as well as influential members of the Muslim community.

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman relayed three important messages.

The first emphasised Islam as a religion of moderation, humanity and mercy. He drew upon the following Ayah of the Qur’an saying, “Allah said to His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) whose birth we commemorate today:

وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

[We sent you only as a mercy to mankind]”, said Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman.

The second emphasized the importance of living in harmony with the people of a nation and a community.

The third addressed the entire Muslim nation and urged them to demonstrate the munificence of Islam.

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar said: “You all have to act as ambassadors for your religion in order to correct the distorted images that have been spread by those who affiliate themselves to our religion, when in fact our religion is innocent of their actions and their crimes”.

He continued to express his admiration for the pioneering role that Darulfatwa Australia has played in Australia, in guiding the Islamic community to adhere to the methodology of Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif.

The evening unveiled surprise after surprise, until it reached its pinnacle.

That was undoubtedly the moment when a glimmering light filled the venue with the honourable relics of the Prophet (peace be upon him), whose authenticity was supported by a chain of authority and confirmed by seals of sultans and sheikhs.

Honourable Relics

Encased in a diamond studded hexagonal treasure box with a glass lid, the honourable relics in their grandeur were unveiled to the excited audience, carried by his eminence, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Shafie and his entourage of imams and Islamic preachers.

The Muslims passionately rushed forward to seek blessings as they shed tears of joy, love and respect for Muhammad, (peace be upon him) the Prophet of Allah.

The concert ended with a generous offering of sweets and beverages, as volunteer teenagers from the Bankstown ICPA 5th Scout Group offered an array of pastries and confectioneries to the crowd.

Darulfatwa Australia extends a special thank you to the organizing committee of the Multicultural Mawlid Concert and to the Heritage Choir ICPA. It asks Allah, the Exalted, to bless us with the return of this event and to restore safety and security to our lands of origin. Ameen

As a prelude to the concert, a VIP reception, hosted by Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, took place in the Stadium lounge.

VIP reception

At the reception, Darulfatwa’s special guest, the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman was introduced to a party of politicians, diplomats, organisation and association leaders, imams, preachers, community representatives, media personnel and dignitaries, invited to the Concert.

There were extensive talks and speeches about the occasion of the Mawlid and the purpose it serves.

In his address, the NSW Governor, Mr Hurley, confirmed the critical role Darulfatwa Australia plays, in the wider Australian society. He commended it for its constructive contribution in sponsoring large religious events in addition to the range of services it offers to the Muslim community

Additionally, Senator Fierravanti Wells, representing the Australian Prime Minister Mr. Malcom Turnbull, expressed her great appreciation for the leadership displayed by Darulfatwa Australia, its services to the Muslim community and its leading role in educating the younger generations on how to love doing well.

The ‘grandfather of Australian politics’, Mr. Philip Ruddock MP, and Opposition Leader Mr. Luke Foley, all echoed similar sentiments.

They also acknowledged the efforts of Darulfatwa Australia in teaching its cohorts to live in harmony in Australia’s multicultural society. They said that this Mawlid Concert is an example and clear evidence of the benefits of multiculturalism.

Dr. Sheikh Salim and Prof Dr. Abbas     Untitled

The Deputy of Al-Azhar visits NSW Parliament House

At NSW Parliament House

(with the intervention of Darulfatwa Australia), NSW Parliament House opened its doors to Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif.

Day two of the memorable visit, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman and Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan headed to the NSW Parliament House, accompanied by the President of the Islamic Charity Projects Association of Australia, (ICPA) Dr. Ghayath Al-Shelh OAM.

At Treasurer Office

Shadow Minister for the Treasury Mr Michael Daley, said: ‘…happy about the efforts exerted by Al-Azhar to bring peace to the world’.

They were welcomed by the Shadow Minister for Treasury and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr. Michael Daley, who opened the parliamentary chambers.

In private talks, Mr. Daley explained to the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar key parliamentary procedures and official dealings between parties.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman stated that Al-Azhar, the largest religious institution in the world, adopts a methodology of moderation and tolerance and represents the voice of over a billion Muslims who, by consensus, reject the destructive extremism, repulsive radicalism, abhorrent violence and criminal acts occurring in parts of the world.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman stressed that Al-Azhar firmly believes that such abhorrent violence does not solve the problems faced by societies and that is it more productive to seek solutions through discussion and debate.

In response, Mr. Michael Daley said that Australians appreciate the work of Darulfatwa Australia in representing the true image of Islam, despite media misrepresentations. He pointed out that abhorrent extremism has many causes, ignorance is the main one. He said that certain people who have influence over communities are sending out a misleading message about Islam to the wider community.

At the treasurer's office

He added that he is happy with the efforts of Darulfatwa Australia and Al-Azhar and their contribution to the quest for peace and harmony in the world.


The Deputy of Al-Azhar visits Muslim Community Radio

At Muslim Community Radio 2mfm

Following his visit to the NSW Parliament House, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman and the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, made their way to the Muslim Community Radio, Sydney studios for a live to air interview.

The live interview with Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman included the delivery of a message from Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif in Egypt, in which the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar his Eminence Dr. Ahmad Attayyeb, greeted the Australian Muslim community and supplicated for them that they may live a peaceful life of co-existence in a land they have chosen to call their home.

Dr. Abbas Shouman asserted that events which gather Muslims such as Congregational prayers assist in social cohesion, building together relationships and supporting community networks.

He said: “The gathering of Muslim communities around the world is a matter that we encourage because it opens the door for Muslims to expand their networks and alliances, and enhances social bonding”.

“It also helps to put Islam in a good light extinguishing the flames of evil extending from people who know nothing about the true Islamic Shari^ah, the Shari^ah, of mercy and balance, rather than revolting violence and condemned terrorism”.

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar rejected the fatwas issued by some people deeming the commemoration of the Mawlid prohibited.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman said: “Commemorating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a praiseworthy deed and we endorsing it”.

“Also, commemorating the birth of the best of creation is a gathering of love for the best of creation who changed the world with the merciful Shari^ah revealed and which lit civilized society.”

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman continued to motivate Muslims to keep celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and not to pay attention to deviant opinions.

He expressed how peculiar and odd that some people accept celebrating events that show no trace of the Shari^ah of Allah, yet reject celebrating the birth of the one who is an illuminating guide and mercy to the World.

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar also said: “The principle taken by Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif as a religious and an academic institution is to uphold moderation and balance”.

“This approach he said is not owned by Al-Azhar, but is the methodology of Islam and all Muslims”.

“The one who adheres to the true form of Islam will inevitably adopt the path of moderation”.

“Al-Azhar is committed to the path of moderation depicted in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah (traditions) of His Messenger. We shall not divert from this path”.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman stressed that the terror which nowadays is repeatedly attributed to the religion of Islam, cannot be based on our Shari^ah, nor indeed to the Shari^ahs of any Prophets from the past.

This is because all the Shari^ahs were revealed to guide the people to what is in their best interest.

He said: “For this reason, it is imperative that we separate between the religion of Islam and those who commit abhorrent acts of terror”.

He continued to say that Al-Azhar has repeatedly and consistently called for people to stop using general statements that associate the ISIS terrorist group with the establishment of a so-called “Islamic State”, and statements that name such armed terrorist groups, ‘Muslim troops’.

He reassured that Al-Azhar is on a balanced and moderate path. It abhors radicalisation or extremism. He clarified that such extremists cannot draw support from the Holy Qur’an or from the Prophetic Sunnah for their horrific actions. He continued that these murderers are either agents fulfilling orders or are completely arrogant to the true meaning of Islamic scripture. He stressed the importance for people to know that Islam, through its fairness and balance, is the only guaranteed path by which we can achieve world peace for all and that it is imperative that Islam is understood correctly.

He said: “Let those who are misguided, refer to the credible scholars of the past to correct their understanding in matters about which they are confused or do not understand”.

“Some people falsely claim to be knowledgeable and affiliates of Al-Azhar. Then they publicize their scandalous opinions and controversial thoughts which are against the approach and value of Al-Azhar”.

“The value framework of Al-Azhar is far from abhorrent extremism and it disowns anyone who ascribes to such”, said the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar.

“We urge the youth to live in harmony and productivity with their fellow Australians and to diligently work for peace and engage with the wider Australian society. This will enable their religion to shine and exhibit the beauty of Islam”, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman said.

The Deputy of Al-Azhar visits the schools of Al-Amanah College.

At Alamanah

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman, was accompanied by Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, as they made their way to the two campuses of Al-Amanah Colleges, Liverpool and Bankstown, and then to the Masjid Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman and Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan met with the academic team of administrators and teachers. They were introduced by Mr. Mohammed El Dana, the Principal of Al-Amanah College and the Head of the Office of Education, ICPA Australia. They also met with students and their parents who were present specifically to greet and welcome the Deputy of Al-Azhar, despite it being the school holidays.

At the Liverpool campus of Al-Amanah College, the party of dignitaries were welcomed by its Principal, Mr. Ayman Alwan, who spoke about the achievements of Al-Amanah College. Some school students present recited verses from the Holy Qur’an by heart and narrated honourable hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Creed of Ahlu-Sunnah, as articulated in the Creed of Sheikh Fakhruddin Ibn ^Asakir which used to be recited in Jerusalem, as well as the poem of Imam ^Abdul-Ghaniyy an-Nabulsiyy which talks about Tawhid (i.e. the Oneness of Allah).

An entertaining multimedia presentation showcased the achievements of both campuses.

Mr. Alwan then expressed his profound gratitude to the teachers of Arabic, religion and Qur’an studies. He spoke about their efforts in implementing the school’s combined system of language and religious studies and their commitment to educate the students of the community about Islamic concepts and to distance them from revolting extremism.

He commended the educators for their enthusiasm in teaching knowledge that calls for moderation and harmony.

Towards the end of the gathering, Mr. El Dana presented the Deputy of Al-Azhar with a plaque of gratitude along with Islamic Books, certified by Al-Azhar University, and used within the curriculum at Al-Amanah College as the main source of reference.

He also gave the Deputy of Al-Azhar the School’s Year Book and a souvenir pen.

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Dr. Abbas Shouman thanked the school officials and supervisors, including the administrators and teachers, for their efforts in preparing a generation of upright Muslim students, who hold in their hearts the pure knowledge of Ahlus-Sunnah and reject horrendous extremism in all its forms.Al Amanah College

The gathering ended with group photos of the dignitaries, teachers, students and managers.

In tribute to the Deputy of Al-Azhar, Dr. Abbas Shouman, the party of dignitaries proceeded in the afternoon to the Salamah College complex and to a private opening of the new Sydney office of Darulfatwa Australia.

For the occasion, the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar presented the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia with a commemorative gift on behalf of Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif.Commemorative gift from Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif

Following the opening ceremony, at the request of the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Concetta Fierravanti Wells, discussions took place with the Deputy of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman, the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan and the President of the Islamic Charity Projects Association (ICPA) Australia, Dr. Ghayath Al-Shelh OAM.

Talks included discussing ways to establish a mutual academic exchange program between the Australian government and Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif.

At Darulfatwa

The Deputy of Al-Azhar at a private sitting in the new offices of Darulfatwa Australia with Senator representing the Prime Minister, Concetta Fierravanti Wells, discussing ways to collaborate on an educational exchange programme between the two countries.

Senator Fierravanti said that her interest in requesting such a sitting was triggered by comments made by the Deputy of Al-Azhar at the Multicultural Mawlid Concert held under the patronage of Darulfatwa Australia, at Olympic Park Sports Stadium, a few days earlier.

Senator Fierravanti Wells confirmed that she has been working on this matter for some time and is trying to amplify moderate voices in the Muslim community with a view to stopping the spread of extremist ideologies that disturb the harmony between Muslims and other people in the wider Australian society.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman said, Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif is an academic institution of religious jurisprudence, disciplines and cultural studies with more than 80 faculties, teaching half a million students, 80,000 of whom come from 117 foreign countries.

He also noted the many branches of Al-Azhar around Egypt and other parts of the world as well as numerous Al-Azhar delegates and missionaries in over 70 countries.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman highlighted that the methodology of Al-Azhar is based on disseminating moderate and balanced thought and, to that end, Al-Azhar is ready and prepared to cooperate with Australian universities to counter corrupt ideologies.

VIP Luncheon held by Darulfatwa Australia

At the VIP Luncheon held by Darulfatwa Australia to welcome the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar.

On Monday 21st of December 2015 following the official opening ceremony of the new offices of Darulfatwa Australia, Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Dr. Abbas Shouman, and his associates made their way to the VIP luncheon Hall in the Salamah complex at Chester Hill, Sydney.

Hosted by Darulfatwa Australia, the VIP luncheon was held in honour of the special guest of the Arab and Islamic community, Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman.

The exclusive guest list included numbers of key representatives of the Arab and Muslim community in Sydney, leaders of cultural, social and religious organizations.

Also present were representatives of non-Muslim groups, figures from community schools and a large number of media representatives from Australian and Arabic media outlets.

The formal presentations began with a word from the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan.

After the official welcoming he said: “From the heart, we say that we love Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif and we hold tight to the moderate methodology which we have learned from Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif. Al-Azhar is indeed a minaret of knowledge and moderation”.

“The Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar did indeed travel to Australia in response to the invitation of Darulfatwa Australia, but also to get an opportunity to meet with the many Arab and Islamic Australian communities”, Dr. Sheikh Salim added.

In his address, the Deputy of Al-Azhar said, “The Islamic Shari^ah is a comprehensive system unparalleled in its principles of upright and peaceful coexistence for all mankind. All Shari^ahs revealed in history, stand united against hateful extremism, reprehensible terrorism and abhorrent violence”. He then said that this gathering reminded him of the experience of the Egyptian Family House; a unique program established by the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

It required figures of the church and Al-Azhar scholars to come together to discuss current social affairs and community problems and contribute resolutions and ideas to enrich Egypt’s heritage and culture.

The program outlined that the delegation of the chairperson rotates between the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and the Pope of the Coptic Church.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman explained that he came to deliver several messages at various gatherings organized over the three-day visit, but then added to his set agenda a new message which he said should also be translated.

He recommended that gatherings, such as this one, which represents all denominations present on Australian soil, become part of a plan of action applied with the aim of achieving engagement and integration at grass roots level.

Such a move will also serve to reveal the true image of our Arab region to the world, that it represents a land of peace and coexistence, not a land condemned to violence and destruction.

Following the addresses, a number of leaders of association presented plaques and souvenirs to the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar before taking group photos with him.

Dr. Shalah Presenting a Souvenir to Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar

Lunch meeting

On Monday evening, preceding the program of official engagements, the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Dr. Abbas Shouman, accepted an invitation from the Sydney Consul General of Egypt, Ambassador Youssef Shawki, to a welcoming dinner at his home.

The invited dignitaries included the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, Bishop Daniel, and head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney and related associations, and head of the Islamic Charitable Projects Association in Australia (ICPA), Dr. Ghayath Al-Shelh OAM.

During the dinner, the Deputy of Al-Azhar said that he was grateful and very happy for the opportunity made possible by the invitation of Darulfatwa Australia to attend this gathering which ended the series of engagements and formal functions in Sydney.

He stated that this visit and its official engagements also served as a way of forging a close bond between Egyptians and their expatiate.

He added that his visit to Australia had aimed to deliver several messages to the Arab and Islamic communities in all countries of the globe.

These centred on the importance of integrating with the societies in which they live; working to correct misconceptions about Islam and Muslims; not to betray the nations which they have chosen to enter and call their home, and the need to engage on key matters and events that concern the nation as a whole.

On his part, the Consul General of Egypt, Mr. Youssef Shawki, expressed his happiness and the privilege of hosting the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar at his home, which he acknowledged was the first official visit to Australia by an official from Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif.

He recognized that Al-Azhar is an institution of moderation and tolerance that makes all Egyptians proud.

Meeting With Consul General of Egypt

He also directed a special greeting to the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, and expressed his admiration at the Multicultural Mawlid Concert hosted by Darulfatwa Australia, to celebrate the Birth of Prophet Muhammad.


The state of Victoria graciously welcomes

Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman.

The following day, Tuesday 21st of December, 2015, the Deputy of Al-Azhar travelled to Melbourne, with the party of dignitaries, where he accepted an invitation to a formal welcoming dinner organized under the patronage of Darulfatwa Australia by the Association of Islamic Society (AIS), Victoria.

The guest list headed by the Deputy of Al-Azhar, Dr. Abbas Shouman and Darulfatwa Australia Chairman, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, included:

  • The host, President of the Muslim Welfare Trust of Victoria, Sheikh Mustapha Al-Chami;
  • Former Consul General of Egypt in Australia, present Assistant to Foreign Minister, Secretary General of the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with the Commonwealth, Mohamad Khairat [senior];
  • Diplomat Khaled Rizk;
  • Consul General of Lebanon in Melbourne, Ghassan Al-Khatib;
  • Consul General of Malaysia in Melbourne;
  • Deputy Commissioner of Regional Operations at Victoria Police, Andrew Crisp;
  • President of the Islamic Charity Projects Association of Australia, Dr. Ghayath Al-Shelh OAM;
  • Representatives and leaders of culturally and linguistically diverse associations, religious groups, denominations, and media outlets.

The event began with an honourable recitation from the Holy Qur’an and was preceded by enchanting rendition of Islamic songs of praise, followed by the message of the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar.

After the formal welcomes, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman thanked Darulfatwa Australia for facilitating this opportunity to meet with a wide variety of key communities and groups in Australia.

Following his discussion about the institute of Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif and its objectives, he stressed the importance of gatherings such as this, in which key representatives of the Australian Arabic, Muslim and non-Muslim communities gather as one.

Again, he restated the full willingness of Al-Azhar to accept enrolments of Australian students and Muslim community members to commence courses in Al-Azhar, through the conduit of the Egyptian embassy.

Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman said, “Al-Azhar holds strong to a message of humanity. It does not hold to ideologies of destructive terrorism and the condemnable radical thoughts. Instead its quest is for humanitarian coexistence, all the more so in today’s problematic climate in which Muslims are targeted globally. Inevitably, there is fear from all cultural communities of a sudden eruption of violence”.


In VictoriaThe session ended with a word from the Chairman of Darulfatwa Australia, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan. He thanked his guests for their attendance and support, and directed a special thank-you to the distinguished guest of honour.

He stressed in his message the importance of knowing about Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif and its moderate and balanced path.

Gifts were presented afterwards to the Deputy of Al-Azhar, and followed by a string of memorable photo shots.

Among the matters that stood out to those present at this private session, was that the Deputy of Al-Azhar stood up and personally approached each and every one who was present, shaking their hands and greeting them.

On the margins of the gathering, SBS radio conducted an interview with the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar. The party of dignitaries then headed towards As-Saddiq Association of Egypt.

A Historic Visit was made


On the next day, Prof Dr. Abbas Shouman, the Deputy Chairman of Al-Azhar boarded his plane in Melbourne and travelled back to his homeland. This ended his inaugural and historic trip to Australia.

Needless to say, he made a great impact on many especially on those who accompanied him during his visit.







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