Al-Karaouine University: A Journey-Back through History to the First University in the World
The University of Al-Karaouine in Fez, Morocco, is the first university established in the history of the world, and the oldest ever. With Luxury Fez Tours, you will have the chance to discover the source of knowledge in this spiritual city.
The university was built as an educational institution for The mosque of al-Karaouine, which was built by Fatima the daughter of Mohamed El-Fihri in 859 in the Moroccan city of Fez. According to the Guinness Book of Records, this university is the oldest one in the world.
Many Western scholars graduated in it, and the mosque and the scientific university attached to it remained a center of intellectual, cultural and religious activity for nearly a thousand years. Sylvester II (Gerbert of Aurillac), who served as Pope from the year 999 to 1003 CE, studied in it, and it is said that he was the one who, after returning to Europe, entered the Arabic numerals. Also, Musa the son of Maimon, a Jewish doctor and philosopher, spent a few years in which he practiced teaching at The University of Al-Karaouine.
The University of Al-Karaouine has been a center of scientific and civilization radiation since the al-Idrisi era. Teaching in it was not only restricted to legal sciences, but also expanded to include the rest of life sciences, mental and medical sciences.
Throughout its history, the university provided a unique model in attracting students of science, men, women and children, to produce honorable models in various fields, including governors, judges, musicians and jurists.
The University of Al-Karaouine contains a group of the oldest and most important books in Islamic history, and among the most famous of these books and manuscripts is a copy of the Holy Qur’an dating back to the 9th century, written in Kufic script on manuscripts made from the skin of camel. The library also contains rare books and manuscripts of the most famous scholars such as Ibn Khaldun, and one historical study says that these books have the signature of the historian himself.