Sheikh el-Tayeb had been planned to lead a senior delegation to Bangladesh but sent Abbas Shuman, al-Azhar’s deputy head instead.
The decision came following Friday’s deadly terrorist attack on a mosque in Egypt.
On Friday, militants killed more than 230 people at a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai, detonating a bomb and gunning down worshippers in the deadliest attack in the country’s modern history.
Worshippers were finishing Friday prayers at the mosque when a bomb exploded, witnesses said. Around 40 gunmen set up positions outside the mosque with jeeps and opened fire from different directions as people tried to escape, witnesses said.
“They were shooting at people as they left the mosque,” said a local resident whose relatives were at the scene. “They were shooting at the ambulances too.”
The public prosecutors’ office said in a statement 235 people had been killed and 109 more wounded.