University of Madinah:
Shining Example of
|The Islamic University of Madinah Al-Munawwarah (IUM) is a unique Islamic educational institution that caters to Muslim students from all over the world. Set up in 1961, it has five colleges, for Shari'ah (Islamic Law); the Holy Qur'an (textual studies of the Holy Book); Da'wah and Usul Al-Din (propagation and theology); Hadith (Islamic traditions); and the Arabic language. Currently more than 3,000 students are enrolled, about 450 of whom are foreign students drawn from more than 70 countries.|
Unlike other Islamic universities that have diversified into secular programs such as medicine and engineering, the IUM has continued to focus all its resources on religious affairs. Its main aim is to convey the message of Islam to the world at large. Its other objectives are to inculcate a true Islamic spirit in its students, urging the individual and the community to practice Islam in daily life and worship God alone; to follow the noble examples of the Prophet Muhammad with utmost sincerity and devotion; to impart religious education to students who come from different parts of the world; to seek the cooperation of highly qualified scholars specialized in various Islamic and Arabic disciplines; to collect, verify, and publish works on Islamic heritage; and to maintain academic and cultural ties with other universities and scientific institutions worldwide that serve the cause of Islam and realize its objectives.
The University Council, chaired by the Minister of Higher Education, publishes research reports and other studies; awards scientific degrees, diplomas and certificates to university graduates; awards honorary doctorates following the suggestion of the concerned college council; recommends regulations to decide on the academic calendar and vacation time, subsidies for students, and approval for the university's final accounts; and reviews issues brought up by University President Dr. Saleh Ibn Abdullah Al-Obud or other members of the Council.
The Scientific Council implements the University Council's policies in preparing scientific research, undertaking translation, writing papers, and collecting Islamic heritage. It promotes relations in other research centers outside the university and cooperates with them, and holds conferences and seminars with local, regional and international participation. The university has a vice president for post-graduate studies and scientific research, who is appointed by a resolution of the Supreme Council of Higher Education for a three-year term, which is renewable.
Tens of thousands of students from Saudi Arabia and more tha 70 other countries have graduated from the university over the past four decades.
Like other universities in Saudi Arabia, the IUM is equipped with the latest administrative, educational and research facilities. A data center set up in 1991 prepares the university's development plan and introduces the computer system to the educational and administrative departments of the university. It also coordinates with government agencies as well as with other computer systems in the universities.
An important center at the university is that specializing in the Sunnah and Sira (the Prophet's traditions and biography). This center is currently preparing an encyclopedia on the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet), besides undertaking various projects in related fields. It has also published translations of the Sunnah and Sira in a number of languages.
The Islamic heritage center was founded in 1983 to conduct research in the fields of scientific, Islamic and Arabic studies, and to publish a scientific magazine. It also publishes periodicals and booklets on the issues facing Islamic society; promotes Islamic heritage; responds to media reports on Islam and Muslims around the world; cooperates with other organizations and institutions working in the field of scientific research inside and outside the Kingdom; maintains contact with leading Islamic personalities; and collects manuscripts, documents and information on Islam.
The university employs a rigorous procedure for selecting only the brightest and most promising students for admission into its programs. Although the majority of students gaining admission to the university have completed high school studies in the Kingdom and abroad, some are graduates of the IUM's own secondary school. The university also runs an intermediate institute. Like the university itself, both schools are open to students from other countries as well as Saudi Arabia. Currently there are more than 100 students from 16 countries besides Saudi Arabia studying at the two schools. Furthermore, there are two other intermediate institutes, one in Madinah and one in Makkah, that are affiliated with the IUM. In addition, there is a center for teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers, that helps students qualify for admission to the university.
Worthy of note is the university's Deanship of Service to Society. Graduates of this program are qualified to serve on Islamic delegations or as teachers and lecturers for teaching Arabic and Islamic culture in Muslim countries around the world. Graduates are also qualified to lead prayers inside and outside the Kingdom, and hold seminars and lectures. This deanship also distributes books and printed material in schools and institutions inside and outside the Kingdom. For outstanding students from overseas, the University offers a wide range of generous benefits, including travel between their home countries and the Kingdom, and while studying, free accommodation, textbooks and transportation, in addition to the regular monthly stipend that all students in the Kingdom receive.
The Islamic University of Madinah represents a shining example of the Kingdom's service to Islam and Islamic studies and has been serving as a center of Islamic studies throughout the world, presenting Islam in its pristine purity.