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من يريد أن يتعرف على هذا الموقع باللغة العربية اضغط هنا

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

The pages of this site are here to give you information and help you.

Posting comments asking for me to email you information that is already obviously mentioned – often on the front page, posting the fifth comment of the day to ask when the list of names will be released, posting a comment with ‘i want to apply’ and no other information…this isn’t helping the brothers who have genuine questions.

I didn’t want to write anything about this, because I didn’t want the brothers who have genuine questions, or who genuinely don’t understand some of the information to stop posting or to feel shy. There is a big difference between someone who writes: “I’m a bit confused about the application date, what did you mean…” and someone who says: “I can’t be bothered to actually read anything that you have written, so if you could just spend half an hour of your time making up for my laziness by sending me a personal email with all of the conditions, and documents that I need”…so let the brothers fear Allah with regard to the rights of others.

I want to emphasise again that I have no problem at all answering questions from people who genuinely don’t understand, or couldn’t find the information, even if it is the same question I’ve answered many times before. This is really important, because it helps me to understand the parts of the website that aren’t clear.

—Here ends the lecture :)

BTW: the list of names will be released, in shaa Allah, just before Ramadhaan, but they have been known to arrive earlier. In shaa Allah, we’ll post them here on the site as soon as they are released.

A note to everyone who is using the site. As well as browsing the site pages, try to read the comments at the bottom of every page, since many of the questions are answered there. Every now and again I try to incorporate the most important questions into the site pages, however exams and other commitments often slow me down, so have a quick browse through the comments, in case your question has already been asked. If you don’t find it, or you aren’t sure, feel free to post a new comment!

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

Muhammad

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullah,

Had a chance to sit today with part of the committee who is deciding, amongst other things, the UK and US students who are going to be accepted this year. They are literally in the last few days of decision making, and the lists are being presented for final signatures this week, possibly early next week. There are still one or two countries that haven’t been finalised, but I know for example, that Pakistan was completed within the last couple of days and signed off, and that most countries are either done or almost done.

One of the interesting things I picked up on is that they group the applications within one country, according to ethnic background. So, all of the British-Pakistani students are being put in a pile, and all of the British-Somali students in a pile, and so on. They then compete against each other, instead of against the broader range of applicants. So, let’s imagine that in the top 10 for the UK there are 5 students whose parents are of Pakistani origin, only one or two of those top 5 would get accepted, unless they are (a) exceptionally gifted, beyond the normal expectation of students (b) the number of applications from indigenous applicants is less, or the standard is very poor, in which case they might take one or two more.

Will this result in a practical change to the balance of accepted students? maybe, maybe not, since they always talk about doing this, and in the end, the list ends up being quite balanced. Allah knows best.

I did make a point about who you class as indigenous in a country like the US – since I didn’t think there were that many Native Americans who applied…but I think the point was somewhat lost on them, and they basically define indigenous as: doesn’t look like he comes from a Muslim country with a lot of existing applicants.

I’ve said before that nobody should let this kind of thing put them off. Put your application together, apply, and make du’aa. Allah opens doors for people in ways that they could never imagine. We can only work within the system we have, and certainly ethnic background is by no means the only method of deciding between applications, and the university maintains that when they get a really exceptional applicant, they don’t look at ethnic background at all.

I think there’s a difference between getting a balanced list, which is praiseworthy, and being biased against certain ethnic groups, which is not. In shaa Allah, the university is aiming for the first and not the second.

We ask Allah for His tawfeeq,

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullah,

Muhammad

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

I have just finished a complete update of the blog, including updating and checking the information on all of the pages, a redesign of the site in general, and what I hope is an improved way of organising the information. A lot of old information has been removed or updated, and I have started a serious attempt to include other universities as part of the blog.

There are loads of changes to the actual WordPress options, including limiting the number of posts on the front page, and new comments appearing at the top of the list of comments, instead of the bottom, which should help for pages which have hundreds of comments.

If I am missing anything, or have inadvertently deleted something really important, please let me know!

The only thing left to do now is to answer all of those comments!!

Baarak Allahu feekum,

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullah,

Muhammad

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullah,

I’ve had to stop answering questions for the last month or so, just from being snowed under with work.

A few updates for you all:

  1. In shaa Allah, I’m going to get through the backlog of over a hundred comments which I need to reply to, over the next few days.
  2. I’m going to set some time to revamp the website, to cover more universities, and generally update the information, in shaa Allah, within the coming week.
  3. The electronic application for Madinah university is coming close to be ready to go live. I have submitted FAQs for the official site, and will soon post them here as well, for your comments.
  4. The university seems now to be accepting requests from students to bring their wives, on the condition that the students are from countries in which Muslims are a minority, like Europe, the US, etc. They are currently accepting applications – so any students who are married should go and submit their papers. This seems to be a temporary measure to cope with the massive influx of new students this year, and requires the student to sign a pledge that they will not ask the university for any form of help and support, and will take full responsibility for the consequences of bringing their wives.

Finally, I am looking for brothers to help maintain this site. I would love to be able to respond to every question within a day or two, but often the response time is more like 2-4 weeks, simply because of the other projects I’m involved in. I also really need a brother from Makkah and a brother in Riyadh, so if anyone knows of someone who might be willing to help, please forward their details to me.

May Allah reward those who have posted comments and are having to be a little patient while I get round to replying to them all.
Baarak Allahu feekum,

Wassalaamu alaykum,

Muhammad

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullah,

There are a few updates which I wanted to let everyone know about.

Firstly, as I have mentioned previously, there is going to be a four fold increase to the number of students accepted this year, in shaa Allah. Most of the places have already been allocated, and the main ‘deadline’ has already passed. However, I doubt that they will have filled every single place, because of the massive increase in places, and as I keep saying, there is no official cut-off date, in the sense that they stop accepting applications. However, once they have allocated all of the places (which was scheduled to happen about a month ago), all other applications will be considered for the following year. This can be thought of as an unofficial deadline, but people can still be accepted after it has passed, just not very many.

Secondly, there are some very big changes scheduled to happen in the coming few years which seem like they are going to change the Islamic University (for better or worse) – and Allah knows best.

  1. Firstly, as mentioned above, the university is going to have much larger facilities and therefore accept more students. This has its good points and bad points. The concern is that the standard will be even more watered down than it already is, in terms of both teachers and students, as the university struggles to cope with the massive increase in numbers.
  2. Secondly, masters may (this is still unofficial as far as I know) be changed to 2 years instead of 4-5 years, with no research paper (only a standard dissertation written over months not years). This will make the masters programme much more accessible, in shaa Allah, with a large increase in the number of students who are accepted. This again can be good and bad, since it represents yet another compromise in standards and quality, but on the other hand, makes the programme viable for more people.
  3. Thirdly, there is a rumor that they are making progress in terms of the sisters’ facilities, and we may see something more concrete next year – and Allah knows best. Not only does this open the door to sisters who want to apply, but also could potentially make it much easier for married students.
  4. Finally, the university is planning to expand to cover non-Islamic specialisations, making it a mainstream university, rather than a purely Islamic one. I don’t know the timescale for this, or whether any scholarships would be provided to students from outside of Saudi Arabia, but the change is something which is being seriously talked about.

On one hand, I’m really pleased that the university is becoming more accessible and many of the difficulties mentioned on this blog are becoming easier, in shaa Allah. On the other hand, there is a serious concern that if changes happen in an unplanned way, a lot of the quality and the atmosphere of the university may be lost. Also, there is a major push to lower the standards required of the students, which are already so much lower than they were five or six years ago, and a million miles away from what they were 10 or 20 years ago. It used to be that students graduated with a solid foundation in all of the major Islamic sciences, whereas it now seems that the gaping holes in the university syllabus are getting bigger and bigger, with each course becoming more and more specialised, and focusing less and less on classical sources (with some exceptions of course). The blame for that doesn’t rest solely with the administration; the students have to accept their fair share of the blame.

If you look at certain major Islamic universities in the world and what has happened to them, you can see how much they were affected by these kinds of changes. These kind of changes can be something very positive, in shaa Allah, if they are accompanied by adherence to the Sunnah and a solid Islamic framework, as well as a firm respect for the status of Islamic  knowledge. However, if they are implemented simply to make a university closer to its counterparts in the West, then they can be the beginning of a serious decline, making a university more concerned with quantity than quality, and turning what should be the single most important and comprehenive field of study in the world into little more than a token degree and a hobby course, no longer producing future scholars and serious students of knowledge. Some might say that has already happened to some extent.

We ask Allah to protect this university and to make it a source of benefit for the world, and to grant the teachers, students, and management the ability to fulfill the amaanah which they have been given.

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullah,

Muhammad

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