Archive for February, 2010


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

Advertisements

There have been a number of comments about this scheme, with some people defending it and some criticising it. Based on all of the comments, and having seen the application pack which the sisters mentioned below send out, I have come to the following conclusion:

* There seems to actually be an opportunity for sisters to study in this university, as well as other universities in the Kingdom. However, the nature of this opportunity and its conditions need further research.

* I strongly advise the sisters not to use the method mentioned below, regardless of the intention of the people involved. You do not need to use this method any more than the brothers need to in order to apply to Madinah University. It can be daunting to apply to a university in Saudi Arabia, but with a little bit of guidance, it can be quite easy.

* In shaa Allah, I plan to do further research into the opportunities available, over the next few days, and where it is possible to add the information to the site, then we will do so, if Allah wills.

* With regard to not needing a mahram – even if this is correct according to the conditions of the university (which is not confirmed), it is not Islamically permissible. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel more than a day and a night’s travel, without a mahram.” This equates to a matter of a few miles, not thousands of miles to live in a different country. The correct opinion from the people of knowledge is that a woman cannot go to perform her obligatory Hajj without a mahram, so certainly she cannot do so for non-obligatory actions, no matter how good they are. How can a person go to seek the bounty of Allah in a way that angers and displeases Him? Whoever helps women to travel without a mahram is sinful and disobedient to Allah – the Exalted, and is turning people away from the path of Allah, not helping people towards it.
Allah knows best, and He is the One who guides to the right path.

——

I receieved this email from a normally very reliable source. However, it seems that this is not true. I don’t honestly know whether the opportunity is actually there, but it seems the fees are part of a scam. To be fair, I should have known better, because it is very unusual for a university here to charge fees, however, the source of the email made me think that it was legitimate.

http://ruwaydamustafah.com/2010/02/16/the-fake-princess-noora-bint-abdur-rahman-university-scholorship-program-riyaadh-saudi-arabia/

This message was passed on to me…ma shaa Allah tabaarak Allah, it sounds like great news.

PRINCESS NOORA BINT ABDUR-RAHMAN UNIVERSITY  SCHOLORSHIP PROGRAM,
RHIYAD SAUDI ARABIA

(LOOKING FOR SERIOUS SISTERS UNDER 30 YRS OF AGE WHO ARE  INTERESTED IN LEARNING ARABIC AND ISLAMIC STUDIES)

INCLUDED:

AIR FAIR, ROOM AND BOARD, MONTHLY STIFFAN  AND
SPONSORSHIP FOR HUSBANDS AND OR MAHRAMS

FEE:

$700-$1000 FOR PROCESSING AND DOMESTIC AFFAIRS (VISAS)

ALL  APPLICANTS WILL NEED TO SUBMIT COPIES OF PASSPORTS, HIGHSCHOOL DIPLOMAS OR  GED BIRTH CERTIFICATE, AND ANY COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS

ALL DOCUMENTS  AND FEES FOR SEPTEMBER 2010,
ADMISSIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FEBRUARY  28, 2010

FOR ADMISSIONS SEPTEMBER 2011, ALL DOCUMENTS MUST
BE  SUBMITTED BY THE END OF MARCH 2010
(NO EXCEPTIONS)

FOR FURTHER  INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: UMM MARYAM RASHEEDAH (SAUDI CONSULTANT)  011966535300346 Umimaryam20@msn.com

OR

UMM MUHAMMAD  NAIMAH,  Ummnajimah@yahoo.com