Archive for March, 2010

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,


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,


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,