Seeking Islamic Knowledge in Saudi


InshaAllah I will try to post some information for seekers of knowledge that are interested in studying at Saudi Universities. Since I know a bit more about the Islamic University of Madinah, I will try to write about it from what I’ve been informed by others that applied.

Requirements Are As Follows:

Check Your Intention:

For those who are familiar with Sufyaan bin Sa’eed Ath-Thawree, one of his saying is that, “Nothing was harder for me to treat than my intention.” Know my dear brother’s and sister’s in Islam, that one should always check his intention before performing any act, and when it comes to seeking Islamic knowledge having a pure intention of seeking knowledge only for the sake of Allah Swt is of great importance.

By seeking knowledge the seeker of knowledge  should not try to fulfill worldly goals such as assuming leadership, piling wealth, aiming for a status, competing with colleague’s, taking a high or front seat, or having some pride etc. One should keep checking his intention and work on it using the knowledge that he gains. Know that we can only fool ourselves and people, but not the Lord Almighty Allah Swt.

Remember that it is the knowledge that one inherits what the Prophet’s and Messenger’s leave behind and it is the knowledge that elevates people and benefits not only in the here but in the hereafter.

Jabir bin Abdillah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Do not acquire knowledge for the sake of competing with the scholars or to argue with the foolish or to take control over a gathering, for whoever does that, then (for him will be) the Hell fire, the Hell fire (Ibn Maajah,ibn Hibbaan and Al-Haakim

In an agreed upon hadeeth, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who is the most honored of people?” He (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The one with the most taqwaa.” He also said, “The most that gets people in to Paradise: Taqwaa of Allah and good manners.” At-Tirmithi.

Umar bin Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Account yourselves before you are taken to account, measure before you are measured, and beautify for the Greatest Presentation on the day nothing will be hidden.”

Malik, rahimahullah, when it was said to him that this is from the simple part of knowledge replied: There is nothing easy in the knowledge of the Quraan and the Sunnah. Rather it is as Allaah has said: “Verily we shall send down to you a weighty word.”

Excellence of seeking knowledge

The Messenger of Allah also said, “Who takes the path hoping for knowledge, Allah makes easy for him the path to Paradise. Verily, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge out of pleasure of what he is doing. Verily all in the heavens and earth seek forgiveness for the knowledgeable, even the fish in the water. The excellence of the knowledgeable over the servant is like the excellence of the moon on the night of the full moon over all the planets.Verily, the learned are the heirs of the Prophets, the Prophets do not leave dinar or dirham, but they are inherited in knowledge, and he who takes it takes a great bounty.” Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, and Ibn HabbaanHadeeth Saheeh, Saheeh Abee Dawood, Sheikh Albani 3096

Allah Swt says:

“Verily, it is only those who have knowledge amongst His servants that fear Allah” (Faatir 28)

“And they were commanded not except to worship Allah sincerely, making the worship purely for His sake.” (Bayyinah: 5)

Requirements For Admission

Applicant should be 25 years old or younger (there is no harm in applying if you’re a little older, you never know)  with a high school diploma, good grades and no more than 5 years should have passed since the applicant obtained the diploma/certificate.

  • A copy of the high school diploma GED and GCE/A Levels.
  • Those who do not possess a high school diploma/GED/GCE/A Levels at the time of application will be considered for admission to the Thanawiyyah (high school/secondary) branch of the University. This is a pre-university stage that one would join after completing the two year Arabic program, and it lasts three years, after which one would join one of the faculties of the University.
  • A copy of the high school transcript/reportcard/marksheet.
  • A certificate bearing witness to the good character and religious practice of the applicant from a reliable source. Also known as tazkiyyah, it can be obtained by requesting it from the local masjid.
  • A copy of the birth certificate. I know in my county you can get a certified copy from the health department for a reasonable price and it’s a walk in, same day service.
  • A medical report, one can get a physical done from a known doctor or clinic stating that the candidate is fit and healthy and free of any infectious disease.
  • Six recent passport-size photographs (4×6)
  • Copy of the passport.
  • Letter of approval (no objection letter) from your government. * This may be not required in some places you may want to contact the Saudi consulate/embassy and ask. One of the brothers that went recently from the west was not required to have this; I do not know about other Countries.

A certified Arabic translation of all documents should be submitted by the applicant in case these documents are in a language other than Arabic.

You may ask your local Mosque to officially stamp the Arabic translated documents in order to “certify” them.

  1. All documents need to be attested by the foreign ministry of the applicant’s country. For those in the States wanting to authenticate their American educational documents i.e (degrees, diplomas, transcripts) are done by the Office of Authentications in the U.S. Department of State.

Before you can submit your documents to the Office of Authentications, they must go through the following three (3) steps:

  1. You will need to get the documents notarized from a Notary Public. You can go to a community center some of them may do notarization or other offices such as some that do translations services and even courier offices such as UPS may provide this service.
  1. After having the documents notarized, you will need to go to the ‘County Clerks Office’. They certify documents according to the county which your document was notarized in.  After getting the documents certified by your county, you need to get them certified by the state as well. So you need to get the number for the ‘Secretary of State’ and have them certify your documents by the state.

You can read about these requirements in brief form on the section “Authentication Requirements” at the official website of the Office of Authentications (under the U.S. Department of State) here:

After you have fulfilled the above three (3) requirements for each of the document which needs to be authenticated, you may mail/post the documents to the Office of Authentications, which is under the ’United States Department of State’. The address is as follows:

United States Department of State
Authentication Office
518 23rd Street, N.W. SA-1
Washington, D.C. 20520

The Authentication of documents takes approximately 5 business days to process from the time of receipt [Please note: U.S. Postal mail entering the U.S. Department of State must go through a screening process which may delay the time in which they will receive the document]. You must include a cover-letter with your name, telephone number, address and email address. You must also indicate the name of the country where the document will be used. Use a self-addressed stamped envelope for faster return of your documents. Documents received without a return envelope and postage will be returned through the State Department regular mail, which can result in a 2-3 week delay. You can use DHL, Fed/Ex, UPS and express mail services for faster receipt/return of your documents. However, you must enclose a prepaid airbill and envelope with the documents.

The authentication fee is $8.00 per document. A personal check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of State must be submitted with the documents. Visa and Mastercard are accepted for Walk-in Service only.

For those living in the D.C. area or willing to travel personally to the U.S. Department of State, then you can submit your documents in person. If you have 15 documents or less, they will be processed while you wait. You may do this from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Monday to Friday, except Federal Holidays.

The location for the walk-in service is:

Authentications Office Columbia Plaza Store Front
518 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

For more information, please see the following section “Office of Authentications” at the official website of the U.S. Department of State:

The application can be downloaded by clicking here, you can also check the university website, I know there was a link somewhere for applying. If you are planning on going for Umrah, you can personally go and give an interview and submit the documents, this way you may have a chance of knowing if anything is missing it would be beneficial to go with someone who is a student there who can show and take you around. I don’t know if it is to an advantage in going and applying in person as I know two brothers who did this, one of them got admitted and one didn’t, just make dua to Allah swt and have sincerity. You can mail the documents to:

Deanship of Admissions and Registration

The Islamic University, P.O. Box 170

Madinah Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia

Also write the address in Arabic on one side, you can ask someone for translation or use a online translator.

You may contact the University by phone if you wish:


For those who would like to come personally for an interview to the University along with submitting your documents, then the University mentions on the official application form that:

  • Applicants may apply for admission for all stages in the period between October 23 and January 20 each year.

Benefits and Advantages:

  1. Paid airline tickets to accepted students for their introductory arrival, and upon the completion of their studies.
  2. Paid round-trip airline tickets annually for students wishing to travel to their home countries at the end of the academic year (in the summer holidays), according to University regulations.
  3. A monthly stipend is paid to each student, the amount of which is determined according to the educational stage he is enrolled in. (approx 840 Saudi Riyals for those enrolled in University-level studies)
  4. Free furnished accommodation is provided to single students. (You will share a room with other students, some 4 to a room, and some 2 to a room)
  5. The University restaurant offers meals to students at nominal prices.
  6. The University hospital provides students with medical care.
  7. The University buses carry students free of charge to the Prophet’s Mosque after Asr prayer, and take them back to the University campus after Isha prayer.

Taken from: Personal info given by those who applied and got accepted to IUM, about tajweed, laying the foundations of knowledge,, I suggest checking and the wordpress as the brother’s have done excellent work in providing info on universities in Saudi.


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2 Responses to “Seeking Islamic Knowledge in Saudi”

  1. mmshaban Says:

    Assalamu Alikum brother,

    I know that the list for 2009 has been released. I just want to know when can I apply for the next year? When does the year start? and how long does it take for the application to get reviewed and for the list to be released. Jazakum Allah Khayran.

    • theforgottendeen Says:

      Wa Alaikom As Salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

      You should apply as soon as you have all the paper work ready and complete, the completeness of paper work is very important as the applicatin may be rejected due to some missing documents which the sender was not aware of, they may not even contact you and ask you for missing stuff, sooner you apply the better it is. The list comes out during this time and if a person is selected he may need to do a run to get there in time because the visa at times may be delayed.

      If you are planing to go for umrah sometime soon then you should apply in person, one of the brother’s i personally knew that got accepted last year had personally went and applied while he was there for umrah, i know another brother that applied in person however did not get admitted.

      When exactly the classes start i do not know but to give an idea its between aug-oct approx…you may not hear anything after you apply and if you make it you will just see your name when the list comes up if not then apply again if you’re still under the age requirement.

      Hope this helps, May Allah make it easy for me, you and all our brothers and sisters in Islam to seek knowledge with the pure intentions. Ameen

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