Scholarship Students in Saudi Arabia Should Reflect

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever-Merciful…

As a recipient of a Saudi government scholarship to study at Umm al-Qura University, I thank Allaah and ask Him to forgive me and my brothers and sisters who study here on full scholarships for not realizing how many blessings from Allaah we have overlooked and/or not properly thanked Him for.

Have we thanked Allaah for granting us years of peaceful and secure living in a land of Towheed and Sunnah? Some Muslims are living in fear for their lives and property right now. Some live in countries that do not allow them to practice Islaam. Some live in countries that openly promote polytheism and acts of blasphemy. By Allaah, we are spoiled in this land. By Allaah, we have not shown enough gratitude for our blessings!

Have we thanked Allaah for the ability to pray at the two greatest masjids in the world? Muslims around the world save for years to make one trip. Many of them never make it. Many of them beg Allaah in the depths of the nights to make one prayer at one of the two sacred Harams one day. By Allaah, we are spoiled and ungrateful.

Have we thanked Allaah for the ability to visit and study from a number of today’s greatest scholars? Our brothers in Islaam dream of the chance to meet a scholar one day. Muslims huddle together secretly in lands of oppression to listen to one lecture from the scholars whom we have daily access to. By Allaah, we do not reflect, nor do we thank Allaah as He deserves to be thanked!

Have we thanked Allaah for the many times we have been able to make Hajj and ‘Umrah, either without cost, along with our university or other government program, or in a relatively inexpensive way? Our brothers and sisters around the world save their earnings for their entire lives, begging Allaah for Hajj, waiting on government waiting lists for decades in some countries, just to get the chance to make Hajj. By Allaah, we have oppressed ourselves greatly by not reflecting. We have not thanked Allaah.

وإن تعدوا نعمة الله لا تحصوها

“Were you to count the favors of Allaah, you would never (be able to) enumerate them.” [16:18]

If we could put a price tag on some of the blessings we have received, what would that even look like?

All costs considered, someone traveling from the West may easily spend about $10,000 to make Hajj. A student living in Makkah took his wife and walked for most of the Hajj one year, spending about SR 200 (less than $55) on food and a few taxis here and there. He complained about a taxi driver requesting too much for a trip. By Allaah, we are not grateful!

A student receives a monthly stipend of about SR 900 (about $240), free housing, discounted meals, free health care, and free airfare to his home country and back every summer, among other amenities. Let us think about what all of that means for a typical American student who spends seven years in Saudi Arabia to finish his undergraduate degree (2-3 years for Arabic, plus 4-5 years to finish his BA program).

  • Yearly stipend: $2,880 x 7 = $20,160
  • Estimated cost of housing per year (single students): $600 x 7 = $4,200
  • Estimated yearly health care costs: $1,000 x 7 = $7,000
  • Discounted meals (estimated yearly savings): $1,000 x 7 = $7,000
  • Yearly Airfare: $2,500 x 7 = $17,500 
  • Tuition value and administrative costs (conservative yearly estimate): $5,000 x 7 = $35,000

Total conservatively estimated value of an average scholarship package: $90,860

That number could easily top $100,000 with more concrete numbers and consideration of other amenities not mentioned.

هذا من فضل ربي ليبلوني أأشكر أم أكفر ومن شكر فإنما يشكر لنفسه ومن كفر فإن ربي غني كريم 

“This is from the Bounty of My Lord, to test me: Shall I thank (Him) or be ungrateful? And whoever thanks (Allaah), his gratitude will only be (beneficial) for himself (i.e. It does not increase Allaah in anything). Yet, whoever is ungrateful, then verily my Lord is Self-Sufficient and Ever-Generous (i.e. He is not in need of His servants’ thanks).” [27:40]

By Allaah’s Grace, thousands of international students receive full scholarships valued at such an amount. May Allaah generously reward the government of Saudi Arabia who provide these scholarships! May Allaah give us success in showing our gratitude to Him, and then to His servants who have extended such opportunities!

We complain that we are asked to buy a file folder for SR 2 (about 55 cents)!

We complain that we could not get a seat on the university shuttle bus a few times and so we had to pay SR 10 or 20 ($3 to $6) for a taxi to get to class.

We complain that we have to spend SR 20 or 40 ($6 to $12) to buy medicine when it is not in stock at the university clinic.

May Allaah purify our ungrateful hearts! May Allaah purify our ungrateful tongues! May Allaah save us from the evils of our own selves and grant us the ability to recognize His Blessings and be thankful to Him for them. May Allaah distance us from the arrogance that prevents us from showing appreciation and thanks to Allaah’s servants who have given us so much!

By Allaah, we fail to recognize His blessings. By Allaah, we are not grateful. We are not grateful to our Generous Lord firstly, nor are we grateful to His servants who have been so kind to us.

By taking the time to sincerely reflect over the Favors of Allaah, we might rejuvenate our hardened hearts and become thankful servants of Allaah. May Allaah give us success.

May Allaah help us to recognize His Blessings.

May Allaah help us to speak about His Blessings and thank Him verbally.

May Allaah help us to live up to the Blessings we have received, and to show show true gratitude to Allaah by taking advantage of His Blessings and using them in ways that He is pleased with.

And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson


49 thoughts on “Scholarship Students in Saudi Arabia Should Reflect

  1. Allahul-Musta’an. A wake-up call to both myself and my family. Imagine, we do not thank Him, the Most High, properly and as He deserves, but we still delude ourselves into thinking these blessings will last.

    • Ukhtee Bint if it is possible can you please contact me at zaynab dot c1 at gmail dot com? I want to ask about something related to admission procedure to Umm al qura university.
      BaaraakAllaahu feeki

  2. May Allah reward our brother moosa Richardson for verily this was a reminder not just for those there but also for future students who Allah blesses to make it likewise to reflect upon it i met brothers who made umrah and complained about hotels not having TV and the likes.we here in America definitely would love to be there and would trade places in a second to be in the 2 blessed cities so Oh students and other than them from those who actually live in mecca and Medina (citizens)look at the advice of our beloved brother before it’s too late either death overtakes you or you have to come back to your country take advantage ikwaan and thank Allah for his blessing upon you. look at the posts of some of those trying to get into the universities on this very website applicants are stressing,begging,crying to get a spot on the acceptance list checking every second to see if the list is out…May Allah give us understanding of his blessings upon us..

  3. May Allah bless you akhi, this was not only a reminder for those whom Allah has blessed with residing in that land. It was also a reminder to those who have been trying for years to make it over there yet we have not been granted the success by Allah to do so. This a point of reflection for those still left behind in these countries that Moosa described. It is a chance for us to rectify our ikhlaas to Allah for maybe that is the reason why we have not been successful. Maybe it is because we, in non muslim lands likewise have been unmindful of the blessings of Allah upon us, so how could we be granted greater blessings (in this case migrating to Saudi) if we are lacking in our gratitude to Allah for many things less than that. Sheikh Hasan ibn Abdul Wahhab Marzooq al Banna said something amazing in a lecture I heard recently. He admonished the students not to waste food, he said food is rizq and blessings from Allah, so if you are squandering those blessings how could you ever expect Allah to increase your blessings while you are waisting the ones He has already given you.

  4. Alhamdulilah to everything that Allaah has bestowed on us and Alhamdulilah for the words from brother Musa. By the Grace of Allah, a rightly guided message for us all in these times of trial and tribulation.

  5. I pray that one day I may study in Madinah or Makkah. I am an American and I re verted four years ago Alhamdullilah. How could one not be so thankful everyday they are there to gain knowledge and the experience of it?????

  6. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuhu
    when does the admision of umulqura university start for each year of sudy?

  7. Assalamu alaikum,

    Obviously, a wise reminder of the situation on the ground. Time goes on and we can loose ourselves in the worldly things and we may not even realize it. We should think more about death and standing in front of Allah. We have a clear obligation and we should think about it. We will never get back seconds we had, then what about years. Dying we will not remember any pleasures or happy moments that we had in our life – only good deeds that Allah let us to gain… How can we think about such complaining…

  8. Athabukum allah
    May Allah Reward you on the excellent reminder especially those that are not in the situation you describe. We all have great blessings were unable to enumerate.

  9. AsSalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuhu
    JazaakAllaahukhairan for this beneficial reminder. May Allaah make us from the shaakireen and the saabireen.

    Could I ask, just to help my understanding – if for example you had a bad day at work and you mention this to a friend, or say to your family when you get home – is this considered to be from ungratefulness, even if you don’t specifically mean to be ungrateful?


  10. its all the facts and truth.. my Duas is to please my
    brothers who are already schooling in any of the
    Jamia in K.S.A to please remember me in ur duas
    as its easy for u for Allah to answer ur Duas fastervi
    have been waiting since 2012 for a reply of Madinah
    but til now its stil says its under consideration. any
    info please contact me. im from the land of
    Nelson Mandela (South Africa) i am in a big
    problem Allah will ask me why i never had tym for
    my people to give them Dawah so i wanna get tht
    knowledge to feed them coz my community is realy
    so bad islamicaly im the only1 who is a Muslim in
    my area for me to make salah i have to make in my
    room as for Juma salah i take a bus to perform it in
    town. so please help me in urs Duas please……….

  11. Assalam Alaykum………please how can i apply, am i really need to study from a reliable source because studying here in nigeria is becoming more harmful than expected

    • May Allaah aid you and us all in Nigeria. I’m in Nigeria myself and inshaa Allaah, I can put you in touch with some brothers who may be of some assistance. My email is dksadiq [at] gmail [dot] com.

  12. Assalamu alaikum,

    In July I met in my hometown with my former course mate (fellow student) who is studying about 2 years in Madeenah Islamic University. Of course, we have the same age and in last year of study we both decided to apply for admission to Mad. Is. Un. However, eventually I changed my mind and didn’t apply for which I am sorry. I am very glad for him and he is very glad for me that at last I made the best choice. I applied for 3 univ. simultaneously and got accepted to UQ. SubhanAllah, this is how Almighty Allah predetermined. We should be very grateful for all the blessing we receive from Him…

    • Asalam aleykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh. Im a 19 year old male muslim from Kenya. Im greatly interested in studying at Madinah Uni. I have for the last 1 yr moved from shiekh to shiekh, i have tried to access the admission online & even tried to reach Saudi embassy without success. What do i do to be admitted to Mad.University?

  13. As Salam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

    I read on your site about Dar al-Hadith in Mecca wanted to ask whether it is possible to arrive there if you are from another country and not from Saudi Arabia? And how to send documents?

    Dzhazaka Allah Khairan!

  14. asalamu alaikum I am a 19 year old sister currently lving in the UK I hope to study at Um Al Qura university, however one of the conditions for a female to study is thats he must have a mahram either residing in makkah or studying at umq, I do not have mahram that lives in makkah nor one that will qualify for studying there they are all either too young or too old wallahu muts’an. I was wondering if the university allows that the mahram of female students to drop them off at the uni and they may stay in the female dormatory and her mahram goes back to the country he came from. May Allah bless you all whoever knows an answer this affair.

    • wa ‘alaykis-salaam wa rahmatullaah. While a woman’s mahram may travel without her, she is required to either prove that she has a male relative already living in Makkah legally, or she can apply with her husband or brother. Without one of these two things, she will not be accepted.

  15. assalamualaikum. can i still apply in umm al qura in this moment ? dis is my dream in shaa allah . i am willing to leave my profession just to study islam for the sake of allah in shaa allah . pls help me brothers..

  16. May Allah bless you akhi, this was not only a reminder for those whom Allah has blessed with residing in that land. It was also a reminder to those who have been trying for years to make it over there yet we have not been granted the success by Allah to do so.plz I want to study in madinah

  17. taufiq ibrahim is my name and am from ghana,i would like to study in your country in shaa Allah…………..

  18. All praises are for Allaah alone, who owns the universe. May Allaah’s peace and blessings be on His noblest Prophet. Assalaam ‘alaykum… I want to study in saudi and I don’t have any paper certificate. What can i do?

  19. Assalaamu Alaykum

    Inshaa Allah I plan to attend Umm ul Quraa University. I make Duaa that Allah allow me to attend if it is what is best for me. I was wanted to ask what exactly this scholarship offers. I understand that it is for Islamic studies, but does it only offer a bachelor, or a Masters, or a PhD?
    Also, since you have stated that you a shcolarship from this University, I wanted to know if the intensive arabic program teaches classical texts and poems like
    -ألفية السيوطي في علم الحديث
    -الدرة البهية في نظم الأجرومية
    -ألفية ابن مالك في النحو والصرف
    or atleast which level students are given this type of material.

    Jazaakallahu Khayr

    • wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Scholarships are all-inclusive for the length of a student’s study, all the way to the PhD level. However, it is very difficult and uncommon for students to go beyond a BA. Regarding the books you asked about, Suyootee’s Alfiyyah might be optionally studied in some hadeeth courses (memorization not required), and the other two books might be studied in the Arabic Language specialization course, or parts of them in some language courses as part of other programs.

  20. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatul wa bar katahoo.
    I want further studying in Makkah & Madeenah.l am completed BBM course. Please reply my Email.I am waiting …

  21. As Salam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah waberekatuh. Inshaa Allah I plan to attend Umm ul Quraa University. I made Duaa that Allah allow me to attend, if it is best to me. I have BA Degree Accounting & I want to ask what exactly needs scholarship offers ? [message truncated by admin]
    Please help me to facilitate this process.
    Many thanks (Jezakala heir)

  22. salam aleikum
    please akhi all i want to know is if the arabic taught in this schools are meant for beginners. Jazakallahu

  23. assalamu alaikum. my name is jaafar SULAIMAN USMAN am nagirian pleas I need you helf. an I won’t to study in mhadina jamiatul islamiyya I don’t no how can I get the scolashep pleas our in brother in Muslims if you tel me thank you my Allah held us a

  24. Assalamu’alaikum.
    can scholarship be granted to students in Africa as well and if yes what will be the requirements .

    Jazzak Allah Kairan

  25. Alhamdulillah! With that Barakhat
    Pls.. I want apply to Ummul qura. But I am Nigerian Now I am living In ghana. All my documents are arrived. So how I can do to contact the embassy. Can I use with saudi arabian embassy in ghana?

  26. Alhamdulillah! With that Barakhat
    Pls.. I want apply to Ummul qura. But I am Nigerian Now I am living In ghana. All my documents are arrived. So how I can do to contact the embassy. Can I use with saudi arabian embassy in ghana?
    Jazakumullahu khayran!

  27. Assalaamu alaikum. My daughter would love to get into the Arabic for non-native speakers program at Umm al-Qura. Could someone please tell me who I can contact in that department? What is the deadline to apply for the 2016-2017 school year? My contact email is j dot amina dot teal at gmail dot com. Jazak Allah khair!

  28. As-salaamu ‘alaykum please for Allah sake I’m from Nigeria I’m in need of scholarship in your school. Baaroka Llohu feekum

  29. As-salaamu ‘alaykum please for Allah sake I’m from DJIBOUTI I’m in need of scholarship in your school. Baaroka Llohu feekum

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