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Frequently Asked Questions
About Studying at Umm Al-Quraa University
in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
UPDATED 1427-01-02

In the Name of Allaah, the All-Merciful, may His Salaah and Salaam be upon His final Messenger Muhammad, to proceed...
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QUESTION #1: I'm over 25 years old. Is it possible for me to be accepted?

ANSWER #1: For those under 30, It is still possible in shaa' Allaah, however not meeting one or more of the conditions of acceptance, like age, makes it very unlikely that you would be accepted. For those over 30, it is highly unlikely that you would be accepted without connections in the university. However, it would not hurt to submit your application even if you do not meet some of the conditions.

Statistically, older students do not stay - they have family members to look after, businesses, positions in communities, health problems, and it is difficult to return to the classroom atmosphere after being away from it for so many years. Our brothers in the administration have a budget to look after and they are responsible for their decisions. You yourself would probably set an age limit if you worked in the same position and Allaah knows best. By no means are they saying those over 30 are not fit to study Islaam, rather they are simply making decisions about who receives their scholarships.


QUESTION #2: I have a family and I would want them to live with me during my studies. Is that possible?

ANSWER #2: Yes, it is possible, but very difficult. The following affairs will help:

- Seeking Allaah's Assistance
- Being patient
- Leaving your family behind at first
- Making important contacts once you get here

It is a tremendously difficult thing to bring any family member to stay with you. The more children you have, and the older they are, the more difficult it gets. Many students have discontinued their studies because of the hardships they faced in bringing their families. However, many succeeded as well and we thank Allaah for that.


QUESTION #3: What is the difference between Umm Al-Quraa University and the Islamic University of Al-Madeenah?

ANSWER #3: Umm Al-Quraa is a general university where students major in Dentistry, History, Sciences, Mathematics, and Islaamic Sciences as well. However, it was not designed just for Islaamic Studies as is the case with Al-Madeenah, hence the name, the Islaamic University. The vast majority of Umm Al-Quraa's students are Saudis, and it was not designed to bring in the number of students from outside the Kingdom like Al-Madeenah. The 'Arabic Language Institute of Umm Al-Quraa University was an addition for non-Saudis, following the example of the Islaamic University. The programs are completely different. Many students feel that, even though Al-Madeenah is a better place to study Islam overall, the language program in Makkah may be stronger.


QUESTION #4: I heard that Umm Al-Quraa University does not allow non-Saudi students into any of the colleges. Is that true?

ANSWER #4: This is not true. It is true that there are very few students from the West studying in the colleges now. The seats for non-Saudis are VERY limited indeed, so only the best students from the 'Arabic Language Institute get in. The University has laid down a condition that must be met by students who wish to study in the colleges. They must have an overall mumtaaz or jayyid jiddan (80% or higher) average for the length of their studies at the 'Arabic Institute. In the Fall of 2001, over 40 non-Saudi students from the 'Arabic Program entered different colleges at Umm Al-Quraa, three of them were Americans.

UPDATE: There are more Western students now enrolled in the colleges now, al-hamdulillaah. Please ask Allaah to guide them, grant them success in their studies, and keep them firm.


QUESTION #5: What is the best way to submit an application?

ANSWER #5: In the past, applicants could try to get an interview at the university and turn their applications in there. IMPORTANT: Now, applications must be submitted to the Saudi Embassy in the applicant's home country. The university has been redirecting applicants in Makkah back to their home countries to submit their applications there.

UPDATE: Applications are now being submitted at the university once again, and it is a good idea to submit the application in person and try to meet some of the teachers and administration during your visit.


QUESTION #6: I don't believe that pictures are permissible. Is it a must to include pictures in my application?

ANSWER #6: Although I am with you in this belief, if you want to study in Umm Al-Quraa, they require that you submit pictures with your application. They will not review an application with any missing conditions, like pictures. If you get here, unfortunately, you will be asked to submit more pictures for various reasons. So it is just the beginning of the battle.


QUESTION #7: Can women study at Umm Al-Quraa University?

ANSWER #7: Alhamdulillaah, Umm Al-Quraa University has a huge women's campus where students can comfortably relax their hijaab and attend their classes with no men anywhere around. The programs are all the same, in fact they recieve the same monthly stipend of SR 845. This makes a great oppurtunity for young couples who have no children to study together at Umm Al-Quraa. Our sisters in the West really need good role models, so if you are able to assist your wife, sister, or daughter in studying at Umm Al-Quraa, it would be a great benefit to the Muslims of the West, in shaa' Allaah. Female applicants must provide proof of a male family member's residence in Makkah or apply along with her spouse or brother.

Women interested in studying at the Arabic Language Institute can contact a (female) student at:

Women interested in studying at one of the Islamic colleges (BA level) can contact a (female) student at:



Information About Studying at Umm Al-Quraa University

A Virtual Tour of Umm Al-Quraa

About The 'Arabic Language Program at Umm Al-Quraa (EL)


(EL) an external link - As other websites may change their pages often, we rely on our visitors to report broken links, this keeps running smoothly. Report broken or problematic links here.


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