International Union of Muslim Scholars

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International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) (also International Union for Muslim Scholars, Arabic: الاتحاد العالمي لعلماء مسلمين‎; al-Ittihad al-Alami li-Ulama al-Muslimin), and formerly translated as the International Association of Muslim Scholars, IAMS) is an organization of Muslim scholars headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, founded in 2004, and headquartered in Qatar.[1]

According to Islamopedia, "membership in the Union is open for scholars who graduated from shariah universities and Islamic Studies departments at various universities or have a relevant background."[1]

The IUMS distinguishes itself from other Muslim organizations (being "truly different from all that exists") in its aims to be international[1][2]

IUMS is not a local or a regional union, neither an Arab nor a national one, neither an eastern, nor a western union; rather, it represents all of the Muslims in the entire Islamic world, as well as all of the Muslim minorities and Islamic groups outside of the Muslim world.[1][2]

According to one source, the IUMS was founded to "promote dialogue between Muslim scholars of all stripes and includes prominent Shia figures."[3]

In its "desired characteristics", the IUMS includes being by Muslims for Muslim and about Islam; international; independent of governments(though "not hostile to governments") and sects ("it is only proud of belonging to Islam and its transnational community - Ummah"); interested in scholarly Islamic knowledge, teaching, and education; concerned with the call (Da'wah) to Islam "by tongue, pen, and every contemporary legitimate medium; be it recorded, audio, or visual"; moderation ("the centermost approach of the centermost Ummah"); and vitality.[2]

Also according to Islamopedia, IUMS sets as "a goal the representation of Muslims living in countries where non-Muslims constitute the majority, such to enhance bilateral cooperation and promote Islamic scholarship and dissemination."[1][2]

Officials, location, funding[edit]

Scholars who are currently or have been at one time officials include the president:

The Vice Presidency of the Union is shared by

Secretary General is

Other notable figures in the IUMS, which is reportedly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood[verification needed], include Faisal Malawi, Jamal Badawi, and Essam Al-Bashir.[6]

According to, IUMS was "launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research."[7] The IUMS was headquartered at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland near Dublin, Ireland, with the offices of the Secretary General in Nasr City, Egypt.[1] It reportedly moved to Qatar sometime before May 2012[8]

In May 2012, a charity dinner in Qatar raised the equivalent of US$6.5 million for the “Renaissance of a Nation” endowment project of the IUMS.[9]


In 2008, Salim Al-Awwa, secretary general of the IUMS opposed Egypt's birth control program, stating: "The state is not God and the state is not the creator. We should not try to limit the number of children."[10]

In 2010, the International Union for Muslim Scholars caused controversy when it called for the tomb of Piruz Nahavandi to be destroyed, a suggestion which was not well received by some in Iran, having been perceived as a specifically anti-Iranian act.[11]

International Relations[edit]

On 13 June 2013, Abdullah Bin Bayyah met with Obama administration officials in Washington where he lobbied for help with the Syrian opposition forces.[12] U.S. National Security Council official Gayle Smith asked for the meeting looking for "new mechanisms to communicate with you and the Association of Muslim Scholars". Bin Bayyah also met with Rashad Hussain, U.S. envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.[13]