International Islamic University Malaysia

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International Islamic University Malaysia
Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia
International Islamic University Malaysia logo.svg
Logo of the International Islamic University Malaysia
Motto Taman Ilmu dan Budi (Malay)
Motto in English
The Garden of Knowledge and Virtue
Established 23 May 1983[1]
Type Public
Chancellor Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang, the Constitutional Head
President Dr. Rais Yatim
Rector Professor Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin
Undergraduates 25,612 (including 6,538 foundation students) (2014)
Postgraduates 3,578 (2014)
1,479 (2014)
Location Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia
Campus Gombak
Petaling Jaya
Kuala Lumpur
Gambang, Pahang
Affiliations ASAIHL,[2] ACU,[3] AUAP,[4] FUIW[5]

The International Islamic University Malaysia (Arabic: الجامعة الإسلامية العالمية بماليزيا‎; Malay: Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia), also known as IIUM or UIAM, is a Public Institution of Higher Education (PIHE) in Malaysia. Its main campus is located in Gombak, Selangor with its Centre for Foundation Studies situated in Petaling Jaya and Gambang, Pahang and its medical-centric branch in Kuantan, Pahang. The university is sponsored by eight governments from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It is distinct from the International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan and International Islamic University Chittagong in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

The university was established on the 23rd of May 1983 and founded upon Islamic principles.[1] Islamic values are inculcated into all disciplines. The university offers bachelor, master's degree and PhD courses at its 13 faculties, also known as kulliyyah.

Since 1987, there have been 60,785 graduates and postgraduates who have successfully completed their studies at the IIUM. Out of this, 53,241 were from Malaysia whereas 7,530 were International students.[6]


Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad[7][8] conceived of the idea for an international institution of Islamic education in 1982 during a meeting between OIC leaders about the Islamization of knowledge. The idea was then shared with the then Minister of Education, Dr. Sulaiman Daud; the Director-General of Education, Murad Mohamed Nor and two other persons. Dr. Mohamed Kamal Hassan, then of the National University of Malaysia along with a senior academic official who attended the meeting, produced the first working paper on the concept of the university.[7]

IIUM was officially established on 23 May 1983, by virtue of Section 5A (2) of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, when the University received its Establishment Order from His Majesty the King, Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang, who was then appointed as its first Constitutional Head on 1 July 1983, after an exchange of Diplomatic Notes of co-sponsorship between the Government of Malaysia and a number of Muslim Governments and the OIC.[7]

The university's language of instruction was to be English and Arabic, and many of its students were to come from overseas. As Malaysian law did not allow for this, IIUM was incorporated under the Companies Act of 1965. Thus it became the first international university and the first university in Malaysia to use English as the medium of instruction and administration.

The university operates under the supervision of the Board of Governors, which comprises representatives of the OIC as well as the eight sponsoring governments, namely; Malaysia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.[7] The Constitutional Head, President and Rector of this international university are all Malaysians.

A batch of 153 students from Malaysia and abroad were enrolled for the first academic session, which started on 8 July 1983. Courses were conducted under the Faculty of Economics, the Faculty of Laws, the Center for Fundamental Knowledge (CFK) and the Center for Languages (CFL). The members of this first batch received their degrees and diplomas during the First Convocation held on the 10th of October 1987. 68 graduates were conferred Bachelor of Economics (B.Econ/BECS) degrees, 56 Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees, and 29 Qadhis were conferred Diploma in Law and Administration of Islamic Judiciary.

In 2008, IIUM celebrated its 25th anniversary and has become one of the most prominent universities in both Malaysia and the region, with strong affiliations all over the academic world.


As a public university, IIUM is ruled ceremonially by the Constitutional Head who preside convocations and has been the point of reference for all constitutional issues. Equivalent to the Chancellor in other public universities, he is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Federal Government for 7-years term. To date, Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang is the current and founding Constitutional Head, which he hold the position for the 5th term.

Administratively, IIUM is steered by 3 main bodies. The Board of Governors, the highest body of the University, holds the overall responsibility for the businesses of the University, including properties, revenue and policies. The Council (Majlis) manages international matters and issues; while the Senate, the general assembly for academic administrators and professors, is in-charge of academic matters.

Both the Board of Governors and the Council presided by the President. He is assisted by the Rector who chairs the Senate. Both the President, as the Chairman, and the Rector, as the Chief Executive Officer, are appointed by the Constitutional Head for 5-years and 3-years term respectively. To date, Advisor of the Government for Social and Cultural Affairs Dr. Rais Yatim is the President, while Professor Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin from Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws is the Rector.


Main campus

The university has moved to a 700-acre (2.8 km²) campus at Gombak, Selangor. The original campus in Petaling Jaya has been converted to Matriculation Centre and currently known as Centre For Foundation Studies (CFS). All foundation students are placed at the Petaling Jaya Campus, except for Foundation in Economics students in Gombak Campus and Foundation in Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry in Gambang Campus, Pahang. Apart from these two campuses, IIUM has another two campuses—the Kuala Lumpur Campus at Persiaran Duta, Kuala Lumpur[9] and Kuantan Campus, about 250 km to the east in the state of Pahang. On September 2010, IIUM reported to open new campus in Pagoh, Johor[10] for Kulliyyah of Languages & Management and another one in Gambang, Pahang as a new Centre For Foundation Studies replacing Petaling Jaya Campus.

IIUM has 13 faculties, called "Kulliyyah" from the Arabic word meaning the same and the college. Two of the faculties are the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws (AIKOL) and the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS). Other courses offered include Engineering, Dentistry, Nursing, Allied Health Sciences, Architecture, Information Technology, Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Economics and Management Sciences. The engineering disciplines offered at IIUM are Communications Engineering, Computer & Information Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Biochemical-Biotechnology Engineering, and Materials Engineering.

The faculties (kulliyyah) of IIUM are:

There are 12 'excellence centres'. Among the notable centres include the IIUM Breast Centre, located in the Kuantan campus and devoted to the research and diagnosis of breast cancer, the number one killer of women in Malaysia.

The Cultural Activity Centre (CAC) is the university's biggest centre, used as a venue for the annual convocation ceremony. The centre can be converted to an examination venue. Cultural performances, talks and seminars have been held at the centre; a notable use was for the 2003 Asia Pacific Indigenous Plays Festival which featured cultural performances from Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Japan, and the United States of America.


IIUM library

In 2008, IIUM has deployed a wireless network infrastructure throughout its Gombak and Kuantan campuses. This infrastructure provides wireless coverage across both campuses. It delivers connectivity to roaming users, supports standard Wi-Fi clients, and delivers high-speed data, and streaming video applications.[15]

IIUM has an extensive law library and research centre. It produces top-class university debaters; the university was placed seventh in the world varsity rankings in 2003.

IIUM River and connecting bridge between Kulliyyah of Education and Kulliyyah of Human Sciences

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque[edit]

The Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque lies in the centre of the main campus grounds, interconnected to the rest of the administrative and academic buildings. This is symbolic of the Muslim belief that religious and worldly education are indivisible and inseparable from each other.

There are separate facilities for both men and women, including separate prayer spaces designated based on gender. The mosque is also host to regular religious programmes and events and is notable for attracting speakers from various nationalities and diverse backgrounds.

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque, IIUM, Malaysia
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque, IIUM, Malaysia



IIUM started with 153 students in 1983. Today approximately 3,000 students enroll each year. As of 2005, there were approximately 20,000 students from over 40 Muslim majority countries studying in IIUM, as well as students from non-Muslim majority countries (such as Germany, Finland, China, South Korea, Japan, India, United States of America, Kashmir,Russia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and the Philippines).

The ratio of female-to-male students is 3:1.

Since 1987, there have been 60,785 graduates and postgraduates who have successfully completed their studies at the IIUM. Out of this, 53,241 were from Malaysia while 7,530 were International students.[6]

Having graduates all over the world, IIUM has established alumni chapters in Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, Maldives, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Singapore. Branches of alumni chapters have also been opened in Turkey, China, Nigeria, the Philippines, Yemen, Brunei, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Gambia, Republic of Guinea and the United Arab Emirates.

Medium of Instruction[edit]

The medium of instruction is English, with Arabic used in courses related to the study of Islamic sciences like theology, jurisprudence and ethics. Basic Arabic is a compulsory course. In addition, basic Bahasa Melayu is compulsory for international under-graduate students.

Awards and Recognition[edit]

Bridge on the IIUM River

IIUM has participated in international competitions in the field of debate, public speaking and mooting. In 2004 Irma Nur Zahrah Bt. Junian from IIUM won the Public Speaking Competition of World University Debating Championship (WUDC).[16] In 2007, IIUM won the WUDC title for English as a second language.[17] In 2008 world ranking of World Debate website, IIUM had the 14th place among the top universities of the world.[18] IIUM again shines in international debating competition when Ameera Natasha Moore, a third year Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws student was named as the best speaker in The Norton Rose Fulbright Cambridge University Women's Debate Open competition. She and her team mate, Sara Rahim outranked debaters from prominent universities such as Oxford University, Berlin University and Tel Aviv University among others.[19]

The IIUM Debating Team does the University and the nation proud again when the team is ranked at number 10 out of 440 teams in the 35th World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) hosted by University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) from 27 December 2014 until 4 January 2015. The team consisted of final year law-student Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and third-year economics student Mubarrat Wassey.[20] The team once again does the university proud by becoming champion for the United Asian Debating Championship (UADC) held in Bali, Indonesia. Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, final year law student was named as the best overall speaker for the championship.[21]

In the field of research, students of IIUM have received recognition at regional and international level by winning gold, silver and bronze medals at exhibitions and expos, including PENCIPTA, INPEX, ITEX, Geneva and KIPA.[22] IIUM entered the inaugural Proton Green Mobility Challenge 2012 (PGMC)when the University's entry, an electric powered Proton Saga BLM named "Smart Mobility" became the overall champion and also took "Farthest Distance" and "Fastest Two Laps Challenge" award.[23]

IIUM also involved in the creation of the Malaysian Shariah Index with collaboration from JAKIM and YADIM which Malaysia will be the first country in the world to adopt it.[24] The index will measure the compliance of eight fields — judiciary, politics, economics, health, education, culture, infrastructure and environment, and social — with “maqasid syariah”, or the intentions of Shariah. The Malaysian Shariah Index was officially launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 10 February 2015.[25]

The IIUM Islamic banking programme is recognised as the best in the world. IIUM has produced 11% of the world total publication on Islamic banking and finance to date.[26]


Year Rank Valuer
2012 401 QS World University Rankings
2013 501 QS World University Rankings
2014 501 QS World University Rankings
2015 551[27] QS World University Rankings

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Fong Po Kuan, former Member of Parliament in Malaysia for the constituency of Batu Gajah, Perak and a member of the Democratic Action Party, received a law degree from IIUM in 1997.
  • Dr. Mohamed Fadzli Hassan, Member of the Kelantan Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Temangan and a member of the parti Islam Semalaysia, graduated with a law degree.
  • Wong Kah Woh, Member of the Perak Legislative Assembly in Malaysia for the constituency of Canning under Ipoh Timur Parliamentary constituency and a member of the Democratic Action Party, received his law degree from IIUM in 2004.
  • Mohamed Taulan Mat Rasul, member of the Kedah Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Tokai under Pendang parliamentary constituency and a member of the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) received his Law Degree from IIUM in 1988.
  • Meor Hashimi Abdul Hamid, Legal Adviser of Malacca from 2009 till present, graduated with a law degree in 1990.
  • Ahmad Kamal Md. Shahid, Legal Adviser of Perak, graduated with a law degree in 1988.
  • Anas Ahmad Zakie, Legal Adviser from 2009 till present, graduated with a law degree in 1990.
  • Amanullah Jaihun, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Australia, completed his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) studies in IIUM.
  • Azman Mokhtar, Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.[28]
  • Dato' Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, President of GPMS and UMNO Youth Exco member, member of Parliament of Malaysia for the constituency of Kepala Batas, Penang
  • Dato' Seri Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir, Chief Minister of Perak.
  • Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, former First Deputy Chief Minister of Penang.
  • Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, human rights lawyer and activist.
  • Pritam Singh, Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC of Singapore for the Workers' Party, received a Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Studies in 2005.
  • Prof. Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Minister of International Co-operation, Conakry, Republic of Guinea. He studied PhD in Law at IIUM, taught there and later became its Deputy Rector for International Affairs.
  • Dr. Mohammad A. M. Abushariah, (Recipient of Rector's Gold Award for Best Student Leader, 2004, IIUM), currently is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Information Systems, King Abdullah II School for Information Technology, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
  • Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, president of the Muslim Lawyers' Association Of Malaysia.
  • Mohd. Radzi bin Harun, Head of International Affairs Division, Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia.
  • Dr.Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, Vice-President of the Republic of Maldives.
  • Senator Dato' Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, President of Islamic Information Foundation of Malaysia (YADIM), Deputy Minister in The Prime Minister's Department
  • Tan Sri Dato' Sri Khalid bin Abu Bakar, Inspector-General of Police, Royal Malaysian Police
  • Dato' Irmohizam Ibrahim, member of Parliament of Malaysia for the constituency of Kuala Selangor
  • Nur Affina Yanti Jamalludin (goes by the stage name of Fynn Jamal), English lecturer, poet and songwriter/singer
  • Radin Mohd Akhmal bin Izaddin (goes by the stage name of Akmal Eyzad), singer/songwriter.
  • Tan Sri Ismail Omar, former Inspector General of Royal Malaysian Police

It is also noted that then Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, king of Saudi Arabia, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey were conferred honorary doctorates by IIUM.

Notable current and former faculty members[edit]

  • Amina Wadud, American scholar of Islam and Qur'an Exegesis.
  • Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim, founding father of the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya and Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, IIUM, and former Attorney General of Singapore.
  • Prof. Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Afghan-born Islamic legal scholar, Founding Chairman and CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, Malaysia.
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arshad Islam, Associate Professor at Department of History and Civilisation, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences.
  • Dr. Mashitah Ibrahim, former Deputy Minister in Prime Minister's Department.
  • Dusuki Ahmad, former political secretary of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed and Chairman of Amanah Raya Berhad; and his son, Senator Dr. Asyraf Wajdi, President of Islamic Information Foundation of Malaysia (YADIM).
  • Harun M. Hashim, former judge who presided in the case where UMNO was declared illegal. His name is immortalised in an institute in IIUM, Harun M. Hashim Law Centre.
  • Md. Hashim Yahya, former Mufti of Wilayah Persekutuan.
  • Prof. Dr. Jamil bin Osman, Rector of INSANIAH.
  • Prof. Dr. Khaliq Ahmad, notable professor of economics of IIUM, sub-specialising in Management from Islamic Perspective, and the Dean of Strategy of IIUM.
  • Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mackeen Abdul Majid, professor of Islamic thought.
  • Dr. Yusri Mohamad, former Assistant Professor of IIUM and current Deputy President of YADIM.
  • Dr. Muhammad Arif Zakaullah, professor of economics.
  • Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey, former lecturer of political science of IIUM.
  • Prof. Dr. B. Gültekin Çetiner, Rector of International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Prof. Dr. Mesut Idriz, International University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Dr. Christoph Marcinkowski, independent scholar, relations between the Islamic world and the West, Berlin, Germany.
  • Prof. Dr. Ataul Huq Pramanik, Professor of Economics, IIUM. He is a distinguished economist with a special expertise in development, distribution, poverty and public policies both from conventional and Islamic perspectives.
  • Prof. Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Minister of International Co-operation, Conakry, Republic of Guinea, West Africa
  • Mohammad Amjad Khan, Lecturer, Department of Physical Rehabilitation Sciences, IIUM
  • Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, founder and former Director of International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC)
  • Prof. Dr. Gailan Mahmood Ramiz (1933 - 2004), prominent political scientist in Iraq, former ambassador and former Professor of political science at IIUM, killed in Baghdad in 2004[29]
  • Emeritus Prof. Dr. Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman, former Rector of IIUM from 1988 to 1998
  • Distinguished Prof. Tan Sri Kamal Hassan, former Rector of IIUM from 1999 to 2006, one of three recipients of the Distinguished Professor title in Malaysia[30]
  • Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady (1943 - 2013), prominent Malaysian Islamic scholar in the field of Islamic thoughts and da'awah, 1426H Maal Hijrah award recipient in 2005, Very Distinguished Academic Fellow in International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC)[31]
  • Prof. Datuk Dr. Syed Othman Alhabshi, Chief Academic Officer, International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance(INCIEF), former lecturer at IIUM, prominent academician on Islamic finance, banking and takaful
  • Prof. Dr. Razali Nawawi, the first dean of law at the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, IIUM and the first President of ABIM (Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia).


  1. ^ a b "Aiming to be premier Islamic university". 30 November 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "The Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific - List of the Members Universities". 13 October 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b "28th IIUM Convocation Ceremony". International Islamic University Malaysia. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "History of International Islamic University Malaysia". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Ibrahim, Ismail (12 April 2001). "UIAM lambang kecemerlangan Malaysia". Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Tapak ISTAC jadi kampus UIAM Kuala Lumpur". 25 May 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Kampus baru UIAM di Pagoh dijangka ambil pelajar 2012". 30 November 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  11. ^ KLM will be moved to Pagoh Campus soon.
  12. ^ Kuantan Campus consists of two sub-campuses: Indera Mahkota Campus (IMC) and Jalan Hospital Campus (JHC). All respective Kulliyyat were located in IMC. However, Kulliyyah of Medicine has another building in JHC beside Tunku Ampuan Afzan Hospital.
  13. ^ CFS is placed in three campuses: Petaling Jaya Campus (the headquarters), Gombak Campus (Economics Department) and Gambang Campus (Gambang) (Science Departments).
  14. ^ Kuala Lumpur Campus consists of two sub-campuses. ISTAC is situated at Jalan Duta, while IIiBF is situated at Damansara.
  15. ^ "Aruba Networks and Transition Malaysia Deliver Pervasive WiFi Network to the International Islamic University Malaysia". 30 July 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "World Debate Website". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  17. ^ World Universities Debating Championship
  18. ^ [2][dead link]
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Indah Water Konsortium ~ IWK". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "International Islamic University Malaysia". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  28. ^ Khazanah National Berhad
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°15′10″N 101°44′15″E / 3.25278°N 101.73750°E / 3.25278; 101.73750