Obtaining the Letter of Approval (No Objection Letter) for Americans

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

To obtain the letter of approval (no objection letter) granting you permission to study in Saudi Arabia from the American government:

  1. You will need to write up a letter of intent, which should be short and to the point. Mention the duration that you plan on staying for (number of years) and the location [keep it general and just say you plan on studying in Saudi Arabia, that way you can still use that letter for multiple universities]. You also need to put your name, passport number, and date of birth on it.
  2. After printing out this letter that you just wrote [as mentioned above], you will need to get it notarized from a Notary Public. Just in case you do not know what a Notary Public is, it is well known so just ask around [or search on the Internet] and you should be directed to one. Make sure the one who notarizes your document is from the same county that you live in [you will know why when you read step # 3].
  3. After having the letter notarized, you will need to go to the ‘County Clerks Office’. They certify documents according to the county which your document was notarized in. As for me, they did not certify my letter because it was from a different city, so I had to get it re-notarized from a notary republic that they were familiar with and that was in the same county as well.
  4. After getting the letter certified by your county, you need to get it certified by the state as well. So you need to get the number for the ‘Secretary of State’ and have them certify your document by the state.
  5. After getting the letter certified by both state and county, you need to send this document to the Authentication Office (Department), which is under the ‘United States Department of State’, to have your letter authenticated. The address is as follows:

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

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

    http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/

This might seem pretty overwhelming, but if you know the addresses of the places you need to go, then it should be very easy and simple, by the will of Allah.

May Allah reward the brother Fahmy for collecting the above information from a congressmen in his state.

May Allah help and aid you.

Things of Benefit – For Perspective Students

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

All praise is due to Allah Lord of the worlds, and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Things that Help:

  1. Letters of recommendation (Tazkiyahs) by people known to the University, such as present or ex lecturers/professors at the University, or students who have graduated from the University.
  2. Having a current student speak to a lecturer/professor in the University so that he [the lecturer] can remind the administration of you as well as give in a good word for you.
  3. Having a current student visit the administration once in a while, reminding them about you and asking them about your paper work.
  4. Personally visiting the Islamic University of Madinah and getting interviewed. Usually those who personally come to get interviewed are given precedence over those sending applications by mail/post.

May Allah reward our brother Abu Abdul-Waahid Nadir Ahmad (graduate Canadian student from the Islamic University of Madinah) for presenting the beneficial information above. 

Things that Might Help (from Personal Experience):

  1. Those who have applied once to the Islamic University of Madinah, and did not receive acceptance, should visit the University to apply again. It seems, Allah knows best, that those who apply for the second time, are usually accepted. We know of three students at the Islamic University of Madinah who were blessed with acceptance from the same city consecutively over the last three years who had applied for the second time. This may be true especially in light of the fact that the official application form for the Islamic University of Madinah contains a question which reads: “Have you ever applied for admission to the Islamic University before?” 
  2. From personal experience, it seems, Allah knows best, that presenting your documents in a professional manner seems to impress the people working in the administration. So those who receive recommendation letters in hand-written form may type (word-process) them in Arabic, and print them out on a piece of letterhead paper containing the name, address, and contact information of the masjids or the centers of the Imams or du’aat in question who wrote the letters. Take these word-processed letters back to the Imams or du’aat in question who initially wrote the letters for them to check it and sign it. Also, it may help to translate your documents into Arabic, and word-process them in a professional manner, and Allah knows best. [For those residing in or around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) in Canada, click here]

Lastly, above all else, the thing of most benefit is Dua to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to allow you to be accepted. Indeed He is near and is all able to grant this and make it easy upon whom He Wills - There have been applicants who have provided all the required documents, while also actualizing the above points, without any success, and there are others who have been blessed with acceptance by only sending their applications by mail/post. From personal experience, we know of two applicants from the same city who visited the Islamic University of Madinah to apply at the same time, and one of them was able to attain a recommendation letter (Tazkiyyah) from the governing prince of Jeddah/Makkah region, and he was not granted acceptance, while the other was an applicant who had no recommendation letter and was even missing a copy of his high school diploma, and was blessed with acceptance.

So gather all of the required documents, utilize all of your links and resources, and most importantly put your trust upon Allah and hope for the best from Allah (azza wa jal). Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), that Allah (ta’ala) said [i.e. a Hadith Qudsi]: “I am as My servant thinks of Me.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Allah is the granter of Success and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Pictures – Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

Pictures of the Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University campus located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia can be viewed here:

http://abulayth.multiply.com/photos/album/3/Campus_Pix

May Allah reward our noble brother Abul-Layth Qasim ibn Aggrey Mutiva (graduate American student from Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh) for presenting the pictures.

Application Form, Mailing Address, and Info for Those Wishing to Apply in Person – Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University, Riyadh

All praise is due to Allah Lord of the worlds, and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Please download the official application form for Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, here:

http://abulayth.multiply.com/journal/item/11/Imam_University_Scholarship_Application

For those who might have trouble understanding the Arabic on the application, please see the unofficial English translation of the Arabic application form here:

http://abulayth.multiply.com/journal/item/12/The_Unofficial_English_Imam_University_Application

Please note that this English application is not recognized by the school (and should NOT be submitted) and was created to help brothers through the official Arabic application. Please keep in mind when reading this application that the English language reads from left to right whereas the Arabic language reads from right to left. So this means that this application will present information in a mirror like image so information presented on the far right of the Arabic application will appear on the far left of this application.

May Allah reward our noble brother Abul-Layth Qasim ibn Aggrey Mutiva (graduate American student from Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh) for making the official Arabic application form available online.

Please note that it is not possible to visit Riyadh without a valid visa. So those who visit Saudi Arabia on an Umrah visa or a Hajj visa will not be able to travel to Riyadh.

For those wishing to apply by mail, please note that recent developments at the University demand that prospective students should send their paperwork to current students so that their documentation may be submitted directly to the Admissions Office. So applicants should send all of the required documents, along with the completed official Arabic application form above, directly to a current student of Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University to be sumbitted on their behalf.

You may contact the University by phone if you wish:

00-966-1-258-0000 (011 instead of 00 from US and Canada)

Allah is the granter of Success and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Conditions for Admission and Required Documents – Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University, Riyadh

All praise is due to Allah Lord of the worlds, and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

The following conditions of admission and required documents are taken from the official application form for Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  1. Two copies of the high school diploma [For those residing in North America, a GED is also accepted. For those residing in Europe, a GCE/A Levels is accepted]  
  2. Two copies of the high school transcript [also known as grades report/report card/mark sheet].
  3. Two copies of the letter of recommendation. [This is known as a tazkiyyah, you may acquire one from the Imam of your local mosque or from most reputable callers to Islam (du’aat)]
  4. Four passport-size photographs.
  5. Two copies of the passport. [Two copies of the front page containing the picture] 
  6. Two copies of the no objection letter from your government. [Canadians please click here. Americans click here]
  7. A formal medical examination confirming that you are in good health and able to study abroad. [Basically conduct a physical check-up at the doctors and get him to write a letter on his official letterhead that you are free of any infectious diseases and are in good health]
  8. New Required Document: All applicants must now also submit a letter (known as a Khitaab) addressed to the Rector (Mudeer) of Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University [Dr. Suliman Aba Al-Khail] formally requesting to recieve a scholarship, along with the other required documents mentioned above. This letter should adequately express the applicants desire to study Islam at the University and it should be written in Arabic and attached to the application like a cover page. The letter should not be more than a single page in length or so. This paperwork is extremely important since it’s exclusion could cause applicants files to be overlooked.

The official application form also contains the following note: 

Notice: The student should attach whatever documents [i.e. listed above] will attest to the validity of his information [provided on the application form] in the Arabic language or the English language.

Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University provides the same financial benefits and advantages that the Islamic University of Madinah provides as mentioned here. Along with these benefits and advantages, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University does have a women’s section, unlike the Islamic University of Madinah which is a male-only University, but this section of the University does not offer scholarships to foreign women to study. The Arab women that do attend are either housed in their own dorms or remain with family members living in Riyadh.

The program at Umm al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia presents the best opportunity for non-Saudi female students of knowledge to study in a formal classroom setting. Please click here for more information.

May Allah reward our noble brother Abul-Layth Qasim ibn Aggrey Mutiva (graduate American student from Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh) for presenting the information above.

Allah is the granter of Success and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Obtaining the Letter of Approval (No Objection Letter) for Canadians

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

To obtain the letter of approval (no objection letter) granting you permission to study in Saudi Arabia from the Canadian government, Canadians should contact the Canadian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Consulate of Canada in Jeddah). You can find contact information of the Canadian consulate here:

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/world/embassies/Saudi_Arabia/about_Jeddah-en.asp

May Allah help and aid you.

Concise Info – Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

Please find concise information covering Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia here:

http://www.bakkah.net/studying/imaamuniv.htm

May Allah reward our noble brother Abul-Abbaas Moosaa Richardson (post-graduate American student from Umm al-Qura University in Makkah) for compiling and presenting the beneficial info.

Topics covered include overview of the academic program, requirements and conditions for admission, estimated costs and living expenses, and contact information.