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X International Islamic Free University

Ibrahim B Syed

The Muslims rose to the zenith of civilization in a period of four decades. This astonishing feat was based on Al-Islam's emphasis on learning. For more than 1,000 years the Islamic Civilization remained the most advanced and progressive in the world. This is because Al-Islam stressed the importance of and held great respect for learning, forbade destruction, developed discipline and respect for authority, and stressed tolerance for other religions. The Muslims recognized excellence and hungered intellectually. The teachings of Qur'an and Sunnah drove many Muslims to their accomplishments in all disciplines of knowledge.

Muslim Ummah Today

The present status of Muslim Ummah is of great concern to all Muslim intellectuals. No one can deny that the Muslim Ummah occupies a position, which is at the lowest rung of the ladder in the world. The share of Muslims in Nobel Prizes and the Olympic Games is close to none. Muslims' contributions to literature- both general and scientific- is marginal at best. It is very sad to see the dismal status of Muslims in the present world. Muslims have been economically exploited and politically subjugated. Economically, Muslims are poor; in education they are backward; and in science and technology they are marginal. The average literacy rate is around 35-38 per cent and in rural areas in Muslim countries, the illiteracy rate among Muslim women is 93 to 97 percent. This is contradictory to the message of the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (s).

What should be done

It appears that even 50 years after securing independence from colonial powers, Muslim countries are entrapped in internal squabble and corruption. Politicians are giving more attention to enriching their personal pockets and attaining political power than the welfare and well being of the masses. It is the dream of the Islamic Research Foundation and the concerned Muslims all over the world to work for the intellectual growth of the Muslim Ummah. The best solution to all the problems facing the Muslim Ummah is education. With education, problems of poverty, ill health, low standard of living, etc., can be solved. Hence I propose the establishment of an X International Islamic free University in the United States. Why United States? Because U.S. is the only super power with cutting edge science and technology including in the areas of medicine, genetics, computers (Information Technology) and Robotics, Space sciences and Military machinery. What is that X as a Prefix in the title of the University? The X will be replaced by the name of the donor or anyone who will fund the entire costs of establishing the University. A sum of one billion US dollars are needed to establish a humble university to impart state of the art knowledge to select students coming here from the Muslim world. Out of one billion dollars, one-half or 500 million dollars will be deposited in an Endowment Fund and the dividends from which will be used to meet the day to day operational expenses of the University such as salaries of very high quality faculty, boarding and lodging for the students, tuition fees, etc. And the other half of one billion will be spent on the infrastructure-buildings, libraries, Mosque, laboratories, computers, etc.,

Free University

The concept of Free University has not been floated so far. In the Free university there is no tuition fee and laboratory fee. And there is no charge for health insurance and medications. In addition the students will be given free boarding and lodging. Furthermore the selected students will be provided with airline tickets from the place of their origin to the place of the Free University. A suitable stipend will be paid to each student to meet his or her living expenses. In return the Free University exacts a very high standard of student caliber equal to or better than those required by the Ivy League colleges in USA. SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), GRE, MCAT, LCAT, etc. scores will be considered for admission. Admission is open to both male and female students. The Free University will award Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees. The Free University will have schools of Natural Sciences, Humanities, Law, Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Computers and Robotics, and others that deem necessary. There will be a School of Islamic studies. Islamic behavior will be strictly enforced on every student. Any student who scores less than a 'B' grade in the final examination of any subject will be expelled from the University. No warning will be given, nor any leniency is shown. This is the price the student pays for not pursuing the studies seriously when everything is provided free of cost.

Action Plan

I am taking this opportunity to invite the readers who may be located in the world and who have experience in running a University or those who have experience and acumen in business, finance, administration, strategic planning and execution, fund raising, highlevel contacts and interneting, education, etc. to contact me. An X International Islamic free University Advisory Council will be formed with the intention of making the Dream come True.

I am keeping my mind open to any and all suggestions from the readers.

Sayings of the Prophet (s)

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