The IUM was established to serve and protect Islam and its principles in Maldivian society and the Ummah in general. The spirit of this philosophy is based on the teachings of Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) Sunnah. IUM’s philosophy is based on the first divine commandment Iqra, (read). Accordingly, the University takes the first five verses from Surath Al’Alaq as its guiding philosophy:
(1) Read! In the name of the thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created. (2) Created man, out of a leech-like clot. (3) Read! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful (4) He Who taught (the use of) the Pen (5) Taught man that which he knew not.
Thus acquisition of knowledge, practicing and preaching this knowledge is a crucial obligation of all Muslims. Seeking of knowledge is regarded as an act of worship. It is through this philosophy cherishing the everlasting pursuit of seeking knowledge that brings together members of the institution, creating one cohesive body. Embedded in this is notion of ‘ilm. ‘Ilm as IUM interprets is not confined to mere acquisition of knowledge and information only.
The divine obligation ‘to read’ also opened the way for flourishing of civilization, culture and modernity, intellectual reasoning and findings. Allah (SWT) does not command the pursuit of only Islamic knowledge but all ‘ilm from all other disciplines including knowledge about the galaxies, the mountains, and to seek truths about the life on land and seas.
IUM firmly believes that knowledge shall be transmitted in a way that it meets the fundamental requirements of Tawheed, (the Oneness of Allah). This implies the undisputed recognition of Allah (SWT) as the Absolute Creator and Master of mankind and that everything in existence originates from the one and only Creator, who is also the Sustainer and the sole Source of Guidance. The spirit of recognition of this fundamental truth represents the apex in the hierarchy of knowledge.
Knowledge in some of today’s worldviews means information about something, divine or corporal. Islamic concept of ‘ilm’ is far more expansive than mere acquisition of knowledge or information. ‘ilm embraces theory, action and education. IUM also believes that it is not only Islamic knowledge but all ‘ilm from all other disciplines that we should seek as Muslims.
We also believe that education becomes meaningful only with iman or faith. Iman in its basic meaning is belief in Allah (SWT), His prophets, revealed books, angels and hereafter and Allah’s divine decree. Iman is the boundary in human life that draws the line between belief and disbelief. It is said that nothing else in human life can possibly compensate for the loss in iman.
IUM places utmost importance to develop strong faith among its students. Fundamental to this is the upholding of high moral standards and application of ethical principles. Ethical values are properties that define us as human beings. The University will advocate the practice of ethical principles across all its academic programs as well as all co-curricular programmes.
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) Hadith which instructs us to acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave leads us to the now universally accepted importance of lifelong learning.