Background

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The Faculty of Islamic Studies was established on 18 May 1970 at the same time the National University of Malaysia or Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was founded. It is one of the faculties first set up in the National University of Malaysia at the time, along with two other faculties, namely Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science. However, the core foundation of the Faculty of Islamic Studies had already existed when Kolej Islam Malaya (Islamic College of Malaya) was founded in the year 1955 in Klang. The establishment of this faculty is thus a continuation of the vision and struggle of a group of Malay intellectuals who wished to see the founding of an Islamic tertiary institution in Malaysia.

In the year 1968, the Ministry of Education had agreed to upgrade the status of Kolej Islam Malaya to that of a University College. At the same time, nationalists’ demands for a university using the Malay Language as a medium of instruction reached its peak. In the year 1970, this nationalist aim became a reality when the government declared the establishment of the National University of Malaysia with the Faculty of Islamic Studies as one of its faculties. In the beginning, the Faculty of Islamic Studies had only two departments, namely the Department of Shariah (Islamic Law) and Department of Usuluddin (Theology), besides one Arabic Language Unit.  On 15 May 1974, the Department of Arabic Studies and Islamic Civilization was added to the faculty. To date, the Faculty of Islamic Studies has five departments and one Arabic Language Unit. The five departments are Department of Shariah (Islamic Law), Department of Usuluddin (Theology) and Philosophy, Department of Arabic Studies and Islamic Civilization, Department of Dakwah and Leadership and Department of al-Quran and al-Sunnah. In the 1970/71 session, only six academic staff served in the faculty, comprising of a professor, a lecturer and six assistant lecturers. All of them graduated from Middle-Eastern universities.  In the first year, 37 students, consisting of 24 males and 13 females, were admitted in the faculty.  All of them were graduates of Kolej Islam, Petaling Jaya.