About Us



The Islamic Online University (IOU) is the brainchild of Dr. Bilal Philips. He envisioned an institution that would offer online intensive, undergraduate, and graduate courses in Islamic Studies completely tuition-free.

Dr. Bilal Philips, Founder and Dean, Islamic Online University

IOU was launched in 2007 from Qatar with an offering of completely free diploma courses.

Alhamdulillah, although we began with 1,500 students in 2007, by the end of 2008, the number of registered students tripled, reaching 4,500. And now, right in the beginning of 2014, Allah has blessed the IOU with a student body of over 150,000 students from over 219 different countries.

In 2010 IOU launched the world’s first tuition-free, online Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies. This path-breaking initiative utilizes the worldwide presence of the Internet and advanced open source online learning technology to bring low-cost, university level Islamic education within reach of anyone on the planet who has access to a computer and the Internet.

Thus IOU now has two separate virtual campuses: the degree campus and the diploma campus. Each campus is hosted on its own dedicated server.

In 2014, IOU has been granted operational license in The Gambia and introduced four new departments: Department of Education, Department of Islamic Economics, Banking & Finance, Department of Psychology, and Department of Arabic Language and Linguistics.