The College of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies at Umm Al-Qura University is regarded as the first college of its kind to be established in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 1369H, the college was established during the reign of Saudi late king Abdulaziz bin Abdurrahman Al-Saud to be the first pioneering educational edifice in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. As such, the college stands as one of the oldest colleges to be concerned with Islamic Law in the Arab and Islamic countries.
In 1373H, it was placed under the supervision of the College of Education after changing its name to the College of Shari`ah and Education.
In 1382H, it was separated from the College of Education and named as “College Shari`ah and Islamic Studies”.
In 1385H, the Department of History and Islamic Civilization was established at the College of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies. Thus, the College included the three Departments of History and Islamic Civilization, Shari`ah and Arabic Language.
In 1388/1389H, the Department of Islamic Law Graduate Studies was introduced to the College, including two divisions for Fiqh and Islamic Theory, as well as Quran and Sunnah.
In 1391H, King Abdulaziz Private University in Jeddah was turned into a governmental university, grouping the Makkah-based College of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies. Seniors were allowed to regularly study at the three departments of the College as internal students after they were allowed to join the college in 1388/1389H as external students.
In 1392/1393, the major of civilization was turned into an independent department under the name “Department of Civilization and Islamic Systems”. Two more departments were established inside the College to teach judiciary and Islamic economics in 1401/1402H, while the Department of History and Islamic Civilization Graduate Studies was incepted in 1403H. Since then, students were only allowed to join graduate studies at the Department of Islamic History and Department of Civilization and Islamic Systems. Also, the Center of Islamic Graduate Studies (Evening hours) was established at that time, and its name was changed into “Center of Islamic Studies” in 1417H.
In 1405H, the Division of Accounting was introduced to the Department of Islamic Economics, then it was turned into an independent department in 1421/1422H. Also, the Department of Civilization and Islamic Systems was merged into the Department of Islamic History under one department named as “Department of History and Islamic Civilization”.
In 1431H, the Department of Islamic Law Graduate Studies was merged into the Department of Shari`ah, while the Department of History and Islamic Civilization Graduate Studies was integrated into the Department of History and Islamic Civilization.
In 1433H, a program equivalent to graduate studies was introduced to the College’s departments.
In 1434H, students were allowed to join the Center of Islamic Studies. Also, this year witnessed the establishment of the Saudi Scientific Institution of Islamic Theology and Shari`ah Purposes. Four colleges were derived from the College of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies, namely:
To teach Shari'a and Islamic studies, promote scientific research and qualify scholars in the field of Islamic studies in a professional and effective manner to serve domestic and international communities.