Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University was founded in the buildings of College of Sharia in 1373 AH/1953 that developed substantially into a university in 1394 AH /1974 AD. It integrates commitment to the Islamic values and academic excellence to take part in the creation of the information and knowledge society. The academic Institute in Riyadh is the seed of Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University; it was founded in 1370- 1950 AD when the Founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Ibn Abdulrahman Al Saud, may Allah have mercy on him, assigned Mohammad Ibn Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, may Allah have mercy on him, to inaugurate the institute. Shortly, more institutes were inaugurated in addition to the College of Al-’Ulum Al-Shar’iyah (Islamic Studies) in 1373 AH/1953 AD., now College of Sharia, which is one of the oldest Shari’a Colleges across the Muslim World. Then, more colleges and higher institutes were founded, hosting 92 departments in an inclusive campus for men and another for women. The latter bears the name of King Abdallah Ibn Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, may Allah have mercy on him.

The University seeks to meet the educational and developmental needs of the Saudi society by qualifying human resources academically, culturally and intellectually to serve the community, to create an educational and cultural environment that meets the needs of the academic institution and to advance the programs of development of its human resources. The University also contributes in advancing human development through offering a wide range of study programs. Despite the high profile of the university’s outputs in Islamic studies and linguistic since inception, it established colleges and institutes to provide specialized programs in sociology, linguistics, sciences, computer, management, economics, engineering and medicine. The university has an interest in teaching Arabic to non-native speakers and founded an institute of Arabic as a foreign language in Riyadh. The university hosts 14 colleges, 3 higher institutes, 5 academic institutes abroad, in addition to 70 pre-university academic institutes across the Kingdom. In 1442/2020, a decision was made to merge the pre-university academic institutes to the Ministry of Education, so that the university would be more focused on tertiary education.