IIS was founded in 1980 at the completion of 1400 years of hijra to
meet the modern challenges. The Institute had reformist ends and was
set up by those who felt the need for rethinking issues in Islam. The
Islamic world, particularly the West Asia, was going through political
turmoil and Islamic revolution had just taken place in Iran.
The Islamic revolution in Iran, a great development and the first
successful attempt to challenge American presence in the area, had,
however, led to barrage of attack on Islam by the western media. Also,
the fundamentalists in Islamic world, wanted to turn the wheel of
history back and were desirous of recreating Islamic states on the
model of early Islamic society completely ignoring the modern
conditions. The Institute of Islamic Studies was
founded to project Islam and Islamic values in the correct Qur'anic
perspective and to emphasise funamental Islamic values of justice,
equality, peace, compassion, human dignity, freedom of conscience,
inter-faith understanding and wisdom.
The Institute of Islamic Studies has been striving ever since to
disseminate these values through its writings, publications, seminars
and other intellectual events. It has evoked wide appreciation
throughout the world.
The IIS is also committed to promote inter-faith harmony and
organises inter-faith dialogues involving religious leaders of various
The IIS is also deeply committed to women's rights and believes that
the Qur'an promotes the concept of sexual equality in unambiguous
terms. It holds various events to promote women's rights and stands for
reformulation of issues relating to man-woman relationship on the basis
of pronouncements of the Qur'an and in the light of democratic values
and human rights.
The IIS has published several books and research papers. Asghar Ali Engineer is its founder director.