Situated amidst vast rice fields in a remote village in Ponorogo, East Jawa Indonesia, Darussalam Institute of Islamic Studies (known as ISID — Institut Studi Islam Darussalam) is unique among its kind in the country. With Arabic and English as the medium of instruction and communication among its students and teachers, furnished with modern learning and research facilities, and guided by a clear vision and mission, ISID has attracted students and scholars from various parts of Indonesia and beyond.

Darussalam Institute of Islamic Studies was founded by the three brothers–the late KH Ahmad Sahal, KH Zainuddin Fananie and KH Imam Zarkasyi, not long after they had founded the Modern Islamic Boarding School (Pondok Modern) “Darussalam” in Gontor, Ponorogo, Indonesia in 1926. The school’s rapid progress and its brilliant achievement soon led to the idea of establishing a world-class Islamic university. It was their cherished desire to establish an Islamic institute of higher learning that can produce genuine and authoritative Muslim scholars (‘ulamâ). The first attempt carried out by the founders after the school had its first graduate in 1942, was establishing higher education the so called Underbow and Bovenbow. However, due to colonial and war situation, the program could no longer be carried on.  Thus in the 1958 Waqf Charter of Darussalam Modern Islamic Education Institution they made it clear, among others, that the school is no longer their personal property since it belongs now to the Waqf  for the Muslim ummah, and that it must be further developed into an Islamic university and become a major center for Arabic and Islamic Studies.

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