Founded in 2004, The International Union for Muslim Scholars is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with the offices of the Secretary-General in Nasr City, Egypt. Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent cleric, is President of the Union; Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Sheikh Ahmed bin Muhammad al-Khalili (Grand Mufti of Oman), Sheikh Mohammed Wa‘id-Zadeh (of Iran) share the position of Vice President of the Union.
Membership in the Union is open for scholars who graduated from shariah universities and Islamic Studies departments at various universities or have a relevant background. IUMS is, officially, an independent, non-sectarian body that aims to "represent all Muslim denominations and sects."
It claims to be neither "local" nor "regional," neither Arab nor foreign ("non-Arab"), neither "Eastern" nor "Western." Rather, according to its platform, the Union represents "Muslims in the entire Islamic World, as well as Muslim groups and minorities [living] outside the Islamic World."
It sets as a goal the representation of Muslims living in countries where non-Muslims constitute the majority, such as to enhance bilateral cooperation and promote Islamic scholarship and dissemination.
IUMS cites da‘wah as central to its mission: "[IUMS] is dedicated to the call to Islam," by any legitimate means (and material) possible. This includes the "recruitment of scientific talent".
According to its official website, the Union is not an official government institution and is not affiliated in any capacity with any nation-state.
IUMS claims to be representing the entire Muslim ummah rather than individual state interests and to be supported primarily by "the Muslim masses." However, IUMS is "not hostile to governments and strives to cooperate with them" for the good of "Islam and Muslims."