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Saturday, August 15, 2009

75 Year Of Islamia College Peshawar (1913- 1988) (1988-8)

Muslims of the sub-continent were very slow in acquiring modern knowledge and this was even more visible on the North-Western Frontiers of India. The Pathans looked with disdain both on the British and the knowledge coming from their schools.

It was Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qaiyum Khan, a civil servant in the British administration on the Frontiers, who realised the consequences of such an attitude.

His visit to Aligarh in 1909 gave further impetus to his dream of establishing an exemplary College or Dar-ul-Ulum, along with an Oriental Wing and High School, where studies in religion would be blended with modern western education.

Thus, having won the sympathy of the Ulema and the landed gentry, he was able to muster public support for general education.

In April 1911, a Committee was formed to collect subscriptions and look after the various other connected issues. This Committee had Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qaiyum Khan as its first Honorary Secretary, for he could serve as the best intermediary between the government and the masses.

It was amazing to see that in mere six months time about five lacs rupees were collected, which amount later swelled up to fifteen in 1914. What was most touching was the sight of poor widows and workers happily parting with their little savings for the College, with the hope that their children would live a better future through their education.

The choice of the site for the Dar-ul-Ulum fell on the area at the entrance of the tribal territory with the view to attract the tribal youth as well.

It was here that a total of 916 Kanals and 17 Marlas of land was bought for Rs 30,683/1/4, at the rat of Rs 30 per Kanal. The foundation stone was then laid on 21.3.1912 at the hands of a revered scholar, Haji Sahib of Turangzai.

Classes were started in the Islamia Collegiate School on April 14, 1913, while the College started on October 1st that year. Admission initially was low, but it gradually caught up alongwith construction of its building.

The Dar-ul-Ulum, comprising an Arts and Science College, a High School and an Oriental Faculty; became nucleus of the College. Establishment of hostels, library, play grounds and staff quarters turned this barren land into a haven of learning in shortest possible time. The impact of the College was soon felt in all walks of life in the Frontier. Quaid-i-Azam visited the College in 1936 during his first ever tour of the Frontier, followed by another visit in 1945.

The Frontier youth took active part in the struggle for Pakistan and the Quaid-i-Azam re-visited the College after the emergence of Pakistan in 1948. The Father of the Nation was so touched by the love and affection of the graduates of the College that he bequeathed part of his assets to the College through his will.

The College‘s contribution to the intellectual growth of the area is universally acknowledged. It has provided educated manpower to the Province in particular and to Pakistan in general. The establishment of the University of Peshawar, followed by those of University of Engineering & Technology and the University of Agriculture, besides the Medical College and the Teaching Hospital on the same campus, stand testimony to the contribution of the College to advancement of human knowledge in this area.

The College celebrated its Golden Jubilee in October 1963 and will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee on completion of its 75th year of its establishment in October, 1988.

Contributed by Islamia College, Peshawar.

To commemorate the 75 Year of Islamia College Peshawar, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of Rs 3 denomination on December 22, 1988.