Professor Syed Ali Ashraf
(1924 - 1998)
Darul Ihsan has the distinction of being the first private
university in Bangladesh .it started with only one institute, the Institute of
Higher Islamic Learning, which was inaugurated in December 1989 by the
president of the peopleâ€™s Republic of Bangladesh. By the very next year the
University Grants Commission had decided to accord university status to Darul
Ihsan and informed the Ministry of Education of this decision. It was not
until 1993, however, after the private University Act had been passed by the
subsequent government, that we finally received the expected approval. But in
fact, Darul Ihsan had been functioning as a university since 1989. This
convocation thus includes who completed their courses in the years between
1990 and 1993.
Now, on the eve of this first convocation, it is gratitude and pleasure that I recall the sympathy and support we received from individuals as well as organizations both at home and abroad. Without this stympathy and support Darul Ihsan University could not have come into being. The Muslim World League of Makkah cooperated in establishing the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning, giving both advisory and financial assistance. His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, formar president of Abdul Aziz University of Jeddah, then Secretary General of the Muslim World League, was instrumental in collecting funds. His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Abdul Yemani, Chairman of Iqra Trust, made a substantial donation toward the construction of the existing building. His Excellency Shaikh Ahmad Salah Jamjoon, one of the founders of king Abdul Aziz University, who had been helping the Islamic Academy since 1983, offered further aid and advice.
Many people who share our belief that the principles of education must be derived from faith have come forward on their own to assist us. We have received encouragement and assistance from many Saudi, Kuwaiti and Bangladeshi friends. Shaikh Dr. Syed Yusuf al-Hashemi al-Rifai, former Minister of Auqaf of Kuwait, laid the foundation stone of the small mosque in this building. His friend Mr. Anwar Rifai also donated for this mosque, Mr. Ahmed Jassar, another former minister of Auqaf of Kuwait, is consistently trying to get help for us. Recently, a much younger person has come forward with great enthusiasm and commitment and has extended financial help; he is Dr. Alim Mohammad of Trinidad. Our gratitude goes to all of these and to the many others whose names it is not possible to mansion here.
Spatial thanks are due to Shaikhul Azar for his regular help since 1991; he sends teachers for the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning and the Arabic Language Centre. I am also grateful to Shaikh Muhammad Abdur Rahim Jad Baderuddin Al-Azahari who nearly single-handedly kept the academic distinction alive for the first three years and is still to assist academically. The members of Darul Ihsan Trust have earned my personal gratitude for their selfless cooperation advice and help , and in some cases , even physical labour . They know that it is their university.
A Unique feature of this university is that all of us have been working together as a family administrators teachers students assistants messengers and divers . I hope and pay to Allah that his atmosphere will remain no matter how large the University grows.
The government of this country has always been co-operative. Without the silent but persistent co-operative of the chancellor. The prime Minister the Education Minister and the Secretariat from 1989 till today . As well as the co-operative of the University Grants commission this University could not have flourished.
The only thing that I am not fully satisfied with is the Transformation expected in the educational process. This Transformation should and inshallah will come through the practical application of the Principles of faith based education put forward at the first World Conference on Muslim Education in Makkah Which I organized in 1977. I know that this Academic reform is not easy hence we must wait.
Let us pray to Allah for patience and help, and let us hope that teachers and students working together will make my dream a reality.
Allah blesses us all.
Professors Syed Ali Ashraf