Abdul Hakeem Faizy

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Professor Abdul Hakeem Faizy

Professor Abdul Hakeem Faizy (Malayalam: പ്രൊഫസര് അബ്ദുല് ഹക്കീം ഫൈസി Arabic: الأستاذ عبد الحكبم الفيضي), is an Indian Islamic scholar and educationalist. He is the Coordinator of the Coordination of Islamic Colleges (CIC) and the first member from India.[1] to be appointed at the Executive Board of Cairo based The League of Islamic Universities (LIU). He introduced an advanced integrated curriculum for Islamic colleges in Kerala by combining religious and secular studies, and pioneered the concept of woman-only Islamic seminaries[2]

Architect of Wafy, Wafiyya courses

The undergraduate and graduate courses he designed and developed, with an eclectic blend of traditional Islamic knowledge and modern secular education, are currently being implemented in over 80 Islamic colleges, including 32 all-woman colleges, under the auspices the Coordination of Islamic Colleges (CIC), an academic governing body functioning as a university. Faizy is the main architect of Al Wafy and Al Wafiyya courses which brought about a new wave in Kerala’s Islamic education firmament, making mainstream Islamic scholarship in harmony with modern studies. The courses not only synthesized traditional and modern streams of education but also put in place a modern system with centralized exams, professional bodies to look after academic and administrative functions and curricular and non-curricular activities of the colleges, compulsory social services to the students.

A new breed of woman-only seminaries under the CIC are making higher studies in Islamic theology accessible to girls. Faizy’s vision for the seminary is to help women create an authentic female world. The comprehensive curriculum creates an environment conducive to developing their creative thinking, artistic talent, personality traits, leadership and social skills, physical activities and so on and so forth. Faizy maintains that there is no better way of empowering Muslim women than to educate them and give them access to all streams of knowledge, including Islamic theology where they proved their mettle in the first centuries of Islam.

Currently, Al Wafy and Al Wafiyya courses constitute a phenomenal movement in Islamic education in the state, with students rushing for admission and new colleges seeking for affiliation from across the length and breadth of Kerala.

Early life and education

Born in 1958 to a clerical family, Faizy pursued traditional Islamic education in various traditional teaching centres attached to mosques, called ‘Darses’. He obtained his post-graduation in Islamic studies from Jamia Nooriya Arabic College at Pattikkad in 1977. He later served as an Imam for 10 years at the United Arab Emirate’s Ministry of Defense.

Inception of CIC

He returned to India in 1993 and was appointed as the Principal of Markazu Tharbiyyathil Islamiyya at Valanchery, one of the largest Islamic campuses in Kerala, where his integrated Islamic education model was first introduced.Faizy, who belongs to the fold of traditional scholars in the state, introduced relevant modifications to the curriculum and syllabus of the Islamic college at the Markaz. “I felt like I was bestowed a golden opportunity to materialise my dreams when I was appointed as a teacher in Markaz. I had determined that religious scholars needed to be cognizant of the changes in the world and they should tap the potential of various knowledge,” he said in one of the interviews.

Since then the college had brought out a new generation of Islamic scholars who held not only a higher education certificate in Islamic studies but also a bachelor's degree in a secular discipline recognized by the government of India. The curriculum and syllabus introduced at Markaz got wider acceptance in the academia and was adopted by various other Islamic colleges. This led to the inception in 2000 of Coordination of Islamic Colleges (CIC), as an academic governing body of all affiliated colleges. Faizy has served as the Coordinator of CIC since then. Panakkad Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal is the rector of the CIC.

Currently headquartered in Markazu Tharbiyyathil Islamiyya Educational Campus, in the district of Malappuram, the CIC has around 70 Islamic, Arts and Science Colleges affiliated to it. The CIC is currently setting up a comprehensive university campus with exclusive Postgraduate blocks for Al Wafy and Al Wafiiya Course at Kalikavu in Malappuram district. This state-of-the-art campus is expected to push back the frontiers of higher Islamic education in India, opening up new vistas for research, innovation and the whole gamut of academic activities.

The campus launched its first phase in 2016 by opening the academic block. Tucked away in a picturesque site, the campus comprises administrative block, academic blocks for different departments, research centre, audio visual theatre, live e-class room, students hostel, auditorium and canteen. This extensive campus is being erected at a land area of 15 acres by Akkarapeedika Baappu Haji from Kalikavu.

Academic contribution

The CIC has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for educational and cultural cooperation with Al Azhar and Cairo universities, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, Academy of Arabic Language, Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf etc. At present, there are 70 colleges affiliated to CIC.[3]

Faizy’s exemplary efforts to extend this experiment to women have proved to be remarkable as it contributed to strengthen their role both in the society and in the family, besides inculcating deep Islamic values among the fair sex.

Achievements

In January 2018, he was nominated to the Executive Board of Cairo-based The League of Islamic Universities (LIU)[4]. He is the first Indian to be nominated to the 21-member apex body of the international association of Islamic universities, which currently has over 200 Islamic universities from all over the world as members. The CIC has been a member of LIU since 2014 and has received several accolades for its integrated education system.[5]

Faizy will be attending the fourth conference of the Executive and the tenth General Assembly of LIU to be held in Alexandria from April 25 to 27, 2018. In recognition of his educational activities, islamonline.net honoured him with the IOL Star of the Year award 2009 while onislam.net felicitated him for his exemplary educational services in 2011. In addition, he was felicitated by several local bodies and organizations.

Lectures

He attended and delivered lectures on several national and international seminars and conferences and interfaith dialogues such as Al Azhar 2nd Alumni Conference – Egypt (2008), International Conference on Ijtihad & Qiyas – Turkey (2014), 6th Inter-Faith Dialogue – Doha (2008), 5th International Conference of World Islamic Scholars – Libiya (2009) etc.

His speeches advocates Islam’s time-tested ideals of moderation and tolerance. He calls for enhanced efforts to disseminate these values to foster peaceful coexistence of people of all faiths in India’s pluralist society. He believes proper and deep understanding of the divine religion is essential to defend it from the onslaught of malicious campaign unleashed by the anti-Islamic forces. He frequently address a mass assembly of many thousands of students from all CIC affiliated colleges wherein he explains the policies of the CIC with regards to value-based education as well as promoting social harmony and religious pluralism. He exhorts the students to grow as responsible citizens of India and contribute to foster interfaith peace and communal harmony. He also address an extended assembly (called Arham Assembly), comprising five family members of each students, teachers and well-wishers to inculcate these values among them.

Books

In addition to his extensive involvement in education activities, Professor Faizy has compiled and edited several noted works in Arabic such as A Commentary on the Anthology of Imam Al Shafi, A Study on Arabic Literature and Linguistics, Taallam Min AdabihiQablaAdabihi (Let him learn good manners before acquiring knowledge), FiqhuLugha, Al Alwan (an anthology of contemporary Arabic literature). Furthermore, he has to his credit several articles on topics of social and educational importance published in academic journals, periodicals and daily newspapers.

References

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