By New Desk
Azamgarh: Director of Darul Musannefin Shibli Acadmy, Prof. Ishtiaq Ahmad Zilli, has been suffering from poor health for the last two years, yet he continued to discharge his responsibilities towards the academy which is the oldest and most reputed Muslim research institute of the Subcontinent. It was established by Allama Shibli Nomani and his disciples in 1915.
The administrative committee of the academy held its meeting via Zoom on 20 September 2021. All members of the academy trust including its Patron Hamid Ansari, former Vice President of India, participated. During this meeting, Prof. Zilli announced his resignation on health grounds. Considering Prof. Zilli’s health and the pressing needs of the institution, the trustees accepted his resignation and elected Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan as the next Director of the Academy, which he accepted.
Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan has been a member of the Shibli Academy trust since 2007 and President of its executive committee since 2009 following the death of its previous President, Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi. He is well-versed with the mission, issues and problems of the Academy.
Dr Khan has received both traditional and modern education. He studied at Egypt’s Al-Azhar and Cairo universities, worked as editor-translator in the Libyan foreign ministry and was a senior research fellow (Assoc. Professor) at The Muslim Institute, London. He obtained his PhD in Islamic Studies with a thesis on the concept Hijrah in Islam from Manchester University in 1987.
Dr Khan has translated and authored over 50 books in Arabic, Urdu and English which have been published from Cairo, Beirut, London and Delhi. His books include Hijrah in Islam and Palestine Documents. He has contributed eight articles on Indo-Muslim themes to the Encyclopaedia of Islam (Leiden) and was editor of the Arabic journal, Majallah al-Tarikh Al-Islami and of the English publications, Muslim & Arab Perspectives, Muslim India and The Milli Gazette. This shows his long innings as an author and editor. For the last 11 years, he has been working on a new English translation and exegesis of the Holy Qur’an which will be published soon.
Dr Khan was also President of the All-India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, a member of the Academic Council of Hamdard University, and a trustee of Qatar’s International Association of Muslim Scholars and of Riyadh’s World Assembly of Muslim Youth. He has also served as Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission. Dr. Khan has experience of running private, community and government organisations.
Well-wishes of the Shibli Academy hold high hopes that in view of his administrative and academic skills, Dr. Khan will be able to take the community’s major institution to greater heights.