Prof. P. Nisar Ahmed –  Vaniyambadi loses one of its scholarly sons

Prof. P. Nisar Ahmed

By Special Correspondent

With the demise of Prof. P. Nisar Ahmed, Former Head, of the Department of Arabic, Urdu, and Persian, University of Madras on the evening of 28.07.2020 Vaniyambadi lost one of its scholarly son who had carried the scholarly legacy of the town to different parts of the world.


Born in Vaniyambadi on 03.12.1950, Dr. P. Nisar Ahmed had his graduation (1971) in Economics from Islamiah College, Vaniyambadi, Post – Graduation (1973) in Arabic from New College, M. Litt (1976) and Ph. D. (1984) in Arabic from Madras University. Starting his teaching career in New College in 1973, he later shifted to the Department of Urdu, Arabic and Persian, Madras University as lecturer in 1976 and became the head of the department in 1990. Through – out his teaching career in University of Madras he has served the historic university in different capacities and positions. As Part of the various bodies of the university his academic advice has always been sought after by his fellow colleagues. A very sincere academician in discharging his duty he had the habit of reporting to duty punctually at 9.00 A. M. His service to the field of linguistics got him in touch with the leading linguists of India and the world many of whom had attended his retirement function to wish him a happy retired life. His service has been sought after by several academic organisations which he has served with commitment after his academic retirement from the University of Madras.

As Head of the Department of Arabic, Urdu, and Persian of the University of Madras for more than 30 years he has produced innumerable books including a commentary on The Holy Quran and has guided 40 Ph.D. and 120 M. Phil. scholars, a majority of them Aalim’s from Madrasas. The Aalim’s and Ulema studying in the Madrasas were unable to pursue education in the colleges and universities as their education in the Madrasas were not recognised by the Universities. It was due to the efforts of Dr. Peshimam Nisar Ahmed that the Afzal Ul Ulema certificate granted by Madrasas was made equivalent to the bachelor’s degree of any university. It was this noble effort from Dr. Peshimam Nisar Ahmed Sb that enabled a great number of Aalim’s and ulema’s educated in the Madrasas to enter the corridors of the universities for Post – Graduate and Research Degrees like M. Phil. and Ph. D. His significance to the field of Arabic, Urdu and Persian linguistic studies can be estimated from the fact that 90% of Arabic and Urdu teachers in Tamil Nadu are his students. He was instrumental in the introduction of B. A., M. A., and Arabic certificate course in the Distance Mode education of University of Madras which facilitated hundreds of Indians through – out India to learn Arabic in distance mode.

Having travelled to several countries he has tirelessly worked for the recognition and promotion of Arabic language. His Significant foreign visits include visits to Raabida Al Aalam Al Islami, Makkah, International Islamic University, Medina, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Al Haram – Al Makki Library, Makkah and Al Masjid An Nabavi Library, Medina, Kuwait University, Kuwait, Meridian Research Centre, Washington, National University of Australia and University of Sydney.

An erudite religious scholar he was written 19 books in three languages Arabic, Urdu, and English mostly on religious aspects. His notable writings include his commentary on the Quran and Tafseers for different Surah’s of Quran. He has received several awards for his academic excellence notable among them are Khadimu Lisanil Quran, Allama Iqbal Award, Allama Shibli Award, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Award and Nawab Aasim Jha Award.

He is survived by his wife, Seven Sons, and a daughter, their families, and grand Children. His eldest Son P. Tanveer Ahmed is a Professor and Head of the Department of Arabic and Urdu.

Dr. A. Zakir Hussain recalls that the Ph. D. Viva Voce of his last Ph.D. candidate Siddhi Laarifa was scheduled to be held on 02 April 2020 but due to lock down it could not be held as scheduled. I had approached the university authorities recently to reschedule the Ph. D. Viva Voce and conduct it online. But before the proposal could be finalised, he has left this world leaving his hundreds of students in sorrow. This Ph. D. Viva Voce is the only wish he has left unfulfilled.

Dr. M. H. Jawahirullah recollects “he has been affectionate and passionate friend of mine. His student and the present Head of the Department of Arabic, Urdu, and Persian, Madras University, Maulvi Dr. A. Zakir Hussain, in an article in the current issue of Makkal Urimai, the organ of our organisation, on the Syrian coin in Keezhadi has cited Prof. P. Nisar Ahmed and recollected an historical event. When I had contacted Prof. P. Tanveer Ahmed, eldest Son of Prof. P. Nisar Ahmed and the current Head of the Department of Arabic and Urdu, Islamiah College, Vaniyambadi, I could not console him as he was in tears and not in a position to speak. After a long persuasion, when brother Tanveer told me that just before his demise about 5 ‘O clock in the evening my friend Prof. P. Nisar Ahmed had enquired with him about me and my health and had also told that he would like to meet me, a sense of sorrow had engulfed me. Further when Tanveer said that he  could not fulfil his father’s wish and his father has left this world with – out speaking to me I was engulfed with pain and anguish and I felt sorry I could not be in Vaniyambadi with the family members to mourn this demise. Educating people is an act of perpetual generosity. Today his students are involved in educating several people in several parts of the world. This generosity would earn him good reward for generations to come. Let Almighty Allah pardon him for any misdeeds from his side and bless him the choicest place in heaven and bless his family members, friends, and students with Patience to overcome this sad demise.”



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