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Islamia College Peshawar

Islamia College Peshawar

Struggle and Success

 

Sahibzada Abdul Qayum

The Edwardes High school was the first attempt in Peshawar as regarding Missionary work, which was established in 1855 by Robert Clarke under the patronage of Sir Herbert Edwardes. The Muslims of the sub continent realized the urgent need for modern education after the 1857 war of independence.

 

When the new province of NWFP was formed in 1901, after its separation from Punjab, there were three types of schools in the province.

 

Those maintained by endowments and gifts, those established and run privately, but aided by government and those maintained by the Government through local boards.

 

By the year 1909, the idea of a college in the province, was taking its rough shape in the minds of Abdul Qayum and Roos Keppel, which was further strengthened by their visit to Aligarh the same year, where the Muslim students gave Sir Sahibzada their humble donation for the purpose of student hostel, hall or any better project. Sahibzada Sahib arranged a meeting of like minded people on April 12, 1911 at the residence of Abdul Karim contractor at Peshawar city, which was attended by K.S. Ghulam Haider Khan, Habibullah Khan, Khushal Khan, Sethi Karim Bakhsh, Sahibzada Abdul Qayum and others. Sahibzada Qayum moved the motion for collection of contributions, which was instantly responded by a cash donation of Rs 10,000 by Abdul Karim Khan.

 

The second was Sahibzada Abdul Qayum, with his instant contribution of Rs 1,000, while Sethi Karim Bakhsh gave Rs 50,000, the Nawab of Dir promised one lac and a quarter rupees, beside four hundred trees.

 

Subscriptions were also given by the Afridi Chiefs and leading religious elders. An example was set by Bibigul, widow of Khairullah Khan of Prang, who gave her ornaments on June 6, 1911 as her subscription towards the college fund.

 

The land chosen for college building were the property of the Khalil’s of Tehkal, out of which a total of nine hundred and sixteen kanals and seventeen marlas were bought in 1911 at the rate of Rs 30 per kanal.

 

The college authorities appointed their own armed chowkidars, consisting of one Head Constable and four foot Constables, appointed in 1911.

 

Haji Sahib of Turangzai, who had come one day earlier for the foundation laying ceremony, had spent the night in ‘Pokh’ Mosque of Tehkal. As Roos Keppel and other Britishers were also there for the occasion, Haji Sahib hid his face in his ‘Chadar’ and was led by Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim to the place where he was to lay the foundation stone.

 

After laying the stone, Haji Sahib went to Tehkal. The construction work, which was started in the second half of 1912, showed remarkable progress in completion. The program of construction included an Arts college, a Darul Uloom, and hostel, a high school and three hostels, a mosque, and residences for the principal and headmaster. High school Islamia Collegiate School which consisted of 26 rooms and one school hostel were ready before the spring of 1913 and the building before the 1st of October of the same year.

 

The college was opened on October 1st 1913 and students were admitted for the first year and third year classes only. The first student to get enrolled in the college was Sahibzada Khurshid, who later became the Governor of NWFP in 1949. At the close of the year, the number of enrollment had reached 33. Initially, the college had only ten numbers of teaching staff, one clerk, one accountant and only two hostels (Qayum Manzil and Hardinge Hostel). With Mr. L. Tipping as the first principal, Allama Anayatullah Mashriqi was the vice principal and Maulana Qutab Shah as the Dean of Theology. Besides the physical beauty of the college, Sahibzada Sahib was very particular about its academic standard and was very careful in appointing any new professor or teacher. For this purpose he was always in search of learned and well educated people. After the sad demise of Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayum in 1937, the college was left more or less an orphan in the hands of others.

 

However, the college survived the ups and downs of the coming year, facing the opposition of those who were so, even during the life time of Sahibzada Sahib with the only difference that he was no longer there to bear the brunt.

 

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