Zakir Husain was the former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. He is a renowned scholar and thinker in his field. He is also the author, with Muhammad Asghar, of Islam and Secularism: A Search for Common Ground. Zakir Husain is an important figure who has always tried to balance his Islamic religious beliefs with secular frameworks of thought.
This article will look at how Zakir Husain defines Islam and how he views it relative to secularism. His thoughts provide different perspectives on this complex notion that many people struggle with today.
About Zakir Husain
Zakir Husain is a man who has always strived to provide his thoughts on important issues. He not only leads an active life in the political arena but loves to write and express his views. He was born in Delhi on October 7, 1939. Zakir is a thinker who believes that Islamic and Western thought are both useful for society. This earned him the wrath of many conservative and ultra-conservative groups both within India and abroad, but Zakir never backed down from speaking his mind nor did he create a polluting atmosphere for any other person’s thoughts. He wrote a book on Islam and Secularism which is a significant work showing just how much he cares about this controversial topic that so many people care about as well.
Life Of Zakir Husain
He was born in Delhi on October 7, 1939. Zakir Husain’s father was a prominent Islamic scholar. Despite being very sickly as a child and being confined to his bed for long periods of time, Zakir loved to learn everything he could about Islam and the Quran.
Husain’s Early Education
He received his early education in Delhi at a religious school called Madrasa-Tul-Madina. Here, he studied Arabic literature and the Quran. The Madrasa was an important place that gave him the grounding that he needed in order to become such a knowledgeable man of religion.
In 1959, he moved to Lucknow where he went to Aligharh Muslim University. He was a part of the class that took over the administration of the university a few years later when his father’s health deteriorated. Zakir Husain studied wherever possible and passed his BA in Arabic language and literature from Aligarh Muslim University in 1964.
In 1966, Zakir Husain wrote an MA thesis on Qur’anic Exegesis (A Textual Analysis). It is from this work that he gained recognition as a person who was extremely knowledgeable about the Quran and Islamic law.
Zakir Husain personal life
He married Firdaus Qureshi in 1965. They have four children together. A wonderful life of family, love and happiness for Zakir!
As part of the Islamic religious tradition, Zakir Husain had to get married within a few months of starting his education. What better person to marry than the daughter of a very prominent Islamic scholar? Firdaus Qureshi was born in Aligarh, India on March 26, 1944. She was raised by her grandmother since her mother died due to tuberculosis when she was only two years old. Firdaus Qureshi’s father died when she was 13 years old and then she and her half sister lived with their grandmother for a year.
Zakir Husain career
After finishing his MA, Zakir Husain taught at the prestigious Al-Azhar University of Egypt for a few years. He was the first non Egyptian to ever be appointed there. The Egyptian government had great respect for his father and they wanted to pass on this honor to the son.
Zakir Husain had a hard time being away from his family in India, so he gave up this great opportunity and returned home. In 1976, he was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University by Prime Minister Moraji Desai. He stayed as VC until 1980 when he got an offer for a position at Jamia Milia Islamia that he could not refuse and left AMU after three years of service.
Husain in Politics
He did not stop there. In 1985, Zakir Husain was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He came under fire from many Muslim groups because of his secularism, but he did not back down.
Zakir Husain wrote a book on Islam and Secularism which helped him gain respect from all sides of the political spectrum. He will always be known as the man who brought minds together to find solutions that were more than just focusing on religion.
About Zakir Husain’s contribution at Aligarh Muslim University
The university is a grand institution that has had many famous visitors but never thought it could have been led by one person before Zakir Husain.
Awards and Honors
Zakir Husain was honored with the Padma Shri in 1976. He was also awarded honorary degrees from over 20 universities around the world. He get Bharat Ratna in 1992 for his services to education and freedom of thought. Apart from this, he was also awarded the Bal Gangadhar Tilak Award in 1995 by the Indian Social Service Institution.
Death and Legacy
He died on April 3, 1969 due to heart failure in Delhi. The nation lost a great scholar who will forever be remembered for his wisdom and intelligence. His works and thoughts have always served as a model that many people look upon with admiration and respect for Zakir Husain’s intelligence, knowledge, tolerance and curiosity to learn everything he could about Islam and everything else that he could not understand or explain clearly to himself. He was one of the most famous and popular Muslim leaders of his time.