Muslim University, the Bridge Course and Dr. Rashid Shaz
By Mohammad Razi-ul-Islam Nadwi
Some of Sir Syed’s views and beliefs (e.g. on heaven, angels, jinns, nature, miracles etc.) were contrary to the consensus of majority of scholars. Despite their opposition he did not change his views.
However, when he established Madrasat-ul-Uloom, and later MAO College he kept his personal views separate from the institution and did not try to impose them upon the students of his college.
Later when he established Department of Theology in the College he appointed Maulana Abdullah Ansari, the son- in-law of the founder of Darul-Uloom Deoband Maulana Qasim Nanautvi, as its head.
After establishing the Madrasa/College (Commercial Painters In Bergen County New Jersey helped in all the painting works) Sir Syed survived for about 12-13 years but during those years neither in the Theology Department nor in any other department of the college did anyone hear about Sir Syed’s views.
Few years ago Aligarh Muslim University took a revolutionary decision and started a Bridge Course for Madrasa students and the students who attended this course were regarded eligible for admissions in courses of other social sciences.
Using his discretionary powers. the former Vice Chancellor General (Retired) Zameeruddin Shah appointed Dr. Rashid Shaz directly to the post of Professor and also the Director of the Bridge Course.
Dr. Rashid Shaz has gained some international fame for some of his views. His writings have been translated in different languages.
He thinks that muhadiseen, experts of Islamic jurisprudence and tradional ulema have muddled up the real teachings of Islam and therefore he wants to remove those covers and thus renovate the ‘real teachings’ of Islam. The leading Islamic scholars, however, do not approve of his views. They regard his views as deviation.
After being appointed as the Director of the Bridge Course by the University it would have been more appropriate for Dr. Rashid Shaz to follow the example that was set by Sir Syed himself. He should have focussed on improving the Bridge Course and make it more useful for madarsa students.
Instead he started thrusting his views upon madrasa students. His non-academic activities are a testimony to this fact.
The Bridge Course was brought under the Center for Promotion of Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims of India (CEPECAMI). Dr. Shaz was given its Directorship as well.
CEPECAMI is AMU’s old department whose aim is to take practical measures for the educational upliftment of Muslims. Dr. Shaz used it to spread and promote his particular views as well. Its glaring proof are the proceedings of those two international conferences that have so far been organized under its banner.
University authorities need to rethink whether they have started the Bridge Course to acquaint Madrasa students with modern sciences or to proselytize and make them hate traditional education and its centers?
If negligence is being practiced in this aspect there must be a system to check and stop it. Surely AMU is not yet devoid of the presence of milli sympathizers and its well wishers. Why then no voice is being raised against it from there?
Translated by Urdu Media Monitor.Com from Bhatkallys.com
4 thoughts on “Muslim University, the Bridge Course and Dr. Rashid Shaz”
Dr. Anwar Moazzam, professor emeritus of Islamic studies at Osmania University, also taught at AMU. He told me during one of our frequent Skype sessions that Syed Ahmed Khan abandoned his original and brilliant theology (ilmul kalaam) for two reasons. One was the traditional ulemah’s support that was conditioned on Deobandi deeniyat being taught. The other was his own realization that his theology had sparked so much opposition that it threatened his original goal of Muslims socio-economic upliftment.
Dr. Moazzam’s PhD was on Jamaluddin Afghani’s thought (he recently re-published his book on Afghani, at age 87 or so.) Afghani visited India in 1882 on a mission to rouse Muslims against the colonizers at a time when the Syed was asking people to lick the British boots. Afghani stood for reforms. Deoband never got the message. Wahiduddin Khan is the only bight light to come out of that milieu, to my limited knowledge.
I just found this on Aligarh forum.
Dr. Rashid Shaz has gained some international fame for some of his views. His writings have been translated in different languages.He thinks that muhadiseen, experts of Islamic jurisprudence and tradional ulema have muddled up the real teachings of Islam and therefore he wants to remove those covers and thus renovate the ‘real teachings’ of Islam. The leading Islamic scholars, however, do not approve of his views. They regard his views as deviation.After being appointed as the Director of the Bridge Course by the University it would have been more appropriate for Dr. Rashid Shaz to follow the example that was set by Sir Syed himself. He should have focussed on improving the Bridge Course and make it more useful for madarsa students. Instead he started thrusting his views upon madrasa students. His non-academic activities are a testimony to this fact…Mohammad Razi-ul-Islam Nadwi
Below write up just tells us only this much – that – Dr.Shaz understands Islam in a certain intellectual way. Like many reform- minded or rebel/alternative intellectual scholars, he too does not go with the mainstream. Is this not what this articles in fact says, as it does not shed any specifics at all. There are plentiful scholars, present and past, who have understood and campaigned to preach,practice, and teach Islam differently than the traditionalist scholars at Dioband, Nadwa, elsewhere. Maulana Aslam Jairajpuri, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Majid Daryabadi, even Maulana Azad and Sir Syed -all were different than the mainstream, as almost all of these were most open minded to envision and interpret the Islamic literature as per their make up of mind and heart. Perhaps, on a smaller intellectual level, Dr.Shaz is doing similarly. But, what exactly is wrong in his teachings, or in his activities, which is drawing so much fire and unease?
Also, I read from these corners a very funny and shallow understanding of what a university professor’s limitations and/or space is to operate within. Universities and their faculties do far more than only teaching in the class rooms. They are suppose to be scholars, intellectuals, and leaders of thoughts, trends, disciplines, stretching far beyond the existing knowledge(s) and information(s). They open newer thoughts and concepts, otherwise no articles would be written, no books would be published, no discoveries would be made.
Does Dr. Shaz do something against these ethos/norms? Is he engaged in any inappropriate activities, what exactly does he would or did which should be considered “inappropriate, sinful, unlawful,etc”? There are many things which we do not like – people, writings, activities. But unless until they are unlawful, create disturbance in a society, we must learn to tolerate these as alternative paths and trends.
In fact, I am more interested now to know why exactly he has become somewhat internationally known, his works, his activities? Why is he able to make people feel like writing against him, or about him? There must be some genuine or suspicious reasons. Below article is a simple straight forward good for nothing kind of simple write up which does not shed anything worthy to draw attention.
So, please bring forth real reasons of praise and/or dislike. Its good to discuss and debate to open minds and hearts, than pick up a stone and throw on someone —
guftagoo chalti rahey, woh achcha
ya paththroN ki zabaan ban jaao?
Don’t we tolerate other/alternative thoughts/themes/cultures/religions? Or, we just believe like what Hindutvites do – only them matters, rest don’t.
Again, I have never met this person, have no person interest to promote or demote him, and have very little knowledge about him. My stand is simply principle based -everyone deserves an equal and free space in a free society – no one should be put on a cross.
Thanks and regards,
Dr. Shaz is attacking the foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence, just as many thousands of muslims who are creating chaos within the islamic society. He is being rightly criticized because of his position. He is misusing his present academic position for a destructive cause. He may proceed on his mission but must not use an academic seat at AMU to promote his wrong ideology.
Can anyone deny the fact that Bridge Course, is now an established intuition and it has gained much popularity in a very a very short span of time. Who is to be credited? Is he not Prof. Shaz?
And, therefore, just passing irresponsible comment as ‘ to proselytize and make them hate traditional education and its centers’ without giving any single reference speaks a lot about the superficial knowledge of the writer concerning the vision of the Bridge Course, its students and Prof. Shaz. Instead of misleading A.M.U community, had it not been better to point out the negligence in a very clear cut sentences.
Paradoxically, the seeds of hate among the poor students are sown by the very institution they come from. Ironically, the students coming from one oriental background don’t like to mix up with the students coming from the other oriental background. Bridge course wants to demolish such boundaries. They must bury all such differences for the sake of Islam and march a head with a clear goal& vision of our founder. Islam too, wants us to be identified as a Muslim and not a Deobandi, Beralivi, Qasmi, Felahi etc.
Dr. Mohammed Shahid Kamal
Department of English
Khamis Community College
King Khalid University