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The legend Islamia College Peshawar

The Islamia College, founded in 1913, with the object of imparting knowledge of modern sciences, along with a thorough grounding in the precepts and the principles of Islam to the youth of the North West Frontiers of this country, has grown from strength to strength during its existence of a little less then a century. The college prepares students in all science subjects and the humanities for the Intermediate Examinations of the Peshawar Board of Secondary Education and for the Degree examinations of the University of Peshawar. In spite of the fact that now Degree colleges have been setup at all district headquarters and Intermediate College practically in all Tehsils of the former N.W.F.Province, there is a great scramble for admission to this College. But due to lack of facilities nearly as many application are turned down as number of parents from the tribal areas and the settled districts want their sons and wards to be educated here even if there is a College nearer home, as they look upon this institution with a sense of belonging. Its past traditions and present achievements make it easily the best educational institution in the country. Essentially the Islamia College is a residential college with 75% of its students and nearly the whole staff living on the campus like a coterie of scholars seeking and imparting knowledge.

Brief History Of Islamia College:-

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 the 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 a 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 Qayyum and others. Sahibzada Sahib moved the motion for collection of contributions, which was instantly responsed to by a cash donation of Rs 10,000/- by Abdul Karim Khan.

The second was Sahibzada Abdul Qaiyum with his instance 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 h

er ornaments on Jun 6, 1911 as her subscription towards college fund.

The land chosen for the college building were the property of Khalils of Tehkal,

out of which a total of nine hundred and sixteen kanals and seventeen marlas

was brought 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 sheet (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 the year 1912, showed remarkable

progress in completion. The programme of construction included an Arts college,

a Dar-ul-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 that year.

The college was opened on October 1st 1913 and students

were admitted for the first yearand 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

ten members of teaching staff, one clerk, one accountant,

and two hostels, i.e., Qaiyum Manzil and Hardinge Hostel.

With Mr. L. Tipping as the first Principal, Allama Anayatullah Mashraqi

was the vice principal and Maulana Qutb 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 as 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.