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Rabita Adab-al Islami Seminar 
on Children’s Literature 
By M J Akhter, Bhatkal   

The three-day seminar of the Rabita al-Adab al-Islami (Universal League of Islamic Literature), South and East Asia region, concluded in this ancient town situated on the shores of the Arabian sea with a call to spread the message wide and clear to the world that the ‘Adab Islami Hi Adab-e Insani Hai’ (Islamic literature is in fact the literature for humanity).

The conference, held at the sprawling campus of Jamia Islamia, Jamiabad, was attended by scholars and Ulama from different parts of the country including Aurangabad, Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Mumbai and Bhopal during which altogether 31 papers, some of them in Arabic, were presented in seven sessions in a span of three days.

Senior vice-president of the Rabita al-Adab al-Islami and rector of Nadwatul-Ulama Muhammad Rabey Hasani Nadwi, All-India Muslim Personal Law Board treasurer Maulana Abdul Kareem Parikh (Nagpur) and Wazeh Rashid Nadwi, head of Arabic literature in Nadwatul Ulama, Anjuman Tarriqi-e-Urdu General Secretary Dr. Khaleeq Anjum, were main participants in this conference which was the first to be held in the absence of its founder, Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, popularly known as ‘Ali Mian.’ 

The theme of the Muzakara-e-Ilmi was ‘Literature of Children,’ a subject chosen for the conference by Maulana Ali Mian himself before his sad demise. 

Prof. Ziya-ul- Hasan Nadwi of Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, in his introductory remarks said that the topic was not new for the Rabita as for a decade ago a seminar in the Turkish city of Istanbul had deliberated upon the subject and it came to the conclusion that literature produced with the clear intention of building society and serving humanity would fall in the category of Islamic Literature whether penned by a Muslim or non-Muslim. "It was not necessary that writing by Muslims alone could be construed as Islamic literature, rather a non-Muslims writing with clear intention of serving humans and humanity could be considered as Adab-e-Islami and India had numerous examples to highlight the point, he clarified.

The contributions of eminent institutions like Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Nadwatul Ulama, Nadwatul Ulama, Darul-Uloom Deoband and Darul Mussanifeen, Azamgarh. Balanced and interesting writings of Maulana Ismail Meeruthi, Allama Iqbal, Hali, Deputy Nazeer Ahmad, Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Dr. Zakir Husain were highly appreciated by the participants.

As the participation of the local population was full and wholehearted, it would be rather impossible for the participants to forget the nostalgic atmosphere and the hospitality of the Bhatkal people. For such attachment and devotion of the Bhatkali population towards Islam, Sunnah and noble human causes was perhaps the reason why Maulana Ali Mian used to call Bhatkal as Bait-ul-Kul (Home for All), and second dearest to him after Nadwatul-Ulama. 

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