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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Seminar on Dr Hameedullah

By Ibrahim Usmani

Dr HameedullahHyderabad: A two-day national seminar was organized by the Department of Arabic, Osmania University on 5th and 6th January 2005 on Professor Mohammed Hameedullah – Life and Work. Many scholars from around the country participated in the seminar and presented their papers.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Chief Guest Shri Mohan Kanda Chief Secretary to Government of Andhra Pradesh said that Prof. Hameedullah was that son of the soil of Deccan who left an impression on the scholars of the Islamic world in this era of modernity. He termed Prof. Hameedullah as a great scholar born in Deccan. He will be remembered for his service and leadership to his community. He said that while working with Justice Hidayatullah in the Gulf he saw that not only Muslims but also non-Muslims were seen reading Quran translation and other books written by Prof. Hameedullah. 

Former Chairman Minorities Commission, Dr. Hasanuddin Ahmed in his keynote address described Prof. Hameedullah as a great scholar of the 20th Century. He was born in 1326 Hijri in Hyderabad and at the age of 27 years he served as Professor of Arabic in the Osmania University. From childhood he was inclined towards theology and as he was interested in serving Islam he travelled to many countries. He was fluent in a dozen languages. He was the first to translate the Holy Quran in French, German and English. Dr. Hasanuddin Ahmed said that Prof. Hameedullah had special interest in Traditions of the Prophet. He translated many traditions in different languages and in a way which was easily understood and in turn many people embraced Islam. He had so much interest in education and knowledge that he went to school even on the day his mother died. 

Vice Chancellor Osmania University, Professor Dr. D Ramchandra said that although he had not met Prof. Hameedullah but had heard the praise showered on him from various people. He was happy to know that he had over 165 books and over two thousand papers to his credit. He was not only a scholar but also an expert in literature and law. He advised the new generation to follow the footsteps of Prof. Hameedullah and follow his guidelines. 

Professor Abdur Rehman Momin, Professor and Head Department of Sociology Mumbai University said that Prof. Hameedullah was the last shining star of Hyderabad and the last representative of the Deccan culture. He said that even in Paris which is one of the most modern cities in the world, he lived a simple life. He published twenty editions of the French and English translation of the Quran and about two million of each edition were sold. Thousands of non-Muslims embraced Islam. His love for the Prophet was such that he travelled from Mecca to Medina on camel and donkey and stayed where the Prophet had stayed.

The government of Pakistan had awarded him with its highest civilian award ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’. He said that Islamic awareness in Turkey was due to Prof. Hameedullah’s writings. He suggested organizing an international seminar on him and an academy to be named after him. 

Dr. Mohammed Hasan Hitou, Director International Islamic Centre, Germany said that there is no parallel for the Islamic services rendered by Prof. Hameedullah. There has been an Islamic revolution as a result of his books. He has written books in Arabic, Urdu, English, French, German, Persian and other languages. He told the audience that he knew Prof. Hameedullah for thirty years. He was a simple person and God fearing. He had given the true meaning of ‘Roohullah’ and ‘Yadullah’. He and his services will live in our hearts. 

Prof. Izzuddin Zughaiba, Director Juma Majid Research Centre, U.A.E regretted that in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa, manuscripts are being destroyed and no one is there to look after. Thousands of manuscripts in manuscripts Centre of Tamil Nadu have been destroyed. It is for the concerned authorities to look into this matter. 

Earlier, Prof. Hasan Hitou inaugurated the Annual Journal (Al-Tanweer) of the Department of Arabic, Osmania University. 
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