Birth of a Private University : Darul Ihsan University
Darul Ihsan University is the first Private University in Bangladesh. Here have some events relating to the birth of Darul Ihsan University. It was some time in March 1958 Professor Dr. Sayed Ali Ashraf, The head of the Department of English of the Karachi University, suggested to promote and develop Private University in less developed countries, in a meeting held at Karachi University with renowned educationalists and professionals, local and foreign. Professor Ali Ashraf further stated that the Private University in less developed country would act as a tool for ultimate economic prosperity and political stability. The suggestions and ideas of promoting the developing of University in the Private sector were accepted unanimously by the renowned educationalists and professionals present in the meeting.
In 1975, Professor Dr. Syed Ali Ashraf, the then Dean and Head of the Department of English, King Abdul Aziz University, K.A.A.U., Jeddah in an informal discussion meeting held at K.A.A.U, Jeddah with foreign and local renowned educationalists and professionals of Saudia Arabia, disclosed firmly his desire to set up a Private University in Bangladesh. Prof. Ali Ashraf elaborated that the University should be able to blend the establish linkage between “Revealed” Knowledge and “Acquired Knowledge” to provide total education and knowledge to the people. The establishment of such Private University in Bangladesh was his faith and his decision was honest, firm and determined.
With that end in view Prof. Dr. Sayed Ali Ashraf formed as a Founder of the Darul Ihsan Trust in 1986. The aim and objective of the Darul Ihsan Trust is to established educational institution including University to provide meaningful linkage between, “Revealed Knowledge” and “Acquired Knowledge”.
The birth of Darul Ihsan University took place in 1989 at Savar Campus in presence of high foreign and local dignitaries. The first convocation was held at Savar on 13 March 1997 and Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees were conferred upon 442 students by the Chancellor, Darul Ihsan University and President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
It will thus reveal that the original idea of Professor Dr. Sayed Ali Ashraf to promote and developed University in the private sector crystallized and proved in reality by establishing the Darul Ihsan University by him as its Founder. The concept and objective of the University provide the students a religious base and guide to acquire higher knowledge in Human and Natural Science. They learn to protect the moral fiber of the nation from being eroded and thereby face the challenges of the world.
DARUL IHSAN UNIVERSITY——A PROFILE
Darul Ihsan University was established in 1989 by the Founder Vice Chancellor the late Professor Syed AN Ashraf in collaboration with some eminent persons including Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, present Chairman, Darul Ihsan Trust (DIT), Sheikh Ahmad M. Salah Jamjoom and Dr. Mohammed Abu Yamani, following a series of International Conferences on Muslim Education from 1977 to 1989 in five different countries.
The primary aim of the University is to develop an education system which is faith-based in philosophy but modern in approach and whose goal is to stop the erosion of moral values among the younger generation as against the Western secular system which is divorced from faith and devoid of absolute values having no relationship of man with God.
Darul Ihsan - A significant name
The outer meaning of Darul Ihsan is 'Adobe of Excellence'. The inner mean¬ing is the stage of conciousness in which a person realizes the constant presence of God within oneself as well as everywhere. It has other meanings too, such as compassion and sympathy. It is hoped that those who live and study at DIU will acquire this kind of consciousness and behave accordingly for self-purification and aim at achieving the balanced growth of the total man, the cultivation of his powers—moral, spiritual, intellectual, aesthetic, emotional and physical.
Classification of Knowledge Objectives
All knowledge is a unity and is divided into three classes as shown in the following diagram :
Knowledge concerns man's diverse relationships. His relationship with God supplies the basic principles which govern the relationship with other human beings and with the external nature and the other natural creatures. With this end in view, the University designed its curricula under the following three faculties:
a) Faculty of Religious Sciences: The knowledge that reflects the relationship between men and his Creator, Almighty Allah, is included in the Faculty of Religious Sciences comprising the disciplines such as Quran and Quranic Sciences, Daw'ah and Islamic Studies, AI-Quran, Tahfizul Quran, Arabic & Islamic Studies, Sharia & Law etc.
b) Faculty of Human Sciences : The knowledge that reflects the relationship between man and his other fellow-beings is included in to the Faculty of Human Sciences comprising the disciplines such as Humanities, Social Sciences, English Language and Literature, Economics, Business Studies etc.
c) Faculty of Natural Sciences : The knowledge that reflects the relationship between man and the nature comes under the Faculty of Natural Sciences consisting of the disciplines such as Computer Science and Engineering, Information Science and Communication Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics.
At present the campus is at Dhanmondi, Uttara and Savar. But its eventual home will be at Bolibhadra, Savar surrounded by meadows, trees, creeks and lakes on an area measuring 13 acres of land. Already the construction of a large building with 14000 sft per floor is going on.
Tuition and other fees for the students of DIU are lower than those of many leading private universities of Bangladesh.LibraryThe University has libraries at all the Institutes and Departments. The total number of books in all the libraries taken together is 21564.
Awards of gold medals, crests and degree certificates
In the last two Convocations held on 13.09.1997 and 27.03.2002 respectively 265 and 601 students obtained the above awards and at the 3rd Convocation to be held on 21.12.2003, 576 students are receiving awards.
The University offers comprehensive academic programs in the three broad areas of knowledge. For that purpose it has set up various Departments and Institutes, the description of which is chronologically outlined as under:
The Islamic Academy was set up in 1983 in affiliation with the Islamic Academy of Cambridge set up by the Late Professor Syed AN Ashraf. It conducts research on Islamisation of knowledge or education and develops academic programs leading to the degrees of MA, M. Phil and Ph.D. It arranges workshops, seminars and conferences and publishes books , and academic journals to generate and disseminate ideas and device the means of implementing them.
It also awards stipends to the M.Ed, students to help them conduct research. It recommended History, Culture and Heritage of Bangladesh and Basic Foundation of Islam as compulsory studies for the students of all the departments/Institutes.
Syed Ali Ashraf Institute of Higher Islamic Learning (SAAIHIL)
The Institute of Higher Islamic Learning (IHIL) known as Ma'had was established in 1989 under the Faculty of Religious Sciences (FRS). Its objective was to produce competent Islamic scholars who would be capable of presenting Islam with competent authority and face the challenges of modern secular education. The activities of the Institute were expanded after the approval of Darul Ihsan University by the government in 1993. After the sad demise of Professor Ali Ashraf, the above Institute was renamed Syed Ali Ashraf Institute of Higher Islamic Learning (SAAI¬HIL). In 2001 SAAIHIL was bifurcated from the Faculty of Religious Sciences and had a separate entity for conducting research. Since then it has been governed by a Board of Governors of which Vice Chancellor is the Chairman.
In pursuance of higher studies, the Institute conducts programs for M. Phil, and Ph.D. degrees. As the medium of instruction is Arabic, the students have direct access to all the original Arabic sources. AI-Azhar University, Cairo, is helping out with teaching and also assist in conducting M.Phil, and Ph.D. programmes. Till now six students have completed their M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees and 19 have been enrolled for the purpose.
(a) Department of Islamic Studies & Daw'ah and
Under the Faculty of Religious Sciences the above two departments have been conducting their courses of studies. The Department of Islamic Studies & Daw'ah has been running its four-year Honours and one year M.A. programmes since its very inception in 1989.
The Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies with Bachelor program started functioning since July, 2003. The programs of Arabic Language Certificate course and Computer Certificate Course are also run under the FRS. Moreover, English Language is compulsory for all the students under this Faculty. Under an MOU, AI-Azher University has been deputing teachers to the Faculty for every two years. The Bachelor of Honours and Masters degrees under this faculty have been recognized by AI-Azher as equivalent to their own. The total number of students obtained degrees and diplomas so far since 1993 is 1456, the number of students studying now is 200 and that of teachers 25.
Madrassa Tahfizul Quranil Karim
The Madrassa, starting in 1992, has been run as a separate programme under the Faculty of Religious Sciences and conducted by DIT at Savar Campus. The main objective is to develop the students as complete human beings by memorizing and understanding the Holy Quran. The students have to complete hifz in six years.
After that they are equipped to pursue other branches of knowledge in general subjects such as English, Bengali, Mathematics, etc. at both Dakhil and Alim levels. After passing Alim examination they become eligible for getting themselves admitted in any branch of the University. So far 71 students obtained certificates or degrees and 400 students are reading and number of teachers is 45.
Institute of Education
The Department of Education formerly known as Institute of Education started functioning under the Faculty of Human Sciences in 1993 with B.Ed, programme. In 1994 it launched its M.Ed, programme for the study of educational theory from both the religious and liberal view points. The history of education in both the Muslim and non-Muslim world, and educational psychology and methodology are also taught. The students are also helped to become competent in English, comparative education and educational research and Islamic philosophy of education and theories and practices of curriculum design. In 2002 B.Ed 4-year Honours course was introduced. So far in B.Ed. Pass, B.Ed. Honours and M.Ed, courses 656 students obtained degrees and 210 students are now read¬ing under the guidance of nine teachers.
Institute of Business Studies (IBS)
The Institute of Business Studies was established in 1995 under the Faculty of Human Sciences as a model center for basic business education and management career. Education at the IBS has two fundamental aspects-one, technical and the other, human. As far as the technical aspect is concerned, the course curricula of IBS match well with those of all public and private universities of the country, as well as with some reputed universities of the United Kingdom and the U.S.A.
The main objective of the Institute is to produce honest and sincere busi¬ness managers and organizers to fill in the gap and vacuum created by a large body of dishonest people who stand as a hindrance to the desired economic development of the country. Hence it also aims at producing business graduates having required knowledge, skill and ability to cope with the challenging business environment and who are sensitive to religious and cultural values and will contribute towards management of the country. IBS is governed by the Board of Governors of which Vice Chancellor is the Chairman.
The IBS offers the BBA and the MBA programmes with specialization (major) in Management, Accounting, Marketing, Finance, Management and Information Services, Insurance and Islamic Banking and Human Resource Management. The BBA programme takes four years to complete and follows an integrated course system. Out of the required 135 credits, 126 are in normal BBA courses and the remainder in English, General Science and Islamic History and Culture.
The credit in MBA programme for the professionals and executives vary from 36 to 48 credits and for the general students from 60 to 87 credits. Till now 190 students obtained BBAand MBA degrees and 860 students are attending the courses under the able guidance of 39 teachers. It has a rich library with 5640 books.
Department of English Language and Literature
The Department of English Language and Literature functions under the Faculty of Human Sciences. Since the inception of the University, there have been compulsory English language programmes for all the students of the various faculties of the university. The Department was formally opened in 1996 and started offering degree programmes of its own.
The Department accepts students for the B.A. Honours, M.A. and Diploma courses. The B.A. Honours is a four-year programme. The M.A. is a one-year programme. One important component of the M.A. is English language teaching. The Diploma course is in English Language and for those who have the general B.A.
The Courses in the department are so designed that the students attain the necessary skills in the language, get a sound grasp of literature, and acquire the ability to become effective language and literature teachers or to engage in work calling for sophistication in language and critical intelligence. In the teaching of both language and literature, emphasis is on developing the students' sense of discrimination and awareness of the wide spiritual, intellectual and cultural contexts in which both language and literature operate. Students are also made to see the working of the Western mind from their own Islamic point of view so that they can retain true independence of mind and spirit.
The Department now has 261 students and 20 teachers. So far 41 students obtained BA Honours and Master's degrees from the Department.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)
This department started functioning in 1998 under the Faculty of Natural Sciences in order to produce competent technical professionals required by different organizations and industries in public and private sectors under the framework of spiritual and moral dimension of education in natural sciences.
Department of Information and Telecommunication Engineering(ITE)
Information and Telecommunication Engineering (ITE) by January 2004. This is because the progress of ITE related activities has now become the driving force for social and economic development all over the world. Global trade in ICT production is growing more than 20% as against 12% growth in total global trade in goods.
Development of ITE and e-commerce has become a focal point for policy planners, administrators, businessmen, defense personnel, navigators, industrialists, agriculturists, local Governments and ICT practitioners from both developed and developing countries.
The students and teachers took part in ACM programming contest successfully held in different universities both at home and abroad. DIU also sponsored ICCIT for two years and the research articles of the faculties have been published in the proceedings of the conference. So far 85 students have passed and 350 are reading under the able guidance of the 37 teachers of CSE & ITE Departments.
Facilities offered to the students
i. Gold medals are awarded to the exceptionally brilliant students. At the 2nd convocation 32 students got such medals and at the present 3rd Convocation their number is 29.
Darul Ihsan University has already got an academic linkage with AI-Azher University, Cairo, Egypt and arrangements have been made for making such linkages with foreign universities of UK and USA such as Tennessee State University, Memphis University, Wales University, etc.
Future plans and activities