Monday, September 3, 2007

Islamic University: Where Muftis, Alims learn how to speak and write English

Naseer A Ganai
Awantipora, Sept 15: Eighteen Alims, two Muftis, who have secured Alim, Mufti degrees from Dar-ul-Uloom Devband, Jamia Nagar and other prestigious Islamic seminaries, are being taught Intensive English Language Course by lecturers here in Islamic University of Science and Technology.
The students have progressive outlook and it does not bother them who is their teacher. “I am here to seek knowledge and I hope after completion of the course, I will be able to speak English fluently,” says Khursheed Aalam, 29.
Sporting long beard, and wearing Khandress, Khursheed is not an ordinary student. He has secured Alim degree from Dar-ul-uloom Devband and later he went to Dar-uloom Jamnagar in Gujrat and secured Mufti degree. “I am here to learn English, which is international language and is must for everyone, particularly for us,” he says.
Syed Rubina, 24, lecturer, describes her students as different. “They are not like other students of the University. They are learned, well read and I respect them. They are obedient, hardworking and inquisitive and I am confident they will be in position to speak English after completion of their course,” she says.
Muhammad Qasim, who hails from Rajouri, was the first student who visited the University to inquire about the subject some five months ago. He met Shazana Andrabi, Assistant Registrar PR cell and asked her about the admission procedure. “I remember he was first student who submitted application about the course and told us to inform him when admission process will start,” recalls Andrabi.
Qasim, who has secured Alim degree from Dar-uloom Devband, finally got the admission in the University, when the University started enrollment for various courses some three months ago.
He says when he heard about the Islamic University, he thought he should visit the place and apply for M.A Arabic course. “Here I was suggested to go for Intensive Course in English and I think it was right decision.”
The course, he says, will help him to put his point across to those who only understand this language.
Moreover, the degree will also help the students to apply for various jobs as well, argues Qasim.
Some students however have other plans. Ejaz Ahmad, who has Alim Degree from Idarah Tehqique Islamia (Institute of Islamic Studies) Islamabad, says after completion of the degree he will seek admission in M.A Arabic. “And then I will move out and visit Islamic world,” he adds.
The University started the course for those students who wish to enroll in MA course but are not eligible due to their lack of familiarity with English. The University however will award a diploma in English after the student demonstrates by passing what the University authorities say, “TOCEL”. “Passing Test of Competence in English Language (TOCEL) is must for getting diploma,” says Rubina.
Now move to the Department of Arabic. It is not all about theory. Dr. Majid Andrabi and Arif Qazi, lecturers in the department are eager to talk about what M.A Arabic in Islamic University of Science and Technology means. “Apart from classical Arabic, the students here are being taught modern spoken Arabic, functional grammar, translation and computers. Moreover, we have already spoken to some 22 Islamic countries asking them to adjust our boys after they complete the degree,” they said.
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