Department of Arabic
About the Department
India has been one of the significant centres for the study of Arabic Language and literature since the early medieval period. And it has its wonderful impact on various Indian languages and literatures. After the independence, the new socio-political changes and the strategic significance of the Middle East and Gulf Countries enhanced the interest and scope for the study of Arabic language and literature. Moreover, as an old, rich and internationally acknowledged language it is contributing significantly in the discipline of Comparative Literature also.
It is on account of all this that, besides “Madarsas” the traditional centres of Islamic learning, the government of India has always remained keen to the development of Arabic language and literature, with special reference to Indo-Arab Literature, keeping in view the norms of higher studies and research, since the very independence of the country. As a result, besides the teaching of Arabic language and literature, a good number of the Indian universities and research institutes are providing research facilities in Arabic language and literature, the Arab Sciences and Culture, as well as in Indo-Arab literature. It must be emphasized here that besides job- oriented language study, the importance of preservation and conservation of old cultural legacy cannot be undermined , as it is no less important than the study of any branch of modern Arabic literature.
The Arabic Department had been a great seat of Arabic learning and the innovative research work in the Arabic literature since its inception. The great reformer and the founder of this university Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had always taken great interest for the development of Arabic language throughout his life. He himself appointed the well-known scholar Sheikh Mohammad Akbar as Professor of Arabic in 1875. Afterwards the well-known Arabic scholar Allama Shibli Nomani was appointed as a Professor of Arabic in 1883. Subsequently, Professor T.W. Arnold joined the department in 1907, and earned a good name by editing outstanding Arabic manuscripts. In 1908 Sheikh Abd-al Haqq al-Baghdadi (one of the disciples of Sheikh Mohammad Abduh of Egypt) was appointed Professor in the Department of Arabic. After the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University Professor, A.S.Triton was appointed Head of the department in 1921. Professor Ross Masood, Vice Chancellor of the University, appointed Professor Otto Spies, a German Orientalist as Professor of Arabic, and also appointed another noted German Orientalist, Professor Fritz (Salim) Krenkov, in 1927. After the death of Sheikh al Baghdadi the most outstanding Indian Arabic Scholar with international repute Professor Abd-al-Aziz Maiman was appointed in the Department in 1928 and served the department till 1957. Thereafter, a renowned Arabic scholar, Professor Abdul Aleem, took over the reigns of the department, and was subsequently raised to the position of Vice Chancellor of the University.
In the realm of Higher Studies and Research, steps were taken to enhance its potential. The department successfully managed to give coverage to all the literary periods, areas, fields, genres and issues as well as literary endeavours of orientalists and critical edition of old Arabic manuscripts. And attention has been paid to all the important disciplines of Literature.
The efficiency and merit of our research work attracted several foreign students from Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, and Bangladesh who successfully completed their Ph.D. works here. A number of such works got published from reputed institutions.
Among the special features of the department is its incorporation of ICT, and this is manifest in its Computerized Audio Video Language Lab which was established in the second phase of DSA, and at present, the Lab is functional with 30 computers.
Most of our students were placed in different academic and non-academic institutions of repute in the country and abroad, like University and school teaching, translation bureaus, foreign embassies and other excellent jobs especially in the Middle East.
The department during this period has been very actively and diligently taking up higher research endeavours of quality. In all, more than 150 Indian and Foreign scholars completed their Ph.D. & M. Phil works under the able guidance of the teachers of this department. This large number of research works covered topics from all the three thrust areas, identified by U.G.C.
After the inception of DSA, we have organized 09 national and international Seminars covering different aspects of the thrust area issues in which an average of 35-40 scholars had participated from all corners of the country. Six collections consisting of Seminar research papers have already been published.
All of our teaching staff during last five years played active role in promoting the Arabic language and literature by participating in more than 08 international and 15 national seminars held in different parts of the country and abroad; and by producing and publishing more than 32 books and over 140 Research papers and articles related to Arabic language and literature.
The department in collaboration with Academic Staff College has till date arranged 07 All India Refresher Courses on different literary themes for college/university teachers.
The Arabic Society established by Maulana Shibli under the name of “Lajnatul-al-Adab” in 1893, and revived by Prof. Horowitz in 1908, and it is still alive and active. The students organize and actively participate through this Society in different extracurricular activities. The Society also publishes its annual magazine “Al-Yaqzah”.
The department is regularly publishing its Arabic Journal namely “Journal of the Indian Academy of Arabic" which has received international circulation since 1976. The 42nd volume of this journal has been brought out recently.
The performance of the department may also be judged by the fact that till now more than seven of its teaching members have been awarded the prestigious President Award (Certificate of Honour).
The Mission of the Department of Arabic, A.M.U., may be summarized as:
Teaching of Arabic Language and Literature at UG, PG, Certificate and Diploma levels.
To Facilitate Advanced level research and contribute to quantitative and qualitative growth of Arabic studies in India covering major thrust areas in Classical, Medieval, Modern and Indo-Arabic literature themes and linking them with post-modern perspectives.
To work for safeguarding the rich Arabic literary heritage of Indian Arabists in the form of manuscripts (through editing & publication).
To contribute towards linking the institutional growth of Arab studies in India with desired increase in employment sectors nationally and globally.
To impart deep knowledge of Arabic language, literature and culture of different parts of the Arab World in order to strengthen the historically old Indo-Arab relations and boost India’s cultural, diplomatic, trade related exchanges and interactions with Arab countries with a view to ensuring the protection and promotion of the national interests in the region of West Asia and the Middle East.
To promote world-class specialized research in different spheres of Arabic language and literature and to publish academic journals and magazines showcasing the latest researches in the field.
To equip our professionals and other aspirants for jobs in the Middle East with functional knowledge of Arabic so as to enable them to get suitable jobs in Arabic speaking countries.
Adoption of New Education Policy (NEP) and its implementation as per guidance of the University.
Introduction of full-fledged UG & PG courses in Communicative and Functional Arabic, as well as in Translation & Interpretation (Arabic-English, Arabic-Hindi, Arabic-Urdu, and vice versa), Comparative Literature and Advanced Arabic Linguistics.
Introduction of Three Self Finance Advanced Diploma Courses:
Advanced Diploma in Arabic Interpretation (Business and Commerce) (1 year)
Advanced Diploma in Arabic Translation & Interpretation (1 Year)
Advanced Diploma in Arabic Interpretation (Tourism & Medical Facilitation)
Promotion of Interdisciplinary research in collaboration with other sister departments such as English, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit & Urdu.
Bringing new major/minor projects from the UGC.
With regard to our liabilities being associated with this language, I conclude with the message that, whatever we have achieved so far is not our ultimate goal and we should not stop at any point rather should always keep on advancing and leave no stone unturned in the field of maintaining the glory of our institution and achieving more and more heights.
We, by the grace of Almighty Allah, strongly hope that the Department of Arabic will flourish more and more in coming days.