IOS Chennai Chapter organises an International Webinar on the “Life and contributions of Hazrath Abdul Hameed Baqavi (Rah)

Institute of Objective Studies, Chennai Chapter resumed its activities by conducting a trilingual International webinar on the “Life and Contributions of Hazrath Abdul Hameed Baqavi (Rah) on Saturday, 23 October 2021 at 6.30 p.m. Organised in association with the Global Tamil Muslim Media (GTM), USA, and live-streamed on YouTube, the program was well-attended and attracted audience not only from India but from USA, UK, Middle East and Far East Countries.

The program commenced with the recitation of verses from the holy Qur’an by Br. Patel Abdur Raheem, member IOS, Chennai Chapter. Mohamed Haneef Katib, co-ordinator, Chennai Chapter welcomed the distinguished guests and speakers and the audience from all over the globe. He expressed his pleasure over the warm response of the audience and informed them that IOS Chennai Chapter will be conducting webinars on the life and contributions of eminent personalities from Tamilnadu and documenting them in future.

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, in his opening remarks, congratulated the IOS Chennai Chapter on organising a multilingual, international webinar on the life and contributions of a great scholar of Tamilnadu.

He pointed out that Muslims have been raised as the best of communities (Khaire Ummah), and the message of dignity of mankind has to be communicated to the entire humanity. In this global challenging environment, when the humanity is faced with discrimination, inhuman behaviour, racism and other challenges, we should, as a chosen ummah,  stand up to uphold the Qur’anic values of brotherhood, justice and equality. He added that in this connection, the Institute of Objective Studies, a research-based organisation has published more than 500 books on contemporary issues faced by Muslims and humanity at large. He advised to study the changing situations in India and the world, and to adopt a research-based attitude to diagnose the challenges and find the solutions accordingly.

He paid his tributes to Abdul Hameed Baqavi and said that the moulana was not only an outstanding scholar, but also a freedom fighter, a reformer and a notable leader of his times. While congratulating the members of IOS Chennai Chapter, he advised to document his contributions and publicise them so that our younger generation is aware of our glorious past.

He also suggested that seminars be held on the Constitution of India and its protection by inviting prominent secular leaders and distinguished scholars in political science and law. 

Brother Ibnu Soud Shahabdeen, President, All India Milli Council, Tamilnadu Chapter, in his presidential address, traced the history of development of Institute of Objective Studies as a think tank, and remembered the contributions of Moulana Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi (Rah) in the formation of institutions like All India Milli Council and Islamic Fiqh Academy. IOS, he said, has conducted several seminars on national and international level. One such seminar was held at The New College, Chennai, in which members of IIIT (Institute of International Islamic Thought), USA had participated. Its performance and achievements have gained national and international recognition. The IOS is in consultative status (Roster) of Economic and Social Council of United Nations, he informed the audience. 

The holy Qur’an has to be translated in vernacular languages so that its message is understood, which is the real purpose of its revelation. In this context, Moulana Abdul Hameed Baqavi’s contribution of translating the holy Qur’an in Tamil language, facing multifarious challenges from many quarters is truly commendable, he added.

Presidential address was followed by three speeches in Urdu, Tamil and English. Moulana Mufti Roohul Huq, Member, AIMPLB, speaking in Urdu, traced the biography of Moulana Abdul Hamid Baqavi from his birth to his early education at Madrasa Baqiatus Salihath, Vellore, to his accomplishment as a translator of the holy Qur’an in Tamil.  He explained the careful manner the moulana had adopted in translating the holy Qur’an. He printed his translation on half a page, leaving half page empty. Later, he sent these copies to renowned madarsas and Islamic scholars and requested them to write their remarks, corrections, and feedback. After receiving them, he would correct and update his translation. He received his notes corrected in this manner from more than a hundred Scholars. Also, he personally visited all of them and had direct discussion with them. On 19 February, 1929, the first volume of the holy Quran was published for the first time in the history of Tamilnadu.

Hazrath Moulana Mohammad Khan Baqavi, a renowned scholar and translator in his speech in Tamil, noted that though Muslims lived in Tamilnadu for over 1300 years, no scholar had attempted to translate the holy Quran in Tamil language. This honour was bestowed by Allah on Moulana Abdul Hameed Baqavi. In addition to the above distinction, Moulana joined the Khilafath Movement spearheaded by Ali Brothers, along with Mahatma Gandhi. He was involved actively in the Indian freedom struggle. He was a true reformer, and on one occasion, spoke for over two hours so eloquently in favour of liquor prohibition that the Late Rajaji who was presiding over the session concluded it, remarking that Moulana’s speech was sufficient as he had covered all possible aspects of the subject. The learned speaker concluded his speech addressing the ulema of today to learn from the life of the legendary Moulana so that they are also remembered by the coming generations just like Moulana Abdul Hameed Baqavi.

Sister Fathima Muzaffar, a renowned social activist and member of the Womens’ Wing of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, competently compeered the session, and thanked Allah SWT for being blessed to be born as the granddaughter of Hazrath Moulana Abdul Hameed Baqavi. She interpreted the significant aspects of the life and contributions of her grandfather from the Urdu and Tamil speeches into the English language. Highlighting briefly the contributions of Moulana Abdul Hameed Baqavi, she said that he was a multilinguist and was proficient in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam and French. He interpreted the speeches of Moulana Abul Kalam Azad in Tamil whenever the legendary leader visited Tamilnadu. He completed the holy task of translation of the holy Qur’an in 2 volumes over a period of 30 years. The task was accomplished despite the stiff resistance from many quarters and financial crunch. The then Nizam of Hyderabad sanctioned the income of one entire village in Tamilnadu as financial assistance to Moulana to continue his scholarly pursuit.

The program came to an end with a Vote of Thanks by Dr. Major Zahid Hussain, member, governing council of the IOS. While thanking all the participants individually and collectively, he promised the audience that the IOS Chennai Chapter will continue to conduct webinars on the legendary personalities of Tamilnadu in future.  


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