Allama Shibli Noamani – who among those associated with Islamic learning in the world does not know this great name? The fact is that in the Indian subcontinent this was the personality who strongly resisted the massive aggression of western thoughts and ideologies against Islam and the Muslim Ummah towards the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century. This was so much so that this name emerged as the symbol of Islamic sense of honour. With his solid research works Allama on the one hand rejected alien ideologies and eradicated their impact while on the other ascertained the direction of the Ummah whereby the later age movements and organisations fully benefited consciously or unconsciously. As Allama was not only an academic but a practical man as well, he established Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy in his native town Azamgarh to propagate his thought and accelerate his work on its basis. This Academy is a notable, renowned and distinguished institution. It produced best writers and solid literature for the supremacy of the True Deen and success of the Ummah.
Towards completion of the century
This institution has been progressing ever since, and is now preparing for the centenary celebrations two years later. This institution too fell victim to the Partition but this neither dampened the enthusiasm of its functionaries nor was the publication of its academic journal ‘Ma’arif’ got affected. However, due to unconcern and indifference of general Muslims and negligence of scholars it suffered and is suffering financial crunch, the information of which we had been receiving through Ma’arif and other sources. I had a great desire to visit this institution which was fulfilled in the third week of November. Following participation in the golden jubilee celebrations of Jamiatul Falah Bilariyaganj, Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Omari and I reached Shibli Academy in the evening of 18 November, on the invitation of its Director Professor Ishtiyaq Ahmad Zilli. Maulana Omari has been one of the well-wishers of this institution. He has visited it repeatedly. He keeps on talking about its academic services. After stepping into the premises of the Academy, first of all the idea that this institution would have been in a dilapidated condition, as it is also a collective institution of the community, was removed. Sober but imposing buildings, greenery all around, cleanliness, peaceful atmosphere – which can be called exemplary for academic pursuit.
Let the community pay attention to it
But the most affected is its academic treasure consisting of rare books, invaluable manuscripts, calligraphies and letters of great personages that are there in small and big rooms. The articles of personal use of Allama Shibli are also there; they cannot be called preserved. This entire treasure wore a sorrowful look. However it is said that it is in a better condition compared to earlier. Professor Zilli took over the charge of the Academy in 2008; the first task he undertook was of repair and modernization of buildings, rooms and furniture. Now his total attention is on preservation of the grand academic treasure using modern means, which requires a large sum of money. But this task must be undertaken, for it treasures a big chunk of the history of Muslim Ummah in the subcontinent. Not only it should be preserved inside the Academy but also its copies made through modern technology be kept at more than one place as it is the great requirement of wisdom and farsightedness. The community should also make collective efforts to preserve historic books and manuscripts wherever available besides Darul Musannefin. May Allah help their managers and keep their esteem high.