Aligarh : “Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of AMU lost a great admirer with the demise of Prof Asghar Abbas who spread the message of Sir Syed across the country and abroad with his well researched books and speeches on lesser-known facets and less talked about dimensions of the great 19th century reformer”, said Prof Tariq Mansoor, Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), while delivering the presidential remarks in the condolence meeting held today at the Sir Syed Academy, AMU.
The Vice Chancellor appreciated the love and affection, a rare characteristic trait, exhibited by Prof Asghar. “He was compassionate and warm-hearted. His loss has created a vacuum and carrying forward his admiration and love for the founder of the institution would be the real tribute to him” remarked Prof Mansoor.
The Vice Chancellor assured full cooperation in furthering the projects initiated by Prof Asghar Abbas, as the director of Sir Syed Academy in the past and also as an independent researcher for the cause of Aligarh Movement and legacy of Sir Syed.
Prof Shafey Kidwai (Department of Mass Communication, AMU) said, “Prof Asghar Abbas devoted his whole life to Sir Syed studies and wrote extensively on Aligarh Movement”.
Prof Kidwai specially mentioned “Shazarat-e-Sir Syed” (Urdu), a collection of essays of Sir Syed published in the Aligarh Institute Gazette, “Sir Syed Ka Safarnama: Musafiran-e-London”, an annotated volume detailing the places and persons whom Sir Syed met at Mumbai while travelling to England; and the translation of ‘Hayat-e-Jawid’ into English when Prof Asghar Abbas was the director of Sir Syed Academy.
“Prof Abbas was a true lover of Sir Syed and he made new discoveries about him through his thorough research”, said Prof Kidwai.
Paying tributes to Prof Abbas, Prof Syed Sirajuddin Ajmali (Department of Urdu, AMU) said: he personally cared for his students, remained concerned for their academic excellence, and even visited their hostels to ask about their well-being.
“Prof Asghar Abbas exhibited the same care and concern for the students as practiced by Sir Syed Ahamd Khan, the founder of the institution; and his humility and humbleness endeared him to students and colleagues alike”, stated Prof Ajmali.
Delineating the endearing traits of Prof Asghar Abbas, Prof Saud Alam Qasmi (Department of Theology, AMU) remarked: Prof Abbas imbibed simplicity, directness and effortlessness in the linguistic style from Sir Syed and elegance from Ale Ahmad Suroor.
He narrated several anecdotes from the life of Prof Asghar Abbas and stressed for the revival of Aligarh Movement as passionately advocated by him.
Conducting the proceedings of the condolence meeting, Dr Mohammad Shahid (Director, Sir Syed Academy) said, Prof Asghar Abbas carried out original research on Sir Syed and Aligarh Movement and Aligarh fraternity highly admires his contributions.
Dr. Shahid read the condolence resolution highlighting the milestones of his dynamic academic life.
“His PhD thesis entitled ‘Aligarh Institute Gazette ka Tahqeeqi aur Tanqeedi Jaeza aur us key Asaraat Urdu Sahafat par’, under the supervision of Prof Ale Ahmad Suroor, at the Department of Urdu, AMU marks the beginning of his association with Sir Syed and his reform movement. Members of today’s meeting shall cherish forever the fond and everlasting memories of Prof Asghar Abbas”, stated Dr. Shahid.
A two minute silence was observed in the end to pay tribute to the departed soul.
The meeting was attended by the faculty members, past and present, non-teaching members and the staff of Sir Syed Academy.