History of the Department of Islamic Studies
The Department of Islamic Studies was established in 1963-1964 academic session as a component of the then Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Teaching began in January, 1964 at the Kano old Airport Hotel buildings under what was then known as the Abdullahi Bayero College of A. B. U. The Department was headed by Professor Shehu Galadanci and later by Professor M. A. Zaki Badawi who was a distinguished Scholar of Islamic Studies and a graduate of the famous al-Azhar University in Cairo . Before he came to Nigeria, Professor Badawi served as Reader and Head of Department of Islamic Studies for many years at the National University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Many distinguished scholars who taught in the Department in the early sixties and seventies include Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo (Late Grand Kadi, Kano State ), Dr. Muhammad Ali Rayyah Hashim, Dr. Bakir Dushain and Shaykh Muiz el-Dusogi three of whom hailed from the Sudan. Others include Professor M. A. Zaki Badawi, Dr. Ahmed Ghorab (from Egypt ), Dr. Muhammad Salim al-Awa (from Egypt ), Dr. I. Sharma (a one time President of the Maldive Islands), Professor Muhammad Sani Zahradeen, Professor A. A. Gwandu, Dr. Umar Farouk Malumfashi and Dr. Omar Jah.
The first set of graduates from the Department includes Professor Dandatti Abdulkadir a one time Vice-Chancellor Bayero University Kano, and Nigeria’s ambassador to Libya, late Professor Abdullahi Mohammad, a Director of ABU Centre of Adult Education and one time Dean Faculty of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Abubakar Aliyu Gwandu a one time Vice-Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, Professor Abubakar Balarabe former Director of Arabic Village, Maiduguri, Professor Muhammad Sani Zahradeen who also served as Vice-Chancellor Bayero University, Kano, Ibrahim AbdulHamid a one time Registrar, Bayero University Kano and Professor Abubakar Mustapha who was also the former Vice-Chancellor of University of Maiduguri and some others.
The Department offers courses in various aspects of Islamic knowledge at B. A., M. A. and PhD levels. The Department offers courses in various aspects of Islamic knowledge at B. A., M. A. and PhD levels. Consequently, it graduated many students from within and outside the country viz Ghana , Niger Republic, Uganda , Jordan, Palestine and the Sudan. These graduates now serve at many capacities as teachers, Judiciary staff, the Police, the Military, Diplomatic staff and host of others. There are also others who embark in private businesses. The Islamic Studies Department is made up of both academic and non academic staff, headed by a head, currently Dr. Ibrahim Muhammad. He is responsible for the day to day running of the administration and academic matters of the Department. He is also administratively assisted by a Secretary and other supporting staff under his supervision.
For easy administration and in order to ensure that each and every member of staff participate in running the affairs of the Department, the Head of the Department established various committees and other sub-committees. These committees greatly help in carrying out specific assignments like Appointments and Promotions, admissions, issues relating to DTLC and other adhoc activities. One of the major functions of Islamic Studies Department is teaching, research and supervision of students at different levels viz, Diploma, Undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels.
The Philosophy Aims and Objectives of the Department
The Department, as one of the components of the University, upholds and cherishes the general philosophy of the Bayero University. In addition to that, all our courses are designed to expose students to Islam as a culture, religion and civilization. It aims at describing Islam as a complete way of life, using Islamic original sources. Serious efforts are made to maintain rigorous scholarly approach to the problems that confront the Muslim community in general and the Nigerian Muslims in particular. These courses include studies of the Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law, Islamic thought and Philosophy; and as well as Islamic History and Political Thought. Instruction in the Department is carried out by teaching, lectures, tutorials, educational visits and textual studies of some important Islamic manuscript.
Thus, the aims and objectives of the Department are as follows;
- To acquaint the student with the broad outlines of Islam as a religion and a way of life.
- To prepare the student to understand Islam as a culture and civilization.
- To describe Islam to the student according to its own original sources, particularly the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet.
- To maintain a rigorous scholarly approach to the problems of contemporary Muslim communities with particular reference to Nigeria.
- To place Islam in the context of other world religious traditions especially those that relate to Nigeria.
- To prepare candidates that would adequately serve the staffing needs of schools and colleges in Nigeria
- To give the student sound academic grounding for postgraduate studies in the future in more specialized areas like Hadith, Fiqh and Qur’anic studies.