Obituary: Islamic scholar Prof Ishtiyaque dies days after testing Covid positive


Obituary: Islamic scholar Prof Ishtiyaque dies days after testing Covid positive

Dr Ishtiyaque Ahmad (pen name: Ishtiyaque Danish), a former Professor of Islamic and West Asian studies from Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Hamard, died on Friday night days after testing Covid positive, according to reliable sources.

He was rushed to hospital from his Okhla resident after complaining of health issues, said a resident close to the Professor. Dr Ishtiyaque, who was fired from Jamia Hamdard over some issue, had very recently won the battle of his reinstatement and was to join the university where his four years of teaching career was left, said the resident.

The news of his death was shared in the virtual world with condolences pouring in from abroad as well.

Former chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission, Govt of NCT Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan wrote: “Prof Ishtiyaque Danish passed away this morning in New Delhi due to Covid-19 complications. Another pearl of a man departs. A great and sensitive scholar of Islam is no more.”

“This is unbelievable. Ishtiyaq Danish is no more. He was all set to join Jamia Hamdard after a long fight with former VC of the university. Ishtiyaq was very excited and had at least four years left in his retirement. He was a thorough gentleman, a scholar of repute and very God fearing person. Our friendship was two decades old but I don’t remember him ever getting angry. I am very concerned about his family, he loved them like crazy. I haven’t come across anyone who was so much concerned about his kids and wife well being,” wrote author and columnist Syed Ubaidur Rahman.

On doing Google search very little information is available about his personal information. The OT spoke to a few people, who knew him well.

“He was from Azamgarh. He was a great Islamic scholar and it is a huge loss to the world of Islam and India. He was infected with Covid-19 and undergoing treatment Al-Majeedia,” said Islamic scholar Waris Mazhari.

He completed his PhD from Aligarh Muslim University and taught West Asian history and Civilization from 1990 to 1993 in the same institution as Assistant Professor. Later on he moved to Delhi.

Professor Danish was well versed in Islamic and West Asian Studies and wrote extensively on various aspects of Islam in India and the Middle East, according to a blog run by the Professor.

It said, the Professor wrote nine books and 30 research articles published in leading national and international journals.

Professor Danish was editor of Journal of Objective Studies. Also, he edited Studies on Islam for three years.

He took special interest in teaching such subjects as Islam and globalization, multiculturalism and promotion of knowledge, according to information available on IOS portal.

“Professor Danish worked on several projects funded by national and international agencies including UNICEF, Hamdard National Foundation, New Delhi and others. He also contributed a report on the status of Madaris in India to the Sachar Committee which was set up by the Indian Government to prepare a thorough report on Indian Muslims.

“He supervised 16 PhD thesis and a dozen MA dissertations. He also examined over 40 PhD thesis, over a dozen MPhil dissertations and conducted viva voce of over 25 PhD scholars.”

People, who know him, said Professor Danish was instrumental in redesigning the syllabus of Islamic Studies at Jamia Hamdard and introduced several modern subjects like Islam and Globalization, Islam and Multiculturalism, Islam and promotion of Knowledge, Human Rights in Islamic and International laws, Islam and Modernity etc.

Professor Danish was associated with Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi in several capacities. He was Finance Secretary, member of General Assembly and Governing Council and edits the IOS Newsletter as well as its bi-annual journal, Journal of Objective Studies.