Excitement as Muhammad Kamalu-deen varsity comes alive in Ilorin

Come January 2024, Muhammad Kamalud-deen University (MKU) established by the Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria would commence  academic activities for 2023/2024 session. UMAR BAYO ABDULWAHAB reports

The university had received accreditation from the National University Commision (NUC) on 9th June 9, 2023 to commence 15 programmes with 500 students. 


The university has it root in the struggle for the integration of western education into Arabic and Islamic education championed several decades ago by the late founder of Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria (AISN) who was later turbaned the first Grand Mufti of Ilorin by the Emir Alhaji  Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.

The pro-chancellor, Prof Shuaib AbdulRaheem who addressed newsmen ahead the official commissioning said, “As a visionary leader, Muhammad Kamalud-deen spearheaded the integration of Western education into his Arabic and Islamic schools, thus modernising and standardising Arabic education in Nigeria.

“Despite opposition, he championed the teaching of English and introduced innovative tools like blackboards, tables and chairs. His steadfast pursuit of his social reforms, spiced by combining Arabic and Western education, has had a lasting impact, producing highly educated Muslims  significant social standing,” he said.

AbdulRaheem, who was flanked by the vice chancellor, Prof Rasheed Jimoh and chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Engr Ahmad Ibrahim, recalled that seven decades after the establishment of Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria and four decades following the establishment of Al-Azhar Institute, Sheikh Kamalud-deen envisioned the need for a university. In honour of his legacy, his disciples and Ansarul Islam members decided to establish Muhammad Kamalud-deen University.

“This endeavour marks the culmination of the Sheikh’s contributions to over 200 primary schools across West Africa, approximately 70 government- aided secondary schools and numerous traditional Islamic schools. In support of the Al- university, Al- Azhar authorities in Cairo have pledged to send qualified lecturers to the Faculty of of Arts, Social Sciences and Education, specifically to the Arabic and Islamic Studies’ department,” he added.

NUC’s nod

On the approval granated by the NUC for the university’s take off, the pro-chancellor  disclosed that following a resource verification exercise on October 2, 2023, the university has been approved to commence 15 programmes for the 2023/2024 academic session. 

He described the institution as a university with a difference as it would combine spirituality with sociality so that its products could benefit from this world and in the hereafter.

Sheik Kamalu-deen lives on

Coming from far and near, dignitaries from all walks life including the Kwara state governor, mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi,  representative of the Emir of Kano, Alh Aminu Ado Bayero, Amb Ahmad Yakassai, former Senate president, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, representative of Osun state governor,  Alh Nuruden Adeleke, legal giant, Malam Yusuf Ali (SAN)  and president,  Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria(AISN), Alh Suleiman Afolabi converged on the permanent site of the university to witness the commissioning. 

At the official commissioning on Saturday 25th November, it climaxed the weeks, months and years of sustained activities towards ensuring that the university comes alive. 

The atmosphere was filled with joy and excitement from disciples of the late sheik who had waited anxiously to witness the day.   

hen it was time for speeches, eminent Nigerians poured encomiums on the late Sheikh for his commitment to the blending of Arabic and Western education which culminated in the establishment of the university.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led the pack of the dignitaries that acknowledged Sheikh Kamalud- deen’s commitment to the blending of Arabic and Western education in Nigeria during the official commissioning of the university.

In his remarks, Governor  AbdulRazaq who was represented by his deputy,  Mr Kayode Alabi described the establishment of the university as a product of great vision from Sheikh Kamalud-deen.

The governor said the commissioning of the university further stamped the testament to the commitment of the late Sheik Kamalud-deen to education and upliftment of human race.

Saraki on his part, expressed delight that his effort and collaboration with the former chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Jibril Barau in facilitating the university’s take off had culminated in its  take off.

He announced a full scholarship donation of 140 million for 100 students at N350,000 per session for each students for the duration of their four years programmes.

Saraki also promised to foot the bill of N26 million needed for the official vehicles for the take off of the university even as he challenged the sons and daughters of the emirate to see the university as their project and contribute towards  its growth and development .

In his remarks, the Emir of Kano observed that the university environment is beautiful for education and has all the facilities for take off.

Earlier, the president of ASISN, Alh Suleiman Afolabi, said the university would require the sum of N215 million during the 2023/2024 academic session which would commence in January 2024.

The vice chancellor Prof Jimoh, while thanking the diginitaries that attended the occasion and made donations in cash and kind said the university will be ICT- driven and will be committed to be an exemplary institution for teaching and research for the production of morally upright and globally competitive graduates and for community service.

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