Dr. Muhammad Azeem Farooqi is a religious scholar, writer and pioneer of the Azeem Educational Conference, who is currently helming as Patron-In-Chief (honorary) of AEC. Let us have a quick glance at his professional journey and find out about his visions, inspirations and motivations through an interview session.
What thought served as the stepping-stone towards the foundation of AEC?
First of all, I am deeply humbled to share my thoughts and journey with you. Well, I am somebody who has inherited the passion for literature and education from my father. I was very fond of studying, and one day I pondered how I could share my vision to the maximum number of people. That was the point when my inspiration Sir Syed Ahmad Khan came into the arena. I think he is one of the most influential personalities in history who did a lot for the welfare of Muslims precisely when we talk about the “Muhammadan Educational Conference”. The way he integrated science, literature and technology through the magazine “Tehzeeb Al Ikhlaq” was laudable. He gathered renowned writers who would write essays for the guidance and training of Muslims. Therefore, following his footsteps one day Azeem Educational Conference was founded.
You have worked very hard; it is not easy to live with so many responsibilities on the shoulders. In your journey, did you ever face hurdles?
Of course, hurdles and hindrances are inevitable. The major hindrance that we faced, back in the time of launching of Azeem English Magazine was that the audience then and even now love sensational and crispy content. Whereas, our magazine entailed out-and-out thoughtful and serious content such as literature, religion and education etc. So, it was a bit challenging but anyhow, our magazine got a tremendous response from the students. Our magazine was actually very “student-friendly”, as it guided students in different areas of education such as CSS subject selection, interviewing skills and various other guidelines. Apart from this, we had financial constraints, but Allah Almighty was with us all the time. We really never cared for the financial outcomes, rather our focus was more on ethical grooming and guidance of the students.
In the pool of duties and responsibilities, how did you manage to take out time for yourself?
Many people wonder about it, and some even ask me how it is possible to stay healthy and composed even with this much load of work? I always answer that I am in touch with my God constantly. I have always vested my faith in Him and He has made my work smooth and easy for me. See, I have done 21 Masters in many diverse subjects, and still don’t wear glasses, I am healthy enough and even my cheekbones are not prominent (laughs). Most importantly, when I see my work getting out of hand, I never chase to catch it, I just let it flow and seek help from Allah, and trust me when I am “absorbed” in meditation with God, things settle down rapidly.
You have been associated with the education field for the last 35 years. Being an educationist, what are your thoughts on the current education system? Where is it going? Do you see any loopholes?
I feel this question is very important. It's like “Who will bell the cat?” Honestly, I feel mega changes are required in our education system. We would not be able to strengthen the basic ideology of Pakistan, unless we don’t realize our responsibilities. Furthermore, I think we must incorporate the modern tools and mechanisms for imparting knowledge. We can’t impose anything on students, and even if we do, there is no use of crammed material, it is not education, it is merely a burden. These days the educational system has become business points, where humans carry tons of books on their shoulders and no character-development, visionary expansion or skill development is seen. People are running after degrees, no one talks about learning and new ideas.I think, the role of teachers come into play here. Teachers have a pivotal role in the progress of a nation and, unfortunately our teachers lack training and vision. I think there must be training forums, workshops, academies, and courses for professional and ethical grooming of teachers, if we want our nation to grow.
Where do you see AEC in the future? Please throw some light on the future goals of AEC.
The whole infrastructure of AEC is getting remodeled. We are digitalizing our platforms so that they could be reached to the masses according to the latest trends. Our monthly Azeem English Magazine has been revamped and it covers various diverse topics of life. Besides, we have a recognized research journal, “The Journal of Cultural Perspectives'', which entails research papers pertaining to social sciences. Furthermore, we are planning to launch a university for higher studies,a training institute, and a series of webinars, training programs and workshops related to mental health, culture, literature, education and creative writing.
Any message or suggestion you would like to give to the students of our nation?
Two things I would like to talk about: Faith in yourself and faith in Allah. Do not depend on anyone, create your own ways. Have a firm belief in yourself, determine your passion and stick to it, work hard for it. There is no big achievement than self-reliance; focus on yourself and you will do wonders.
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