Degree Speeches
Summer 2003

Professor Khurshid Ahmad

Public Orator, Dr Humayon Dar presented the Honorary Graduand at the Degree Ceremony held on Friday 11 July at 3.00pm.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Lord Lieutenant, Graduands, and Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is a great pleasure and honour to introduce Professor Khurshid Ahmad who is one of the very few spokesmen representing Muslim activists in the fields of politics, economics, and education.

As a young boy he attended the Anglo-Arabic Higher Secondary School in Delhi where he was born in 1932. After the Partition in 1947, he, along with his family, moved to Karachi, where he attended Government College of Commerce and Economics. Khurshid Ahmad earned his BA in Commerce in 1953, MA in Economics in 1955, LLB in 1958, and MA in Islamic Studies in 1964 [all first class].

As a student he was involved in student politics, which became his part-time profession in his later life. As an active politician, he has played an immensely important role in Pakistani politics in different capacities ranging from being a Minister of planning and development and a deputy chairman of Planning Commission to a chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning. He is currently serving as a Senator in Pakistan.

Professor Khurshid Ahmad has been involved in the development of Islamic economics at academic, political and institutional levels around the world. All major developments in Islamic economics have, directly or indirectly, benefited from his activism. He founded International Institute of Islamic Economics at International Islamic University in Islamabad, the first-ever institution offering formal instruction in Islamic economics in the world. He is also a founding chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies in Islamabad and the Islamic Foundation of Leicester, UK. The former is a think tank offering advice to the government and non-governmental organisations on political, economic and social issues, and the latter is a research organisation that has published a number of books on Islamic economics, and regularly organises seminars and conferences on Islamic economics and finance. He is also Rector of the newly-established Markfield Institute of Higher Education, an educational arm of the Islamic Foundation, committed to promoting Islamic teachings in an increasingly plural British society.

Professor Ahmad’s vision and advice was vital to the establishment of the Centre for Research in Islamic Economics at King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, International Islamic University Malaysia, the Islamic Research and Training Institute at the Islamic Development Bank Jeddah, and numerous other institutions all over the world. The first-ever postgraduate programme in Islamic economics, banking and finance offered by Loughborough University also benefited from his support.

His services to Islam and academia have earned him worldwide respect. Professor Ahmad was awarded King Faisal Prize for service to Islam in 1990. Prior to that he was also the first recipient of the Islamic Development Bank Prize in Islamic Economics in 1988. It was in 1998 that he was awarded the prestigious La-Riba Prize in Islamic Finance by American Finance House. Thus, he is the first and only Muslim who has been awarded with the three most prestigious international Islamic prizes.

Khurshid Ahmad has written/edited/translated more than 70 books in English and Urdu, many of which have been translated in other European and oriental languages. He is indeed one of the greatest Muslim scholars of the present time.

Therefore, Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you, and to the whole University, Professor Khurshid Ahmad for the degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa.

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