Faridi, Abdul Haque

Faridi, Abdul Haque (1903-1996) educationist and writer, was born on 25 May 1903, at naria thana under shariatpur district (previously faridpur). After initial schooling at a village maktab, he was admitted to a New Scheme Madrasa and passed the Entrance examination in 1923, topping the list of candidates in Bengal and Assam. In 1925 he passed the Islamic Intermediate examination, again topping the list. He completed BA Honours (1928) and MA (1929) in Islamic Studies from Dhaka University, and a second MA degree in Persian (1933), standing first class first. He received a diploma in Education from the University of Leeds and a certificate in Educational Management from the University of Illinois.

Faridi began his professional career as a lecturer at Chittagong Government College. He was upgraded to the Bengal Educational Service and appointed as Assistant School Inspector for Muslim Education in Burdwan division. After serving in various posts, he retired in 1966 as Director of Public Instruction of East Pakistan. After retirement he served as Honorary Treasurer of Dhaka University and was also acting Vice-Chancellor for some time. He was appointed Director General of the islamic foundation bangladesh in October 1977. He initiated the compilation of Islami Bishwakosh (Encyclopedia of Islam) in 25 volumes as well as in a concise version, and was president of its editorial board. Eighteen volumes of the encyclopedia were published during his lifetime. Apart from doing a number of translations, he also wrote a book on madrasa education: Madrasa Shiksha: Bangladesh (1976). He died on 5 January 1996 in Dhaka. [AKM Nurul Alam]