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Akhtarul Wasey is a professor of Islamic studies who taught at Jamia Millia Islamia (National Islamic University) in New Delhi. Currently he is working as President of Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur, India. As a versatile personality he assumed many formal and informal designations. Formerly he worked as the director of Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, vice-chairman of the Urdu Academy Delhi and a member of the Executive Board of National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language; and president, vice president, Foundation of SAARC Writers And Literature, India Interfaith Coalition on HIV/AIDS etc. Previously he was also the President of Dargah Committee of the world-famous Chishti Sufi Shrine at Ajmer; treasurer, Maulana Azad Education Foundation; general secretary, South Asia Interreligious Council on HIV/AIDS, a body created by the UNICEF; and dean, head of the Department of Islamic Studies and Faculty of Humanities and Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia. Wasey has been invited to 65 academic and semi-academic tours abroad including programmes organized/sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNFP, UNHRC and Organisation of Islamic Conference. He is also the editor of four journals of Islamic Studies, Islam Aur Asr-e-Jadeed (an Urdu quarterly), Islam and the Modern Age (an English quarterly), Risala Jamia (an Urdu monthly), and Islam Aur Adhunik Yug (Hindi). Apart from his academic achievements he regularly appears on TV, debating on issues related to Islam and Muslims, and has delivered over 400 radio and 300 TV talks along with extensive and frequent writings in different news papers and magazines. He is considered to be a Muslim spokesperson among academicians. In 2013 Wasey received a Padma Shri award (a national honour by the President of India for outstanding achievers among Indian citizens) from President Pranab Mukherjee, honouring him as a distinguished academician, specializing in the multidisciplinary study of Islam and Indian Muslims.
Early life and education
Wasey was born on 1 September 1951, at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, as the first child out of six, to Hairat bin Wahid (father) and Shahida Hairat (mother). His early education was at Primary School No. 16 which was run and managed by the local municipal board. For secondary education, he was admitted to the City High School of Aligarh Muslim University then he went on to attend Aligarh Muslim University and earn the degrees of BA (hons.) Islamic studies, Bachelor of Theology, Master of Theology and MA (Islamic studies) from Aligarh Muslim University in 1971, 1975, 1976 and 1977 respectively.
He also completed a course in the Turkish Language from Istanbul University in 1983. In 1977 at the age of 25 he married Sabiha Wasey and they have three daughters and a son Kamran Wasey.
Wasey is the recipient of the first Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Award for Interfaith Understanding, Aligarh Alumni Association, New York Tristate (US), Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Award in 1996, Award from Urdu Academy, Delhi and UP Urdu Academy on "Sir Syed Ki Taleemi Tehreek" in 1985. He also received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2008, the first ever to a member of the Jamia academic fraternity and the first in the field of Islamic studies in India. Prof. Akhtarul Wasey has been appointed by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee as the 12th Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India w.e.f 4 March 2014 for the tenure of three years. Since 1957, he is the first Commissioner from Urdu speaking community. This is a constitutional authority under Article 350B of the Constitution of India to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under this Constitution and report to the President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may direct, and the President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to the Governments of the States concerned. Prof. Wasey also conferred Makhdoom Quli Medal by the President of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat on 15 May 2014 for his contribution in the field of Islamic Studies and Urdu language and literature. He has also been conferred with the highest award of Daktur-e-Adab (equivalent to D. Litt) by Jamia Urdu, Aligarh on 20 May 2014 in recognition of his remarkable services for the promotion of Urdu language.
- Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, His Life and Contribution (in Arabic) 2010, Rampur Raza Library, Rampur, U.P.
- Sufimat (2010) Sarjana, Shivbari Road, Bikaner (Rajasthan) 334003.
- Kuchh Aur Chahiye Wusat (2009) Al-Balagh Publications, N-1, Abul Fazal Enclave, New Delhi-110025.
- Islamic Response to Contemporary Challenges (2008) Shipra Publications, 115-A, Vikas Marg, Shakarpur, Delhi-110092.
- Islam Aur Musalman: Kuchh Prashna: Kuchh Jiggyasaen (2008) Sarjana, Shivbari Road, Bikaner (Rajasthan) 334003.
- Shuneeda Wa Deeda (2007) (Rampur Raza Library, Rampur, UP)
- Fiqh-e-Islami: Tareekh aur Taaruf (New Delhi: 2004) in collaboration with Dr. Mohd. Fahim Akhtar Nadvi
- Ikkiswin sadi ki Tahzibi Tarjihat - (Qurani Basirat aur Seerat-e-Taiyebah Ki Roshni Mein) (New Delhi: 2004)
- Sir Syed Ki Taleemi Tehreek (New Delhi, 1985 & second edition 2003). (The first comprehensive study of the educational dimension of the Aligarh Movement i.e. the All India Muslim Educational Conference founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (New Delhi: 1st Edition-1986, 2nd Edition-2004)
- Mohammed Ali Jauhar: Sholay Ki Sarguzasht (New Delhi: 2003) - (Essays on Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar)
- Education of Indian Muslims (New Delhi, 1977)
- "Halal in India: Prof. Akhtarul Wasey is among the Recipient of Padamshree Awards 2013". Halalinindia.info. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
- "A New Turn". www.thehindu.com.