Farook college:
The Epitome of Renaissance

Farook College is a significant landmark that marks the renaissance of Kerala Muslims. The college was founded in 1948 to enlighten and empower a community debilitated by oppressive colonial practices and regressive local perceptions. The Rouzathul Uloom Association, the parent body of the educational complex on the campus, took the lead in transforming the social fabric of the region by initiating a secular and modern educational paradigm, committed to serving the economically and socially marginalised sections of society

Farook college was the only First Grade College in Central Malabar at the time of its inception and was originally affiliated to the Madras University. Following the states reorganization, the college came under the University of Kerala in 1957 and the University of Calicut in 1968. Farook college, currently, is the biggest residential post-graduate institution in the state. It offers 22 undergraduate and 16 post- graduate programmes. Eleven of the P.G. Departments are recognized research centres, offering Ph D programmes.

The college modelled on a residential pattern, offers ample opportunities for curricular and co-curricular activities for the mental, moral and physical development of the students. The special care for the moral development of the students operates through religious and spiritual discourses, helping them enrich their personal as well as social identity. The college and its hostels are open to students of all castes and creeds, and promotes a healthy and harmonious ambience on the campus.

The college has been re-accredited at A+ Grade (CGPA 3.51) by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and adjudged by the Government of Kerala to receive R. Sankar Award for the best special grade (Private) college in the state of Kerala for two years. The college has been identified by the UGC as a college with potential for excellence, the first college under the University of Calicut to receive the status. Farook College won the Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Award instituted by Moulana Azad Education Foundation, New Delhi under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India for promoting education among the educationally backward minorities. The college was granted minority status by the National commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Government of India. The autonomous status was conferred by the UGC in 2015. The college was included within hundred positions under NIRF ranking of MHRD, Govt. of India, for the year 2020. National Propgramme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) has recognised its initiatives for e-learning in the form of ‘Triple A Grade’, the only college in the state to win this status and thus to be one among the ten leading colleges in the country.

The College strives to help every student:
  • To understand himself/herself and discover his/her latent capabilities
  • To pursue academic excellence and develop personal integrity
  • To understand his/her position as a member of human society and of the physical universe
  • To think clearly and critically, and to communicate effectively
  • To learn how to make practical application of knowledge, perspectives and skills
  • To develop a sense of unity in all areas of knowledge, including religious vision.
Maulavi Abussabah Ahmed Ali, The founder

Maulavi Abussabah Ahmed Ali, a visionary leader and renowned scholar, was one of the torch-bearers of the educational revolution that swept across the Malabar region in the nineteen-forties. He was the founding father of Rouzathul Uloom Arabic College, and holds a unique position among the social reformers of his time.

Abussabah was born at Vembanad, a village in Chavakkad, Kerala, into a middle class family. After his elementary education he went to study at places like Mahi and Vellore. Having graduated from Jamaaliya College in Madras, he joined the illustrious Al Azhar University in Egypt for higher studies.

As a student at Al Azhar University, Cairo, he displayed exceptional intellectual fervour and integrity. The period at Al Azhar accelerated the pace of his academic exercises and philosophical explorations. His interactions with social reformers and visionaries like Maulana Muhammad Ali and Allama Muhammad Iqbal enriched his modernist outlook. Having completed his graduation, he visited places like Iran, Palestine etc., before finally returning to India. He also spent many days in the company of Maulana Muhammad Ali and Mahatma Gandhi. He served as a teacher in Lahore, Bihar and Madras.

Maulavi, subsequently, detached himself from the society, to embrace a life of solitude for a couple of years. Dejected by the material pursuits of life, he spent his days in meditation. He retreated, initially into the Himalayas, and later into the dense forests of Karnataka, leading the life of a recluse. He travelled like a Sufi stripped of worldly desires. During this period, Kunhalikutty Haji of Anakkayam, Manjeri met him in Karnataka; Abussabah was ushered into Malabar.

Maulavi emerged from the shell of self-confinement, a pioneer set out to eradicate social backwardness with the light of knowledge. On 5 January 1942, he started an Arabic College at Anakkayam which was shifted to Manjeri in 1945 for further expansion. The social uplift of the community through education was his major concern. As a preliminary move, he endeavoured to acquire adequate land for an educational venture. Many who supported this novel initiative, registered their association with the mission, and thus Rouzathul Uloom Association took shape in 1946. It housed a conglomeration of social reformers and numerous benefactors. Subsequently, in 1948 it was re-established in Feroke as ‘Rouzathul Uloom Arabic College’.

Maulavi Abussabah had already begun the construction of the building for Arabic College when efforts were afoot parallelly to begin a first-grade college. Since the proposed college (Farook College) demanded basic infrastructural amenities,a prerequisite for university affiliation, Maulavi had no second thoughts about offering the partially completed building of the Arabic College for the purpose. He whole heartedly shifted the Arabic College to a shed. He was the fortress that held together social reformers, educationalists, political figures, statesmen and the laymen from across Kerala under its powerful and all-encompassing roof; he was the catalyst instrumental in the educational movement in the region. It was his exemplary selflessness and visionary zeal that steered Farook College to its present repute and glory.

Abussabah was an enigmatic personality who never faltered in the face of financial adversity or physical disability. He strove to realize higher ideals with admirable dignity. Ever agile and active, he was successful in the execution of all the ventures undertaken, with immaculate perfection. A distinguished scholar, all his academic ventures were marked by a homogenous fusion of both ancient and modern thoughts. His sense of inclusiveness, enabled him to work harmoniously with people of differing views. Fondly addressed by his students as ‘Shaikhuna’ (Our mentor,) he won a permanent place in their hearts. He passed away in 1971 following a period of illness, and was buried in the premise of Masjd-Ul-Azhar, the campus mosque. His pioneering role in establishing the institutions of Farookabad is indeed a matchless socio-cultural achievement.