Habib University Premieres Documentary on “The Gift of Knowledge: Empowering Lives Through Islamic Philanthropy”

Launching its Al-Ihsan – Religious Giving – campaign for the year, Habib University, a unique community-owned liberal arts institution, premiered on Sunday an exceptional documentary titled “Gift of Knowledge: Empowering Lives Through Islamic Philanthropy” at the residence of Habib University Foundation Board of Directors member and distinguished community leader Mr Arif Habib.

The thoughtfully crafted documentary “Gift of Knowledge: Empowering Lives Through Islamic Philanthropy” featured insights from Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, philosopher and educationist, Dr. Nauman Naqvi, Associate Professor of Comparative Humanities at Habib University, and Dr. Oludamini Ogunnaike, Associate Professor of African Religious Thought and Democracy at the University of Virginia, among other global scholars.

Drawing on Quranic verses and historical institutions such as the Bait Ul Hikmat in Baghdad, Iraq, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and al-Qarawiyy University in Fez, Morocco, the documentary called attention to the rich legacy of nurturing intellect, prosperity, and scientific thought in Muslim societies, positioning Islam as a true catalyst for progress.

Leading entrepreneurs, community pioneers, and compassionate philanthropists, among other supporters of Habib University’s remarkable mission of ensuring quality education to all deserving Pakistani students regardless of socio-economic standing, gathered for the screening on Sunday.

The evening commenced with recitation of the Holy Quran by Basil Ali Khan, a Computer Science student at Habib University, after which Mr. Arif Habib welcomed the esteemed guests and spoke on the significance of religious giving. He testified to Habib University’s exceptional faculty, infrastructure and liberal arts model while lauding its unwavering commitment to redressing inequalities by ensuring quality education for the country’s youth. The University serves as “a conduit between magnanimous people and students who cannot afford higher education,” he underscored.

Taking the podium next, Ms. Lubna Ahmed, Director of Resource Development at Habib University, introduced the documentary and emphasized on the Islamic ethic of generosity as well as the historic practice of giving Zakaat to address societal problems. She lauded the role played by Habib University’s incredible community of Mohsineen, whose invaluable contributions have enabled Habib University to utilize Zakaat funds and disburse over $9.2 million in scholarships since its inception.

The documentary was received with a resounding applause by the audience, which included esteemed community leaders such as Mr. Ehsan A Malik, Mr. Jawad Khan, Ms. Syeda Leghari, Mr. Ali Naqi Taqi, Mr. Shamoon Sultan, Mr. Hanif Gohar and others.

Acknowledging their support, Habib University President Wasif Rizvi said, “Our founding community’s generosity, sacrifice, and empathy, along with our devoted supporters worldwide, have paved the way for our achievements. Like us, they believe that with the right opportunities, talented Pakistani youth can contribute significantly to the country’s development”.

The evening aimed at reviving the practice of giving Zakaat for the cultivation of knowledge and scholarly pursuit for the betterment of the community at large culminated with remarks from Habib University Chancellor Mr. Rafiq M Habib and cherished Habib University community members Mr. Tariq Rafi, whose generous endowment materialized as Tariq Rafi Hall at the University, and Unilever CEO Mr. Amir Peracha.

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