the Ministry of Culture and Sports is preparing to inaugurate one of its most important releases for the year 2019; the book “Life of a Scholar from Qatar”, a biography of the honorable Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki Al-Subaie, at ten past half, on Saturday, January 11th at Doha International Book Fair (DIBF). The author of the book HE Dr. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Turki Al Subaie, the former Education Minister will make a statement on this occasion.
The book “Life of a Scholar” is one reference for the history of knowledge and education in Qatar. The book presents the biography of one of the pioneers of the educational renaissance in Qatar, the honorable scholar and the fine educator Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki Al-Subaie. The important reference book covers a period of nearly a century. It highlights many aspects of the educational, social and economic life in Qatar together with their accompanying challenges and accomplishments which, combined, gave us a picture of the life of Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki and his endeavors towards establishing an educational renaissance and an Islamic resurgence that has paid off and borne fruit after the Sheikh had passed away. His lasting legacy is still noted to this day.
In his book, Dr. Abdulaziz explains that the honorable Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki Al-Subaie was born in Qatar in 1897. The Sheikh had studied religious education under Sheikh Mohammed Abdel Aziz Al Manea. He spent his life disseminating knowledge and the Islamic call (al Da’wa) and laying the foundation for education in Qatar until his death in 1968 AD – may Allah have mercy on his soul. The contemporaries of the Sheikh have described him as “an abundant narrator, knowledgeable yet humble, discursive speaker, bewitching people with his charming and articulate words. The Sheikh, may Allah rest him in peace, was an illustrious Man, brilliant, prudent, and well-informed. He had a shining face and he was a great man, insightful, of powerful faith, his white beard shining and his dignified presence filling hearts. The Sheikh had memorized Qura’an and studied all religious sciences. He stood as an orator and public speaker spreading knowledge in the mosques and schools of Qatar.
Dr. Abdulaziz had furthermore highlighted that the efforts of the Sheikh in the missionary activity (da’wa) were not confined to giving speeches and lectures, writing articles and issuing fatwas, but he was a luminary who laid solid foundations for a continuous renaissance in religion and education. These efforts were not disconnected from his efforts in the area of education. As indicated above, education, in his view, was the ideal means of realizing the missionary objectives (objectives of Da’wa). He followed a pedagogical approach in his missionary activities (Da’wa) and a missionary approach in his pedagogical activities. By developing the currecula for Islamic Education, his role in founding the Secondary Religious Institute and providing the country with professors from Al-Azhar scholars, opening the doors to educate Qatari girls and his supervision and guidance over religious education, he engraved his name as one of the leading pioneers of the educational renaissance in Qatar and the father of religious education and religious studies in the Ministry of Education in Qatar.
“The late Sheikh”, the author of the book added “did not spare any opportunity for sacrifice and redemption for the sake of any Muslim country. He was always at the spearhead. He led a massive courageous campaign to collect donations for the Algerian Revolution freedom fighters (Mujahideen). He participated effectively in the campaign, putting his money and efforts into it being the major campaign orator. He did the same in helping the Palestinian families and freedom fighters (Mujahideen).
Research in the stages of the life of the late Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki Al-Subaie and writing about it, as Dr. Abdulaziz pointed out, has not been an easy task. Only few of the Sheikh contemporaries are still with us. So, emphasis was placed on the written intellectual legace the Sheikh had left behind, such as lectures, lessons, and radio recordings as well as the available official reports, correspondence and press interviews; and what was indelibly etched in the minds of his companions, sons, friends and acquaintances. All these sources contributed to the documentation of the phases experienced by the Sheikh in particular and the Qatari society in general at that time.
The author further stated that: exploring the lives, efforts, struggle of scholars, their intellectual and missionary legacies, and the difficulties they encountered provides for the biggest motivation for their successors, encouraging them to exert their efforts in the cause of science and the call to Allah (Da’wa). Islamic scholars have always been, and still are, beacons guiding to the path of the righteous forefathers and the noble ideals sought by all those who are faithful to their religion and homeland.
Dr. Abdulaziz believes that this biography does not do justice to the Sheikh, but it’s a humble effort. He concluded by asking Allah to “accept this work, make it a beneficial knowledge, reward the Sheikh for this effort, have mercy on the Sheikh’s soul and reward him for his services to his faith and homeland and the last of this call will be, Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds”.
For his part, Mr. Mohammed Hasan Al Kuwari, Director of Publications & Translation Department; the producer of this book which is the most important publication released by the department, has considered this book a substantial addition that would enrich the Qatari and Arab library. In discussing the book, he stated that it highlights the life of an honorable scholar who had a significant impact on modern Qatar on post-oil phase. The contributions of the Sheikh have been a major catalyst in changing life in Qatar. He opened many schools and brought many scholars who participated in the education and enlightenment. Al Kuwari expressed his deep appreciation to the efforts made in the book. He said that HE Dr. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Turki Al Subaie, the former Education Minister and the son of the honorable Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki Al-Subaie, who is one of the great pedagogical men in Qatar, could explain many aspects of the nature of this phase. Dr. Abdulaziz had provided an extensive account of the life of the honorable scholar. He is the best to tell about the honorable Sheikh, no wonder Sheikh Abdullah bin Turki Al-Subaie is his father.