During this academic travel, I got impressed by their work culture, hospitability, the scope of learning, teaching methodology supported by Modern Technology, honesty, and dedication which are evident everywhere whether in formal or informal settings. In nutshell I would say, Persia is truly one of the cradles of civilization.
By Tawseef Ahmad Wan
Director Mantiqi Academy Awantipora Kashmir
My sole purpose in writing this brief travel piece is to share my experience with students who want to achieve academic excellence in higher education in Iran/Persia. Though it was my maiden academic visit to any foreign country, this short and meaningful visit remain highly fruitful for me. Now, I wish students from this part of the world- Jammu and Kashmir who are interested in religious studies, theology, history, comparative religious studies, sciences, etc. – the Universities in Iran are one of the best options for them to have higher studies.
From the day first, when I stepped on the land of Iran which is one of the oldest, richest, and most influential civilizations of the world, I got excited and fascinated to see Iranian architecture displays great variety, both structural and aesthetic, from a variety of traditions and experience. Without sudden innovations, and despite the repeated trauma of invasions and cultural shocks, it has achieved “an individuality distinct from that of other Muslim countries. Also, I got the chance to know about their eclectic cultural elasticity which has been said to be one of the key defining characteristics of the Iranian identity and a clue to its historical longevity. It is because of this reason that Iranian history has/ had a significant impact on the world through art, architecture, poetry, science and technology, medicine, philosophy, engineering, etc. Another thing that fascinated me more is the preservation of their naïtive language. Persian is the predominant and official language of Iran and throughout Iran’s history, it has been the nation’s most influential literary language.
Let me share now the experiences that I gained there as a student of religious studies in one of the prestigious universities of the world- Ahlul- Bayt International Univesity Iran. I completed two courses viz “ Introduction to the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt (AS)” and the short-term language course titled “ Persian Language Course”. The aforementioned courses which run for the duration of 110 hours from November 12th – 2022 until December 12th, 2022 remained activity-based learning. During this period, I got an opportunity to visit some of the important shrines and places that have religious and historical significance that include the shrine of Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kazim. He is the seventh-generation descendant of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima. The Jamkaran Mosque – is one of the primary significant mosques in Jamkaran, a village on the outskirts of the city of Qom, Iran. The mosque, six kilometers east of Qom, has long been a sacred place, at least since 373 A.H., Muthlih Jamkarani is reported to have met the 12th Imam along with the prophet Al-Khidr in the same Masjid. I also visited some of the renowned libraries- Murwashi Library- a treasure of knowledge having forty thousand manuscripts. I deemed it an honor to meet Ayatullah Syed Mahamood Muryashi- the son of the Ayitula- Azimi Syed Shabudin who established this library. I also visited Malek National Museum and Library. It is a museum and national library in Tehran, Iran. Malek National Library and Museum Institution (MNLMI) is the first private museum of Iran, and one of the 6 large libraries holding exquisite manuscripts. The MNLMI collection is a rich trove of the best manuscripts and Iranian historical artworks. I had a very brief and meaningful meeting with the present Director Dr. Mohammad Rezvan Talab and the University Professor Ms. Farzana. They welcomed each one of us with smiling faces and briefed up about the history of the history and its significance in terms of knowledge.
It is about art heritages in the world which encompasses many disciplines including literature, music, dance, architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, and calligraphy. I got an opportunity to visit another prestigious higher-learning research seat- at Allama Tabatabayee University. It is one of the largest and the leading specialized public universities in humanities and social sciences in Tehran, Iran. With 15,624 students and 422 full-time faculty members, the university is under the supervision of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology and is named in honor of Allameh Tabataba’i, a prominent Iranian sage, and philosopher. During this academic travel, I got impressed by their work culture, hospitability, the scope of learning, teaching methodology supported by Modern Technology, honesty, and dedication which are evident everywhere whether in formal or informal settings. In nutshell I would say, Persia is truly one of the cradles of civilization.