After the freedom fight, Muslim leaders thought to concentrate on their economical condition rather than going into war with English anymore. For this purpose, they started a movement to aware Muslims all over the subcontinent to pay attention on acquiring knowledge and modern education. This movement was led by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. To get people educated, he emphasized to make institutes and education centers. Here is an institution, which was one of those made under this movement. It is “Sindh Madressatul Islam”.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan established “National Mohammadan association” and Justice Ameer Ali was nominated as its secretary. Justice Ameer Ali traveled towards Sindh to meet Hassan Ali Afandi and to ask him to open a branch of “National Mohammadan Association” in Sindh as well.
In March 1882, a branch was opened in Sindh as Hassanally was given charge of this branch. In the same year, National Mohammadan Association decided to make an institute in Sindh and for that, it announced establishing “Sindh Madressatul Islam”. Initially this board took a small building in Bollon Market Karachi on rent for this purpose and on 1st September 1888 “Sindh Madressatul Islam” was properly launched from this building and the desire of providing modern education along with religious education was fulfilled. This was an old double story building which was earlier being used as repository.
One fine day when Hassanally Effendi was passing through the “Frere Road” along with his son, he saw the ground of “Qafla Sarae” and considered it ideal for Madressa. This place was totally empty at that time and had a worth for its being situated right in the hub of the city. Another thing that made this place more attractive to Hassanally was its old gate having a mark of crescent and star, as a sign of Muslim Unity, since the times of Ottoman Caliphate. Hassanally Effendi requested Government to grant him this place to be used as a hostel and a place to educate students coming from outskirts and far. The place, having area of 85 acre, was allotted on 75 rupees per month rent.
After getting the place, 100 rooms of 9 by 6 were built to facilitate students. Very next year board decided to construct a bigger building on the same place but funds were too short to get this building constructed as per plan. Now they appealed Muslims to raise funds and in return, they got an excellent response. Among the people who funded and donated for this cause were, Nizam Dakkan, Nawab of Junagarh, Municipal Corporation of Karachi, Sardar Abdur Rahim Khan Khoso and Sardar Sohbat Khan Khoso.
On 4 November 1887, viceroy lord Dufferin laid the foundation stone of this building. It took about 35 months to be constructed and was completed in September 1890. 1,97,118 rupees were spent in the making of this building. On 14 November the old building was shifted to the new one.
Structure of Sindh Madressatul Islam is a combination of European, Islamic and Indian architecture. It was initially designed by Wali Muhammad Effendi son of Hassanally Effendi and proper model of this building was made by chief engineer of Karachi municipality Mr. James Strachan. As a friend of Hassanally Effendi, Mr. James Strachan provided his services free of cost.
Total area of this double story building is 31414 square feet. Total length of building is 187 feet and 155 feet is its width.
There was built a clock tower on its main gate that represents the English era. This tower is 80 feet high. On ground floor of this building, there is a vast court yard surrounded by a laboratory and class rooms. For the entrance of ground floor, there is made Orient arch and Theodore arch for the first floor of the building. These Theodore arches were used in royal palaces of Great Britain and the Orient arches used to be made in Mughal architecture. Due to have a quadrangle design, this building does not consist of even a single pillar. Stones used in this building are Gizri lime stones that not only adds into the beauty and look of the building because of its attractive yellow colour but also protects it from the acute weather conditions.
The main building was built in 1890 but its further construction continued. In 1893 there was built a Sunni mosque and in year 1894 a Shia mosque was built in it. In 1898 Principle House was built and in 1901 Talpur House was built. In 1909, Haasanally House and Khair Pur House were built. Talpur House and Hassanally House were used as hostels while Khair Pur House was used for kitchen and dining. These houses were named after the names of the donors who donated for the construction of these parts of the building to pay them regard.
Role of Sindh Madressatul Islam in Pakistan Movement:
Sindh Madressatul Islam is not just a building but it actually holds a historical significance as it played a very important and strong role in Pakistan Movement as it produced and provided those legendry people who initiated this historic movement.
This very building was the first institute where Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah got admission. A.K Brohi and Allama I.I Qazi studied here as well. In year 1943, Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah visited Sindh Madressatul Islam to inaugurate a college which is now known as S.M. Science college (Sindh Muslim Science College).
Former government of Pakistan announced Sindh Madressatul Islam to be upgraded as a university and there will be state of Art Tv & Film Production department will be established.