Sheikh Abdulla Ibrahim Al Ansari (1921-1989) was born to a family whose roots can be traced back to the Ansari’s of Madina who had offered refuge to Prophet Muhammed. His disarming simplicity and hospitality are only indicative of the intrinsic values of the Arabian culture of the middle ages and teachings of Islam that stress on quality and justice. It was only through dedication and hard work that Sheikh Ansari raised to become a well known cultural activist, philanthropist and the head of Qatar’s Department of Religion and Heritage.
He was a scholar par excellence and his knowledge of Arabian history and religious matters was unparalleled. His travels abroad also added to the treasure house of his knowledge and experience. Kerala in particular was very close to him and he always referred to it as “Khyr Allah”.In 1974,when he came to Kerala for his treatment at Kottakkal Ayurvedic Hospital ,a Malayali C.T. Abdurahim, then a Qatar police personnel, was designated to accompany him. This acquaintance lead to a relationship of mutual respect and admiration and culminated in the establishment of orphanage and educational centre C .T. Abdurahim planned to start, with his friends in 1982 after coming back to Kerala.
The Ansari family has been keen on keeping alive the humanitarian concerns of their father and has always extended their benevolence towards Dayapuram. His eldest son, beloved Mr. Mohamed Ansari is a scholar of repute. His other sons Mr. Abdul Azeez Ansari, who holds a high position in the Qatar Police force, Mr. Ibrahim Ansari, Mr.Abdurahman Ansari, daughter Ayesha Ansari and granddaughter Muneera are all highly educated and have made their marks in different fields .They are all intimately bonded to Dayapuram and have visited the campus. The other members of the family too have made their presence felt by their loving gestures. Their association with Dayapuram has been a long one and is in fact their tribute to their father, the inspiration behind the land of kindness.
Dayapuram stands for all those principles that this great man stood for. The fragrance of his unforgettable magnanimity still emanates from all corners of Dayapuram. To borrow Patron C.T.Abdurahim’s words “Very few flowers have the fortune to become gardens in themselves. Sheikh Abdulla Ibrahim Al Ansari was one such rare being”. The man behind this great institution was an institution in himself.
Dayapuram worked as a centre for channelizing the financial gains of the Gulf migration for the Muslim community in Kerala into social advancement through education. This was a social role that the community performed.
Dayapuram renews itself with time to bring the best and the newest practices in education for the benefit of the students and the locality. Participatory schooling in which students are involved even in administration and integrated schooling where students get arts, sports and programming classes from the very school are ideas the school is currently working with. Dayapuram College is trying to network with faculties from premier institutions such as IIT’S, NIT’S, IIM’S and premier colleges to create the culture of a solid liberal higher education centre.
Dayapuram is a centre for socially oriented, quality education focusing on the empowerment of orphans, women, poor and backward sections of the society beyond the barriers of religion, and for cultural initiatives that promote justice and peace in a research based manner.
Dayapuram is a platform for communal harmony. It has been working to be a common space for growth for all communities. The centre also took awareness programmes against communalism, terrorism and fanaticism. Disruption of the social fabric based on selfish demands is dangerous for every single member of the society is a conviction it has maintained since inception.
The values and directives for taking ethical positions are enshrined in religions but they need to be rethought in the changing techno-economic conditions through nuanced research.
Dayapuram has also been such a centre of research in Islam, asking questions such as whether Zakath could be given to non-Muslims, organ donations outside the religion are Islamic, why fanaticism is un-Islamic and anti-Islamic, how can Islam’s history of negotiations with local cultures be understood –and it has also been a land of practicing many such findings.