The Department of Arabic is one of the oldest departments in the University dating back to 1922, the year of the inception of the University of Delhi. However, the department was not an independent till the late sixties when it got an independent entity. At first, the classes used to be held at St. Stephen College, a constituent college of the University of Delhi. To begin with, the renowned erudite personalities such as Shamsul Ulama Maulana Abdur Rahman and Maulana Saeed Ahmad Akberabadi rendered their services for the department. In the late fifties the department of Arabic with its sister departments- the Department of Persian and the Department of Urdu- was shifted to the well-known Arts Faculty Building.
The Department of Arabic thus passed through three phases. At first it was working under the umbrella of Department of Arabic, Persian and Urdu. At the second stage the Department of Urdu became independent and the Department of Arabic and Persian remained combined. Afterwards the Department of Arabic got independent in the late sixties.
The Department of Arabic started functioning with one Reader (Associate professor), Dr. Khursheed Ahmad Fariq. Thereafter Dr. Shiv Rai Choudhry joined the Department. Thus the Department continued to expand and took in its fold Dr. Munawwar Nainar, Dr. Abdul Haq, Prof. Mohammad Sulaiman Ashraf, Prof. Nisar Ahmed Faruqui, Dr. Shafiur Rahman, Prof. Mohammad Nauman Khan, Prof. Mohsin Usmani, Dr. Wali Akhtar and Dr. Naimul Hasan etc.
The present faculty members are:
1. Prof. Mohammad Nauman Khan (Professor)
2. Dr. Wali Akhtar (Associate Professor & Head)
3. Dr. Naimul Hasan (Assistant Professor)
Six posts (3 old and 3 sanctioned under OBC expansion programme) are lying vacant.
The Department of Arabic offers the following full-time courses:
Ph.D. (5 years)
M. Phil. (2 years)
M.A. (4 semesters)
It also offers part-time courses for the beginners and advanced learners, such as:
Certificate Course in Modern Arabic (One year)
Diploma in Modern Arabic (One year)
Advanced Diploma in Modern Arabic (One year)
The Department of Arabic oversees undergraduate teaching of Arabic at Zakir Hussain College, a constituent college of the University, where B.A. (Programme) and B.A. (Honours) courses are offered. The Department of Arabic at Zakir Hussain College comprises Mr. Aneesur Rahman, Mr. Atiq Malik and Dr. Abdur Rahman Geelani (Evening).
Department of Arabic has its own rich departmental library comprising important books of Arabic language and literature spanning from the classical up to the modern period. It also comprises journals and periodicals, as well as a nice collection of dissertation and thesis on different topics.
The Department has been successfully organizing National Seminar every year since 1985 on diverse untouched topics to explore unbeaten paths in the realm of literature and criticism. It also has started a series of special lectures on different topics under banner of Prof. Khursheed Ahmad Fariq Memorial Lecture since 2008.
In view of the outstanding services and great contribution to the field of teaching and literature the President of India awarded the certificate of Honour to the following Professors of the Department of Arabic:
Prof. Khursheed Ahmad Fariq - 1981
Prof. Mohammad Sulaiman Ashraf - 2000