Rafiqul Islam
Rafiqul Islam

General Information
Nazrul Researcher
Teaching and Research

Full Name: Professor Dr. Rafiqul Islam

Affiliation: University of Dhaka

Current Position: Deceased

Date of Birth: January 1, 1934

Date of Death: November 30, 2021

Place of Birth: Bangladesh

Home District: Chandpur

Nationality: Bangladeshi


Rafiqul Islam (1 January 1934 – 30 November 2021) was a Bangladeshi writer and the country's first Nazrul researcher. He was the first Nazrul Professor of Bengali Department of Dhaka University and the first Director of Nazrul Research Center of this educational institution. He received the Independence Medal,  Ekushey Medal and Bangla Academy Award. On June 19, 2018, the Government of Bangladesh awarded him as National Professor. In 2003, he became widely known as a writer by writing the book '80 Years of Dhaka University’.

Islam was born in Kalakanda village of Matlab Uttar Upazila of Chandpur District. He studied in the Bengali Department of Dhaka University. He received advanced training in linguistics and conducted research at Cornell University, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the East West Center of the University of Hawaii.

Islam actively participated in the language movement of 1952 and the liberation war of 1971. During the liberation war, he was tortured in a detention camp by the Pakistan military.

From 1958, Islam was engaged in teaching and Nazrul research at Dhaka University. He also once served as the Director General of Bangla Academy. He served as the first Vice-Chancellor of Jessore University of Science and Technology. Moreover, he was the president of the national implementation committee of the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a member of the board of trustees of the private university named University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. He was the national professor of Bangladesh. On June 19, 2018, the Government of Bangladesh declared him a National Professor. He was on duty as president of Kavi Nazrul Institute. On December 3, 2018, he joined this post. Besides, he was engaged as the president of Bangla Academy. On 1st June 2021 he joined the post of President of Bangla Academy.

Islam’s has several notable publications on language, literature, culture, history and freedom struggle and liberation war of Bangladesh.

In 2012, Islam was awarded the "Freedom Award", known as the "highest civilian award" of Bangladesh for his outstanding contribution to education as well as literary practice and research. He also received the Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, Nazrul Academy Award and International Mother Language Medal for his contribution to the preservation, revival, development, practice and propagation of the mother tongue.

Islam died on 30 November 2021 under treatment at Evercare Hospital in Dhaka due to old age disease.

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