Posted by: Titus Presler | October 18, 2012

Questions in Edwardes Islamiyat search interviews reflect broad-mindedness

In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan education at all levels and in all types of institutions must include education about Islam as an academic subject, with the field generally called Islamiyat.  Even as a church-sponsored institution, Edwardes is no exception.

Students of minority religions have the option of taking civics instead, though many take Islamiyat for the obvious benefit of learning about the religion that surrounds them.  In fact, many do well in it – there have even been occasions at Edwardes when a Christian, Hindu or Sikh earned the top marks in Islamiyat.

When we recently conducted a faculty search for a vacancy in Islamiyat, it was encouraging, especially in the environment of Peshawar, to see the questions for candidates that were prepared by the Islamiyat Department:

 • Why have you selected Islamiyat for a career?

• Are there inter-faith similarities in Revealed Religions?

• How would you teach Islamiyat with non-Muslims in the class?

• What are the topics of your publications, and why did you select those topics?

• What is your opinion about co-education?

• What activities and methods do you suggest for inter-faith harmony at Edwardes?

• What safeguards are provided by Islam to human rights?

• Give two examples from the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) life of the freedom of expression and belief.

• What do you mean by a servant leader?  Give examples from the life of the sabaha (companions of the Prophet (PBUH)).

• What role can Islamiyat play in character building and producing servant leaders?

• What are the religious sources of ethics, and how would you use them in training students?

These questions reflect a broad-minded approach that appreciates religious diversity and connects Islamiyat with other areas of discourse such as human rights and the category of servant leadership that is prominent in the mission statement of Edwardes and in the Integrity Project that is underway at the College.  At a time when minds and spirits are clenching, these questions express a generous spirit.  They speak well of Islamiyat at Edwardes.

I’m glad to say that the short-listed candidates responded in kind and, indeed, appreciated the openness that marked the interviews.  We are fortunate in both our existing faculty and in the new faculty in this field.


  1. What wonderful questions.

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