Message from Dr. Mohammad Sharif Khan

Retired as professor. performed duties as: 1. chairman admission commettee 2. controller of examinations 3. head department of biology married to Prof. Rashida Tasnim Khan, Prof. of Persian Jamia Nusrat, Rabwah three sons: Dr. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, Research Associate, Drexal University, Philadelphia, USA Muhammad Masood Khan, CA, Calgary, Canada Dr. Muhammad Rashid Zubair Khan, D. Pharm. Philadelphia, USA One daughter: Rashda Saadia Ahmed, married with three children, Germany

The year 1946 is the year when I entered in the realm of knowledge, as a student of “Kachhi” (prep) class of Talimul Islam Primary School, Qadian. My class was a “Tat” (sitting on mats) class, venue was under the shade of a large mango tree, one in the tree-line that marked the boundaries between Talimul Islam High School and Talimul Islam College. I tapped door of world of knowledge with words “Alif, Ba, Ta, Sa”, which were forced into my memory by the painful strokes of “miswak” on my fingers by our master Muhammad Baskh Solanghi sahib (marhoom). After partition my family moved to our native village Chaksan, District Gujranwala in Pakistan, then to Ghakkhar Mandi, where I did my matriculation in 1956. When I was in 8th class I offered myself for “waqf-a-zindgi” (devotee), which was accepted by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Messih the II (rz) (Alhamdolliah). I was advised to get admission in Talimul Islam College, Rabwah, and after doing master I was to report in the Nazarat-a-Talim. In Talimul Islam College I studied as a F. Sc. Premedical student. Then I left Talimul Islam College, because I was interested in Biological subjects, not offered there at that time. I did B. Sc from Islamia College, civil lines Lahore in 1961, M.Sc. Zoology from University of the Punjab, in 1963, standing first in order of merit, and was awarded Sir William Roberts Gold Medal, and Roll of Honor (Alhamdolliah). I was advised by Nazarat-a-Talim to report to the Principal Talimul Islam College, where I joined the staff as lecturer in Zoology, in September, 1963. My first research paper was published in 1965. The calm and serene environments in Talimul Islam College provided me the impetuous to carry on my research there. I still remember very vividly, the college biological laboratory, its spacious demonstration tables and high stools, where I worked after college time. Often I use to gaze at the nearby hilly rampart across the lab windows, how majestically it stood there! It provided strength to my determination. As I sit all alone, Shadi’s oft and on shouts making his presence announced to the trespassers, were my only companion. For several of my subsequent published papers I owe support and determination to the tables and that hills, that still stand there! I completed my doctoral experimental work in the same laboratory, on the same tables, sitting at the same high stools in the Biological Laboratory, where I fist got instructions as an F. Sc. Student back in 1956. I received my Ph.D. degree from University of the Punjab, Lahore, in 1991. I taught subjects of Biology and Zoology to F.Sc and B. Sc classes from 1963-1999, retiring in September of that year. During my F.Sc I stayed in Fazal-a-Omar hostel. In college my English teachers were Ch Abul Latif (marhoom), M. H. Zaidi and Kanwar Indrees sahib; Biology: Dr Naseer A. Bashir (marhoom); Physcis: Masood Ahmed Atif (marhoom); Chemistry: Prof. Mubark Ahmed Sahib Ansari; Deeniat: Milk Muhammad Abdullah (marhoom). Later Atif sahib, Ansari sahib and Malik sahib were my colleagues. My research interest has been Herpetology (study of amphibians and reptiles). Very little was known about Pakistani species of these animals. I toured different remote parts of the country, studying these animals in their natural environments and collecting them for my research. Several M.Sc students from Qaid-a-Azam University, Islamabad; Government College, Lahore; Punjab University and Government college, Lahore and Faisalabad completed their research paper under my supervision. At the time of immigration to U. S. A. I donated my large collection of specimens to Zoological Museum Government College, Lahore; and collection scientific books to Khalafat Library, Rabwah. Alhamdolliah, I am still working on my data that I brought from Pakistan, and getting it published in different international scientific journals. I have gotten published over 300 research papers, have described several new species and discovering new records for Pakistan. I have published two books in Urdu, two in English, one in German (published in Germany and USA). I was recognized as “Zoologist of the year 2002” and awarded a certificate and a shield by the Zoological Society of Pakistan. When I look at myself, I am still a child, and remember and feel the pain I felt by the “miswak” strokes by my teacher of “Kachhi” class, who knows how sincerely that pious man was praying for his pupils at that time? May his soul rests in peace in heaven, Amen!
wassalam alaikum
Muhammad Sharif Khan, Ph.D.