Professor Dr Mofakhkhar Hussain Khan passes away at the age of 82- Bangladesh has lost one of her illustrious sons
Bangladesh has lost one of her illustrious sons. Mofakhkhar Hussain Khan was an academic and researcher in the field of Library and Information Sciences. His primary work was cataloguing the translations of the Holy Qur’an, the different languages from Europe to Asia, Africa and beyond. His work has been published in research articles and books, many of which were self-published.
In 2002, his PhD thesis-turned-book published by Bangla Academy, The Bengali Book, won the Best Book award.
Bangla Academy also recognised him in 2018 when he was awarded the ‘Honorarium Crest’ from Ahmed Smriti Pathagar.
Professor Dr Mofakhkhar Hussain Khan was born in Soiladi, Kaliganj, Gazipur, 1941. He obtained his Bachelors’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Dhaka in Library Science with a first class securing the first position. He joined the then-East Pakistan Central Public Library as a Library Assistant. In 1968 he obtained the East-West Center scholarship to do a Master of Library Science (MLS) from the University of Honolulu. On his return, he was appointed the Director at Central Board for Development of Bengali (currently Bangla Academy) Dhaka. In 1973 he travelled to London for a PhD on a British Council Fellowship. He studied under the renowned librarian, Professor J. D. Pearson, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After completing his PhD in 1976, he joined Pahlavi University (now Siraj University) in Iran at the Department of Library and Information Science. After the start of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, he moved to Bayero University Kano in Nigeria as a Senior Lecturer.
1986 Dr M H Khan was appointed Professor and Librarian at the University of Dhaka. Before his appointment, the University of Dhaka University did not have a fully appointed librarian for 12 years. As the librarian of Dhaka University, he had the privilege of overseeing all the libraries in Bangladesh. He was instrumental in introducing the first training programme on AACR-2 for the library professionals of Bangladesh. Unfortunately, due to University politics and the change of Vice-Chancellor, Professor Khan resigned from this post in 1988. With a brief stint back in Nigeria, he was headhunted to join King Abdul Aziz University in the Deanship of Library Affairs in 1990. He formally retired in 2005 to return to Bangladesh and his native village in Gazipur. He built a mosque and established an Islamic studies school which did spectacularly well in Board examinations.
Professor Khan has published more than one hundred research articles at the national and international levels. He has also authored many books. A few well-known publications are Ekushe Granthopongi Sonkolon (1971), A Dictionary of Librarianship (1973), Dewey for Islam and Bangladesh (1st ed. 1987, 2nd 1988 and 3rd 1999). History of Printing the Holy Quran (1988), Modernisation of Library and its Education (1988), The Eastern Librarian and Librarianship of Bangladesh (1988), Bibliographic Control of Quranic Literature (1993), Pobitra Quran Paker Itihas o Bonganubader Sotoborsho (1997), English translation of the Holy Quran: a bio-bibliographic study (1997), The Bengal Book: History of Printing and Bookmarking 1667-1866 (1999-2001).
Professor Dr Mofakhkhar Hussain Khan had two passions in life, his late wife, Roushan Ara Khan and research. He passed away peacefully in his Baridhara home in Dhaka on June 10 2023. He is survived by two children and five grandchildren.