On the take-over of North-East College of Arts and Science (NECAS) by the University of Maiduguri in 1975/1976, the former Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies grew into the current Department. At its inception, the Department offered degrees in the twin disciplines of Arabic and Islamic Studies as well as Diploma Courses. However, the Department has risen from this humble beginning to international standards. In its Arabic courses, it has met the Standard II status in Arabic-speaking institutions in some African countries and in circles of traditional learning in Northern Nigeria. In Islamic Studies, courses were designed to cover the Basic Elements (in the study of Qu’ran, Hadith, Fiqh, Kalam, Classical History, Islamic Philosophy, West African literary tradition and Religious History, Modern Developments in the Muslim World) and to familiarize non-Arabists of the inalienable Arabicism of Islamic Studies. The Department later approved higher degree programmes leading to the award of M.A. and Ph.D. in Arabic Studies and in Islamic Studies. The basic structures of the Arabic and Islamic Studies curricula provide three- and four-year degree courses leading to B.A. (Hons) degree in Arabic Studies and Islamic Studies. It also provides for a minimum of 90 units of study for the A-level or equivalent entrants into the Department and a minimum of 120 units for secondary school or O-level entrants.
The two programmes of Arabic Studies and Islamic Studies aim at providing opportunities for intellectual development of students who seek to acquire knowledge in the famous traditions of Arabic scholarship and Islamic Studies in Nigeria. As the torchbearers of those traditions, the Department is able to chart a course for this scholarship and redefine the role of Nigerian scholars in the wider context of Islamic thought. In recent years, efforts have been made to encourage the study of literary product of the Ulama in this country and to integrate this study and research into its curricula. Students, especially at the postgraduate level, are exposed to this and encouraged to appreciate the “happy coordination of the two subjects” as they cover their basic components and units of study, leaving each free to enlarge its scope in future.
As a whole, the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies is mindful of contemporary developments in Islamic life at the international arena and the changing stakes in international relations in the post-September 11 attack era. These are developments, which have reflections on the way these disciplines are taught and perceived. Hence, the need to regularly review the syllabus in the Department.
To develop into a centre of academic excellence in the field of Arabic and Islamic Studies and in the field of humanities to cope with relevant challenges.
To facilitate and advance the attitude of humanities, both moral and character, for better societies
Full accreditation has been granted by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
In addition to well-furnished offices and classrooms, the Department also has access to a studio and library facilities including Ramat Library, Faculty of Agriculture and Centre for Arid Zone Studies, (CAZS) as well as the University ICT Centre.
The Department has been well staffed (academic and non-academic) with all the cadres represented.
This has been increasing steadily over the years apart from the decline recorded recently due to the prevailing circumstances.
Research interests and facilities exist in the areas of Arabic and Islamic scholarships. There are facilities related to the development of the University’s catchment area, in particular, and the country in general, in the form of studying the current trends of religious tolerance, lexical and dialectal studies of the indigenous Shuwa-Arabic, survey of literary products in the area, Arabic and Islamic Studies teaching methods, language teaching materials, etc. The Department has also proposed the establishment of an Arabic Language Laboratory which is intended to make the study and research in Arabic even more functional. Furthermore, the University has attracted a measure of international attention in the past. Currently the Department is in collaboration with UNESCO, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) as well as centres of Islamic learning in many parts of the world.