Dr. Rafiq Zakaria campus has evolved from a humble beginning to an illustrious preeminent education hub of Aurangabad. The genesis of this academic legacy is chronicled in the 17th century when Peer Ismail Shah, a Sufi and tutor of the Mughal Prince Aurangzeb, laid the foundation stone of a madrassa at Rauza Bagh, Aurangabad, where children of noble lineage were to be imparted with knowledge of Arabic and Persian. The madrassa which later became the mausoleum of its founder, fell into the hands of the British and was ruined. Now 300 years hence, it has acquired a new soul. For long, the dilapidated madrassa and its environs wore a deserted look, haunted by foxes, owls and hyenas. The mansion, which was a fine blend of Mughal-style architecture, was crumbling into insignificance when by a turn of good fortune, it caught the eye of Dr. Rafiq Zakaria, the scholar-politician, who was making the rounds of the Aurangabad constituency during the 1962 Assembly elections.
The ruins kindled a dream in Dr. Zakaria’s mind. Moved by the extreme poverty and backwardness of the people of the region, he envisioned raising a centre of learning at the site of the legendary base of education. He set about the task of restoring the madrassa, to its lost glory.He invested the Campus with a unique aura of India’s composite culture. The late Smt. Indira Gandhi on her visit to the Campus remarked: “The Maulana Azad Campus seems to be a fine example of what can be done in engrafting on the old, the requirements of the present.”
The late Hon’ble Dr Rafiq Zakaria, our mentor, leader and Founder-Chairman of the Maulana Azad Educational Trust & Society, is a legendary figure of our times. He was a renowned scholar-politician, a much respected educationist and an author of international repute. He was also known as the architect of modern Aurangabad for having given the city a totally new direction of all round development. He established this Education Centre 59 years ago and worked tirelessly to provide quality education to the less privileged sections of society. He has been laid to rest in a pristine white mazaar, an ode in marble, at a few paces on the Path of Knowledge, baab-ul-ilm – the main entrance to Dr.Rafiq Zakaria Campus.
A veteran journalist of national repute, Mrs Zakaria assumed the mantle of the Chairperson of the Maulana Azad Educational Trust and President of Maulana Azad Education Society, Aurangabad after sad demise of the founder Chairman Dr. Rafiq Zakaria. She worked alongside her husband all through the long years of their relentless struggle in trying to provide affordable, quality education to the student community. As Chairperson, she helped all the Institutions on the Campus take major strides and nurtured each of them into models of excellence. Mrs. Zakaria has been awarded the Padma Shri for her exemplary work in the field of education in 2006.