HISTORY OF AUMSA
History of All-Campus Muslim Majlis
University campuses were formed after the 1972 Universities Act, which brought separate universities under a single organization. Accordingly, Tamil language students were admitted to all campuses. Prior to this, Tamil language courses were available only on few university campuses. Hundreds of Tamil and Muslim students were admitted to these campuses in 1973. Following this, the importance of setting up a Tamil Sangam and a Muslim Majlis for Tamil and Muslim students studying on campus was emphasized. Accordingly, most of the Muslim Majlises and Tamil Sangams were formed.
During 1973, the process of forming an association of Muslim Majlises of campuses took place. The association was formed in collaboration with the Muslim Majlis of the Peradeniya, Vidyalankara (University of Kelaniya) Colombo, Katubedda (University of Moratuwa), Vidyodaya (Sri Jayawardenepura University) and Jaffna campuses. Mr S.M.Jinan from the University of Peradeniya was elected as President and S. Badurdeen from the University of Colombo was elected as the General Secretary of the association’s first executive committee. Following this, the first anniversary and the Annual General Meeting of the Vidyalankara Muslim Majlis (Kelaniya Majlis) was held on 05.11.1975 at the University’s Darmaloka Hall. The conference was attended by more than 500 undergraduate students, professors and lecturers from all campuses across the country. At this conference, Mr N. M. Ameeen from the University of Kelaniya was elected as the President and Mr M.U.M. Sanus from the Vidyodaya University (Sri Jayawardenepura University) was elected as the Secretary of All-Campus Muslim Majlis Association. Following this, in 1976, Dr M.L.A.M. Najmuddin from the University of Colombo, Mr Saalih A. Majeed from the University of Peradeniya and Mr Taha Najimuddin of the University of Kelaniya were elected as associate secretaries of the association. Leaders who were elected to All-Campus Muslim Majlis Association after 1977 carried out various useful activities to the community and administered the All-Campus Muslim Majlis Association appropriately. Universities that were originally identified as campuses were recognized as separate universities under the University Grants Commission Act No. 16 of 1978.
History of All University Muslim Student Association
During the year 2002, the Sri Lankan Muslim community faced a series of problems. These issues posed a challenge to university students and their academic performance which led to the formation of the AumsA under the consensus of the youth. The All University Muslim Student Association is abbreviated as AumsA.
In early 2002, about 30 Muslim students were early members of AumsA. As a result of the bond among the students, Dr Riyaz Qasim from the University of Colombo was elected as President and Mr M.C.K. Nisad from the University of Moratuwa was elected as the secretary at the first Annual General Meeting held in 2004. This event was attended by representatives, members of Islamic organizations in Sri Lanka, leaders and members of Muslim Majlises. In the early days of their administration, they made excellent efforts to unite the Muslim students. AumsA was involved in humanitarian operations during the December 2004 tsunami disaster. With such social activities, AumsA began to gain popularity across the country. From the initiation in 2002, electing the executive committee members in 2004, with the continuation of various such social activities, a new Executive Committee was elected at The Annual General Meeting which was held again in 2014.
Subsequently, in the latter part of 2012, many undergraduates came together with the aim of making the organization even better. The involvement of the graduate brother Zahri who has returned to the Almighty is something that needs to be remembered. From 2012 to 2014, they carried out activities to strengthen and consolidate the weak Muslim Majlises. Following this, AumsA’s Annual General Meeting was held in the auditorium of the MICH Hall, Colombo in 2014. More than 10 Muslim Majlis attended the event. Leaders and members of Islamic organizations, former leaders of all island Muslim Majlises, former chairmen and members of AumsA, leaders of Muslim Majlis and other members also attended the event.
Brother Mr. Haseef Marikkar from the University of Kelaniya was elected as the president for the year 2014. whereas, Brother Mr. Mafas from the Sabaragamuwa University was elected as the 2014 Secretary. One day workshops were conducted for Colombo Regional University students during this period.
They both were succeeded by Brother M.A. Ashiq Ahmed from Sri Jayawardenepura University as the President of the year 2015 and Brother Ubaidullah Riab from Peradeniya University as the secretary. Activities such as coordinating all Muslim Majlises, national seminars for school children and career guidance for university students were conducted during this period.
The next President of the year 2016 was Brother Ashran Ashraf from the University of Kelaniya and the Secretary was Brother Imrat from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. National level seminars on Mathematics, Science and English for GCE Ordinary Level students were conducted during this period. In addition, Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) guidance programs for university students in Kelaniya, Colombo, Sri Jayawardenapura and Uva Wellassa, three-day training workshops for university students and educational promotion programs for students of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ACJU) were also conducted during this period.
Brother Ijaz from the University of Kelaniya was subsequently elected as the President of the Year 2017 and Brother Imrat from the University of Sri Jayawardenepura was elected as the Secretary. During their tenure, activities like coordinating all Muslim Majlises, national seminars for school children, guidance and professional guidance activities were carried out.
Brother Rukshan from the University of Kelaniya was elected as the President of the year 2018 and Brother Husley from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura was elected as the Secretary. The administration functioned only for about six months.
They were succeeded by Brother A.R. Nazik as the President in 2019 and Brother Hashir Nawfer as the Secretary of 2019, both from the University of Colombo. They were mainly involved in strengthening AumsA. They hosted the Aurora Leadership Guidance Program for University Students during this period. They also launched the “Spade to Shade” tree planting program in the honor of National Independence Day and issued a joint statement with FOCUS during the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country. It is also notable for organizing and having discussions with IUSF and IUBF during their period.
Steps were taken to re-create the women’s body of AumsA and the National Essay Competition Project was launched. It is noteworthy that a statement was also issued against ragging during this period. In addition, activities coordinating all Muslim Majlises, national seminars and mentoring activities for school children were conducted during this period.
Following this, the Board of Directors for the year 2020 was elected. The event was held on the 28th of December 2019 at NAAS Cultural Center, Kotikawatta. The leaders and members of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, National Shura Council, Sri Lanka Muslim Council, and former leaders of the All-Muslim Majlises, former leaders of the AumsA, leaders of the Muslim Majlises and 200 undergraduates representing more than 20 Muslim Majlises participated in this event.
Brother Ahmath Sadique from the University of Kelaniya was elected as the president of AumsA for the year 2020 and Brother L.M Sajith from the University of Vavuniya was elected as the Secretary. Also, Sister M.M Mubashshara Begum from the University of Colombo was elected as the head of the ladies wing and Sister Marshada Mackie from the Sri Lanka Law College was elected as the Secretary. They are the Vice President and Assistant Secretary of the entire organization.
This period is considered to be the period of rapid development of AumsA. Twenty six University Muslim Majlises that are representing 16 National Universities recognized by the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka are the member bodies of the All University Muslim Students’ Association and additionally, it is worth noting that AumsA has grown into a very vast empire with the dedicated contribution of more than 20 undergraduate organizations representing each district.
Also, equal membership for women has been officially granted in all the posts except the Chairman and Secretary of its Executive Committee. Moreover, the organization is not merely an organization that does only programs, but a center for uniting all university Muslim students in Sri Lanka.
To get this succeeded, AumsA has collaborated with national organizations such as the All Ceylon Jammiathul Ulama (ACJU), the National Shura Council (NSC), the Sri Lanka Muslim Council (MCSL), the Muslim Youth Federation (YMMA), and the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF). And we create paths for the students from all universities to get involved in activities to advance the arts, culture, and leadership in addition to education.
It is also noteworthy that during the outbreak of COVID-19, five major programs were implemented nationally based on all university Muslim students.
- Establishing a volunteer team, that includes over 1000 male and female undergraduates.
- E-Study, an online teaching program conducted by undergraduates.
- Launched the ‘1000 Home Gardening Project’ to address the food shortages, in collaboration with the National Shura Council (NSC),
- Established the field of writing research articles named “The path” as a way to improve the writing ability of university students. The best articles were published in magazines
- An “Online Webinar Series” of more than 10 sessions was conducted covering topics relevant to practical issues. This series of workshops were conducted by prominent ulama’s and scholars. In addition, all the sessions, such as the Post Graduate Guidance series, were very rewarding and had a great response from the community.
The AumsA’s Policy Statement, which covers 9 points, was also published during this period. It is noteworthy that these policies of AumsA have been well appreciated by the University Muslim Majlises and the community. The current administration (2020) also reissued the statement issued in 2019 against ragging and expressed strong opposition for ragging. In the absence of a consistent constitution for the all-campus Muslim Majlis and All University Muslim students Association created in 1973 and 2004, the 2020 Executive Committee was the first to draft a complete constitution for AumsA with a number of future considerations in mind. Leadership events were also held in collaboration with universities in the same regions out of which the meeting of the executive committee members and Advisory Board was one of them.
In addition, AumsA’s media has grown tremendously during this period. AumsA’s activities were publicized and disseminated throughout the country through television, radio interviews and in the press. In addition, a project called “Data collection” was implemented to collect, organize and monitor student-university admission rates for data on university Muslim undergraduates. The project was launched with the aim of promoting the university admission of Muslim students.
The following are some of the national activities undertaken by AumsA in 2020:
AumsA’s tree-planting campaign, ‘Spade to Shade’ took place in 2020 and 2021. In addition, a grand competition for university students called ‘Musabakathul Furqan’ was held in association with the All Ceylon Jamiatul Ulama (ACJU) and an event called “Historia” was organized to compile the history of the University Muslim Majlises. “Bright Path”, a program targeting school student’s was also conducted including mentoring events, guidance programmes and seminars. AumsA encourages Muslim Majlises to conduct such events from time to time.
With 39 executive members (2020-2021), the organization currently works in collaboration with about 26 Muslim Majlises and more than 20 undergraduate organizations with an understanding.
AumsA consists of undergraduates from all universities in Sri Lanka with over 9000 Muslim students from various streams pursuing higher education. There is no doubt that this journey will continue in the future with more energy and more strength.