Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad OAM, 90, a retired professor of mechanical engineering and a Quranic scholar and long time community leader was presented with his Order of Australia medals on Tuesday 8 September 2020 by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley, AC, QC, the Governor of NSW.
Watch video of Investiture Ceremony and citation for Dr Ahmad for the award.
The award was announced on Australia Day 26 January earlier this year but the investiture ceremony was much delayed due to the pandemic and was held in September at the Government House in Sydney under COVID-19 restrictions.
Dr Ahmad, professor and head of department of mechanical engineering in Kashmir was forced to leave his job and arrived in Australia in 1971 and has been in the forefront of building Islamic institutions, founding community organisations and promoting interfaith harmony for almost half a century.
This was the first of a number of investiture ceremonies to be held in stages for the recipients of Order of Australia medals this year in compliance with COVID-19 regulations and health advice.
Dr Ahmad was accompanied by his eldest son Zia Ahmad and and daughters Fauzia Siddiqui and Najia Khalil at the award ceremony at Government House in Sydney.
The Order of Australia was bestowed upon Dr Ahmad in recognition of his services to the Muslim community and for promoting interfaith harmony.
By profession, a retired engineer and academic having earned his major qualifications at Aligarh Muslim University, India, University of Wisconsin, USA and University of Sydney, Australia, he taught at various universities in India, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
A Quranic scholar of international standing, having obtained his Islamic education from original sources after mastering English, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi languages, his major passion in life is, and has been for most of his life, the application of Islam in the daily life of mankind, both for Muslims and people of other faiths and beliefs.
Dr Ahmad lives in Sydney with his wife Jamal Ara Ahmad surrounded by 70+ strong extended family and is a father, grandfather and great grandfather.
The citation announced at the event for the award included a long list of services that he has been rendered by him to the Australian community during the last 50 years.
Below are some of Dr Ahmad’s community achievements:
- Founding Secretary, Australian Islamic Mission (AIM) 1972.
- Founding President, Muslims Australia (also known as Australian Federation of Islamic Councils AFIC) 1976-77.
- Editor-in-Chief, Australian Muslim Times 1991; Chief Advisor, Australasian Muslim Times AMUST, 2014-current.
- Member, Board of Trustees, International Council of Islamic Information (United Kingdom), since 1993.
- Founder and Patron, Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims (IFAM) 1993.
- Founder, Member and Patron, Aligarh Muslim University Alumni of Australia (AMUAA), since 1992.
- Member, Association for Indian Muslims (United States), 1992.
- Founder and Patron, Islamic Foundation for Education and Welfare, since 1986.
- Co-Founder and Chief Organiser, Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair (MEFF), since 1985.
- Founder and Member, Council of Islamic Affairs New South Wales (now ICNSW), 1974-1976.
- Founding President, Sydney University Muslim Students Association, 1972-1974.
- Assembly Member, Council of Parliament of World Religions, USA, since 1993.
- Establishment of the Interfaith Youth Friendship Centre, 2006.
Awards and recognition of Dr Ahmad’s contribution include:
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Australian Muslim Achievement Awards, 2011.
- Sir Syed Award, AMU Alumni of Australia, 2003.
- Centenary Medal for contribution to Australian society, 2001.
- Services to Islam Award, Australian Muslim Professionals (FAMP), 1994.
- Community Service Award in recognition of a valuable contribution to the Bicentenary, 1988.
Read more about Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad’s life and achievements.
Read “A tribute to my living father: Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad OAM” by his son Zia Ahmad.