Scholar, scientist, inventor, historian, legislator, Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed is the founder patron of this Encyclopedia. It was his vision to compile a history of Islam from a global perspective, transcending the traditional emphasis on the Middle East. He wrote a two volume treatise, “Islam in Global History…From the Death of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) to the First World War” which was serialized in the Minaret Magazine in New York during 1994-1997 and then published by Suhail Academy in Lahore, Pakistan. The book was also published by the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture in the United States in 2001. It has been translated into Urdu and Farsi and published by the Urdu Academy in Bangalore, India.
Dr. Ahmed holds a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University, Ae.E in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology, MS in Aeronautics also from Caltech, MBA in Finance and Management from Rider University and BE in Engineering from the University of Mysore, India. A brilliant student throughout his career, he is fondly known as “Rank Nazeer” in his native land. He is the director of the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture in California and also serves on the boards of the World Organization for Resource Development and Education in Washington, DC and HMS Institute of Technology in India. He is an inventor and holds 12 United States patents on spaced based lasers, energy conversion and advanced manufacturing technologies. A space scientist by training, he was a Principal Scientist on the NASA Hubble Space Telescope in Danbury, Connecticut and delivered diffraction limited performance in the Secondary Mirror Assembly at 1/700th of the wavelength of red light. He was a Team Leader on the NASA Lunar Land Rover, Apollo, Saturn and several Space Surveillance projects of national importance. He has published scores of scientific articles in the Journal of Applied Physics, Journal of Applied Mechanics, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of Basic Engineering and other scientific journals. He has authored NASA reports and was a chair of the sixth AIRAPT international conferences on high pressure physics in Denver, Colorado in 1977. He has conducted a large number of seminars and given lectures around the world on Islamic History and Science.
Dr. Ahmed is a philanthropist and for decades has supported scholarship programs for needy children and has built several mosques and schools. Under RankStudent Trust, which he established in 2012, he provides digital learning to tens of thousands of children in India. He was the architect of a unique Eidgah religious complex near Bangalore which serves 12,000 worshipers and has attracted wide acclaim for its fusion of spirituality and space age geometry.
Dr. Ahmed is well versed in several languages and has traveled widely in Asia, Europe and Africa. He received his training in Arabic from Molvi Abdul Quddus Qudsi and has remained a keen student of Qur’anic sciences throughout his life. In the year 2000, he met the eminent Shaikh Mohammed Nazim al Haqqani al Qabrasi of Cyprus and Turkey of the distinguished Naqshbandi Order and received deep spiritual insights from his sohbets. Dr. Ahmed’s book, What Makes Us Human…A Spiritual Perspective was published in 1998. His lasting achievement is a translation of the Qur’an into easy to read modern American English. The translation was worked on for a period of ten years and was published in 2011. It has earned the commendation of noted ulema and has been read on the internet by over 2,150,000 people from practically all corners of the globe.
Dr. Ahmed’s political career also spans two continents. In 1978 he was an elected member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from the 57th district. In 1988 he was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the 42nd Congressional District in California representing Jesse Jackson. In 1992 he contested in the Congressional elections from the 96th Congressional District in California. In 2013, Dr. Ahmed was appointed a member of the Karnataka State Knowledge Commission in Bangalore. The mandate of this Commission is to transform the state into a “knowledge society”.
The compilation of an ambitious work like an encyclopedia is a multi-generation effort. It is the hope of Dr. Ahmed that the effort will continue with contributions from scholars, especially those of future generations.