Islamia College and Collegiate School Peshawar formerly known as the Darul-Uloom-e-Islamia Sarhad is not just the name of an educational institution but it was a movement through education. The establishment of this grand institution carries behind it a long history and it stands for a great movement which ultimately transformed the whole of N.W.F.P and the adjoining tribal areas. The movement is significant for imparting quality education, establishment of democratic institutions and finally a struggle to achieve independence from alien rule.
Sahibzada Sahib belonged to that group of Indian statesmen who believed in achieving independence through peaceful means using conciliatory approach for resolution of their problems with the British rulers.
Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayum was deeply concerned about the prevailing state of affairs in the province. The experimental schools run in the Khyber Agency in the first decade of 20th Century which was established there as a result of mutual efforts of Sir Abdul Qayum and Sir George Roos Kepple. It had given promising results and this inspired Sahibzada Sahib to start thinking about the development of education on a grand scale. By the year 1909, the idea of a College, in the Province, was taking its abstract form in the minds of Sir Abdul Qayum and Sir George Roos Kepple which was further strengthened by their visit to Aligarh the same year.
At the time of its establishment, no one could visualize that during the course of its existence it would bloom into a University which in turn would give birth to University of Engineering and Technology, Agricultural University, Khyber Medical College and a nursery for other educational institutions. However, it was the foresightedness of Nawab Abdul Qayum Khan, who envisaged a separate University for this area. He had gradually been expanding the Darul-Uloom in a way to evolve itself into a University in the end. He was so certain in his imagination that while responding to the pinching remarks of the then governor he emphatically predicated in 1935 that Darul-Uloom will certainly become a University when I may not be on earth and your Excellency may be in Britain.
The sponsors of the Darul-Uloom made the occasion memorable by inviting Haji Sahib of Turangzai, to lay the foundation stone of the mosque. The school started functioning in March 1913 with 25 students representing every important Phatan tribe on its rolls, which rose to nearly two hundred after the first summer vacation. The College began its instructional activities, six months later i.e on 1st October 1913. Within a short span of time it acquired the features of a public school in the West alongwith the spirit of Islamic Tradition. The foresightedness of the founder can be judged from the fact that the school was established before the College which aimed at providing a firm base for the college education. The numbers of the School Hostels were gradually increased to six which indicated the importance of residential character of an institution for all round development of the personalities of its students. This policy was almost reversed after the independence when the school was left with only two hostels, the number of day boys increased and the ratio of boarders and day boys at one time stood as 1-10. In this manner the foundations of the institution were shaken. The Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah visited the College in 1936 and was granted life honorary membership of the Khyber Union of the Islamia College. It was this impression which led him to decide to write his will in 1939 to bequeath one third of his property to the Darul-Uloom-e-Islamia Sarhad.