The Academy did rekindle in the minds of the Ulama the desire for creative and critical study of Islamic history and other branches of Muslim learning. With the zeal of a missionary, Maulana Shibli had already produced a large number of books on a variety of subjects and these served as models for the writers who followed. His Sher-ul-Ajam for example, is a history of the Persian language and literature and Mowazina-i-Anis-o-Dabeer is a masterpiece of literary criticism in Urdu. Two other books Al-Farooq and Al-Mamoon are the first important Islamic biographies in Urdu. But his work of monumental dimensions is the Seerat-un-Nabi (Life of the Prophet) for which a separate Department had to be created later. Shibli had collected a stupendous volume of material on the subject but he had attempted only the first two of the six volumes of the seerat, when death cut short a brilliant career. The rest of material was arranged and put into shape by his trusted pupil and colleague, Syed Sulaiman Nadvi.The work had been acknowledged to be the most authentic and comprehensive account of the various facets of Prophet Muhammad’s life and teachings. Turkey has already translated it in Turkish, while Pakistan and U.A.R. are rendering it into English and Arabic respectively. The work, perhaps for the first time, attempts to put the historical role of Islam and its Prophet into correct perspective and underlines Prophet’s contribution to the cause of human progress, universal peace and brotherhood, and his spiritual and moral achievements.Inspired by the zest and the noble motives of the founder, the Academy has, during the last half of a century, published about 100 volumes of edited or compiled works by its Fellows. Some of these works are indeed encyclopedic in character. Besides the Seerat-un-Nabi the collection of the biographical sketches of the companions of the Holy Prophet, entitled the Seyar-us-Sahaba, is also a stupendous work.The AI-Farooq ( the Life of Caliph Omar) by Maulana Shibli, has won recognition from the scholars of Iran and Afghanistan, where its translation was undertaken, as a remarkable book still unsurpassed for its scholarly treatment The English translation of this book was attempted by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan.
In the literary field, Maulana Shibli’s Sher-ul-Ajam was highly spoken of by Prof. Browne of the Cambridge University and even today it enjoys great reputation among scholars. It has been translated in Iran and Afghanistan. Similarly, the life and work of the famous poet, Omar Khayam, by Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, is regarded as an outstanding work of research and criticism and has been translated into Persian in Iran. The Sher-ul-Hind (in two volumes) by Abdus Salam Nadvi and Gul-i-Rana by Abdul Hai are valuable critical history of Urdu poetry.In the field of history and culture, the Academy, has published a large number of books, many of which have received awards from the State or the Central Government. So far, it has published 15 volumes on Islamic history and 17 on the history of Medieval India.The number of books published and the variety of subjects covered constitute an impressive record. These include Life of the Holy Prophet (6 Volumes), other biographies (23 Volumes), Literature (17 Volumes), History of Medieval India (17 Volumes), Islamic History (17 Volumes), Philosophy (11 Volumes), Arabic works (5 Volumes), Geographical History (2 Volumes), Dictionary. (1) Volume), Psychology (2 Volumes), Miscellaneous (17 Volumes), Total:118 volumes, number of pages: 39,481. A large number of these works have been prescribed for the degree courses of the various universities of India and Pakistan. In the next seven years the Academy proposes to bring out 20 volumes on different aspects of history, culture and Islamic religion.