Any tourist, local or foreign, visiting Peshawar, must include Islamia College, Peshawar, in his/her to visit list. Located on Jamrud Road near the historic Khyber Pass, the magnificent building of Islamia College, Peshawar, (ICP) stands out proudly symbolising the grandeur of the Mughal architecture. When Bibigul, widow of Khairullah Khan of village Prang, Charsadda donated her ornaments on June 6, 1911 for college fund, she might have hoped that girls too would get benefit from this institution but unfortunately females were deprived to get education from this great seat of learning till December 2007 when the former governor NWFP, an old Islamian, Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai, granted it the status of a university, where girl students were also allowed to receive education from (ICUP) for the first time in its history.
Before partition, the Edwards College in Peshawar could not cater fully to the educational needs of the poor people in the Frontier. Inspired by a visit to the Aligarh Muslim University in 1909, where some Pashtun students from the Frontier had asked Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan and Roos Keppel to establish either a hostel or a hall for them at Aligarh or build a quality educational institution in Peshawar so that they could be relieved of home sickness. The students also donated some money for the purpose. On return they launched a campaign for the contributions. Sethi Karim Bakhsh, a city businessman, Abdul Karim Khan and Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan donated Rs50,000, Rs10,000 and Rs1,000 respectively. The ruler of Dir State contributed Rs125000, in addition to 400 trees.
Several tribal elders and prominent religious scholars also donated cash money.
Renowned religious scholar and freedom fighter Maulana Fazal Wahid popularly known as Haji Sahib of Turangzai laid the foundation stone of the college mosque. The construction was started in 1911 over a land spread over 916 kanals and 17 marlas. It included an Arts college, a Daar-ul-Uloom with a hostel, a high school and three hostels, a mosque and residences for the principal and headmaster. The college opened admissions on October 1, 1913 for students to be admitted only to the first year and third year. Sahibzada Khurshid Khan a former governor of NWFP was the first ever student to get admission. Towards the end of the year, the number of students had reached 33. At the beginning, the college had to run with 10 faculty members, one clerk, one accountant, and two hostels namely Qayum Manzil and Hardinge.
Mr L. Tipping became the first principal while Allama Inayatullah Mashraqi was the vice principal. Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan, the founder of Islamia College, Peshawar used to be very careful about the academic excellence and physical beauty of the college. Sadly enough, some parts of the building are in depilated condition. The UNSECO officials during a visit to Peshawar had worked on its documentation two years ago and pledged to include the building in `World`s Heritage List` but the historic seat of learning needs immediate attention for proper renovation and preservation. The college now has 12 residential hostels, lush green lawns and 160 teaching staff with around 3,000 students. It has maintained its high academic standards since its inception and will hopefully continue to do so in future.