Govt. Islamia College, Lahore was founded in 1892 in a two-room upper story of Haveli Munshi Harsukh at Sheranwala Gate, Lahore. The team of Lahorities who initiated this humble project had scanty resources but possessed passion, compassion, and foresight in abundance. The college continued to teach and train students in this humble condition for almost eight years. In 1900, degree classes commenced. This upgradation was a considerable achievement in that unspeakable circumstances looking at the slim resources some people looked down upon this step but the passion for educating the sons of poor Muslims prevailed and in the way of the same spirit arrangements were made for teaching Arabic at postgraduate level in 1905. In 1904 the college was shifted to a private building at Railway Road, Lahore.
In 1907 Sardar Habibullah Khan, the ruler of Afghanistan, laid the foundation stone of Islamia College, Lahore at Railway Road where it stands today — an area of about ten acres. The zealots who were ebullient to see the dreams come true were not exhausted then. They motivated the masses, appealed to the charitable and sent their representatives to every nook and crevice to contact all and sundry for promoting this noble cause.
It was not until 1912 that it became possible to shift classes in this new building Habibia Hall, a tribute to our benefactor, stands in the middle with rows of rooms, laboratories and, library on its both sides. Cresent (Jinnah) hostel was built in the left behind the main building of the college. Later owing to an overwhelming number of candidates graduate and postgraduate classes were shifted in a building that was known as DVA College. This now exists as separate college, though it was originally a branch of Govt. Islamia College, Lahore. It is now called as Govt. Islamia College Civil Lines because it is situated opposite to the Police Civil Lines behind the district courts.
However, Govt. Islamia College (Railway Road), Lahore continued to serve the community-mainly Muslims. During Movement of Pakistan, this college was a strong center of verve and valor. According to annals during Pakistan Movement Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad All Jinnah visited Lahore 14 times and eleven times he came to Islamia College for he reposed great confidence in the enthusiasms, energy, and devotion of the Students of Islamia College Lahore.
They were not only the vanguards of Pakistan Movement but also the bodyguards of Quaid-e-Azam. More than ow,
took up this delicate and onerous responsibility and stood like a lead wall between Quaid and threats. In addition to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad All Jinnah, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the poet of the East, also visited college many times and by reading his inspiring poetry in Habibia Hall of the college infused a spirit in the students of that time. Apart from these honors, Govt. Islamia College, Lahore enjoys this honor that Allama Muhammad Iqbal joined the college’s teaching faculty for some time. In 1941 first Pakistan conference was held in Govt. Islamia College Lahore under auspices of Muslim Students Federation which was formally opened by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad All Jinnah. It was in this conference that Lahore resolution was termed as Pakistan Resolution.
Principalship of Sir Henry Martin, Dr. Muhammad Taseer, (The first Muslim doctor of English Literature in subcontinent) Allama Abdullah Yousaf Ali, who translated the Holy Quran into English, Khawaja Dil Muhammad etc. and in invaluable and immeasurable skill of the teaching faculty produced luminaries who scintillated on the world horizon and not only added luster to the brilliance of the college but also lit the darkness prevailing in the world. Ch. Rehmat Ali who suggested the name of our homeland, Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, a veteran politician, Hammed Nizami, the top-ranked in the realm of journalism, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, the first skipper of Pakistan’s cricket team, Fazal Mahmood, the devastating bowler, Nasir Kazmi, Highly sensitive and musical poet, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, a seasoned parliamentarian are only a few examples to mention.
Before its centenary in 1992, a computer block was built to meet the coming digital modern age laboratories for B.Sc. Classes were also shifted in this block and a big hall and its basement was allocates he Heal and Physical Education Department. Simultaneously a post graduate block was set up along the left c ner of the ground where the classes for masters in English and Urdu have been conducted since then. The college is still playing its roles of enkindling a flame of commitment and patriotism in the hearts of young students.
Presently this college is catering the education to 3400 students and 125 highly Qualified and experienced faculty members are on strength of this prestigious institution.