SIR SYED AHMED KHAN

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, one of the architects of the modern Sub Continent was born on October 17, 1817 in Delhi and started his career as a civil servant.

The 1857 revolt was one of the turning points in Syed Ahmed’s life. He clearly foresaw the imperative need for the Muslims to acquire proficiency in the English language and modern sciences, if the community were to maintain its social and political clout, particularly in Northern India.

He was one of those early pioneers who recognized the critical role of education in the empowerment of the poor and backward Muslim community. In more than one ways, Sir Syed was one of the greatest social reformers and a great national builder of modern India. He began to prepare the road map for the formation of a Muslim University by starting various schools. He instituted Scientific Society in 1863 to instill a scientific temperament into the Muslims and to make the Western knowledge available to Indians in their own language.

The Aligarh Institute Gazette, an organ of the Scientific Society, was launched in March 1866 and succeeded in agitating the minds in the traditional Muslim society. Anyone with a poor level of commitment would have backed off in theface of strong opposition but Sir Syed responded by bringing out another journal, Tehzibul Akhlaq which was rightly named in English as ‘Mohammedan Social Reformer’

In 1875, Sir Syed founded the Madarsatul Uloom in Aligarh and patterned the MAO College after Oxford and Cambridge universities that he went on a trip to London. His objective was to build a college in line with the British education system but without compromising its Islamic values.

He wanted this College to act as a bridge between the old andthe new, the East and the West. While he fully appreciated the need and urgency of imparting instruction based on Western learning, he was not oblivious to thevalue of oriental learning and wanted to preserve and transmit to posterity therich legacy of the past. Dr. Sir Mohammad Iqbal observes: “The real greatness of Sir Syed consists in the fact that he was the first Indian Muslim who felt the need of a fresh orientation of Islam and worked for it — his sensitive nature was the first to react to modern age”.

The aim of Sir Syed was not merely restricted to establishing a college at Aligarh but at spreading a network of Muslim Managed educational institutions throughout the length and breadth of the country keeping in view this end, he instituted All India Muslim Educational Conference that revived the spirit of Muslims at national level. The Aligarh Movement motivated the Muslims to help open a number of educational institutions. It was the first of its kind of such Muslim NGO in India, which awakened the Muslims from their deep slumber and infused social and political sensibility into them.

Sir Syed contributed many essential elements to the development of the modern society of the subcontinent. During Sir Syed’s own lifetime, ‘The Englishman’, a renowned British magazine of the 19th century remarked in a commentary on November 17, 1885: ‘Sir Syed’s life “strikingly illustrated one of the best phases of modern history”. He died on March 27, 1898 and lies buried next to the main mosque at AMU.

Aligarh Movement

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) was decidedly the most significant Muslim Social Reformer who emerged on the Indian subcontinent scene in the 19th century. His path-breaking thoughts and lifelong efforts were truly epoch-making; they brought about a renaissance of the Muslims as a distinct nation in the subcontinent and paved the way to the ultimate establishment of a well-deserved separate country for them.

Having ruled India for several hundred years, the Muslims did have a polity and social framework of their own, but it was rudely shattered as a result of the failure of the 1857 War of Independence. In the utter confusion and dejection that this fiasco generated, Sir Syed came up with a prescription that provided the Muslims with hope and sustenance for the future. The core of this prescription was a plea for modern education to prepare the youth for the challenges ahead. A monument to Sir Syed’s exceptional efforts to implement his proposals was the well-known Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental (M.A.O.) College established at Aligarh in 1875, which became the famous Muslim University in 1920. The driving force behind these Institutions was what is known as the Aligarh Movement. Initiated by Sir Syed and developed by relentless work by his associates and followers, the Movement is remarkably universal and abiding in its appeal and applicability. Its essence is education as the prime mover of modernization, progress and development, mainly as a self-reliant private effort. At the same time, it puts great emphasis on keeping intact the community’s

Own distinctive cultural identity and base. Holistic in its approach, the Movement gives equal importance to character building along with scholastic instruction.Pakistan owes to Sir Syed and to the Aligarh Movement in a special way. The country’s very concept evolved over time from the initial characterization by Sir Syed of the subcontinent as a nation. What later followed in the political arena in the form of the Pakistan Movement, was the very reflection of the Aligarh Movement.

In fact “the Aligarh Movement and the Pakistan Movement are complementary and inseparable”. The torch-bearers of the Aligarh Movement and the students of the Muslim University rendered an invaluable service to the struggle for Pakistan. When the Country came into being; those educated at Aligarh remained in the forefront to run the country at every level and in every walk of life. As many as five Heads of State and Prime Ministers of Pakistan were Aligarh’s Old Boys.

True to its representation of the essence of the Aligarh Movement, the Aligarh Muslim Old Boys’ Association of Pakistan has made distinctive efforts in the field of education in the country. A notable fruition of these efforts is the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, which does not merely carry Sir Syed’s name but also, endeavors to serve the cause of education and character building in the true Aligarh spirit.

Aligarh Muslim Univeristy Old Boy's Association (AMUOBA)

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) was decidedly the most significant Muslim Social Reformer who emerged on the Indian subcontinent scene in the 19th century. His path-breaking thoughts and lifelong efforts were truly epoch-making; they brought about a renaissance of the Muslims as a distinct nation in the subcontinent and paved the way to the ultimate establishment of a well-deserved separate country for them.

Having ruled India for several hundred years, the Muslims did have a polity and social framework of their own, but it was rudely shattered as a result of the failure of the 1857 War of Independence. In the utter confusion and dejection that this fiasco generated, Sir Syed came up with a prescription that provided the Muslims with hope and sustenance for the future. The core of this prescription was a plea for modern education to prepare the youth for the challenges ahead. A monument to Sir Syed’s exceptional efforts to implement his proposals was the well-known Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental (M.A.O.) College established at Aligarh in 1875, which became the famous Muslim University in 1920. The driving force behind these Institutions was what is known as the Aligarh Movement. Initiated by Sir Syed and developed by relentless work by his associates and followers, the Movement is remarkably universal and abiding in its appeal and applicability. Its essence is education as the prime mover of modernization, progress and development, mainly as a self-reliant private effort. At the same time, it puts great emphasis on keeping intact the community’s

Own distinctive cultural identity and base. Holistic in its approach, the Movement gives equal importance to character building along with scholastic instruction.Pakistan owes to Sir Syed and to the Aligarh Movement in a special way. The country’s very concept evolved over time from the initial characterization by Sir Syed of the subcontinent as a nation. What later followed in the political arena in the form of the Pakistan Movement, was the very reflection of the Aligarh Movement.

In fact “the Aligarh Movement and the Pakistan Movement are complementary and inseparable”. The torch-bearers of the Aligarh Movement and the students of the Muslim University rendered an invaluable service to the struggle for Pakistan. When the Country came into being; those educated at Aligarh remained in the forefront to run the country at every level and in every walk of life. As many as five Heads of State and Prime Ministers of Pakistan were Aligarh’s Old Boys.

True to its representation of the essence of the Aligarh Movement, the Aligarh Muslim Old Boys’ Association of Pakistan has made distinctive efforts in the field of education in the country. A notable fruition of these efforts is the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, which does not merely carry Sir Syed’s name but also, endeavors to serve the cause of education and character building in the true Aligarh spirit.