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Who was sir Syed Ahmed khan?

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is a visionary who paved the way for rationalist philosophy, changed the direction of education, and established the rules for modernist Urdu prose. He not only developed a new philosophy and pedagogy for public teaching and produced some amazing discursive prose, but he also changed people’s attitudes toward social, cultural, and national identity, particularly in the Muslim community. He was an iconoclast who supported a reasonable, scientific approach to life and made room for it over passionate sentimentalism. He became known and respected as one of the key reformers of contemporary India as he also had an impact on poets and writers. On October 17, 1817, Sir Syed was born in Delhi. His grandfather, Syed Hadi Alamgir, had a prominent position in the Mughal court, while his father, Syed Muttaqi Mohammad, served as an advisor to Akbar II.

His mother, Azizunnisa, was a stylish and well-educated woman who gave Syed special attention during his formative years. His maternal grandfather Khwaja Fariduddin gave him his early schooling, while his uncle Maulavi Mhammad Khalilullah taught him about the procedures of the courts.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the man who started a significant sociocultural and educational movement, died on March 27, 1898. He is interred within the boundaries of Aligarh Muslim University’s Jama Masjid. Sir Syed Ahmed was a personable individual who had time to be engaged in a variety of subjects thanks to his position in the judicial branch. At age 23, he began writing religious pamphlets, which was the beginning of his (Urdu) writing career.

He published a notable book on Delhi’s antiquities in 1847 called “Monuments of the Great,”. His pamphlet, “The Causes of the Indian Revolt,” was even more significant. He had sided with the British during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, but in this book, he skillfully and afraid exposed the flaws and mistakes of the British leadership that had caused discontent and a nationwide explosion. It was widely read by British officials and had a big impact on their policy.

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Religious Institutions

Institutions were jointly run by Muslims and Hindus and were for the benefit of all citizens. Developments that would change the trajectory of his actions happened in the late 1860s. He was relocated to Benares in 1867, a city on the Ganges that has significant religious significance to Hindus. A push to replace Urdu, the language developed by the Muslims, with Hindi began about the same period in Benares. Sayyid was persuaded by this movement and attempted to replace Urdu with Hindi in Scientific Society publications that the Muslim and Hindu pathways ought to part ways. As a result, when he made designs for a prestigious educational institution while visiting England in 1869–1870, they were for “a Muslim Cambridge.”The college advanced quickly despite conservative opposition to Sayed’s goals. The All-India Muhammadan Educational Conference was established by Sayyid in 1886. It gathered yearly at various locations to advance education and provide Muslims with a unified voice. It served as the main national hub for Indian Islam up until the Muslim League’s formation in 1906.

Aligarh Movement

During the latter decades of the 19th century, the Aligarh Movement pushed for the establishment of a contemporary system of Western-style scientific education for the Muslim population of British India. The movement’s name comes from the fact that it had its roots in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, namely with the establishment of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the creator of Oriental College and all other educational institutions that grew out of it. He rose to prominence within the larger Aligarh Movement. For the larger Movement, an Indian Muslim Renaissance with significant ramifications for politics, religion, culture, and society, the education reform provided a foundation and an impetus

The Mughal empire came to an end after the Revolt of 1857, and the British took over. In the years following the revolt, the condition of Muslim society was deteriorating. The Muslim society, according to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, is educationally, socially, and culturally backward. He attributed the decline of Muslim society to the current educational system. The movement Sir Syed started for the intellectual, educational, social, and cultural renewal of Muslim society was sparked as a result. After Sir Syed founded his school in Aligarh, which eventually served as the movement’s focal point, this movement became known as the Aligarh movement.


Education in its broadest sense was Sir Syed’s life’s greatest passion. He aimed to instill a scientific mindset in Indian Muslims and provide them with access to contemporary scientific information. He promoted modern education during a period when all Indians, and Indian Muslims in particular, believed it was sinful to get contemporary education, let alone English-language education. In 1858 and 1863, he started building schools, first in Moradabad and then in Ghazipur. The establishment of the Scientific Society, which published translations of several educational materials and published a journal in both Urdu and English, was a more ambitious project. The Hindus and Muslims jointly ran it for the benefit of all citizens. Certain changes presented problems to his work in the late 1860s. He was relocated to Benares in 1867, a city on the Ganges that has significant religious significance to Hindus.

Around the same time, there was a campaign in Benares to switch Urdu, the language of the Muslims, to Hindi. Syed was persuaded to take action by this campaign and attempted to translate Scientific Society materials from Urdu to Hindi. As a result, he created ideas for an excellent educational institution when visiting England in 1869–1870. A Muslim Cambridge, they were. Upon his return, he established a committee for the goal, as well as Tahzib al-Akhlaq, “Social Reform,” an influential publication dedicated to Muslim uplift and reform. In May 1875, a Muslim school was founded in Aligarh. After he retired in 1876, Sir Syed committed himself to turn the school into a college.

The Viceroy placed the college’s cornerstone in January 1877. Despite opposition to Syed’s initiatives, the college advanced quickly. Syed founded the All-India Muhammadan Educational Conference in 1886, which met yearly at various locations to advance education and give Muslims a unified voice. Syed encouraged Muslims to put their attention on education rather than active politics. In general, Muslims took his advice and avoided politics. Even now, this guidance is still relevant. For the benefit of the underprivileged Muslim population, we must focus more on education. Numerous investigations have stated unequivocally that Muslims are more economically and educationally behind than non-Muslims. Syed Ahmed Khan expressed anxiety about Indian Muslims’ ability to adjust to the intellectual and political shift brought on by Western control throughout his life.

His first task was to rewrite Islamic doctrine to harmonize it with modern Western science and education. In various writings on Islam, he made the case that because the holy Quran was founded on a profound respect for reason and natural law, Muslims could participate in scientific research. He frequently wrote about these topics in his journals, the Mohammedan Social Reformer and the Aligarh Institute Gazette, along with a plea for Muslim education.Similarly East ,West is creating new educational facilities through tuition centre in Croydon  and providing tutors throughout the city to help out underprivileged neighborhoods.


Sir Syed has made significant contributions to the advancement and empowerment of Muslims. He had time to be engaged in numerous disciplines thanks to his job in the judicial branch. At age 23, he began his career as an Urdu author. He published a significant book on Delhi’s ancient remains in 1847 called “Monuments of the Great.” His pamphlet “The Causes of the Indian Revolt” was far more significant. He had a strong and ongoing interest in religion.

He devoted himself to writing several volumes of a modernist commentary on the holy Quran in addition to writing about the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In these writings, he demonstrated how the Islamic faith could coexist with forward-thinking political and scientific concepts of the day.


Sir Syed worked for the government and was a scholar. A major turning point in his life was the 1857 uprising. He produced the following notable works:

“ASARUS SANADEED” is an archaeological masterpiece that offers a wealth of knowledge about the numerous historical sites in Delhi that date back to the eight hundred years of Muslim rule. In 1847, this book was released. “ASBAB-E-BAGHAWAT-E-HIND” – (The reasons of Indian Revolt) (The causes of Indian Revolt) After the 1857 uprising and after witnessing the horrors the British committed against the people of Delhi, this book was released in 1859. He witnessed the passing of an aunt, a cousin, and an uncle. He managed to save his mother, but the suffering she had endured caused her death. The majority of the government’s ire was directed against Muslims.

The Scientific Society’s publication THE ALIGARH INSTITUTE GAZETTE was established in 1866. It forced the populace to reflect and exercise wisdom. The phrase “TEHZIB-UL-AKHLAQ” was successful in helping people understand the importance of current knowledge. Additionally, it provided Muslims with new social and political perspectives.


Sir Syed’s Aligarh Movement, which was purely an educational endeavor, was his greatest accomplishment. In 1859 and 1863, he founded schools in Moradabad and Ghazipur, respectively. In 1864, he also established a scientific society. Sir Syed established the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental School at Aligarh when he was appointed there in 1867. He saw and respected the British educational system while he was in England in 1869.

Sir Syed desired that MAO College serve as a link between the previous and new systems. “A true Muslim must have the holy Quran in one hand and science in the other,” he famously said. The Aligarh Muslim University now offers a variety of courses, including those in medicine, engineering, science, the arts, management, and languages.

Sir Syed wanted to empower individuals and promote education throughout the nation by creating educational institutions everywhere. His goal was not merely to build a college in Aligarh. To do this, he founded a group called the “All India Muslim Educational Conference.” It encouraged the Muslims to start a lot of schools throughout India. Even while the Indian Muslim community has made some significant strides in the field of education, they still have a long way to go before they reach the objective that Sir Syed had envisioned. We Muslims can only further enhance our educational and economic conditions with Sir Syed’s vision and zeal. Therefore, we must resurrect the Aligarh movement to adequately convey to the populace the importance of contemporary education.

A Revolution In Education

Muslims in the nation, particularly in South India, were affected by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s Aligarh movement. The following, among other things, is mentioned in the souvenir published to mark the Ambur Muslim Educational Society’s centennial celebration on September 4, 2006 The Mohammedan (later Muslim) Educational Conference was organized by Sir Syed. To track the community’s educational needs, its branches were built in cities and towns. This conference used to take place yearly in several significant national cities and spread the word about contemporary education far and wide.

The Conference’s fifth session, held at Madras in 1901, sent shockwaves through the South. The Muslims of the Madras presidency, like their brethren in other regions of the nation, were hostile to the English educational system, which caused them to lag behind other citizens in the public sector. The Conference was inspired by Nawab Mohsinul Mulk Mohsinud Dowla of Aligarh as he recounted the tale of adventure that Sir Syed had created in the North. As a result of the Aligarh movement, Tamil Nadu saw the emergence of numerous educational institutions.

By Allah’s favor, Tamil Nadu now has 11 (eleven) fully functional engineering colleges, hundreds of science and art colleges, higher secondary schools, and elementary schools. Numerous Muslim organizations, such as the All India Islamic Foundation, Sadaq Trust, South India Education Trust, Muslim Educational Association of Southern India, Ambur Muslim Educational Society, Vaniyambadi Muslim Educational Society, etc., have been instrumental in establishing institutions and providing modern education to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

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Kevin Peter