Aligarh Movement injected a new life into the dead body of the Muslim nation and helped to regain its lost glory and prestige. Discuss.

Aligarh Movement injected a new life into the dead body of the Muslim nation and helped to regain its lost glory and prestige. Discuss.

The following article is written by Daniyal Sarwar, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Therefore, to help thousands of CSS and PMS aspirants who visit Cssprepforum and Howfiv for better preparation, Sir Syed Kazim Ali has uploaded this article so they can understand how to crack a topic or a question, how to write relevantly, what is coherence, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, an educationist, reformer, social activist, and man of letters played a significant role for the Muslims of the subcontinent through the Aligarh movement. Ironically, Muslims had been deteriorating socially, politically, and economically from Britishers. However, Sir Syed came as a bright spark for them and emphasis on western education, society, and other shortcomings of Muslims.


  • ✓ The decline of the Mughal empire
  • ✓ War of Independence 1857
  • ✓ British harsh treatment of Muslims socially, politically, and economically

Result of Brtish policies 

  • ✓ Muslims self-isolated themselves
  • ✓ Substitution of Persian with English
  • ✓ Hindus accepted British policies
  • ✓ Muslim through out of jobs

Main objectives of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

  • ✓ To remove mistrust between Brtish and Muslims
  • ✓ Convince Muslims to acquire modern western scientific education
  • ✓ All sections of society participate in education

Services of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Educational Services 

  • ✓ School at Muradbad in 1859
  • ✓ Established Scientific society in 1863
  • ✓ School at Ghazipur in 1863
  • ✓ Mao school and college in 1875-77
  • ✓ Muhammadan educational conference in 1886

Social and religious services

  • ✓ Khutbat-e-Ahmadia: wrote against William Muir
  • ✓ Tabeen-e-Kalam: similarities between Muslims and Christianity.
  • ✓ Tazeeb-ul-Akhlaq: taught a new way of living to Muslims
  • ✓ Anjuman Urdu: work for the progress of Urdu
  • ✓ Akham Taam-e-the Kitab: Islamic way of dining and reading

Political services

  • ✓ Muslim British compromise
  • ✓ Wrote cause of Indian revolt
  • ✓ Wrote loyal Muhammadan India
  • ✓ Believer in two nation theory

Critical Analysis 


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, an educationist, social activist, Muslim pragmatist, and man of letters, played a crucial role for the Muslims of the subcontinent through the efforts of the Aligarh movement. The then situation of the subcontinent was not so well because of the decline of the Mughal empire and also due to the War of Independence, and Muslims lost the war; as a consequence, the British took control all over the subcontinent. After the War of Independence in 1857, the British considered Muslims their sole enemy; therefore, they started harsh treatment of Muslims socially, politically, and economically. As a result of British policies, Muslims self-isolated themselves; however, Hindus accepted British policies. In addition, Sir Syed Ahmad khan came as a torchbearer for Muslims. His main objectives were to remove mistrust between the British and Muslims and convenience Muslims to acquire western education. Considerably, due to all situations of Muslims, Sir Syed rendered valuable services to Muslims, which had a far-reaching impact on Muslims. First, he provided educational services, such as establishing several educational institutions at Murdabad, Ghazipur, and MAO school and college. As far as social and religious services were concerned, he wrote several books, including social, political, and religious domains. Similarly, he also contributed to political domains by giving two nation theory, the British Muslim compromise, and writing the reason behind the Indian revolt in the 1857 war. Therefore, the Aligarh movement uplifted Muslims in social, political, and other domains with the effort of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

“To the Muslim community, Sir Syed was and is like an eye which weeps for the suffering of any or every part of the body.”

The then situation of the subcontinent 

Sadly, the situation that prevailed during that time was terrible and not up to the mark. First of all, the Mughal empire had declined and ended up nailing the coffin. Then, both Hindus and Muslims subsequently fought a war of independence in 1857, but Brtish we’re openly hostile and suspicious of the Muslims. After the war, the British took control of India and made frequent policy changes. Similarly, the British regarded Muslims as their sole enemy; consequently, they started harsh treatment of them through their jobs and property snatched, the Persian language being replaced by English, and the Muslim educational system also ended them. Thus, it can be anticipated that Muslims had been in full bed of thrones, and British policies even worsened their conditions.

Results of Brtish policies

Notably, British policies were a significant and far-reaching impact on Muslims. For instance, revengeful measures taken by the British resulted in disempowering the whole community economically, morally, and politically. As a result, discouraged and humiliated, the community went into self-isolation. After that, the fluctuation of Persian with English as the state language was an economic calamity for the Muslims. For example, Persian was not only a source of income for them but also an identity marker, the court language, and a symbol of a glorious past. However, the Hindus quickly realized that they were introduced by the British and became close allies of their new masters.

On the one hand, the British educational plan distributed the self-help system prevalent in India for centuries. But on the other hand, Muslims also throughout jobs due to a lack of education. Hence, it can be observed that British double standard policies made them a dog in the manager in the subcontinent.

“If a politician wanted to create a sensation in the House of Commons, he could do it by relating to the conditions of a single Muslim family of Bengal”


Main objectives of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Considerably, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had convinced the Muslims that lack of education was the leading cause of their backwardness and addressed the problems in these three areas. First, he had to focus on the policy of reconciliation by removing mistrust between the Muslims and the British. Hence, he feared that if the Muslims did not change their attitude, they would be annihilated from all spheres by the Hindus and British. For instance, he wrote about loyal Muhammadan Indian and the causes of the Indian revolt to remove misconceptions between Muslims and the British. Next to it, he had to persuade Muslims to participate in their emancipation, and the most significant hurdle in this way was to bring them out of isolation. Their orthodox rigidity and fanaticism were a stumbling block in their way to success. Moreover, Sir Syed feared that if they continued to boycott modern scientific education, they would leave behind economically and politically. Thereafter, he advocates that all classes of society must acquire modern scientific education. Consequently, it can be perceived that Sir Syed Ahmad khan anticipated Muslims through a square deal of western education that had been needed for an hour.

Services of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Educational Services 

Sir Syed was a great educationist and man of bright spark; therefore, he had a strong passion for education. He encouraged the advantages of the western educational system and criticized the influence of traditional dogma and religious orthodoxy, which had made Muslims suspicious of British influence. First, he established a modern madrassah in Muradabad in 1859. This was the first religious school to impart scientific education as well as he also established a school in Ghazipur in 1864. Second, he founded a scientific society in 1864 at Aligarh, and the society’s main purpose was to translate a foreign book into the local language. Moreover, the scientific society launched the Aligarh institute gazette on March 3, 1866, and it was meant to project views on social_moral_poltical_and educational matters. Third, he established MAO school and college in 1875-77, which later developed into a university in 1920. Furthermore, it was envisaged on the pattern of Oxford and Cambridge universities which Sir Syed had visited in 1869; therefore, both Hindus and Muslims were taught Urdu, Persian, and Arabic with English. Likewise, Hali states: that in a very short time, the college had done much to raise the standard of Muslim education. Fourth, to create awareness among all Muslims of India, he laid the foundation of the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference in 1886. The primary purpose was for Muslims to stay away from politics and get western education as soon as possible. Therefore, it can be anticipated that no single individual had a greater responsibility for recovering Muslim degeneration after the War of Independence and adjusting them to the western educational model than Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

Social and religious services 

As far as social and religious services were concerned, they had been rendered by the staunch effort of Sir Syed. First, he wrote Khutbat-e-Ahmadia against the criticism of William Muir in his book the life of Muhammad; therefore, Sir Syed decided to write such an authentic book that provides satisfactory answers to all questions raised by Muir. After that, he wrote Tabeen-al-kalam, which provides a comparative study of the Quran and the Bible and its interpretation. Next to it, he further wrote Tahzeebul Akhlaq, and the purpose of this magazine was to motivate Muslims to acquire civilization to its perfection to neutralize the hatred and adopt a new way of living. In the same fashion, he not only worked for the Anjuman Urdu progress but also wrote Akham-e-tam to adopt the Islamic way of life. Consequently, it can be identified that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan washed off the dust of centuries and melted the ice of rigidity that had made Muslims moribund.

“The real greatness of the man (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 modern age.”


Political Services 

Notably, Sir Syed rendered great political services to the Muslim community. Subsequently, he wanted a British-Muslim compromise, so he wrote the causes of an Indian revolt. Likewise, he viewed the so-called mutiny as a racial misunderstanding and administrative blunder; therefore, the whole Muslim community should not be penalized for what was a lone act of a disgruntled group. In the same way, he wrote Loyal Muhammadan India to remove misconceptions between rulers and the ruled. For instance, in this pamphlet, he drew the attention of the critics to the services of Muslim families, who saved the lives of many Englishmen, women, and children at risk of their own life. Last but not least, Before the Urdu Hindi controversy, Sir Syed believed that the two nations were like two eyes of a beautiful bride. However, several incidents, such as the Vernacular press act, the Albert bill of 1882, establishment of the Indian National Congress, paved the way for the two-nation theory. Hence, it can be discerned that Sir Syed, one of the greatest reformers of our times, was destined to shape the destiny of Indian Muslims and change the course of history.

“We are the same crop, drink water from the same river, and breathe the same air. In the same fashion, Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan, and the weaknesses of any of them will spoil the bride’s beauty.”

(Sir Syed Ahmad Khan)

Critical analysis 

Significantly, the Aligarh movement injected a new life into the Muslim nation’s dead body and helped regain its lost glory and prestige. Moreover, he denounced nationalist organizations, such as the Indian National Congress, instead of forming organizations to promote Muslim unity and pro-Brtish attitudes and activities. Similarly, he lifted the Muslims from the depths of despair to hope and faith and made them match in the direction of modernity. In the same way, he laid more emphasis on the people than on the government, more on the mind than on the matter, more on realism than on idealism, and more on liberalism than on conservatism. According to Ishtiaq Hussein Qureshi, Syed Ahmad’s contribution to the Muslim renaissance in India can be summed up in one phrase: the inculcation of self-confidence in his people. Hence, it can be identified that his contributions washed off the dust of centuries and melted the ice of rigidity that had made the Muslim moribund.


In a final analysis, it can be said that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan played a role of a bright spark during the ill conditions of the Muslims. Correspondingly, he focused on education, which built the superstructure of his religious, social, and political ideas. On the one hand, he stressed social and religious shortcomings through his writings; on the other hand, he significantly impacted Brtish. He not only revived Muslim lost glory but also made them aware of moderation. On the whole, it can be observed that the Aligarh movement created new trends and impulses in the life of Muslims; hence it was fundamentally a cultural movement aiming to regenerate liberal values of literature, social life, religion, and education.

“Two agents cause every political phenomenon: circumstances and personalities; the man who moulded the circumstances or acted with the tide of events(for both are the same things); Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

(KK Aziz’s bookmaking of Pakistan)

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