Written By Khuleed Bin Mehboob
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a person who proved to be a dynamic force in educating the Muslims of the sub-continent with the modern scientific education in the nineteenth-century, was a social reformist and an educationist. In the form of the vibrant Aligarh movement, he stimulated the Muslims’ spirit of renaissance lost after the war of independence in 1857 against the British. For example, the creation of scientific society and publication of the ethical magazine Tehzib-ul-akhlaq, served as a new guiding light for the dormant Muslims. Therefore, he, significantly highlighting the societal make or break element – education, let the Muslims achieved the social and education equivalence to the British. This article ill further signifies Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s revolutionary services.
According to history, the war of independence happened as a nightmare for the Muslims of the sub-continent. Although the Muslims lost their eminent position as a result of war, it was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who wisely analyzed the then-contemporary Muslims’ backwardness and deplorable condition. Practically, he demonstrated to the Muslims the Western education trends, the scientific and critical reasoning approach, and the tolerant attitude; he created in them the understanding to reconcile with the British, as the Hindus did, to acquire a due status, enjoyed by others. Consequently, the Muslims – benefiting from the Aligarh movement – made themselves organized as a separate identity.
Education services of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
Followings are the education services provided by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to the Muslims of the sub-continent:
By setting up a school (Madrassa) during his service in Moradabad in 1859, he paved the way for the Muslims’ education development through teaching Persian and English Languages. Besides, he established a famous scientific society at Ghazipur in 1864 to translate modern English knowledge to Urdu and Persian. The latter succeeded in publishing a bilingual journal “Aligarh Institute Gazette” to arise cordial sentiments between the British and the Muslims. To further impart quality education, Sir Syed Ahmed khan, after returning from England, constituted Anjuman-i-Taraqi-i-Muslamanan-i-Hind to provide modern education access.
Taking these initials, he established a monumental institute named Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental High School, an English and modern knowledge center particularly for the Muslims at Aligarh in 1875. The superiority of this institute over others lies in the fact that Oxford and Cambridge Universities’ education pattern was implemented in MAO High School. Not only was the School focused on Western education, but Eastern education also was taught. Moreover, Islamic studies was a must. Later, MAO High School was upgraded to MAO College in 1877 and further to Aligarh University in 1920. MAO College proved to be a productive institute in the form of great leaders, like Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk, Maulana Shibli Nomani, and Maulana Hali, who struggled to seek freedom for the Muslims.
Social services of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
The fact that the Muslims of the sub-continent were wretched socially made Sir Syed worked for their social uplift. He, therefore, published a periodical Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq to criticize the conditions the Muslims were living in. He highlighted that the Muslims must adopt the modern ways of living, abandoning the conservative and orthodox standards. Furthermore, he formed many orphan houses to look after the Muslims’ children since the Christian missionaries were forcing them to accept Christianity.
Additionally, Sir Syed acted as a survivor of Urdu, which was facing hindrance from English. He gave new prose writing format in Urdu literature to articulate different ideas simply; he constituted Anjuman-i-Tariki-i-Urdu for protecting the Urdu works. To cut the differences between the Muslims and the British off, he wrote Ahkam-i-Ta’am-i-Ahle-Kitab – a magazine. This magazine proved from the Quranic verses that to eat with the bearer of a Holy book is not against Islam’s very teachings. Therefore, Sir Syed was keen to reconcile both the British and the Muslims, while knowing the deplorable Muslims’ situation, to bring them economically, socially, and academically up.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s contributions towards the uplift of the sub-continent Muslims who were experiencing the British’s wrath after 1857 independence war helped the Muslims revive their identity. He aimed to form modern India, particularly focusing on the Muslims. Through his movement, the Muslims came up with the spirit of separate identity as the other communities were at that time. Thus, it is true to say that the Muslims duly felt the acumen of an independent identity. Presently, with the advancing modern studies trends, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s education reforms are needed to be applied in a contemporary way to impart purposive education.
To conclude, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan served his life in the uplift of the sub-continent Muslims by bringing education and social reforms needed at that time. Stressing the modern education as a success tool, he established scientific institutes to help the Muslims become economically sound and socially strong. In short, to win back the Muslim’s status in Indian, Sir Syed took the responsibility and enlightened a path that provided the Muslims with architecture to have their own independent identities.
About the writer:
Mr Khuleed Bin Mehboob is one of the bonafide students of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. He is an engineer by profession. He is a competent writer working to assist the students of competitive exams. He is, moreover, committed to gather relevant and research-based data needed by the competitive aspirations.
Name of the Student: Mr Khuleed Bin Mehboob
Total Articles/Blogs: 1
English Coach: Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Course Taken: Creative English Writing & Article Writing
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