Syed Ahmed Khan (1817 1898) Essay

1618 words - 7 pages

Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) was a Muslim religious leader, educationalist, and politician. He contributed to the intellectual and institutional foundation of Muslim modernization in southern Asia.

Ideology of Pakistan derives its strength from the Two Nation Theory first propounded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in the 19th Century. It gained strength when in 1930 Sir Mohammed Iqbal spoke of the growing problems of Muslims in the sub-continent and his vision of a separate Muslim homeland. The dream came true under the dynamic and pragmatic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah who had finally concluded that the fundamental differences between Hindus and Muslim of the Subcontinent could ...view middle of the document...

This college made rapid progress.
In 1886, Sir Syed organized the All-India Muhammadan Educational Conference, which met annually to promote education and to provide Muslims with a common platform. His works are given as below,
• Asbab-e-Baghawath-e-Hind (Causes of the Indian Revolt)
• Khutba'at-e-Ahmadia (Lectures by Ahmed)
• Partial Commentary on the Holy Bible (First by a Muslim)
• Biography of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
Magazines he started
• Tehzib-ul-Ikhlaq
• Scientific Society Magazine
• Ain-i-Akbari
Institutions he founded
• Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, later the Aligarh Muslim University.
Organizations he founded
• Mohammadan Educational Conference

Social Efforts
In 1876, some Hindus began to demand that Hindi should be made an official language in place of Urdu. Communal violence broke out as firebrands took up the issue. Sir Syed had once stated, "I look to both Hindus and Muslims with the same eyes & consider them as my own eyes. By the word nation, I only mean Hindus and Muslims and nothing else. We Hindus and Muslims live together under the same soil under the same government. Our interest and problems are common and therefore I consider the two factions as one nation." Speaking to Mr. Shakespeare, the governor of Banaras, after the language controversy heated up, he said, "I am now convinced that the Hindus and Muslims could never become one nation as their religion and way of life was quite distinct from one and other."
While continuing to work as a jurist, Sir Syed began focusing on writing on various subjects, mainly in Urdu. His career as an author began when he published a series of treatises in Urdu on religious subjects in 1842. His work earned him the reputation of a cultured scholar. His works focused on religious and cultural subjects. He also penned a commentary on the Bible — the first by a Muslim — in which he argued that Islam was the closest religion to Christianity, with a common lineage from Abrahamic religions.
Acquainted with high-ranking British officials, Sir Syed obtained close knowledge about British colonial politics during his service at the courts. At the outbreak of the Indian rebellion, on May 10 1857, Sir Syed was serving as the chief assessment officer at the court in Bijnor. The violence and the ending of the Mughal dynasty amongst many other long-standing kingdoms personally affected Sir Syed. Sir Syed and many other Muslims took this as a defeat of Muslim society. He lost several close relatives who died in the violence. Although he succeeded in rescuing his mother from the turmoil, she died in Meerut, owing to the privations she had experienced.
Sir Syed blamed the British East India Company for its aggressive expansion as well as the ignorance of British politicians regarding Indian culture. However, he gained respect for British power, which he felt would dominate India for a long period. Seeking to rehabilitate Muslim...

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