Aligarh Movement

In 1875, Sir Syed established Mohammedan Anglo Oriental School at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1877, the school was upgraded to the level of college which was inaugurated by Lord Lytton. The main characteristic of this college was that it offered both Western and Eastern educations. Later on, this college was raised to the level of university, after the death of Sir Syed in 1920.

In 1886, Sir Syed set up an organization which is known as Mohammedan Educational Conference, which presented a twelve-point programme in western and religious education in English and other languages. It aim was to convey the message of education to the Muslim masses. The Conference held its sessions at different towns of the country to know about the educational problems and then tried to solve them. The conference in its meeting discussed the modern techniques for the development and improvement of the standard of the education.

In 1866, Sir Syed established British India Association at Aligarh. The main purpose of this organization was to express the grievances and point of view of Indians to the British parliament. He also wrote “Loyal Muhammadans of India” in which he recorded a detailed account of the loyal services of the Muslims which they rendered to the British rulers. In 1870, Sir Syed, after his return from England, setup an organization known as “Anjuman-i-Taraqi-i-Muslamanan-i-Hind” in order to impart modern education to the Muslims of India.

Sir Syed wrote the philosophical commentary on Bible named as “Tabaeen-al-Kalam.” In this commentary Sir Syed draw out the similarities found between Islam and Chirstianity. He also wrote “Essay on the life of Muhammad” on the response to “Life of Muhammad”, written by William Muir, in which he had criticized the Holy Prophet. Sir Syed also wrote “Anjuman-i-Tariki-i-Urdu” for the protection of Urdu. Sir Syed published another influential magazine named as “Tahzib-ul-Akhlaaq” in which he discussed the Muslim society by criticizing the conservative way of living and emphasized on the new modern way of life.

Sir Syed, although, was the first Muslim member of Central Legislative Council, but he advised the Muslims to remain apart from politics unless and until they would get education. He believed that the cure of Muslim problems is only education and unless and until Muslims get education, they will remain backward in every sphere of life. Thus, Sir Syed did his best, through the Aligarh movement, for the Muslim cause, and took the support of British by showing loyalty to them and also aloof the Muslims from the Indian National Congress.

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