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Contribution Of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Relevance of his ideas Today

Pakistan Studies
Submitted by:Muhammad.Usman (9043)

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Contents
Early Life and Education of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan ........................................................................................ 3 An Architect of Modern India ................................................................................................................... 4 Contribution of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan .......................................................................................................... 4 Sir syeds Contribution to Education......................................................................................................... 5 Father of Aligarh movement ..................................................................................................................... 5 Sir syed Ahmad Khans Contribution to Politics........................................................................................ 6 Sir Syeds Contribution to religion. ........................................................................................................... 8 Sir Syeds Contribution to Social Life ........................................................................................................ 8 Relevance Of Sir Syed Ahmad Khans ideas .................................................................................................. 9 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................... 9

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Early Life and Education of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan


The greatest Muslim reformer and statesman of the 19th Century, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born in Delhi on October 17, 1817. His family on the maternal and paternal side had close contacts with the Mughal court. His maternal grandfather, Khwajah Farid was a Wazir in the court of Akbar Shah II. His paternal grandfather Syed Hadi held a mansab and the title of Jawwad Ali Khan in the court of Alamgir II. His father, Mir Muttaqi, had been close to Akbar Shah since the days of his prince-hood. Syed Ahmad's mother, Aziz-un-Nisa, took a great deal of interest in the education and upbringing of her son. She imposed a rigid discipline on him and Sir Syed himself admitted that her supervision counted for much in the formation of his character. The early years of Sir Syed's life were spent in the atmosphere of the family of a Mughal noble. There was nothing in young Syed's habits or behavior to suggest that he was different from other boys, though he was distinguished on account of his extraordinary physique. As a boy he learnt swimming and archery, which were favorite sports of the well-to-do class in those days. Sir Syed received his education under the old system. He learnt to read the Quran under a female teacher at his home. After this, he was put in the charge of Maulvi Hamid-ud-Din, the first of his private tutors. Having completed a course in Persian and Arabic, he took to the study of mathematics, which was a favorite subject of the maternal side of his family. He later became interested in medicine and studied some well-known books on the subject. However, he soon

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gave it up without completing the full course. At the age of 18 or 19 his formal education came to an end but he continued his studies privately. He started taking a keen interest in the literary gatherings and cultural activities of the city. The death of his father in 1838 left the family in difficulties. Thus young Syed was compelled at the early age of 21 to look for a career. He decided to enter the service of the East India Company. He started his career as Sarishtedar in a court of law. He became Naib Munshi in 1839 and Munshi in 1841. In 1858 he was promoted and appointed as Sadar-us-Sadur at Muradabad. In 1867 he was promoted and posted as the judge of the Small Causes Court. He retired in 1876. He spent the rest of his life for Aligarh College and the Muslims of South Asia

An Architect of Modern India


History of social and educational reforms in Indian sub-continent cannot be completed without Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. He is one of the great thinker, philosopher and revolutionaries who had dedicated his complete life for his nation and especially for his community. Nineteenth century was a hard time for the nation of India and especially for Muslims in the aftermath of 1857 revolt against British colonialism. Sir Syed tried and motivated Indian Muslim. In the history of Indias transition from medievalism to modernism, Sir Syed stand out prominently as a dynamic force pitted against conservatism, superstitions, inertia and ignorance. He contributed many of the essential elements to the development of modern India and paved the growth of a healthy scientific attitude of mind which is sine qua non for advancement, both material and intellectual. Sir Syed said : After the Revolt of 1857, I was grieved neither on account of the plunder of my house nor on account of the loss of property that I had suffered.

Contribution of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan


Contributions of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan for the welfare of the people of India especially Muslims were a lot. His most important contributions were in the field of education, politics, religion and society. After the War of independence when British completely took over India the situation of Indians especially Muslims were very bad. Muslims were down and out. They were punished by the British, their properties were snatched, many Muslim were killed and they were not getting any jobs.

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In this situation Sir Syed Ahmad Khan decided to work for the well being of the Muslims and devoted his life for this purpose.

Sir syeds Contribution to Education.


Sir syed Ahmad khan realized that the condition of Muslim could not be improved without a revolution of their attitude towards education. He awakened the Muslims and armed them with the weapon of modern education. He believes that modern education will open windows for them and revive them. He realized that Muslims of India are backward and not getting jobs because they are not acquiring modern education. He thinks that if Muslims had to prosper they need to acquire modern education. His contribution to education is innumerable. Sir syed Ahmad Khan laid down foundation of Persian school at Muradabad (UP) where English language was taught. In 1864 he established another school Victoria school in Ghazipur. While setting up schools and preparing their curriculum he realized that Indian languages lacked useful literature (Philosophy, science) contained in the language of west. He tried to supply this deficiency by establishing a scientific society at Ghazipur in 1863. Its objective was to translate the literature of English, Arabic and Persian into Urdu. On March 1866 published a weekly magazine. In 1869 Sir syed Ahmad Khan went to England. During his stay he thoroughly studied British Universities and the University of Cambridge and Oxford impressed him the most. This visit provided him an opportunity to think over and give a final shape to his plan of establishing a similar institute in India.

Father of Aligarh movement


Based on the education system at Cambridge an Oxford Sir Syed Ahmad khan founded a Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College (MAOC) at Aligarh in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and subsequently raised to the status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 1920. Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), known more as a movement than an academic institution is one of the most important chapters of Indian history as far as the sociology of Hindu-Muslim relation is concerned. Sir Syed said: This is the first time in the history of Mohammedans neither of India, that a college owes it nor to the charity or love of learning of an individual, nor to the spending patronage of a monarch, but to the combined wishes and the united efforts of a whole community. It has its own origin in course which the history of this county has never witnessed before. It is based on principles of toleration and progress such as find no parallel in the annals of the east. Sir Syed famous speech which he made while foundation of MAO College was laid down by Lord Lytton on 18th January, 1877 is the soul of Aligarh Movement. Sir Syed said: from the seed which we sow today, there may spring up a mighty tree, whose branches, like those of the banyan of the soil, shall in

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their turn strike firm roots into the earth, and themselves send forth new and vigorous saplings. With the establishment of MAO College the dream of Sir syed Ahmad Khan was taking tangible shape. Many students of this college would be the part of Pakistan movement. Many well known people got their education from this institute. Aligarh Institute became the centre of Muslim education.

Sir syed Ahmad Khans Contribution to Politics.


It is not surprising that in the initial writings and speeches, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan laid stress upon the unity of Hindus and Muslims. He started his political career with the belief that Hindus an Muslims and common interests, being the inhabitants of the same land. In the beginning therfore his policies were directed towards the achievements of certain common goals. In the speech which he delivered at Patna on 27 January, 1983 he said: Now both of us live on the air of India, drink the holy waters of Ganga and Jumna. We both feed upon the products of the Indian soil. We are together in life and death; living in India both of us have changed our blood, the color of bodies has become the same, our features have become similar; the Mussalmans have adopted numerous Hindu customs; the Hindus have accepted many Muslim traits of conduct. We are a nation, and the progress and welfare of the country and of both of us; depend on our country, mutual sympathy, and love, while our mutual disagreement, obstinacy and opposition and ill feeling are sure to destroy us. He once said: By the word 'qwam', I mean both Hidus and Muslims. That is the way in
which I define the word nation (Qwam)

This saying of Sir Syed Further solidifies that he was the proponent of Hindu Muslim Unity:
Remember that the words Hindu and Mahamedan are only meant for religious distinctionotherwise all persons, whether Hindus or Mohammedans, even the Christians who reside in this country, are all in this particular respect belonging to one and the same nation.

Further he compared Hindus and Muslims to the two eyes of a beautiful bird whose face would be disgraceful if either one or the other is injured.
India is like a bride which has got two beautiful and lustrous eyes Hindus and Musalmans.

But in 1867, The Hindi- Urdu Controversy began with some outstanding Hindus of benaras, which directed the course of political activities, demanding of Urdu by Hindi as the court language. The Hindu resented Urdu because it developed during the period of Muslim rule in India. Many Hindu organization supported the demand.

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Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who was then posted as a judicial officer, was deeply perturbed. To him the demand represented not only the rejection of the mixed culture of Hindustan, but a rejection of the elements which, for over a thousand years had made India their home. Sir syed Ahmad Khan felt that if the Hindus and Muslims could not agree on the choice of national language, it is impossible for Hindus and Muslims to progress as a single nation and for anyone to work for both of them simultaneously. In 1872 Hindi was made the court language It was after this Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Presented his two nations Theory. He believed that Hindus and Muslim are separate nation having their own culture, language and civilization

According to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Muslim suffered greatly because of the Bad opinion which British had for them. They must now make friends with the rulers and develop their own strength. For this Purpose on 10th May 1866, he called an influential gathering of Europeans and Indians at Aligarh and expressed in front of the necessity of bringing Indian Affairs more prominently before Parliament. In 1878 Lord Lytton nominated Sir syed Ahmad Khan on the Imperial Legislative Council, and his term of appointment was renewed by Lord Ripon. In 1887 Lord Defferin appointed him on the Public Service commission. Sir Syed used these opportunities for the welfare of not only his co-religionists but his countrymen at large. In 1885 Congress came into existence. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan advised Muslims Not to join congress. There were two reasons for his opposition 1. The first was connected with the composition and character of Congress which was mainly a Hindu body. The Hindus had advanced far enough in education, political consciousness and wealth to dominate the congress and make it a vehicle for voicing demand which would suit them but not necessarily the Muslims. 2.The second reason for his opposition concerned the social and political difficulties which as Sir Syed clearly foresaw representative government would create given the peculiar condition of India. The effects of Sir Syed Ahmad Khans efforts were far reaching. A large majority of Muslims generally kept themselves aloof from the Congress. Encouraged by this response Sir Syed formed the Indian Patriotic Association in August 1888 which was open to members of all communities. The main purpose of this organization was to oppose the congress and to join together to counteract the false impression created in England by supporter of congress that whole of the people of India are with the congress. Dr. Maulvi Abdul Haqye write about Sir Syed Ahmad Khan that: People say Sir Syed set up a college; nay, he made a nation

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Sir Syeds Contribution to religion.


In religion Sir Syed stood for a rationale approach. He argued that the revealed truth could be understood best through reason; what the mind could not accept to be discarded. He encouraged independent judgment even while dealing with inspired utterances. Faith to be fortified by logic. In all his work the goal remained the same, even in Tafseer-ul-Quran his commentary on the Quran he tried to emphasize the need and yrgency of forging better relationship between the Christian and the Muslims and presenting Islam as a religious system which was not in conflict with western ideas. For this purpose he wrote famous Tabinul Kalam. The book attempted to emphasize points of similarity between the two religions and emphasized the fundamental unity that ran through the two faiths.. According to him Islam and Christianity are the two phases of of the same ideal. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Said:
What we are not ashamed to do before God, we should not fear to do before our fellowmen.

Sir Syeds Contribution to Social Life


In social life he stood for simplicity, honesty and other homely virtues. In his highly readable monthly magazine Tahzib-ul-Iklaq he tried to carry out a Program of reform on a wide front. The paper wrote mostly on religious and social topics and contained no news at all. Through this magazine he and his other colleagues propagated, among other things, 1. a rational approach to Islam 2. a readjustment of Islamic traditions and customs in accordance with the changing times 3. an active interest in the history and literature if Islam. 4. a new approach to life, Islamic in its roots, but adjustable with modern requirement 5. a better understanding of the Christians and their mode of living.

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Relevance Of Sir Syed Ahmad Khans ideas


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the first one to realize that Hindus and Muslim are two different nations having their own culture, civilization and literature. Thus he presented the idea of two nation theory. Sir syed Ahmad Khan played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan began the period of Muslim self-awakening; Allama Iqbal provided the philosophical explanation; Quaid-i-Azam translated it into a political reality. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the one who showed the Muslims their destination( Separate nation) and armed them with the weapons which would help them to get to their destination. It was the effort of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who realized that Muslims are a separate nation and it would be very difficult for them to live with Hindus that we are residing in an independent state and now we are free to and act accordingly. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Awakened the Muslim which was backward and armed them with the weapon of modern education. He asked Muslim if they want to prosper they have to acquire western education. This is the only way Muslim can compete with other nations. It was the efforts of Sir Syed Ahmad khan that Muslim started modern education and many of the proponents of Pakistan movement got their education from the Aligarh Institute. The institute established by Sir Syed Ahmad khan is still operational and producing well educated people.

Conclusion
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the Person who made a great impact on the history of Subcontinent. He was the first one to realize that Muslim and Hindus are separate nation and they cannot live together. He showed the Muslim their destination and guided them the path to reach it. Sir Syed Ahmad Khans Contribution for the welfare of Muslims are innumerable. He established various institute and encouraged Muslims to get modern scientific education, worked for the betterment of relations between Muslims and the British and social upbringing of the Muslims.

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Sir Syed Ahmad khan once said: Call me by whatever names you like. I will not ask you for my salvation. But please take pity of your children. Do something for them (send them to the school), lest you should have to repent (by not sending them) Many well known personalities were also impressed by the Personality, Commitment and efforts of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Dr. Allama Iqbal Writes About Sir Syed: 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 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruji said: Sir Syed was an ardent reformer and he wanted to reconcile modern scientific thought with religion by rationalistic interpretations and not by attacking basic belief. He was anxious to push new education. He was in no way communally separatist. Repeatedly he emphasized that religious differences should have no political and national significance. Mr. Inder Kumar Gujralji said about Sir Syed that: Sir Syeds vision and his laborious efforts to meet the demands of challenging times are highly commendable. The dark post 1857 era was indeed hopeless and only men like Raja Mohan Roy and Sir Syed could penetrate through its thick veil to visualize the Nations destinies. They rightly believed that the past had its merits and its legacies were valuable but it was the future that a society was called upon to cope with. I offer my homage to Sir Syed for his vision and courage that withstood all obstructions both from the friends and the foes. This great visionary and reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, whose relevance is felt even today and who will always remain green in our memory inspiring wise thoughts and absolute principles in the right Islamic thinking passed away after a brief illness on 27th March 1898 and was buried the next day in the compound of the mosque in the College. May his soul continue to live in peace.

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