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Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Biography

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a well-known Muslim reformer, educator and politician. Born into a family with strong Mughal connections, he received the conventional education but was a pioneer in introducing modern education for the Indian Muslim Community.

Syed Ahmed was born on 17th October 1817 in Delhi. He studied Persian, Arabic, Mathematics and medicine along with the Quran. He left his conventional course but continued to study privately. He had a keen interest in literature. After his father’s death, Khan joined the East India Company as a clerk and gradually got promoted to become a judge of the small court. Khan propelled the Aligarh Movement, which was basically an educational venture. He established several schools and among them the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College which later developed into the Aligarh Muslim University is prominent.

Khan was one of the most influential Muslim politicians of that time. He opposed the usual Indian
Independence Movement and asked the Muslims to loyally serve the British Raj. He believed that
only cooperation and good relation with the British can help the social and economic development of the Muslims in India.

Khan drew flaks from the Muslim clerics as he wrote about rational and liberal interpretations of
Islamic scriptures. He advocated Urdu as the uniform language for all Indian Muslims. He was nominated to the Viceroy’s Legislative Council in 1878. His efforts gave birth to a new generation of
Muslim intellectuals and politicians. He passed away in 1898.