MUTALA’AT-I-SIR SAYYED : Zafarul Islam
(Talimi, Samaji wa Fiqahi Masail ke Hawale se)
Institute of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Rs. 125.
SIR SAYYED Ahmad Khan was one of those celebrities of the Indian subcontinent who made remarkable sacrifices for the socio-cultural uplift of the Muslim community. He understood clearly that without acquiring modern education Muslims would not be able to live creditably under the British administration. So, he worked hard to scatter the light of this new knowledge even on the most traditional Muslims, including women. He therefore endorsed a system of education which was a blend of the ancient and the modern, with a window for moral and religious instruction. And seen in the backdrop of the fall of the Mughal Empire and the ascendancy of the British, this was a momentous undertaking.
His views on education, culture and religion as reflected in his speeches and writings have been judiciously presented in this book. In the author’s view, he was an independent, enlightened, Indian Muslim. Just as his love of the British intellect brought him in conflict with the orthodox Muslim clergy, similarly, his dynamic exposition of the Muslim predicament occasionally annoyed the British. He was open to pondering deeply on any vital religious issue with a view to finding a solution in consonance with the basic spirit of Islam, and favoured a consensus. The author has been successful in calling attention to Sir Sayyed’s outlook on educational, social and theological matters with intuitive
(Brief Review of Mutalaat-i- Sir Sayyed by ALI ASGHAR was published in The Hindu, dated: 10- 03-2009)