The Role of Saiyid Ahmad Khan in The Shift to Modern Education of Muslims Of South Asia
By Dr. Arshad Islam
Department of History and Civilization
International Islamic University Malaysia
Following their crushing of the revolution of 1857, the British consolidated their secular rule in the Indian subcontinent, which marginalized, if not totally ignored, religion, particularly Islam. The whole of India suffered in the backlash, but the consequences were most devastating for the Muslims. It was at this critical juncture that Saiyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) gallantly came forward to counter the threat, and to defend the Islamic faith and Muslim community. He was greatly moved by the agony that followed the rebellion and its containment. This paper tries to underscore the role of the great reformer in the process of recovery and rehabilitation of the Muslims.
Notwithstanding his dismissal by some conservative Muslims as an atheist, a traitor and a British agent, Ahmad Khan strongly advocated that Islam is not a religion of violence but of peace that respects other religions. He concentrated on the educational field, which he rightly saw as the best means to raise the Muslims from their backwardness and ignorance vis-à-vis the dominant Hindus. Today the highly respected Aligarh Muslim University in India is a visible monument of his great foresight and outstanding work for Muslims world wide.
The nineteenth century witnessed one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the Muslim people in the Indian subcontinent, during which they lost their political grip there. During the war of independence of 1857, Muslims struggled vigorously to shake off foreign rule, but in vain, their sun set in political chaos.1 Bahadur Shah Zafar (1837-1857), the last Mughal ruler, lost his throne and was exiled to Rangoon (Yangon). The Muslims’ life, property, and even honour were no longer secure because of the British suspicion of their loyalty. The British occupied Delhi and started a reign of terror in and around the city. Many Muslim villages were raided, homes set on fire and the helpless residents summarily gunned down. A large number of Muslim houses were plundered. On false charges by their neighbours, many Muslims were hanged from trees without trial. The British reaction to the unsuccessful rising of 1857 heralded the systematic demolition of an era and its very basic structures. The entire milieu and the rich Muslim culture ended with Mughal rule.2 Besides this huge human loss, the subsequent Western cultural invasion threatened the very existence of the Ummah and the fundamentals of its religion. After the 1857 revolt, the British marginalized Islam as a way of life. One of the many Muslim scholars who strove against this potent threat was Saiyid Ahmad Khan who credibly said, ‘There was no misfortune sent from Heaven, which ere it descended to earth, did not seek for its resting place the dwellings of Muslims.’ 3
Saiyid Ahmad Khan was born in a noble family of Delhi on 17 October 1817. On his father’s side, he was linked to the Prophet Muhammad in the thirty-sixth generation.4 His ancestors moved to Persia, and later settled at Herat in Afghanistan. Finally, they migrated to Hindustan and entered Emperor Akbar’s (1556-1605) service, holding high positions in his army and civil administration.5
Saiyid Dost Muhammad, a distant ancestor of Saiyid Ahmad, rose to a high rank in the army of Emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707), and showed valour at difficult times on the Deccan front, for which he received the title of Yakka Bahadur from the Emperor. Saiyid Ahmad’s grandfather, Saiyid Hadi, was a man of outstanding personality who held important military and judicial positions under the Mughals. For his excellent service record, Emperor Alamgir II (1754-1759) conferred on him the title of ‘Jawwad Ali Khan,’ and Shah Alam II (1759-1806) honoured him with the title of ‘Jawwad-ud-daula.’ Saiyid Hadi had literary taste that was reflected in a diwan, which was unfortunately lost during the 1857 revolt from Saiyid Ahmad’s personal collection.6
Saiyid Mir Muttaqi, Saiyid Ahmad’s father, was a reputed scholar who had good relations with Akbar II (1806-1837) and held a significant position at the imperial court. Of Mir Muttaqi’s three children, Saiyid Ahmad was the youngest. Unlike his peers, Saiyid Ahmad learned swimming and archery from his father, and on many occasions accompanied him to the Mughal darbars (royal court sessions). Thus he could closely observe the deteriorating socio-cultural life of the last Mughals.7
Education and Government Service
Saiyid Ahmad started his early education under the care of his mother Azizun Nisa Begum, an educated and sagacious lady from a reputed family of Delhi, who held radical ideas, and was free from the common superstitions of contemporary Muslim society. She exerted good deal of influence on her son’s character, and left an enduring impression on his personality.8 Saiyid Ahmad pursued his early education with the recitation of the Qur’an under the tutorship of Shah Ghulam Ali. Later he joined a maktab where he learned Arabic, Persian and mathematics, and continued his studies in routine subjects under the guidance of other tutors. He also took lessons in medicine from Hakim Ghulam Haider Khan, the family physician.9 Apart from his mother he was influenced by his maternal grandfather, Khwaja Fariduddin, with whom he stayed for some years during his childhood. Saiyid Ahmad was also influenced by the religious ideas and atmosphere of Delhi initiated by Shah Wali Allah and his sons, and was also impressed by the Tanzimat reform movement (1839-1879) of the Ottoman Caliphate. 10
However, Saiyid Ahmad did not have a steady source of income after his father’s death in 1837, and his family fully depended on a pittance from the Mughal court. In this unfavourable situation, he joined the service of the East India Company at Delhi in 1837, but remained attached to the court of the Mughal Emperor, who conferred upon him several honours.11 He was transferred to Agra as naib munshi (administrative assistant) in February 1839, and after successfully qualifying in the judicial service examination in December 1841, he was promoted to the position of Munsif (sub-judge) at Mainpuri. In 1842 he was posted at Fatehpur Sikri. In the same year, he was conferred the title of ‘Jawwad-ud-daula Arif Jang’ by Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, 12 and in 1846 he was transferred to Delhi where he stayed for eight years. Subsequently, he was moved to Rohtak, and from there, in 1855 posted as Sadr Amin (chief revenue collector) to Bijnor, where he remained until 1857. 13
Literary and intellectual Activities
Saiyid Ahmad’s position as naib munshi at Agra gave him an opportunity to promote his professional competence. He sharply grasped the procedures of land settlement, and prepared a handbook for the guidance of the settlement officials. In 1840, he wrote Jami-Jam, a historical manual in Persian that gives accounts of the forty-three rulers from Taimur (1336-1405) to the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.14 In 1843, he wrote Jila’ al-Qulub bizikr al-Mahbub, a biographical account and miracles of the Prophet Muhammad based on Shah Wali Allah’s Surur al-Mahzun fi Siyar al-Amin al-Mamun, and Madarij an-Nabuwat of Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlavi. Other treatises of the period are Tashil fi usul al-Tafsir, in 1844; Tashil fi jarr al-Saqil, in 1844, and Fuwa’d al-Afkar fi a’mal al-farjar, in 1846.15 In 1847, Saiyid Ahmad prepared Asar-us-Sanadid, a comprehensive study of the historical monuments and other significant sites of Delhi and its surrounding areas with maps, sketches and drawings of the buildings along with facsimiles of inscriptions. 16 During his stay in Delhi, he penned Qaul-i-Matin dar ibtal harkat-i-zamin, in 1848; Kalimat ul-Haq, in 1849; Namiqah dar Bayan-i-Maslah-i-Tasawwar-i-Shaikh, in 1849; Rah-i-Sunnat dar Radd-i-Bida’t, in 1850; Silsilat al-Muluk, in 1852, and Tarjamah-i-Kimiya-i-Sa’dat, in 1853, an incomplete Urdu translation of Ghazali’s Kimiya-i-Sa’dat. 17
On the advice of the District Collector of Bijnor, Saiyid Ahmad wrote a manuscript entitled Tarikh-i-Zila Bijnor, which gave a comprehensive history of the district in the style of a district gazetteer, but was unfortunately lost during the 1857 revolt. Subsequently, he prepared three books that gave a systematic study of the Indian Revolution, the first was Sarkashi Zila Bijnor (The Revolt in Bijnor, 1858) that embodied an eyewitness account of the 1857 revolt in Bijnor including the correspondence between the revolutionary leaders, the elite, the British officials of the district, and emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. The second work, Asbab-i baghawat-i Hind (Causes of the Indian Revolt, 1858) was a critical analysis of the causes of the 1857 revolt; and the third Risalah Khair Khawahan Musalman (An Account of the Loyal Mohammadans of India, 1860-61), gave an account of the loyalty and valour of Muslims for the British government of India. Saiyid Ahmad Khan edited Abul Fazl’s A’in-i-Akbari in 1855; collated four manuscripts of Ziya al-din Barani’s Tarikh-i Firuz Shahi for the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1862; and completed an edition of Emperor Jahangir’s autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri in 1864 from Aligarh.18
He wrote a critical history of Arabia at the time of the birth of Islam and referred in it to some aspects of the life of the Prophet. He published it as Essays on the Life of Mohammed (1870) in English and Khutbat-i-Ahmadiya (1870) in Urdu. This work was carried out to refute Sir William Muir’s controversial Life of Mahomet (1858); nonetheless it received commendation from several Western readers, including Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881).19 Apart from the above works on history and religion, Saiyid Ahmad published a great many books belonging to the domains of exegesis, biography and patriotism.
The Condition of Muslims after 1857
The 1857 revolt brought on Muslims the wrath of British power, as British authorities in India put the blame for the rising squarely on the Muslims. The emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was detained, put on a false trail and deported to Rangoon (Yangon), where he died in 1869. Delhi was sacked, while many of its Muslim residents were summarily killed, and the signs of Muslim civilization and culture destroyed. Besides Delhi, Muslims in other important cities were subjected to this treatment. British authorities ruthlessly crushed the rebellion and countless innocent men, women and children were either gunned down or burned to death.20 As Garrat and Thompson recorded:
The British troops were sewing the Mohammadans in pigskins, smearing them with porkfat, and burning their bodies and forcing Hindus to defile them. 21
At that time it seemed that Muslims had put everything at stake and lost; and many of them decided to leave the country. The British monitored Muslims’ activities carefully and victimized them. W.W. Hunter rightly noted that Muslims still exhibited “at intervals their old intense feeling of nationality and capability of warlike enterprise; but in all other respects they are a race ruined under British rule.” 22 British victory over Muslims and their treatment was rightly pointed out by Graham:
At that dreadful time many innocent men, I grieve to say, suffered for the sins of the guilty. 23
Muslims were branded as traitors and kept out of the government service because the British treated them all as would-be rebels. Hunter had also pointed out Muslims’ status in the civil service in the year 1871: out of a total of 2,111 posts, 1,338 were occupied by the Europeans, 681 by non-Muslim inhabitants, and only 92 by Muslims. 24
Due to these discriminatory policies of the British, it was understandable for the Muslims to nurse a deep sense of injury, and to lose their self-respect. They sought their solace in spiritual withdrawal, and in this state of lack of direction they waited for the advent of a pathfinder to take them out of their stagnation. Fortunately, the community had some sensible persons to help it heal its wounds.
Saiyid Ahmad’s Educational Ideas
Like some others at that time, Saiyid Ahmad stressed to his people that the remedy was to acquire knowledge in all branches of learning. To make this drive successful he organized a massive campaign for education, which later came to be known as the Aligarh Movement—the movement for Muslim regeneration in India in the shape of various gatherings, organizations, societies and educational institutions like Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College (MAO College) or Madrasat-ul-Ulum. All activities of Saiyid Ahmad were based on his comprehensive educational programme to bring Muslims back into the main current of social, economic and political life of the country.
Saiyid Ahmad was a realist who wanted the Indian Muslims to regain some of their lost space through shedding their backwardness and apathy. He clearly advocated that if any nation or race wanted to regain its position, it had to acquire education and enter different fields of knowledge, or, as he put it, “cure the root and the tree will flourish.” In one of his lectures, he explicitly pointed out the deteriorating condition of the Muslim community in the following words:
When people become old and weak and their immune system is ruined, they are attacked by different diseases. The same is true of communities; when they decline, they do not decline in just one thing but rather in everything: morality, integrity, education, civilization, affluence, humility and self-composure. As a consequence, those who want to remedy things do not know where to begin. … But when we ponder the matter, there is no remedy but education in sight (my trans.). 25
Saiyid Ahmad’s ideas on the education of Indian Muslims aimed at improving their condition rather than giving them paper qualifications. His vision was to build Muslims as a strong community so that they could live with honour and dignity in the country. His main aim in establishing the MAO College was therefore to instil the sense of pride, self-respect and honour among the Muslims. In Saiyid’s opinion, Muslims should excel in all disciplines of knowledge and serve people in and outside the country. 26
That was his conviction about the way to raise the Muslims, which, as a consequence, included the foundation of a modern and vigorous system of education. According to him, it was to be a confluence of East and West with special emphasis on the development and dissemination of scientific education. In spite of this stress on modern education, however, he never neglected the need for religious instruction. In one of his lectures he emphasized the importance of Arabic for Muslims. To him the largest human integration was carried out by Islam, which united existing communities, races, creeds, and nationalities into a single ummah.27
Saiyid Ahmad called for the promotion of modern education with the establishment of one school in every district which would offer a number of vocational choices. If, for example, someone wanted to be a Maulvi, a Muhaddith or a Faqih, the school would cater for his need, but it would also train its students in mathematics and other sciences. This plan, he believed, would eventually enable Muslims to achieve progress in both material and spiritual respects.28
His concept of Madrasat-ul-Ulum was the focal point of Saiyid Ahmad’s campaign for the dissemination of knowledge and learning among Muslims. Before the foundation of the college, he outlined his ideas at a meeting of like-minded Muslim intellectuals for the Better Diffusion and Advancement of Learning, which clearly demonstrate his interest in setting up an institution which would foster a wide spectrum of talent to embrace both traditional and modern learning. This was intended not merely to preserve traditional learning but to make it serve modern needs. With these objectives Saiyid Ahmad wanted to establish an institution comprising three colleges:
i) An English-medium college,
ii) An Urdu-medium college in which students should learn English, Arabic or Persian as a second language, and
iii) A college using exclusively Arabic and Persian mediums which students from the other two colleges should join to develop their expertise both in modern and traditional disciplines.
This clearly shows that Saiyid Ahmad believed that without the integration of traditional and modern learning, no plan of education could succeed in achieving the Muslims’ goal of socio-cultural advancement.29
Madrasat-ul-Ulum was founded in 1875, became MAO College in 1877, and was raised to Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. Although it did not conform to Saiyid Ahmad’s original blueprint, the college still reflected his vision and mission. From the very beginning it combined modern subjects with Arabic and Persian, mantiq, fiqh, theology, Islamic history and civilization, and other Oriental subjects. Moreover, Saiyid Ahmad had a clear idea of religious instruction, which according to him included the study of tafsir, usul-i-tafsir, hadith, usul-i-hadith, fiqh, usul-i-fiqh, ‘ilm aqai’d and ‘ilm kalam, as he himself explained before the religious education committee. Sir Saiyid wanted to introduce religious textbooks in the syllabus at all levels of study. Along with Arabic he proposed the teaching of religion through Persian and Urdu as well. In the final year of their studies, MAO College students were to be given the facilities for specialization.30
We can judge Saiyid Ahmad’s interest in theology from the fact that he appointed a special committee of well-known scholars to prepare the syllabus and course outlines and to inculcate the knowledge and practice of religion, for which he created the position of a Nazim-i-diniyat (Director of Religious Studies). He sought the opinion of Maulana Qasim Nanotavi, the founder of Deoband, and other ulama in filling the position. In the end, he appointed Maulana Abdullah Ansari, the grandson of Maulana Mamluk Ali from the Deoband school.31
To comprehend Saiyid Ahmad’s ideas regarding theology and Oriental disciplines it is necessary to know that he was a supporter of modern education as well as traditional subjects, but he wanted the latter to be taught in a new spirit and in line with the needs of modern times. He made it clear regarding ‘Ilm Kalam (Rhetoric), but he stressed that we should rediscover a new ‘Ilm Kalam suited to contemporary needs, and suitable textbooks should be prepared and incorporated in the syllabus. In Saiyid Ahmad’s view the knowledge of modern philosophy creates doubts in the minds of students but the traditional ‘Ilm Kalam, which was introduced by scholars during the Abbasid period (750-1258) against the adverse effects of Greek philosophy, is neither able to counter these doubts nor strengthen faith against the inroads of modern science and philosophy.32 He clearly urged the Muslim scholars and elite:
I am very humbly asking you which of our prescribed religious books in common use today, reject or confirm Western philosophy and modern sciences through serious religious arguments? 33
Apart from theology, Saiyid Ahmad was very much interested in the methodology of teaching Arabic and Persian languages and literatures. According to him, the aim of the study of these languages is not only to know the languages but also to foster among the students a critical interest in the origin and development of the languages and their literary history. With these aims in mind, in appointing teachers Saiyid Ahmad preferred those who were well versed in both traditional and modern learning. He greatly stressed the point that even traditional subjects should be taught in the modern way.34
It is a common misconception regarding Saiyid Ahmad’s educational ideas that he was against the Oriental studies and did not believe in the usefulness of madaris (religious schools). If we critically study the thoughts and ideas of Sir Saiyid Ahmad and his association with Ulama and centres of religious education, it becomes fairly clear that neither he was against religious education nor was he opposed to centres of Islamic education. His only objection was to their old teaching methodology and some of their irrelevant subjects that could not cater to contemporary needs. He made it clear that they should restructure courses and the style of their teaching in line with contemporary needs. He expressed his ideas and comments on the deteriorating condition of madaris through his lectures, letters and writings and wanted reform in the old education system. He appealed to Muslim leaders, particularly the ulama, and well-wishers of the community. Moreover, he elucidated the main reasons of deterioration of Muslim education in a treatise, Deterioration of Religious Education. He discussed in detail the factors that led to the decline of Muslim education. On the other hand, with the help of the Mohammedan Educational Conference he supported the idea of advancement of Oriental knowledge and development of madaris which he believed to be the major activities of this conference. He paid special attention to the conference activities and called for reform of the madaris. The details of these activities can be seen in the proceedings of this society.35 Saiyid Ahmad developed cordial relations with Ulama and the founder of the famous Deoband and Nadwatul Ulama seminaries and pleaded for mutual cooperation. He wrote letters to the important persons in the madrasa administration. He and his successors were also in close touch with the religious schools. Their collaboration can be gauged from the following examples:
1. Sir Saiyid’s correspondence with and appeal to Deoband authorities in the selection of the first few Nazim-i-diniyat.36
2. On Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi’s death Sir Saiyid’s obituary notice in Aligarh Institute Gazette on Maulana’s religious and intellectual services.37
3. Maulana Muhammad Ali Mongeri’s invitation to Saiyid Ahmad to attend the meeting of Madrasa Faizul Uloom Kanpur, and the latter’s message to ulama.38
4. The invitation to Nawab Mohsinul Mulk to chair the convocation ceremony of Madrasa Mazahirul Ulum Saharanpur.39
5. Aligarh graduates’ admission in Deoband madrasa with scholarship for specialization in theology.40
6. Sir Saiyid’s support of the proposal for the establishment of Majlis Nadwatul Ulama at the Mohammedan Educational Conference at its Aligarh session in 1894.41
7. Sir Saiyid’s correspondence with the first two Nazims (Directors) of Nadwa.42
8. Allama Shibli as Nadwa’s secretary sent two students to Aligarh to study modern and natural philosophy under the supervision of Maulana Hamiduddin Frahi.43
9. One MAO College professor was invited for the preparation of courses and examination for Takmil Adab (advanced literary studies) at Nadwa.44
10. Nawab Wiqarul Mulk’s selection for membership of Nadwa’s working committee.45
11. Majlis-i-Nadwatul Ulama’s support for the foundation of Aligarh Muslim University and their offer of both moral and monetary support.46
12. Sir Saiyid Ahmad’s cooperation with and support of the educational and religious institutions in dissemination of religious education.47
The above discussion suggests that Sir Saiyid Ahmad and his colleagues had always cordial relations with ulama and traditional religious schools. The charge that Saiyid Ahmad and his colleagues had uncordial relations with the orthodox Muslims should be rejected. If we study Saiyid Ahmad’s letters and lectures we can see that he tried his best to cooperate with different groups of people for the sake of the development of education among the Muslims.48 With the religious establishment he was particularly careful, as we can see from a Deoband scholar’s recollections of his visit to Sir Saiyid on about [Tuesday 27 Rajab 1294/ 7 August 1877]. In the beginning the ulama of Deoband were not very happy with Saiyid Ahmad because of his beliefs. He was called by his critics as “neicheri” (believer in nature, not God). Mulla Dost Muhammad, a graduating Afghan student in Deoband reported his personal experience regarding Sir Saiyid:
The teachers in Darul Ulum Deoband always saw Saiyid Ahmad as an atheist, a British agent and anti-Deoband. Due to this I hated Saiyid Ahmad during the eight years of my stay there. At the end of my studies one day I took Saiyid Ahmad’s Tafsir Qur’an to Maulana Qasim Nanotavi and asked him which of its chapters were objectionable, and he pointed out the relevant passages. I was furious and decided to crack Saiyid Ahmad’s head with a rod. I rushed to Aligarh with this intention. When I reached MAO College and asked about Saiyid Ahmad, someone showed me his office. I entered the office and saw a distinguished looking old man. After greeting him I enquired about Saiyid Ahmad and he asked me why. I replied that I was coming from Deoband and wanted to discuss some questionable passages of his Tafsir. Saiyid Ahmad called an attendant and instructed him to bring a cold drink for the visitor. After drinking it I cooled down and changed my opinion regarding Saiyid Ahmad. Meanwhile a student entered the room and Saiyid Ahmad told him that an alim from Deoband was for the first time visiting the college. The student introduced himself very politely. Then Saiyid Ahmad asked me to counsel him because he was receiving English education in the college and ignorant of Islamic learning. I replied that I was just a new graduate of Deoband not an orator. Saiyid Ahmad said that it was the night of Mi’raj [27 Rajab 1294] and I should shed light on this event. I recounted a well-known hadith. Listening to this the student became furious and shouted that he was thinking that only Jews and Christians took irrational stories seriously, and Islam has everything logical in it. I [Mullah Dost Muhammad] became irritated but could not speak. Saiyid Ahmad told me to open his Tafsir and read how he [Saiyid Ahmad] had explained it. It was written in the book that Mi’raj was spiritual, not physical. Then the young student accepted this view. At this Saiyid Ahmad turned to me and said he had actually written his Tafsir for people like that student, not for the ulama, but at heart he fully accepted the teachings of the ulama.
‘I established this college in order to change the perception of the government towards Muslims so that they may get good administrative positions. From the very beginning I made it clear that the student of this college will carry the Qur’an on his head and book of hadith in his right hand and other knowledge in his left. In my Tafsir, I followed Ibn Sina’s (Avicenna’s) book which is on the syllabus of Deoband. Surprisingly, they call me a mulhid (atheist)’. Hearing this I embraced Saiyid Ahmad and confidently told him that he must stick to his views and I will convey his message to the ulama of Deoband. Then and there I broke the rod which I had brought to crack Saiyid Ahmad’s head. When I reached the railway station a man from Saiyid Ahmad gave me my ticket to return to Deoband and five gold coins to cover my travel expenses from there to Afghanistan. I reached Deoband and reported the overwhelming experience to the ulama and their prejudice against Saiyid Ahmad was considerably reduced by it. On my return to Peshawar and settling in Char Saddah and I used to recommend students from Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu for English education in Aligarh. Saiyid Ahmad was always especially kind to them. 49
Saiyid Ahmad’s main ideas on education may be summarized as follows:
1. Madaris should be the centres of religious instruction. English language and some selected modern disciplines should be incorporated into their syllabus.
2. Universities or modern educational institutions should pay special attention to modern education and learning without neglecting Oriental and Islamic studies.
3. Students from the religious schools should be given a chance to proceed to higher education in the universities or institutions of higher learning and the university students should similarly be given the option of specialization in religious studies.
After Saiyid Ahmad’s demise, the cooperation between Aligarh and the religious seminaries did not maintain its original tempo. In this regard it is pleasing to note that since the 1980s there has been a new effort made to coordinate courses, with the religious institutions having their degrees recognized for admission to higher courses in some Universities.50
In Saiyid Ahmad’s educational philosophy an important item was character building and guidance. In his opinion the education of an individual or a group could only be achieved if bringing up was given enough importance at the same time. He believed the goals of education and character building worked together. He attached full importance to community life and considered it as crucial as the soul for the body. This idea he elaborated in one of his addresses:
This was the condition of education, but we cannot achieve our goal from education only. Can education alone produce a civilized person? A load of books on the back of a donkey will not teach him anything. Does education alone form a nation? Can education only raise a nation in the eyes of the world? Never, unless people become good human beings and the nation becomes a nation that can be regarded as civilized. Thus, we Muslims must gain moral education. It is as important for a nation as spirit is for a body. For a nation to become a true nation without moral education is almost impossible.51
According to Saiyid Ahmad, study of modern disciplines is certainly important for development but moral education is essential; even book learning needs to be applied to everyday use to become valuable. Sir Saiyid Ahmad’s vision was very clear for education and training. Once in a lecture he said:
My dear students, education without moral training and service of the community is irrelevant. Studying English and getting bachelor’s and master’s degrees are not sufficient without moral training and dedication to the community. You cannot make your people a respected community in the world. Islam has created an Islamic brotherhood above race and country for those who profess Islam wherever they may live, whether in China, Arabia or India. They are all brothers and Muslims are one nation called Islam…..Hence we should work hard so that our community achieves a respectable place in the world.52
Saiyid Ahmad had a broad vision for the students’ life, particularly their instruction and practical training. He meant that we keep an eye on their mental, physical, religious and moral well-being and give them practical training and guidance. We need to give a right direction to their intellectual potential so that they develop a sense of the good way of life. Saiyid believed that the aim of education could not be fulfilled by giving the student a narrow training in just one or two branches of learning. In government and private colleges and schools, he regretted, only instruction in one particular field was imparted for economic benefits.53
It is also noteworthy that Saiyid Ahmad paid much attention to professional teaching and training, but he equally stressed religious and moral training. He clearly explains:
To raise students’ moral and religious level, there should be present before them one or two figures who will inspire them by their piety and devotion. For this purpose it is necessary to keep before them one or two persons who would be their role models.54
Sir Saiyid not only provided for religious instruction in his curriculum but made regular arrangements for its supervision. This was the idea behind the provision for Nazim-i-diniyat with foremost responsibility to monitor students’ religious and moral activities in the college so that they could fulfil their obligations. Saiyid Ahmad not only elucidated the importance of practical training but also explained the mode of learning. According to him the effective way of providing good training to students was by establishing a hostel, in which they stay together and share the facilities of sports and physical exercise under the supervision of the experienced teachers who will keep an eye on their moral and religious activities.55 He assumed that a boarding house is like a machine which manufactures parts of the nation. He clarified that students are the main parts of the machine. If these parts perform well then the machine will function well. Once he pointed out to the students:
A boarding house is like a factory for manufacturing people to make a nation. If it works properly then it is useful, otherwise it has no use. You are its parts, and we must keep you in working condition.56
Further, Sir Saiyid said that hostel life is like a book, which we must read properly and use with utmost care to serve the main aim of student life. If negligence and carelessness are shown the loss will be evident in both education and practical life. He explains:
Do not look for this book in your college library or on your table. It is always with you. What is the book? Actually, college is a meeting place for you and your friends. Hence, you understand why you want to study this book, and what it means.
Dear students, the name of this book is college life or new life. This is the book which, when you study it with care and keep it free from stains, brings you rich rewards, and makes your future what a man should live for, otherwise his life and death are alike, or even his death is better than life.57
Sir Saiyid held the view that any community has to provide for the educational needs of its own children; otherwise these needs would not be fully satisfied. At the same time, he emphasized that Muslim schools must include in their programmes the teaching of Western science and technology.58
Sir Saiyid was not happy that Muslims should send their children to the Christian missionary schools and colleges. He not only disapproved of the idea but also believed it to be a shame for Muslims to hand their children over to others to educate. He wanted that Muslims should instead have their own schools and colleges without the interference of any university or government. In a lecture at Jalandhar in 1894, he stressed:
Dear friends, we will achieve comprehensive education only when we have our education in our own hands and gain freedom from the control of the universities. We will then fully control our educational institutions and disseminate knowledge within a short time. We will hold philosophy in our right hand and natural sciences in our left, and a crown of La-ilah Illallah Muhammadur Rasul Allah on our head.59
Sir Saiyid wanted to build national and public life, and in this context clarified the place of education:
Always the purpose of education is to instil knowledge and raise the intellectual capabilities so that man develops his insight, understanding, and the power of reasoning regarding the creation. He can raise his moral stature, and nurture capabilities for taking care of his life. Governments do not attach much importance to the training of the moral character of students; they are merely interested in training them to make a living.60
Apart from this, whenever Sir Saiyid propagated the idea of establishing a college for Muslims, he made it clear that since the government-linked tertiary institutions could not achieve the comprehensive purpose of education, it was necessary to establish a new college where a different type of education and training was given to students.61
It is surprising to note that Sir Saiyid was very much against the missionary schools, and government’s interference in the educational institutions. However, for his own college he appointed many Europeans to teaching and administrative positions, particularly the college principal and hostel wardens. The main reason was that he wanted to educate, train, and instil discipline among the students as he had observed in Oxford and Cambridge.62 For this reason he recruited Indian and European staff together. They could cooperate and exchange their expertise. He brought together scholars like Allama Shibli (1857-1914), T. W. Arnold (1864-1930), Maulana Hamiduddin Frahi (1863-1930), and Josef Horovitz (1874-1931). It is unfair to claim that Sir Saiyid wanted to please Western masters or was much influenced by the West. We must make it clear here that Sir Saiyid’s prime mission was to disseminate knowledge and keep his college free from political interference. We do not find a single instance where he compromised with the government or allowed any interference in college administration. Actually, Sir Saiyid’s main aim was to bring up the Indian Muslim community by giving them easier access to modern education and instilling in them a love of knowledge. He grasped all that was good whether it belonged to the east or to the west.63
In the light of the above discussion, it is quite clear that Sir Saiyid was a propagator of dynamic, broad and towering ideas of education. His great aim was to change Indian Muslims so that they would develop in their socio-cultural life. In the eyes of Sir Saiyid, it was not the aim of life to achieve modern education only or only to continue traditional knowledge. For him the outcome of education was a balance between the old and the new. Keeping in view the deteriorating condition of Muslims, he stressed both the need to acquire modern knowledge and to make use of traditional learning at the same time. 64
In Sir Saiyid’s major educational programme the main beneficiaries were Muslims because of their political and economic weakness. In this situation, he played a role of liberator for the entire Muslim community in the subcontinent. He focused on the education of Muslims in India because in the late 19th century the Indian Muslims as a community were lagging far behind their non-Muslim compatriots in education and employment. Sir Saiyid used a simile to make this point: the brother who is suffering ill health needs special attention and deserves much care from his siblings; the medicine prescribed to him is tailored to his weakness, his sickness and his temperament. This treatment will not only restore him to health but do good to the whole family through his contribution to it. There is no doubt that Sir Saiyid’s thoughts, actions and reforms were always for the service of community and nation. 65
Saiyid Ahmad’s Shift to Modern Education
His first achievement in the field of education was the founding in 1859 of a Persian madrasa in Moradabad, which was different from contemporary Persian schools by maintaining a much higher academic standard by offering courses in English and modern history. Sir Saiyid was personally fascinated by the discipline of history as a means of knowing the causes of the rise and fall of nations and communities. In his opinion people should learn lessons from history in order to resolve their current problems and plan for their future. 66
Saiyid Ahmad expressed his disapproval of the government vernacular schools because of their obsolete curricula, and was reluctant to use the mother tongue for higher learning due to the paucity of textbooks in it. By 1862, on his transfer to Ghazipur, he managed to convince people of the value of modern education, but, understandably, they were reluctant to send their children to schools run by the Christian missions. In 1864, Saiyid Ahmad set up Victoria School in Ghazipur, which, in addition to the government approved subjects, offered Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit and English, with an option to choose one or more of these languages. 67
In 1866, Saiyid Ahmad formed in Aligarh a British-India Association comprising a number of local landowners with the intention of bridging the gap between the Government and the people who would then communicate their grievances and problems to the authorities. This Association decided to submit to the government an appeal requesting a fair share in the management of education in the district. The landowners were ready to pay extra tax over and above their obligatory land cess to meet additional expenditure on education. Their proposals were well received by the government which offered them a role in supervising the distribution of educational funds. The local educational committees were first set up in the districts of Aligarh and Etawah, and later on in all Northern districts. It was Saiyid Ahmad’s idea for Indians to work in close association with the British. But in the Association’s meetings the performance of the Indian members was unsatisfactory because they were inhibited by the British officials. They had no guts to express their views before them.68
The same year, 1866, Saiyid Ahmad sent a plan to the government for a university under the aegis of the British-India Association. Through this institution he wanted to disseminate Western learning among the masses on a large scale in the medium of Urdu, as, in English, it would reach only a very small proportion of the population. According to him modern education should be propagated among the masses through their mother tongue so that common people would benefit from it. Initially, the Government gave a positive response to this proposal, but it could not materialize due to a number of factors. The crucial problem was the location of the proposed university— in Delhi or in some other city in the North. Another problem was the translation of the textbooks into Urdu. Yet another major hurdle was the choice of the language of instruction—Urdu or Hindi. Due to this controversy the plan for the university was shelved, although Urdu had been the official language under the East India Company since 1835. 69
In 1867, Saiyid Ahmad was transferred as a Judge to Banaras, where he noticed the beginnings of the anti-Urdu campaign by the supporters of Hindi. In fact, Urdu was sufficiently developed to serve as the medium of instruction, and widely spoken by the people, both Hindus and Muslims, in the urban areas of the North. Saiyid Ahmad wrote enthusiastic articles in support of Urdu in his Aligarh Institute Gazette. At last Government recognized Urdu as an official language in the northern provinces on the basis that it was more widely known and spoken than Hindi. 70
Initially Saiyid Ahmad paid more attention to the wellbeing of the country and Hindu-Muslim unity through his writings and public lectures. He drew financial and administrative support for his schools and scientific society from both Hindu and Muslim communities, but violent opposition to Urdu put him on the defensive. He sensed the cultural differences existing between the two major communities of India. The pro-Hindi campaign was an outcome of a larger revivalist movement. The supporters of Hindi were not ready to accept Urdu because it had its origin during Muslim rule and was associated with the Mughal culture. Apart from his concern over this sharp language controversy, Saiyid Ahmad was apprehensive when he learned that at the instigation of Babu Shiv Prasad, the Hindu members of the Scientific Society demanded that Urdu cease to be the official language of the Society, and that the Society’s journal and books be published in Hindi. This language dispute left a great mark on Saiyid Ahmad’s mind. Though his faith in co-existence remained unshaken, he became conscious of the separate identity of the Muslims and their extreme backwardness in the country. 71
Saiyid Ahmad visited England with his two sons in 1869. During his stay of seventeen months he closely observed the socio-cultural life of that country, which left a great mark on his own mind. He personally visited universities, schools, libraries, and museums, and was very much impressed by the cultured and civilized British society. While visiting several institutions, Saiyid Ahmad discovered that classroom lessons and curricula were not enough in moulding students’ lives, and that character-building required more than book learning: hostel life, intellectual involvement of teacher and student, literary activities, debating clubs, societies, games and social service, all these made an ideal environment for education and training. 72
Yet another feature of privately administered British institutions which attracted Saiyid Ahmad’s notice was their complete freedom from government interference. He was astonished to see the progress of these institutions without government support. However, he was fully convinced by the effectiveness of the institutions he visited and kept it in mind when he drew an outline of his future plan for the education of the Muslims of India. On the pattern of Cambridge and Oxford he wanted to establish a private Muslim educational institution to cater for the educational needs of Indian Muslims. His tireless zeal and determination impelled him to plan an institution akin to the British model that he saw and admired. To transform his dream into reality Saiyid Ahmad and his son Saiyid Mahmud chalked out details of his proposed scheme. British engineers drew the building plan with an estimated budget of one million rupees, and the Saiyid was most anxious to return to India to implement it. On 10 September 1869, he wrote to Mohsinul Mulk (Mehdi Ali) from England:
It would be to our great advantage, if a separate educational institution could be established for the Muslims. Hardly a night passes without our discussion of the plan for such a college. 73
While still in England, Saiyid Ahmad was already eager to place his plans before the Indian Muslims to know their views on modern education. He drafted the appeal letter both in Urdu and English assisted by his son Saiyid Mahmud. On 29 April 1870, Saiyid Ahmad wrote to Mohsinul Mulk urging him to bring out a new monthly journal called Tahzibul Akhlaq (Mohammedan Social Reformer) with the special purpose of disseminating his educational ideas. The journal was launched on 24 December 1870.74 He returned to India on 2 October 1870 with a great hope to convince Muslims about the value of modern education. But one day before Saiyid Ahmad arrived in Allahabad by train from Bombay, his critics had already circulated thousands of copies of a pamphlet urging local Muslims:
If you believe in the true faith you must drive away Saiyid Ahmad from your city. You cannot be true Muslims if you shake hands and dine with him. 75
Seeing this negative response, Saiyid Ahmad decided to delay setting up his college. Instead, he planned to launch a campaign to persuade public opinion in favour of the importance of English education for Indian Muslims. The appeal was widely publicized in the Aligarh Institute Gazette, and its copies sent to friends, dignitaries, and Government officials like Kalb-e-Ali Khan, the Nawab of Rampur, and Sir William Muir, the Lieutenant Governor of North-Western Provinces. Within a month they had collected donations exceeding a thousand rupees for the proposed fund.76
Encouraged by this outcome, Saiyid Ahmad formed on 26 December 1870, a committee of like-minded Muslim intellectuals for the Better Diffusion and Advancement of Learning among the Muslims of India. To attract public attention, they announced an essay writing competition on the problems of education among the Muslims, in which thirty-two participated. The first prize was given to Mehdi Ali, but he withdrew from the contest, and hence it passed to Saiyid Ashraf Ali, a student of Banaras College, while the second award was made to Maulvi Mushtaq Husain (Waqarul Mulk), and the third to Maulvi Abdul Wadud.77
As secretary to the Select Committee, Saiyid Ahmad submitted a detailed report of its functions and activities. The report had three segments: the first comprised the details of the essay competition and its aims and objectives with brief notes on the winners; the second part included the remarks made by the committee members on the essays and the significant problems pointed out by the essayists, and the third part comprised Saiyid Ahmad’s educational scheme, with his comments on the twenty-five award winning essays.78
The essayists raised significant points and offered reasons for the aversion of Muslims to Western education. The Pioneer (of Allahabad) reviewed the report and pointed out the reasons for the failure of the government institutions:
1. Lack of religious education in Government schools.
2. English education created skepticism about one’s faith.
3. Western education’s adverse effect on morals and manners.
4. Muslims’ unwarranted prejudice against learning English.
5. The exclusion of Muslims from Government policy making on education.
6. The perception of Muslims elite that it was unbecoming to send their children to government schools.
7. Muslims’ traditional preference of military training to liberal education.
After a careful scrutiny of the entries the committee concluded the following:
1. Muslim intellectuals were showing groundless prejudice against Western education, which was detrimental to their interest.
2. The Government would be unable to help Muslims if they persisted in rejecting English.
3. Muslims should acquire modern education while preserving their religious beliefs and culture.
Saiyid Ahmad sent the gist of the essays and the committee’s findings to the Government of India, and the provincial administrations of United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh), Madras, Bengal and Bombay. He also circulated them among the Muslims. The committee decided to “Look forward to, and inaugurate an educational system for future generations.” 79
At the last meeting of the Select Committee, held in Banaras on 15 April 1872, it was agreed to dissolve the committee and replace it with a new one called the Majlis-i-Khazinat al-baza’t li-tasis-Madrasat-ul-Ulum-ul Muslimin (The Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College Fund Committee). Saiyid Ahmad was elected its Honorary Life Secretary. Under the auspices of this committee a detailed plan was chalked out to collect donations to the fund.80
The full text of the Select Committee report was widely circulated. It was dispatched to the Government of India and its local administrative bodies, and published in Tahzibul Akhlaq. The Government of India, already beginning to realize the inadequacies of its educational policies as regards the Muslims, passed two resolutions (in 1871 and 1873), which admitted these shortcomings, and suggested some modifications in favour of the Muslims. The government of the North Western Provinces asked for more copies of Saiyid Ahmad’s report, and the provincial government promised to provide study grants for the study of secular subjects. In his letter dated 9 August 1872, the Secretary to the Government of India wrote:
His Excellency the Governor-General in council is very happy to learn about the scheme for an Anglo-Oriental College. He earnestly hopes that the plan meets with success which it so well deserves. This scheme of the Mohammadans of the North-Western Provinces is indeed worthy of all possible support and encouragement from the Government. The efforts of Saiyid Ahmad Khan Bahadur and all his associates in this great work are highly commendable.81
The College Fund Committee in its meeting held at Banaras on 30 June 1872, agreed to form subcommittees all over the country for the collection of donations. After a thorough discussion on the suggestion given by Saiyid Ahmad they chose Aligarh as the most suitable location for the college, hoping to find positive support from the Muslim community. They decided to form a fund subcommittee especially for Aligarh under the secretaryship of Maulvi Samiullah Khan, with Raja Saiyid Baqar Ali Khan, Kunwar Muhammad Lutf Ali Khan of Chhatari, Muhammad Inayatullah and Munshi Muhammad Mushtaq Husain as members. Among the responsibilities of the subcommittee were collection of donations from the neighbouring districts, selection of a suitable site for the college and purchase of buildings for the establishment of the institution.
It was impractical to delay the selection of the location of the college because a large number of Muslim contributors made their donations on condition that the fund should only be used for purchasing land and buildings, and not for any other project. Hence, in July 1872, the Committee issued a circular inviting the opinion of Muslims on the location of the college, but indicated its own preference for Aligarh, which was welcomed by most Muslims. At its meeting on 10 February 1873, the Fund Committee decided by forty-seven votes to five in favour of Aligarh. It was also agreed that secondary schools affiliated to Aligarh would be opened in every district. The schools’ rules and regulations were formulated and passed at the committee’s meeting on 3 May 1873.82
At the Fund Committee’s meeting of 10 February 1873, Saiyid Mahmud presented a paper in which the college scheme was divided into phases. Initially, he planned for the establishment of a high school, which would afterwards, on availability of adequate funds, be raised to a college. Besides, he suggested that the Committee should not be satisfied with the establishment of a college, but should strive hard to elevate it to a university. The Committee fully endorsed this proposal, and decided to send its resolutions to newspapers and magazines for publication. Copies were also submitted to the Governments of India and United Provinces for endorsement with an appeal for a grant-in-aid.83
Next the Committee began to look into the possibility of opening the university. They stressed that the Government should not interfere in educational matters, and that they should not start the project without sufficient funds. Apart from modern disciplines and technical training they emphasized moral and religious instruction:
The college should provide education which will turn the attention of students towards the community’s social and religious well-being.84
Saiyid Mahmud stressed the importance of residential arrangements for students and cordial relations between staff and students. The school’s time frame was five years for pupils aged between 10 and 18 years, with a daily 5 hours of lessons, and an additional hour for theology classes. For the proposed college, a four-year syllabus was prepared including Intermediate and Bachelor degree courses with an average three hours of daily lectures. Saiyid Mahmud introduced Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin and Sanskrit languages as optional subjects. A proposal was made to offer a two-year specialized course for master’s degrees. The committee fixed the salaries of teaching and administrative staff and the ratio of scholarship grants for the students.
Saiyid Mahmud based his scheme on the one adopted by Cambridge University, with some modifications to suit the local conditions. The committee worked hard to develop a conducive environment of higher education where Muslim students, along with non-Muslims, could receive both secular and religious education together, and none of them was allowed to interfere in the religious beliefs of the others. Copies of the scheme were forwarded for comment to the Government of India, the provincial governments, and the ulama.85
Opposition to the College
Muslims’ support and donations for the college opened the door for its success, but a few dogmatic Muslims stirred up opposition to the scheme, led by Imdad Ali, the Deputy Collector of Kanpur, and Maulvi Ali Bakhsh Khan, a subordinate judge of Gorakhpur. According to Hali, their opposition was not against Saiyid Ahmad’s religious convictions per se, but they were motivated by personal jealousy. Actually, in the beginning a number of British officials abhorred Saiyid Ahmad’s progressive views, and since both Imdad Ali and Ali Bakhsh Khan were government employees, it seems they wanted by their opposition to please their superiors. The Director of Education of U.P. himself was not very happy with Saiyid Ahmad’s educational scheme, and on 28 December 1872, the Indian Observer published a special article on the proposal for the school criticizing it severely. Saiyid Ahmad, suspecting that the Director of Education was behind it, wrote a reply to it in Tahzibul Akhlaq, in which he blamed the Director for giving education a wrong direction with harmful consequences.86
However, a section of the Muslim community opposed Saiyid Ahmad because of their fear that he would impose his liberal beliefs upon Muslim youths, and force them to wear Western dress; others were afraid that he would teach them Shia doctrines. Yet another group was worried that the donations collected for the college might be invested to earn interest, which is prohibited in Islam. Maulvi Muhammad Qasim and Maulvi Muhammad Yaqub denounced Saiyid Ahmad for his mixing of Shia and Sunni students together.87
Saiyid Ahmad’s critics went to the point of seeking help from the ulama and muftis to issue fatawa (religious rulings) against this project. Maulvi Imdad Ali actually obtained fatawa from the muftis of Delhi, Rampur, Amroha, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow, Bhopal and several other places, which unequivocally condemned those who wanted to establish the college as kafir (infidel). Maulvi Ali Bakhsh Khan even travelled to Makka and Madina to seek fatawa against Saiyid Ahmad and his college through a peculiar questionnaire that read:
Can you approve the establishment of a college whose founder refutes mi’raj (the bodily night journey of the Prophet to heaven), who does not accept as true the story of Adam and Eve, and who insists that Muslims must follow the European lifestyle? 88
In response, four muftis of Makka issued their fatwa denouncing Saiyid Ahmad and his idea of a college. The fatwa is as follows:
This sort of person is a follower of Satan, and misguides good people. If he insists on such wickedness, physical force can be used against him.
Maulvi Ali Bakhsh Khan went to Madina and obtained the following fatwa:
If this type of school was established, then Muslims should demolish the structure.89
Saiyid Ahmad treated these fatawa as recognition of his good work, hoping that his opponents would regret their mistake one day and join him in this noble task. Many of his close friends were discouraged, but Saiyid Ahmad who had faith in his principles, believed that these dark clouds would clear soon. He had amazing courage and patience that helped him to ignore all this personal criticism, raise the morale of his colleagues and encourage them to urge people to donate generously to the fund. He toured the country, delivered lectures, set up shops to sell books and pictures, and organized a lottery in the annual exhibition held at Aligarh. He even set up a theatre and appeared on the stage along with his friends.90
At the Fund Committee’s meeting of 31 August 1873, Saiyid Mahmud moved that the committee known as the MAO College Fund Committee, should change its name to “the MAO University Fund Committee,” in line with the resolution passed on 10 February 1873 that the ultimate aim was to achieve the status of a university. But to Maulvi Samiullah Khan this proposal appeared impractical in the current situation. In another Fund Committee meeting, held at Aligarh on 21 December 1873, it was decided that for the time being, the plan was neither for a college nor for a university, but for a modest beginning with a small school that was hoped to convince people of its excellent standards and educational programme, and make them realize that their opposition was biased and ill-informed.91
At the last minute the issue of supervision of religious education was raised at a time when the setting up of the school was in its final stage. To minimize criticism, it was decided that Saiyid Ahmad and the Fund Committee should keep their distance from the control of religious instruction. At a meeting on 11 January 1875 a committee of seven members was set up to monitor the affairs of Sunni theology with power to appoint or remove any members discreetly. They had full authority for the appointment of teachers, designing syllabi and the selection of teaching methodology. On similar lines the department of Shia theology started.92
Maulvi Ali Bakhsh of Gorakhpur, a diehard opponent of Saiyid Ahmad, was ready to cooperate with him on the condition that Saiyid Ahmad and the College Fund Committee would not interfere in religious education. Saiyid Ahmad in a public speech on 31 July 1874 at Gorakhpur declared:
Fortunately, Haji Ali Bakhsh is in this meeting … on whose advice we decided on a no-interference policy between the College Fund Committee and the school’s religious committee, for which we would appoint two independent committees of Sunnis and Shias. I [Saiyid Ahmad] assure Haji Ali Bakhsh that I will neither accept membership of these committees nor interfere in their internal affairs, and the College Fund Committee has supported the idea.93
Maulvi Ali Bakhsh was enraged when he learnt that two or three nominated members of the religious committee were also associated with the Fund Committee. Saiyid Ahmad clarified this by emphasizing that they were not permanent members but were only nominated ones because of their expertise in theology. However, Maulvi Ali Bakhsh was not satisfied and he withheld his earlier promise of a donation of eight hundred rupees. 94
Beginning of the School
On 20 May 1875 it was decided in Banaras that the date of inauguration of the school would be 24 May 1875, coincidenting with the birthday of Queen Victoria. Saiyid Ahmad managed to persuade the Fund Committee’s Secretary, Maulvi Samiullah Khan, to lay the foundation stone, and Maulvi Muhammad Karim chaired the inaugural function. Saiyid Ahmad in his inaugural speech introduced the first four students amongst whom was Hamidullah Khan, the son of Samiullah Khan and two others from Azamgarh, a district of the United Provinces. Samiullah Khan presented the total budget including the annual expenditure of the school. Mr. H. G. I. Siddons, a graduate of Oxford University, was appointed as Headmaster, and he took charge of the school on 28 June 1875. Teaching had commenced on 1 June with a total of eleven students and six teachers; on 1 July 1875 the number of teachers was raised to seven. 95
To attract students, the College Fund Committee introduced twenty merit scholarships of five and ten rupees a month respectively, which were to be given to meritorious students. But, in the beginning many students joined the school for financial gain and not for study. Maulvi Samiullah Khan brought this issue to the notice of Saiyid Ahmad through his letter of 22 June 1875:
Four more students offered themselves for admission, but first they enquired about their monthly allowances. They do not treat it as a school, but as a business centre. 96
Nonetheless, soon the number of students increased to sixty, who initially stayed in one hostel, but, in November 1875, another boarding house was provided under the supervision of Maulvi Abul Hasan. The third boarding house set up in a rented house in the city was taken care of by a head-boy. The boarding charges ranged from three and a half rupees to twelve rupees a month, but Hindu students were given admission only as day-students. The school was affiliated with Calcutta University for the matriculation examination, and the first batch of students sat for their examination in 1877. 97
A committee was formed for visitors to inspect the school on the pattern of Oxford and Cambridge universities. Sir William Muir visited the school on 12 November 1875 as Visitor and exchanged his views with many committee members. On this occasion, the school administration gave a sumptuous reception and in their inaugural lecture, the College Fund Committee proposed the opening of the departments of English and Oriental Studies. The division of English was to function up to high school, and its medium was English. The Oriental Studies department would function in Urdu medium with Arabic and Persian as compulsory subjects, and English as a second language. This section would be upgraded to college level in January 1876. With these arrangements, it was agreed that the name of the college would be Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College. On this occasion, the names of the significant donors were announced. On 6 December 1875 Mahendar Singh (1862-1876), the Maharaja of Patiala, along with his Prime Minister Khalifa Muhammad Hasan, visited the school and was very much impressed by it. On 8 December 1875, the divisional commissioner of Meerut visited the school, inspected the classrooms and hostels, and announced on increase in government aid. 98
In October 1876, Sir William Muir visited the school for the second time. On this occasion Saiyid Ahmad Khan announced a merit scholarship in the name of the lieutenant governor. The latter sincerely admitted that during his tenure as governor he realized that Muslims of this region were loyal to and favourably disposed towards the Queen of England. The governor’s comment elicited in Saiyid Ahmad a sigh of relief and he considered it the first success of his mission towards clearing all doubts and ill feelings of the British authorities against the Indian Muslims. 99
Saiyid Ahmad’s Permanent Stay in Aligarh
In its early days, the school faced much difficulty; it was felt that Sir Saiyid’s presence might boost the smooth running of the administration. Keeping this in view, he decided to resign from government service and settled permanently in Aligarh. The government released him from active service on 1 July 1876. In Banaras, under the chairmanship of Raja Shambhu Narain, a Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan Memorial Committee was formed. On 31 July 1876, under the aegis of the committee a farewell party was organized in which they paid tribute to Sir Saiyid in the following words:
We honestly without hesitation acknowledge that he [Saiyid Ahmad] has shown keen interest for the establishment and development of MAO College. It is very important for the college to achieve progress at his hand.100
The Aligarh community organized a reception on 25 August 1876 with great joy and excitement. Meanwhile Sir Saiyid sent a delegation led by Muhammad Karim, Maulavi Samiullah Khan and Maulavi Chiragh Ali to meet Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan (1869-1911), the Nizam of Hyderabad, during his visit to Delhi. On 30 January 1877, the delegation met the Nawab and he promised to increase his grant to the college. 101
Foundation of the College
Before the commencement of the new academic year 1877, it was decided that the status of the school should be enhanced to a college because the first batch of Arts students were about to join class XI. On this occasion, Sir Saiyid devoted his energy and put his life at stake for supervising the construction of classrooms and hostels. He was so dedicated to the affairs of the college that he was his own building supervisor, mason, engineer and paymaster all in one. He stood around all day in the hot sun and supervised the work of masons and carpenters, gave instructions to stonecutters and at end of the day himself made payments to the workers. Thus, the construction work was completed in less than two years. 102
On 8 January 1877, Lord Lytton, the Viceroy and Governor General of India, laid the foundation stone of the college. On this occasion in his welcome address to the Viceroy, Sir Saiyid remarked:
…..in the past there have been many institutions founded by the notables and some of them even by the rulers. They were funded and endowed by private individuals or from the royal coffers. It is for the first time that a college is founded not due to an individual’s love of learning or royal patronage, but by the combined aspirations and efforts of the whole community…. It is based on the principles of open-mindedness and the path of progress which have no match in the annals of the East and West.103
Sir Saiyid explicitly presented the objective of the college to develop a balance between the thinking, understanding and emotions of the East and the West. The founders of the college stated its aims in the following words:
To dismiss those erroneous traditions of the past which have stalled our progress; to eradicate those narrow-mindednesses, which have thus far exercised a harmful influence on our nation; to reunite Oriental learning with Western literature and science; to activate in the lazy nature of the people of the East the pragmatic care which belongs to those of the West. 104
Sir Saiyid announced the main library of the college would be named Lytton Library after the Viceroy. Lord Lytton, himself a literary figure, thanked the authorities of the college for giving his name to the library, he described as the best society to which anyone can be admitted. Lord Lytton struck three times the silver mallet and said:
I declare this stone to be well and truly laid. 105
The humble beginning of the college was made with the following subjects:
1. Languages: English, Arabic Persian, and Sanskrit;
2. Moral Sciences: Logic, rhetoric, mental and moral philosophy, and history;
3. Natural philosophy, mathematics and natural sciences;
4. Muhammadan Law, jurisprudence and theology.
In line with Sir Saiyid’s educational ideas the college did not produce graduates to be bookworms or greedy for positions in the civil service. He wanted to generate a new breed of future Muslim leaders who would dedicate their energies wholeheartedly to the regeneration of the ummah. Apart from getting quality education students must achieve academic excellence, truthfulness, consciousness, patriotism, morality and cultivate the sense of responsibility towards community. Sir Saiyid was very much keen to train and inculcate the virtues among the students so they would improve the fabric of society.106
Students were not only required to show excellence in academic performance, but also encouraged to join different associations, clubs, debating and literary societies, which gave them useful training. It was part of Sir Saiyid’s faith that students’ hostel activities and strict training make them successful in their mission and vision to lead the community and nation towards a respectable life. He also wanted to instil self-respect, tolerance, unity and brotherhood in students coming from different parts of the country.
With the accomplishment of his dynamic educational ideas and the foundation of MAO College Sir Saiyid realized soon that a single educational institution is not sufficient to cater to the growing needs of Muslim education in India. Hence, in order to fulfil the demand, he organized the Muhammadan Educational Conference at Aligarh in 1886. In its annual sessions held in various cities in the country, scholars met and discussed Indian Muslims’ educational problems. The conference acted as a catalyst in bringing about a new awareness among them about the importance of education; in this respect the Conference served as an arm of the Aligarh Movement.
Role of Aligarh in the Formation of All India Muslim League
Sir Saiyid was firm in his belief that Muslims should devote their time and energies to acquiring knowledge and strive hard for the uplift of the community. But he was very concerned about the political condition of the Muslims of India, particularly owing to the growing influence of the Indian National Congress. In his speeches and writings Sir Saiyid clearly pointed out the new political situation that had compelled him to safeguard the interests of Muslims. After Sir Saiyid’s death his successors in Aligarh took up the task with the same vigor. Later, the Aligarh Movement continued the mission of defending the rights of Indian Muslims, and Sir Saiyid’s former associates Nawab Mohsinul Mulk and Waqarul Mulk put before Muslims the idea of the formation of a Muslim political organization of India.
During the 20th session of the Muhammadan Educational Conference at Dacca in December 1906 the Muslims conceived the idea of launching a political organization of their own. Eventually, on 30 December, under the stewardship of Nawab Waqarul Mulk, All India Muslim League was founded with its major goal to protect the rights and interests of the Muslims of India.107 The MAO College played a significant role in the dissemination of awareness and political ideas among the Muslim masses. Even after 1920, when it was upgraded to Muslim University Aligarh, the task set before the community by Sir Saiyid was continued. The students of Aligarh made a great impact during 1946 elections in support of the creation of Pakistan. In large numbers Muslim University students fanned out over the whole of pre-Partition India to campaign from door to door for Muslim League candidates. Many of them afterwards filled key positions left vacant in Pakistan after Partition. They played a crucial role in the running of the new nation.
Today Aligarh Muslim University is a symbol and a nerve centre for unity in the subcontinent. Students not only from India but from abroad are joining the university and completing their studies without suffering any prejudice on account of religion, caste, or colour. Sir Saiyid’s mission is very much alive today.
Note and References
1. S. Moinul Haq ed., Memoirs of Hakim Ahsanullah Khan, Karachi: Pakistan Historical Society, 1958, pp. 3-5; Syed Mubarak Shah, Kotwal’s Diary, R. M. Edwards and Ansar Zahid Khan, trans. & ed., Karachi: Pakistan Historical Society, 1994, pp. 3-10; Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi, The Muslim Community of the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent (610-1947), The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1962, p. 223.
2. Thomas R. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt—India, 1857-1870, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964, p. 295; Qureshi, pp. 213, 228-33; Riazuddin H. Zobairi, The Education and Social Ideas of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, (Southern Illinois University, Ph. D. thesis 1971), Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1987, pp.111-12.
3. Syed Ahmad Khan, Loyal Mohammedans of India, Vo. I, Meerut: Mofussalite Press, 1860, pp. 2, 4; Qureshi, pp. 232-33; Hafeez Malik ed., Political Profile of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan: A documentary Record, Islamabad: Institute of Islamic History, Culture and Civilization, 1402/1982, p. 193; Shan Muhammad, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan: A Political Biography, Meerut: Meenakshi Prakashan, 1969, p. 40.
4. The epitaph on Saiyid Ahmad’s grave shows the following lineage from Imam Husain: Imam Zainal Abidin, Imam Muhammad Baqar, Imam Jafar Sadiq, Imam Musa Kazim, Imam Ali Musa Raza, Imam Muhammad Taqi, Saiyid Musa Mir Raqi, Saiyid Ali Abdullah Ahmad, Saiyid Muhammad Arj, Saiyid Muhammad Ahmad, Saiyid Ahmad, Saiyid Musa, Saiyid Ahmad, Saiyid Muhammad, Saiyid Ali, Saiyid Jafar, Saiyid Muhammad, Saiyid Isa, Saiyid Abdul Fateh, Saiyid Ali, Saiyid Yar Husain, Saiyid Kazimuddin Husain, Saiyid Jafar, Saiyid Baqar, Saiyid Musa, Saiyid Sharfuddin Husain, Saiyid Ibrahim, Saiyid Hafiz Ahmad, Saiyid Aziz, Saiyid Muhammad Dost, Saiyid Burhan, Saiyid Muhammad Amad, Saiyid Muhammad Hadi, Saiyid Muhammad Muttaqi, and Saiyid Ahmad.
5. Hali wrote that the ancestors of Saiyid Ahmad Khan came to India during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan (1628-1658); however, Sir Saiyid himself believed that his people came to India as early as Akbar’s reign. Maulana Altaf Husain Hali, Hayat-i-Javed, Lahore: Ishrat Publishing House, New Edition, 1965, p. 39; Qureshi, p. 236; Shan Muhammad, p. 42; Zobairi, p. 88; Hafeez Malik, Political Profile, p. 197; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad and Muslim Modernization in India and Pakistan, New York: Columbia University Press, 1980, p. 63.
6. Hali, pp. 39-40; Zobairi, p. 89; Shan Muhammad, p. 43.
7. Ibid., pp. 40-42; Syed Ahmad Khan, Sirat-i-Faridiya, Agra: Matba Mufid A’m, 1896, pp. 15-18; George F. Irving Graham, The Life and Work of Syed Ahmad Khan, London: William Blackwood, 1885, pp. 3-5; Zobairi, p. 90; Shan Muhammad, p. 41.
8. Ibid., pp. 49-53; Zobairi, pp. 93-94.
9. Ibid., pp. 38, 55-6; Ibid., p 94; Shaikh Muhammad Ikram, Mauj-i-Kauther, Karachi, 1958, pp. 62-63; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 71; Shan Muhammad, pp. 44-45.
10. Ikram, pp. 62-63; Shan Muhammad, p. 45.
11. Zobairi, p. 95; Ibid., pp. 46-47; Aziz Ahmad, Islamic Modernism in India and Pakistan 1857-1964, London: Oxford University Press, 1970, p. 31.
12. Ibid., pp. 96-97; Ibid., 46-47.; Hali, pp. 42, 45; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 74.
13. Ibid., pp. 103-04; Ibid., pp. 47-48; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 74.
14. Ibid., p. 96; Ibid., p. 47; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 73; Muhammad Ziauddin Ansari, ‘Muntakhab Kitabiyat,’ in Fikr-o-Nazar, Shahriyar ed., Sir Syed Number, special issue, October 1992, pp. 255-56.
15. Ansari, p. 256; Zobairi, p. 107.
16. Aziz Ahmad, Islamic Modernism, pp. 31-32; Shan Muhammad, pp. 51-53; Zobairi, pp. 103-4; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 75.
17. Hali, pp. 133-34; Aziz Ahmad, p. 32; Zobairi, pp. 106-7; Ibid., p. 74.
18. Graham, pp. 32-57; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, pp. 76, 103-111; Aziz Ahmad, Islamic Modernism, pp. 33, 39; Zobairi, pp. 105-06.
19. Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, & the Heroic in History, Oxford, England: University of California Press, pp. 37-66; Hali, pp. 492-93; Shaikh Muhammad Ismail Panipati ed., Maktubat-i-Sir Saiyid, Lahore: Majlis Taraqqi Adab, 1959, p. 81; Qureshi, p. 238; Aziz Ahmad, Islamic Modernism; 35-36; Shan Muhammad, p. 53; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, pp. 95-96, 121; Muhammad Yasin Mazhar Siddiqi, ‘Sir Saiyid ki Sirat Nigari,’ in Fikr-o-Nazar, op. cit., pp. 216-27.
20. Percival Spear, Twilight of the Mughals, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 219; Zobairi, pp. 110-16; Shan Muhammad, pp. 23-32; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, pp. 77-79.
21. Edward Thompson and G. T. Garratt, Rise and Fulfillment of British Rule in India, reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1971, p. 462; Zobairi, p. 114; A. Hamid, “The Aligarh Movement,” in A History of the Freedom Movement, Vol. II, pt. II, Karachi: Pakistan Historical Society, 1961, p. 504.
22. William Wilson Hunter, The Indian Musalmans: Are they bound by Conscience to Rebel against the Queen? London: Trubner & Co., 1871, pp. 143-44; Qureshi, p. 233; Zobairi, pp. 116-17.
23. Graham, p. 28.
24. Hunter, p. 161.
25. Shaikh Muhammad Ismail Panipati ed., Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vol. II, Lahore: Majlis Taraqqi Adab, n. d., pp. 285-86; Zafarul Islam Islahi, ‘Sir Saiyid ka Tasawwur-i-‘Ilm,’ in Fikr-o-Nazar, cited above, pp. 79-80.
26. Munshi Sirajuddin ed., Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan: Lekcharon ka Majmu’ah, Lahore: Majlis Taraqqi Adab, 1890, p. 25.
27. Mushtaq Husayn ed., Makatib-i-Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, Aligarh: Friends Book House, 1960, pp. 315-16; Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 249-50.
28. Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, ‘Madhhab Aur T’alim,’ Tahzibul Akhlaq, No. 2/1, 15 Shawwal 1287, p. 11.
29. Nasim Qureshi ed., Aligarh Tahrik: Aghaz ta Imroz, Aligarh: Muslim University, 1960, pp. 11-12.
30. Makatib-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 104-105, 320-27; Saiyid Abid Husain, ‘Saiyid ka Khowab aur uski Ta’bir,’ in Aligarh Tahrik: Aghaz ta Imroz, Nasim Qureshi ed., Aligarh: Muslim University, 1960, pp. 1-16; Islahi, p. 82.
31. Ross Masud ed., Khotut Sir Saiyid, Badaun: Nizami Press, 1931, pp. 173-74.
32. Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 294-98; Makatib-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 231-33; Khotut Sir Saiyid, p. 137; Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, Tanazzul Ulum-i-diniyah, Amritsar: Steam Press, 1910, p. 15.
33. Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, ‘ Ta’lim Madhhabi,’ Tahzibul Akhlaq, No. 2/20, 1 Zilhijjah, 1288, p. 186.
34. Islahi, pp. 83-84.
35. Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 351-52, 360-61; Hali, pp. 301-02; Anwar Ahmad Marharwi ed., Muraqqai Conference, Aligarh, 1935, p. 7; Akhtarul Wasi’y, Sir Saiyid ki T’alimi Tahrik: All India Muslim Educational Conference ka ek Ijmali Mut’ali’y, New Delhi: Maktaba Jamia, 1985, pp.31- 43, 63-65, 70-73.
36. Maulana Nurul Hasan Rashid Kandhalwi,’ Maulana Abdullah Abnethawi,’ in Namwaran-i-Aligarh, (Tisra Karavan), Aligarh: Muslim University, 1986, pp. 406-07.
37. Aligarh Institute Gazette, 15/33, 24 April, 1880, pp. 467-68; Asghar Abbas ed., Sir Saiyid ki Ta’zi’ati Tahriren, Aligarh: Educational Book House, 1989, pp. 15-16.
38. Makatib-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 231-33; Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 297-98.
39. Muhammad Amin Zobairi, Hayat-i-Mohsin, Aligarh: Muslim University, 1924, p. 73; Arshad Islam, ‘Maulana Saiyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi: His Career and Works (1914-1999),’ Hamdard Islamicus, Vol. XXV, January-March 2002, No. 1, pp. 47-48.
40. Muhammad Muqtada Khan Sherwani ed., Waqar-i-Hayat, Aligarh: Matbah Muslim University, 1925, p. 508; Islahi, p. 85.
41. Khotut Sir Saiyid, p. 171; Maktubat-i-Sir Saiyid, p. 651; Muhammad Ishaq Jalis Nadvi, Tarikh Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, 1983, p. 108.
42. Hayat-i-Mohsin, pp. 102-03.
43. Makatib-i-Shibli, Vol. II, Azamgarh: Darul Musannifin, 1927, p. 29; Saiyid Sulaiman Nadvi, Hayat-i-Shibli, Azamgarh: Darul Musannifin Shibli Academy, 1999, p. 432.
44. Makatib-i-Shibli, pp. 36-144.
45. Waqar-i-Hayat, pp. 608-10.
46. Ibid.,p. 553.
47. Khotut Sir Saiyid, pp. 8-10; Makatib-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 205-08; Maktubat-i- Sir Saiyid, pp. 646-47; Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, p. 141.
48. Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi, Tasfiatul Aqaid, Deoband: Kutbkhanah A’zaziya, n. d., pp. 2-7; Islahi, p. 85; Zafar Ahmad Siddiqi,’ Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan Aur Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi,’ in Fikr-o-Nazar, Shahriyar, cited above, pp. 167-176.
49. Tahzibul Akhlaq No. 10/20, (special Sir Saiyid Number), 1 October, 2001, pp. 67-71. (summarized from the Urdu version).
50. Islahi, p. 86.
51. Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, p. 250.
52. Ibid., pp. 260-61.
53. Islahi, p. 87.
54. Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 251-63; Hali, p. 449.
55. Ibid., pp. 137-38; Khotut Sir Saiyid, pp. 174-76; Hali, pp. 438-450.
56. Ibid., p. 262.
57. Ibid., pp. 259-60.
58. Lekcharon ka Majmu’ah, p. 172.
59. Ibid., p. 158; Khutbat-i-Sir Saiyid, p. 276.
60. Khaliq Ahmad Nizami, Sir Saiyid Aur Aligarh Tahrik, Aligarh: Educational Book House, 1982, p. 110.
61. Islahi, pp. 89-90.
62. Hali, pp. 450-54; see also Tahzibul Akhlaq, 1 Rajab, 12898 AH.
63. Nizami, p. 47; Arshad Islam, ‘Allama Shibli Nu’mani (1857-1914): A Monumental Islamic Scholar,’ Pakistan Journal of History & Culture, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, January-June 2005, p. 66.
64. Islahi, p. 91.
65. Lekcharon ka Majmu’ah, pp. 167,198.
66. Graham, pp. 70, 77-78; Zobairi, pp.141-42; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 187.
67. Hali, p. 170; S. K. Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, Aligarh: Asia Publishing House, 1969, p.11; Aziz Ahmad, Islamic Modernism, p. 37; Zobairi, pp.148-49; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 188.
68. Ibid., pp. 132-33; Zobairi, pp. 150-51; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, pp.189-90; Sulaiman Nadvi, p. 401.
69. Shaikh Muhammad Ismail Panipati ed., Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vol. VIII, Lahore: Majlis Taraqqi Adab, reprint 1991, pp. 56-57, 63; Syed Hashmi Faridabadi, ‘The Urdu-Hindi Controversy,’ in A History of the Freedom Movement, Vol. III, pt. II, Karachi: Pakistan Historical Society, 1963, p. 359; Zobairi, pp. 153-54; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, pp. 190-91.
70. H. K. Sherwani, ‘Political Thought of Syed Ahmad Khan,’ Indian Journal of Political Science, 1944, p. 316; Zobairi, p. 156.
71. Sir Saiyid’s letter to Mahdi Ali Khan dated 29 April 1870, Khotut Sir Saiyid, pp. 66-67; R. C. Majumdar, The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. X, part II, Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1965, p. 328; Qureshi, p. 247; Aziz Ahmad, Studies in Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964, p. 260; Zobairi, pp. 157-60.
72. Graham, p. 192; S. K. Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College ka Qiyam,’ in Fikr-o-Nazar, cited above, p. 111; Aziz Ahmad, An Intellectual History of Islam in India, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1969, p. 61.
73. Khotut Sir Saiyid, p. 41; but Bhatnagar gives 15 May 1870. Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 111; Zobairi, pp. 168-69.
74. Khotut Sir Saiyid, pp. 41, 75; Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vol. X, pp. 40-43, XII, p. 190; Zobairi, pp. 169, 225-26.
75. Hali, p. 516; Zobairi, p. 226.
76. Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, ‘Tariqah T’alim Musalmanan,’ Tahzibul Akhlaq, No. 3/6, 10 Rabiul Awwal 1289, pp. 50-58; Hali, p. 516; Zobairi, p. 172; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 198.
77. Ibid., p. 169; Ibid., p. 173; Institute Gazette, 12 January 1872, Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 112.
78. Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vol. XVI, p. 730; Hali, p. 153; Ibid., pp. 112-13.
79. Graham, pp. 246-47; Hali, pp. 169-70; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 112; Zobairi, p. 176.
80. Institute Gazette, 21 February 1873; Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, p. 36; Zobairi, p. 183; Shan Muhammad, p. 65.
81. Hali, p. 170; Zobairi, pp. 183-87.
82. Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vols. XII, p. 190, XVI, pp. 767-69; Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, p. 34; Zobairi, pp. 187-88; Bhatnagar, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College, p. 113.
83. Ibid., Vol. XVI, pp. 774-76; Ibid., pp. 188-89; Ibid., p. 114.
84. Institute Gazette, 21 March 1873; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 117; Zobairi, pp. 188-89.
85. Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vols. X, p. 202, XVI, pp. 774-76; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 117; Zobairi, p. 189.
86. Ibid., Vol. X, pp. 171-73; Hali, pp. 521, 524; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ pp. 117-18; Zobairi, p. 190.
87. Institute Gazette, 21 February 1875; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 118; Shan Muhammad, p. 71.
88. Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, ‘Darul Ulum Musalmanan kay Mukhalifin,’ Tahzibul Akhlaq, No. 4/3, 10 Safar 1290, pp. 18-25; Hali, pp. 521, 524; Zobairi, p. 190; Shan Muhammad, p. 71.
89. Hali, p. 531; Graham, pp. 203-04; Zobairi, p. 191.
90. Ibid., p. 191; Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, p. 41; Zobairi, p. 194; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 119.
91. Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, pp. 47, 49; Ibid., p. 203.
92. Makatib-i-Sir Saiyid, pp. 113-120; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 120.
93. Lekcharon ka Majmu’ah, pp. 110-11; Ibid.
94. Hali, p.39; Ibid.
95. Ibid., p. 168; Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vol. X, pp. 191-92; Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, pp. 47,49; Aziz Ahmad, An Intellectual History, p. 61; Zobairi, pp. 202-03; Shan Muhammad, p. 75; Hafeez Malik, Sir Sayyid Ahmad, p. 203.
96. The letter is preserved in Aligarh Muslim University Archives; see Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 123.
97. Ibid., pp. 123-24.
98. Graham, pp.273-74; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ pp. 124-25.
99. Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 125.
100. Ibid., pp. 125-26; Hali, p. 170.
101. Ibid., p. 126.
102. Ibid.; Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, p. 105; Zobairi, p. 203.
103. Ibid., p. 125; Graham, pp. 273-74; Ibid.; Qureshi, p. 241.
104. Nawab Mohsinul Mulk ed., Addresses and speeches relating to the Mahomedan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh from its foundation in 1875 to 1898, Aligarh, 24 December1898, pp. 31-32; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ pp. 127-28; Bhatnagar, History of the M. A. O. College, p. 105; Zobairi, p. 205; Shan Muhammad, p. 67.
105. Institute Gazette, 12 January 1877; Bhatnagar, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aur MAO College,’ p. 128.
106. Muqalat-i-Sir Saiyid, Vols. VIII, pp. 5, 30, XII, pp. 276-77.
107. Sharif al-Mujahid ed., Muslim League Documents 1900-1947, Karachi: Quid-i-Azam Academy, 1990, Vol. I, pp. 158-61; Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada ed., Foundation of Pakistan-All-India Muslim League Documents: 1906-1947, Karachi: National Publishing House Ltd., 1969, Vol. I, pp. I-Ii.