Nawab Mohsinul-Mulk

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Saiyad Mehdi Ali, Nawab Mohsinul-Mulk

By Afzal Usmani

Born: 9th December, 1837 Etawah (UP)
Died: 16th October, 1907, Shimla (H.P.)
Father’s Name: Saiyad Mir Zaamin Ali,
Biography: Hayat-e-Mohsin (By Mr. Amin Zuberi : 1934)
Secretary of MAO College Board: 1899-1907

Very few friendships have been as stable and strong as that of Sir Saiyad Ahmed Khan and Mohsin-ul-Mulk. Such a high level of respect for difference of opinion was possible in those days only. Saiyad Mehdi Ali, popularly known as Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, was one of the strongest supporters of Sir Saiyad’s mission and Aligarh Movement. He was born in Etawah(UP) and received the best of early education in and around Etawah. He was given a thorough basic education, both in Persian and Arabic. During his posting as Tahsildar in Etawah, he met Sir Saiyad Ahmad Khan. This meeting resulted in a long lasting companionship and Nawab Mohsinul Mulk became a staunch supporter of Sir Saiyad’s vision and Mission. He became member of the Scientific Society from its starting dates in 1864. He wrote passionate articles in Tahzeebul Akhlaq to support Sir Saiyad’s vision and spread his mission and became a spokesperson of Sir Saiyad’s social thoughts and Aligarh Movement. Regarding Sir Saiyad Ahmad Khan’s visit to England, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk wrote a letter to Honorable Haji Ismail Khan: “Saiyad Ahmad Khan went to England to see with his own eyes the nation which is respected all over the world, and to see the people in their own homes and in their own country. Whatever he observed, he made known to his own people when he returned. When people go to Britain from this country, they usually go for the sights, the theaters, the parks and the museums. But this great friend of Islamic faith went there and sat down in a library to write the Khutbat-e-Ahmadiya and to visit colleges and Universities. He went there for the sake of his people, he stayed there for the sake of his people and he came back for the sake of his people.”

Muslim University Ki Kahani 364

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan with Mohsinul Mulk and Syed Mahmood*

Muslim University Ki Kahani 365

Nawab Mohsinul Mulk with Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and supporters and Well wishers of Aligarh Movement

When Sir Saiyad formed THE COMMITTEE OF THE SUPPORTERS OF THE ADVANCEMENT OF MUSLIM EDUCATION, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk was on his side and started collecting donations for the cause of the newly formed committee.
In 1867, he sat for the Provincial Civil Service examination and topped the list of successful candidates. He was appointed as Deputy Collector in U. P. In 1874, Mehdi Ali proceeded to Hyderabad and for his meritorious services, he was conferred the titles of Munir Nawaz Jang and Nawab Mohsin-ud-Daula by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
In 1893, he retired from Hyderabad and came to Aligarh and offered his services to Sir Saiyad Ahmad Khan to assist him in spreading the message of Aligarh Movement. Upon the death of Sir Saiyad, he was appointed as the Secretary of the Muslim Educational Conference in 1899. Towards the beginning of 20th century, the Hindi-Urdu controversy arose in the United Provinces. Mohsin-ul-Mulk took up the pen in defense of Urdu in collaboration with the Urdu Defense Association.


Nawab Mohsinul Mulk authored following books;
1. Mazaameen-e-Tahzeebul Akhlaq (Collection of his articles published in Tahzeebul Akhlaq)
2. Taqleed-e-Amal
3. Kitabul Muhabbat-o-Shauq Makaateeb
4. Musalmano(n) ki Tahzeeb
5. Aayaat-o-Bayyanat

Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, being a farsighted and politically conscious leader, carried on correspondence with the private secretary of the Viceroy to give his point-of-view on the necessity of separate representation for the Muslims in all legislatures and local bodies. He presided the 9th session of Muslim Educational Conference which was held in Aligarh in 1894 and proposed a resolution to help and support Nadwatul-Uloom, the newly formed religious school in Lucknow. His impressive Presidential remarks soften the hearts of modern educationist to support the cause of Nadwatul-Uloom.

After Sir Saiyad’s death in 1898, he became Secretary of the MAO College management and took Sir Saiyad’s burden on his own shoulders and is regarded with as much respect as his forerunner. He continued the mission of Sir Saiyad; at the same time he gave some special attention to bring religious and oriental stream scholars closer to AMO College so that the students can benefited from the scholars to have a proper understanding of religion also. He appointed a committee under the Chairmanship of Maulana Habibur Rahman Khan Sherwani to improve the religious studies courses in MAO College. Maulana Shibli Nomani was also a member of that committee. He played a key role in renewing Allama Shibli Nomani’s relationship with Aligarh and in result Allama Shibli again re-attached himself with Aligarh.


Mohsinul Mulk with leaders of Aligarh Movement: (L-R) Sitting:Viqarul Mulk, Mohsinul Mulk, Nazir Ahmad, Altaf Hussain Haali, (L-R) Standing : Shibli Nomani, T.W. Arnold

On 30th December, 1906 in Dacca, a muslim political organization was formed and Nawab Mohsinul Mulk, along with Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, became Secretary of Muslim League and were asked to draft the constitution of the Muslim League. On 16th October, 1907, he died in Shimla (HP).
The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) honored him by naming a Hall of residence after him. The foundation stone of the Hall was laid by the then Vice Chancellor, Mr. Badruddin Tyabji on November 4, 1963. It started with an initial strength of 400 and is now one of the largest residential Halls both in size and strength, having 900 students and six different hostels: Allama Shibli Hostel (Previously this was Sir Ziauddin Hostel), Ameen Hostel, Majaz Hostel, Maulana Hali Hostel, Maulana Mohd. Ali Johar Hostel, and Saifi Hostel.


Mohsinul Mulk with delegates of Muslim Education Conference in 1906 at Dhaka where Muslim League was formed


Mohsinul Mulk Hall at AMU Aligarh India

MM Hall

Mohsinul Mulk Hall at AMU Aligarh India


Maqbarah of Mohsinul Mulk in Jama Masjid of AMU Aligarh India

Annual Magazine of 2010-11 "Mohsin" released

ALIGARH July 14: Releasing the Annual Hall Magazine of Mohsinul Mulk Hall, the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Prof. P. K. Abdul Azis said that the country needs more Aligarh Muslim Universities and this institution has gained national reach by establishing its centres.
He said that replicating AMU is the new mission and it needs sustained and dedicated initiative. Prof. Azis said that villagers of Kishanganj in Bihar are crying for AMU Centre.
Prof. Azis said that Malappuram and Murshidabad Centres have taken shape and now Bihar Government and the people are offering land to establish AMU Centre before he completes his tenure as the Vice Chancellor. He said that during his recent visit to Kishanganj, Mr. Abu Affan Farooqui showed his spirit of nobility for the establishment of Kishanganj Centre while he was opposing as a President of AMU Students’ Union.
He said that Nawab Mohsinul Mulk was a close associate of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and he was highly impressed by the printing and content of the magazine. He also appreciated the role of editorial board.
Presiding the releasing ceremony, note historian Prof. Irfan Habib said that we are responsible for our own backwardness. He pointed out that Muslims are much better than SC/ST materially but do not use their potential in the field of education.
Prof. Habib said that during his student life, he was also the editor of University English Magazine. He said that after partition, every third refugee was a student of AMU. Dr. Zakir Husain, the then Vice Chancellor provided them accommodation in Ameen Hostel and they lived together. AMU Hockey Team defeated Punjab University. Majority of the team was Sikh.
Dr. Suhail Sabir, Provost, M. M. Hall said that he believed that the literary talents of the residents of a hall of residence can be show cased through publication of such magazines.
Prof. Shan Mohammad, Director, Sir Syed Academy also addressed the releasing ceremony as a guest of honour.
Mr. Mohd. Khursheed Alam, Editor, Mohsin proposed a vote of thank while Mr. Ghufran Ahmad, Censor of the magazine conducted the programme. Mr. Vekar H. Mir, Joint Editor and Mr. Mohd. Tarique Hafiz, Mr. Md. Shamim, Mr. Md. Meraj Alam and Mr. Md. Ashyam were also present on the occasion.

(Dr. Rahat Abrar)
Public Relations Officer

Sir Syed Bi-Centenary


Hamiduddin Farahi


ZH Chowdhury

Satish Chandra