Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

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ہوگا کہیں فلک پر خورشید جلوہ گر
کہتے ہیں کی آفتاب کبھی ڈوبتا نہیں

For the first time when I paid a visit to the graveyard of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Jama Masjid, AMU Aligarh, I saw 2 other graves next to him. One was Sir Ross Masood and other Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed. To get a place next to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, someone must be very close to him or should have done something remarkable to realize his dream.
We all know that Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad has no blood relation with Sir Syed but he was a true disciple of Sir Syed and his mission and spent his entire life to realize the dream of Sir Syed and finally found a place next to his mentor and ideal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

23rd December 2010 was 63rd death anniversary of Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed. As usual, AMU campus was calm and quite.

I am thankful to Dr. Shaheer Khan for providing this article for

I am also thankful to (Late) Dr. Mukhtaruddin Arzoo sahab for providing me some of the old pictures of Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmad.

Afzal Usmani
Austin TX


Founding Pro Vice-Chancellor : Dec.17, 1920 to 1928

Sir Ziauddin's Signature

Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

Habib A. Zuberi, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Detroit, MI, USA

Ziauddin Ahmed was born in 1877 at Meerut, in a well known Zuberi family. He received his early education in Meerut and then moved at age 12 to Aligarh, where he attended the school section of the M.A.O. College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Allahabad University, securing the first position among Science students, for which he was awarded the Strachey Gold medal; M.A. in Mathematics from Calcutta University; B. Sc. (Hon.) from Cambridge, where he became the first Indian to receive Sir Isaac Newton scholarship; Ph.D. from Goettingen University; and D.Sc. from Allahabad. His was a first -class career throughout his academic life. As a student he participated in sports and debates.

While Ziauddin was at Aligarh, he was highly impressed by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his approach to modernize education so that Muslims could be brought into the main stream of Indian life in a way that was consistent with new political realities. Even before completing his B.A degree he went to Marehra, District Etah where a number of his relatives lived, and convinced them to start a school on the same pattern as M.A.O. College. He invited Sir Morrison, a faculty member at M.A.O. College, in 1894, to Marehra to lay down the foundation stone of Morrison Islamia School.
Even before the results of B.A. examination were announced Ziauddin became a temporary teacher at the High School section of M.A.O. College at a salary of Rs 16/- a month. After the exam results were out Mr. Beck, who was then Principal of the College, and Sir Morrison suggested that Ziauddin Ahmed accept a position as Deputy Collector with U.P. Government which paid Rs. 500/- at that time. Some of his relatives also encouraged him to do that. Yet, he declined the offer and accepted a position as assistant lecturer at the College at a salary of Rs. 60/- per month. Something quite interesting happened at this time. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had a contract drawn for Ziauddin to sign. The contract stated that Ziauddin would serve the M.A.O. College for a period of no less than five years. Ziauddin told him that he planned to spend his entire life there. He further stated that if a person is forced to stay there because of a contract then it would not be worth keeping him. At this point Sir Syed Ahmed Khan tore up the contract, and thus began the career of Ziauddin as a teacher.

Although he was hired to teach Mathematics, he taught other subjects as well. For example in 1897, Professor Arnold, who taught Logic at the college resigned. The paucity of funds did not permit the College to hire a new faculty member from England. Ziauddin was assigned to teach logic. In addition he coached students who were seeking admission at Roorkie Engineering College. He often left Aligarh to complete his education. For example he went to Europe where he completed Ph.D. at Goettingen University in 1904, then spent two additional years in various countries before returning to Aligarh in 1906.

Soon after returning from Europe, Dr. Ziauddin decided to organize faculty members to write articles in the field of their expertise and publish them in the College Magazine. He contributed a number of articles himself and several other faculty members did the same. He held seminars and coached students to prepare for examinations in the field of engineering and forestry. In short he was deeply involved in academic work. In 1911, a Central Committee was set up to transform M.A.O. College into a University with Raja Mahmoodabad as President, Syed Ali Bilgrami as Secretary and Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed as Joint Secretary. Government of India informed the Trustees that a sum of Rs. 30 lakh must be raised before a university status for the college may be considered. Dedicated members of the Board of Trustees and Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed worked hard and collected the necessary funds by 1915. He also served as an Acting Principal of M.A.O. College for a short time in 1913. In 1917, he was nominated to serve on Calcutta University Commission, known as Sadler Commission.


Raja Mahmudabad (center) with leaders of Aligarh Movement*

L-R(Chairs): Nawab Viqarul Mulk, Raja Mahmudabad, Sahabzada Aftab Ahmad Khan*

L-R(standing): Mr. Miya(n) Sadiq Ali Khan, Sir Ziauddin Ahmad, Mr.Shaikh Habibullah

When Dr. Ziauddin returned after completing work on the Sadler Commission he found that serious differences had surfaced between the Secretary of the College and the European staff. It appeared the differences between the European staff and the Secretary were irreconcilable, therefore, Mr. Towle, Principal and the entire European staff resigned. This resulted in the apathy of the government officials towards the College. At that time the members of the Board of Trustees were also divided on the course that the College should take. This did not serve the interest of the College well. Under these circumstances, and in spite of the opposition by the Secretary, Dr. Ziauddin was appointed as Principal of the College on June 11, 1919. When the College re-opened after summer vacations the enrollment had sharply declined from 1200 to 181.

Dr. Ziauddin rose to the occasion and made great efforts to bring about reconciliation between the members of the Board of Trustees and succeeded in bringing most students back to campus. While Aligarh faced these problems, in 1919, the term of Sir Sunder Lal, Vice-Chancellor Allahabad University, serving as a member of the Provincial Assembly came to an end. The university nominated Dr. Ziauddin as their representative in the State Assembly.
Faculty and staff on campus, in honor of Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed who was now known as Doctor Sahib, gave a dinner to which College trustees as well as European Officers of Aligarh and Agra were invited. Several speeches were made at this time praising Doctor Sahib. Khawaja Abdul Majeed, one of the Trustees who did not support him initially, stated: “I was against Dr. Sahib’s appointment as Principal, but the improvements that have resulted under his leadership have convinced me that this will be good for the future of students, staff, honorary Secretary, public and the relations with the government.” (Zia-e -Hayat. P. 234). This event provided a good opportunity to mend fend fences with the trustees as well as the European Officers.

In 1920, while the College had applied to achieve a university status and its request was under consideration, Muslims in India, led by Maulana Mohamed Ali and his brother Shaukat Ali, two distinguished Aligarians, had launched a movement to restore Khilafat (caliphate) in Turkey. The Turks themselves had no use for Khilafat and had chosen Mustafa Kamal Pasha as their leader, the Arabs did not want it and the British opposed it. Yet, emotionally charged Muslims in India demanded that the British restore Khilafat. In their struggle they were supported by the Congress Party. On September 9, 1920 Congress Party passed a resolution by which non-cooperation movement began. This movement was hailed as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in India.

On October 11, 1920 the Ali brothers descended upon Aligarh with Swami Satya Dev and Gandhiji. They received a tumultuous reception at the railway station. These leaders were invited to address the Student Union. The students passed a resolution in support of non-cooperation with the British government movement and condemned British attitude towards Turkey. The resolution further demanded that the College accept no grants from the government and discontinue affiliation with Allahabad University. Furthermore, the resolution asked to change M.A.O. College into a National University without any relationship with the government.

Dr. Ziauddin had learned from Sir Syed Ahmed Khan that Muslims should not get themselves involved in politics until such time they were at par in education with other communities in India. He, as a loyal follower of Sir Syed, approached the university authorities, and convinced them to keep the College out of this struggle. He, therefore, firmly opposed the actions by the student body and, when the crisis deepened, closed the College for a short time and sent students home.

Dr. Ziauddin had opposed a popular movement and risked alienating himself from the Muslim masses. He had to choose between supporting a popular movement and loosing government support (financial and otherwise) or establishing a Muslim University with government assistance. He opted in favor of establishing a Muslim University. However, when classes resumed, a sizeable number of students stayed home. It appeared that due to a sharp decline in enrollment the College would lose the opportunity of becoming a university for which the College authorities had worked so hard. Dr. Sahib visited several towns to convince the people to send their children to Aligarh. He succeeded in his efforts and most of the students returned to Aligarh, and a number of new students joined the College. This was indeed the most difficult period in the history of the College and by opposing a popular movement Dr. Ziauddin earned the wrath of a number of people who continued to oppose him in a variety of ways for the rest of their lives. At the same time he found a solid base that supported him. Eventually his efforts paid off and on December 1, 1920 Muslim University Act passed and thus M.A.O. College became Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Raja Mahmoodabad became the first Vice-Chancellor and Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Raja Sahib was not particularly in favor of Dr. Sahib becoming the P.V.C. He would have preferred an English man for the job. When no European was willing to accept this position and no other capable Muslim was available, he accepted Dr. Ziauddin as P.V.C. The University Act stated that the P.V.C shall be “the principal academic officer of the university.” It was further stipulated that in the absence of the V.C. the P.V.C will act as the chairman of the Academic Council…” Dr. Sahib and Raja Sahib often held differing views on managing the university affairs. After a year, Raja Sahab resigned as V.C. and Nawabzada Aftab Ahmed Khan became the V.C. In 1922, Dr. Sahib was re-elected to the State Assembly.

In a relatively short period of time fundamental disagreements developed between the Sahibzada and Dr. Sahib. Some people have suggested that these differences arose because these two individuals had different backgrounds. Sahibzada was a lawyer and was a stickler for rules and regulations, while Dr. Sahib maintained that “rules are made for students; students are not made for rules.” Dr. Sahib often bent rules to help students. Dr. Amir Husain Siddiqui states that: “Dr. Ziauddin created educational aids, reduced fees and other expenditure, relaxed the rules for admission and examinations and encouraged extra lectures for those who fell short of attendance.” (Zia-i-Hayat. P.18). These policies made him very popular among student as well as among the parents of the students. He even introduced the system of private examinations because the government of India did not permit the affiliation of Colleges and Schools to the University. It was not clear whether students could appear in exams as private candidates, but he continued this practice while he served as P.V.C. He encouraged informal relations between faculty and students. The University emphasized sports, had a Riding School, a unit of U.O.T.C., and an active Student Union, where students elected their leaders and participated in debates.

In 1925, the University administration decided to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the foundation of Aligarh College. At this time differences between the V.C. and the P.V.C. surfaced. Dr. Sahib decided to take leave and asked the V.C. to appoint someone else as new P.V.C. Realizing Dr. Sahib’s popularity among student and the faculty Sahibzada refused to accept his request and prevailed upon him to stay on as P.V.C. The Jubilee was celebrated on a grand scale, and it was a great success. Over Rs 176,000/- were raised. Dr. Sahib had these funds reserved for the establishment of Engineering College, applied Physics and applied Chemistry. However, by law the university was required to receive permission of the government to establish these departments. It was expected that the government would approve this request as Agra and Allahabad universities had already been permitted to have these departments. However, the government did not approve the establishment of these departments at Aligarh.
In February 1926, Dr. Sahib’s term as P.V.C. ended. At this time Sahibzada Sahib, inspite of differences, proposed his name for P.V.C. in glowing terms. Dr. Sahib was re-appointed as P.V.C. However, when his own term as V.C. ended in December 1926, the Trustees appointed Nawab Sir Muzzamil Ullah Khan to serve as V.C. in his place. The Sahibzada, before leaving his post wrote a pamphlet pointing out some irregularities he had encountered on campus for which he held Dr. Sahib responsible. He sent a copy of it to the Viceroy, to Begum Bhopal (Chancellor), and to the Trustees. Dr. Moin-ul-Haque, who was on the faculty in History Department during this period in his biography Moin-Aap-Biti, as cited by Dr. Iftikhar Alam Khan, has given an account of the differences between the two. According to him “Sahibzada Aftab Ahmed Khan had a different upbringing and differed from Dr. Ziauddin on some basic issues. Dr. Sahib worked day and night to quickly solve problems he encountered; Sahibzada Sahib also worked hard, but he paid a great deal of attention to rules and regulations, therefore, his decisions were slow. This created difficulties between the two and made it difficult for him to work with Dr. Sahib. It was the result of his stubbornness. Dr. Sahib often helped students to get their degrees and helped them find employment…Sometimes his actions, to accomplish this goal, undermined the quality of education.” (Aligarh Ki Kahani Imaratoun Ki Zabani, pp.54-56)
The pamphlet circulated by Nawabzada Sahib resulted in the formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the issues under the Chairmanship of Sir Ibrahim Rahmat Ullah. The Committee expressed appreciation of the services rendered by Dr. Sahib to the University and the M.A.O. College, but recommended that he take a leave with pay for six months and at the end of that time he would retire. Before the University Court could meet to discuss the issue Dr. Sahib submitted his resignation, with effect from April 27, 1928 which was accepted by the Executive Council on March 30, 1928. Dr. Ziauddin declined to accept the leave with pay.
There were numerous farewell parties organized on campus and a number of poems were written on that occasion. A staff member Qazi Jalal Uddin wrote a two-page long poem. A couple of lines from that poem are presented here:

Sakoot-e-Shub Kay Purdey mein Abhi Khurshid Pinha Tha
Fiza-e-Dehr Ka Her Zarra Munqood-e-Shabistan Tha
Faroogh-e Husn say Her Burg Tha Julwa Ha Der Burr
“Zia Uddin” Say Her Zarra Rushk-e Mahay Taban Tha…

The Vice-President (now President) of the Student Union, in his farewell address stated: “If Sir Syed was the founder of this institution, you are beyond a question its savior.” After serving the university for 33 years Dr. Ziauddin left Aligarh on April 27, 1928. According to Zia-i-Hayat, almost the entire student body came to bid him farewell at the railway station.



Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed receiving an Egyptian delegate in AMU Aligarh

In 1930, Dr. Sahib was elected to Central Assembly (now Parliament) form Gorakhpur, Banaras, Allahabad and Jhansi Muslim Constituency. He was repeatedly elected from different constituencies and served in the Central Legislature until 1947. In 1931, an individual named Anwer Noor, in the Frontier Province, was so offended by an assistant commissioner that he attacked him. The Officer was not hurt in any way, but because Noor had attacked the Officer, he was put to death. This became a political issue in India. A committee was appointed under the leadership of Sardar Patel to investigate the issue and submit the report. However, before the report was published the government seized it. Dr. Ziauddin raised the question in the Central Assembly. He stated in the case of Mr. Noor three questions should be looked at: (a) No harm came to the assistant commissioner, when it is suggested that an attempt was made on his life; (b) now suppose he did intend to attack, then because he merely intended to attack he was put to death and was not given a chance to appeal against this judgment, and (c) the government should provide an answer to what greater punishment will be adopted than death if actual attack takes place. This intervention by Dr. Sahib resulted in the cancellation of repressive laws that were put in operation by the British Government in Frontier Province. (Zia-e-Hayat. pp. 240-41).

Seven years after he had left Aligarh, he returned to the University as Vice-Chancellor on April 19, 1935. He immediately made plans to improve the Science Faculty. After all, the Aligarh movement began with Syed Ahmed Khan’s Scientific Society. Although plans for constructing a building for Tibbiya College had been discussed earlier, Dr. Sahib took a personal interest in it and moved to make it a reality. The work began in 1938. However the work was not completed until 1940. At that time Sir Shah Sulaiman was serving as Vice Chancellor.
The next item on the agenda for Dr. Sahib was to establish technical education on campus. He, therefore, launched a program to establish an Institute of Technology. For the implementation of this program Nawab of Jungadh donated Rs 50,000/-. Nawab Muzzamil Ullah Khan, a great benefactor of the University, in a letter to the Executive Council wrote that he was happy to see a Technical School being established and to make its success he would donate his Johnson Factory Building. He also donated two of his old cars so that students enrolled in motor engineering course could work on those cars. (Iftikhar Alam Khan. P. 149) The Department of Technology received the highest priority in Dr. Sahib’s preferences for the advancement of education at AMU.

In 1937, he proposed to establish a College of Technology. This College, he stated, would prepare students for electrical, mechanical, sanitary, civil engineering and agricultural farming. Other related subjects to be developed included applied chemistry, electro-chemistry, and chemistry of textile. Same year, the Technology workshop came into existence. Its foundation stone was laid down by Nawb Sahib of Rampur. At the same time a radio station began to operate from the Technical Institute under the supervision of Mr. Durrani, who was appointed Superintendent of the Technology Institute.

In 1937, Girls Intermediate College became a Degree College and was affiliated with the university. At the same time, upon his recommendation, for the first time, girls were admitted to Teachers Training College.
Dr. Sahib proposed to establish a military college on campus. He sent this proposal to the Government of India in October, 1937. He also invited Lord Wellington, Governor General and viceroy of India, to come to Aligarh and receive an honorary LLD degree. At that time His Exalted Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad also came to Aligarh and donated funds for the construction of the Cricket Pavilion.

These are some of the most important accomplishments of Dr. Ziauddin during his first term in office as Vice-Chancellor. His first term ended on April 30, 1938. He was succeeded by an eminent Jurist and an excellent administrator Sir Shah Suleiman, a Judge of the Federal Court. Unfortunately, he passed away on March 13, 1941. Dr. Ziauddin was then appointed Vice-Chancellor for the second time. He took charge on April 24, 1941. This was, indeed, a very difficult period in the history of India. As a British colony, India was involved in World War II. The nation’s resources were diverted towards war. Hence, the cost of living was rising, black market was prospering and government had imposed rationing on necessities. There was the Great Famine in Bengal, Indian National Army was organized by Subhash Chandra Bose, and Quit India Movement was gaining ground. To crush the freedom movement, the British Government of India was pursuing repressive policies. The Muslim League, which had hitherto demanded only autonomy for provinces in which Muslims constituted a majority, was now demanding a separate homeland for Muslims of India. Dr. Ziauddin had been serving in the Central Legislative Assembly since 1930, and had been a member of the Independent Party, that included Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. When this parliamentary body was dissolved he joined Muslim League and served as its Parliamentary Secretary. In the Assembly he focused on issues related to finance, railways and labor. His conduct as a legislator was above board. In evaluating his performance in the Assembly Mr. N.V Gadgil wrote: “Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed was a popular figure in the Central Assembly during the period of my membership of that body. He was very well informed on Railway and General Finance…He was catholic in his hospitality, charitable towards friends and a conscientious legislator…” (Zia-e -Hayat, P.100) He was also a member of the East India Railway Companies Board of Director and the Viceroy appointed him as a member of his Defense Council. He had been knighted earlier, and during World War II, he became a Lt. Col. as well. In Official circles he was known as Lt. Col. Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed.

Besides focusing on the above mentioned issues, Dr. Sahib was extremely helpful to students in securing government employment. He made long speeches in the Assembly arguing that minorities should have proportional representation in government services relative to their population size. He recommended students for all kind of employment ranging from clerical and administrative to military. He traveled all over India raising funds for the University. Annual Convocation was a big event at Aligarh. All kinds of dignitaries came to Aligarh at that time. In addition to regular convocations that were held at the Cricket Pavilion, special convocations were held at Strachy Hall where visiting dignitaries were awarded degrees. The visiting dignitaries, more often than not, delivered lectures at the Student Union. Dr. Sahib made it a point to visit students in their dormitories. He would go to see a Cricket match for a short time, visit the Numaish (Exhibition) at least once, and eat Kabab Parhatas there. The students would know when he was there. In short he maintained close contacts with students. As it sometimes happens, a group of AMU students would get involved in a quarrel with another group on campus or elsewhere, and Dr. Sahib would appear on the scene, sometimes even at personal risk, to establish peace and would not invite police on campus. Some people criticized him for that. He chose not to respond to his critics. When asked why he did not respond to these criticisms, he would say that if he did, then there would be no difference between them and him. He had no time to spare to think about their outrageous and often baseless criticism. He cared about students and the faculty, and by and large they loved and respected him.

He was also known for throwing parties. Indeed, most visiting dignitaries were entertained at his house. He often invited people who were living in Aligarh for dinner. Suppose he invited 10 people for a Friday evening dinner at his house and told his cook, whom he addressed as “My Lord,” about the dinner and the number of guests he may expect. Then he would run into another four or five people and ask them if they could join him for the dinner as he has invited a few others as well. By Friday morning he would have invited 20 people. My Lord would ask him, “Dr. Sahib, how many people are expected tonight?” He would say, “Well, perhaps I have invited 15 or 16 people, but you know some of them will not be able to come because they may have some other engagement.” Then during the day someone else might also visit him and be invited to stay on for the dinner as well. My Lord would prepare food for 20, but more often than not 22-23 people would show up for the dinner. Pullao (Biryani) was one of the dishes that were always prepared for these parties, and there was always a sweet dish. He threw such parties in Delhi as well.
Aligarh by now had become a center of Muslim League activities. Dr. Sahib’s focus remained on education. He picked up from where he had left in 1938. Tibbiya College, received his administration’s top priority. However, the work on College building could not be completed until 1943 due to scarcity of resources. His second priority was the establishment of a full fledged Engineering College. This goal was achieved by 1945. He made an effort to establish an airport near the University in 1942 for which Nawab Sahib Bhopal contributed Rs 50,000/- to build an aeronautic workshop. The University acquired a plane as well, enabling students to take flying lessons. He proposed to establish a department of applied physics and to attach it with the College of Engineering. His second term as V.C. came to an end in 1943.

SirZiauddin Ahmad1

Dr. Ziauddin was again appointed as Vice-Chancellor for a third term. He served in this capacity from 1944-46. In 1944, he proposed to establish a medical College at Aligarh for which he collected a sum of Rs. 50 Lakh by the end of 1946. In 1945, Commerce College came into existence. He knew it very well, from the very beginning, that most students come to Aligarh to receive a degree that allows them to find employment while there were few who seek scholarship. However, now he focused on improving the quality of education. In 1946-47, when I was a student in Xth class at M.U. High School, he came to teach us Trigonometry. There were three section of Xth class. We all sat downstairs in the Hall at Khanzaman Hostel. He lectured us either once or twice a week for three weeks in October or November, 1946. He was a fine teacher. His goal was to include Trigonometry in High School curriculum. We had an examination at the end of his lectures and with the exception of one or two students everyone passed. At that time we learned about a story that once he went to his class and found that some one had written on the board:

Malika Bohut Bara Hay Riazi Mein Aap Ko
Toul-e-Shabe-firaq Zara Naap Deejya

In response, Dr. Sahib simply wrote “infinity” on the board and left.

In December 1946, a rumor was spread on campus by some students, encouraged by those who had always opposed him in the past, that Dr. Sahib had confiscated all copies of a magazine in which riots in Bihar were reported and that he was going to hand over the student who had prepared that report to the police. Between 250-300 students marched to Vice-Chancellor’s Office shouting slogans “Ziauddin Must Go.” Dr. Sahib was in his V.C. Office at that time was located above the Victoria Gate. Some members of the staff and faculty suggested that he may go home or call the police. Dr. Sahib, as he had never done that in the past, did not accept this advice and remained in his office and asked student representatives to come and talk to him. When they came up, he asked them what they wanted. They asked for his resignation. He wrote on a piece of paper: “I served the University in the best interests for the last 50 years. The grandfathers of the present students are my pupils. I do not want to serve as Vice-Chancellor any more. I resign.” (Sd/-) Ziauddin Ahmad, 26.12.46 (Zia-e -Hayat, P.105)

In the evening, around 500 -600 students went to his house shouting slogans, “Ziauddin come back.” This time he did not withdraw his resignation though the members of the Executive Council and the Court requested him to re-consider his decision. Eventually they accepted his resignation in March, 1947. The Court unanimously passed a resolution expressing their fullest confidence in his leadership and as a token of appreciation for the meritorious services rendered to the university, the Court recommended to the Lord Rector (Governor General) that he appoint Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed as Rector of the University—an honor which he accepted.

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Sahib’s commitment was not limited to Aligarh. He had helped establish a school in Marehra while he was a student and later succeeded in convincing the people of North West Frontier Province to establish a College in Peshawar. He laid down the foundation stone of Islamia College there as well as the foundation stone of Islamia College, Lahore. Now he devoted the rest of his time in India raising funds for the medical college at Aligarh. M.S. Aney, Governor of Bihar, wrote about Dr. Sahib: “…Last I met him was when he came to Colombo on a deputation of the Aligarh University to collect funds for the Medical College. I believe he made handsome collections there and was received very warmly, not just by Mohammedans at Colombo, but by other communities also. I had great respect for his learning and versatility.” (Zia-e-Hayat, P 101)

He left for Europe and America in 1947. While he was in plane returning from Paris to London, he suffered a stroke and was rushed to hospital upon reaching London. The stroke was followed by Pneumonia. When his condition slightly improved, he invited Aligarians living in London for tea. He advised them to go back to India upon completing their education. He even requested his Physician, Dr. Ghayas Uddin, to go back to India and work there. Mr. Krishna Menon, India’s High Commissioner in U.K, had also visited Dr. Sahib several times as did Pakistan’s High Commissioner Mr. Ibrahim Rahmat Ullah. Dr. Sahib did not recover from this illness and passed away in London on December 22, 1947. His body, as he had requested, was sent back to Aligarh. Mr. Krishna Menon made all the necessary arrangements.

On February 3, 1948, a coffin containing the remains of Dr. Sahib reached Zaka Manzil, his residence in Aligarh. The news spread like wildfire. A large number of people visited his family and arrangements were made for his burial. At that time Nawab Ismail Khan was serving as Vice Chancellor. The University authorities had decided that he should be buried in the University mosque next to late Mr. Zain-ul-Abadin. His body was brought to Cricket Pavilion for viewing. A very large number of people came to see his remains from the city and almost everyone came from the university. The lines were very long, and I was there too. The students who considered Dr. Sahib as the true disciple and successor of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan did not appreciate the decision of the University Court and decided to take matters in their own hands. They prepared his grave next to that of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. The savior of the university was thus laid to rest, by his students, next to the founder of the university. On his tomb stone is inscribed:

Hazarooun Saal Nargis Upni Bay Noori Pay Routi Hay
Bari Mushkil Say Houta Hay Chaman mein Deeda Were Paida.



Final resting place of Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmad, next to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Jama Masjid, AMU Aligarh

Sir Ziauddin's Testimonial

A letter of recommendation written by Dr. Sir Ziauddin to one of his student Mr. Islamullah Khan on 4th October 1944


Sir Ziauddin Hall

Sir Ziauddin Hall, AMU Aligarh


Sir Ziauddin Dental College, AMU Aligarh

In addition to personal knowledge, two sources were used primarily in preparing this article:
1. Iftikhar Alam Khan, Muslim University Ki Kahani Emaratoun Ki Zabani, 1920-1947, Aligarh: Alam Manzil, Zohra Bagh, 2002
2. Maulvi Mohammed Amin Zuberi and Professor Zafar Umar Zuberi, Zia-e-Hayat, (second ed.), North Nazimabad, Karachi, 1999

This article was published in the annual Sir Syed Day Magazine (2005) of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations.

A critical biographical note on Dr (Sir) Ziauddin Ahmad - Naved Masood

Ministers and academicians pay tributes to Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

Ministers and academicians pay tributes to Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

Senior Sindh Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq speaks at a session organised at the Ziauddin University on Saturday to observe
KARACHI - Glowing tributes were paid to Dr Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Ziauddin Ahmed – an Indian academician, mathematician, logician, natural philosopher, politician, political theorist, versatile educationist, visionary and eminent scholar who was the rector of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in India – for his contribution to the cause of education and socioeconomic empowerment of Muslims in the Indo-Pak subcontinent.
Speakers at a session organised by the Sir Ziauddin Ahmed Memorial Society at the Abul Hasan Jafarey Auditorium, Ziauddin University, on Saturday to observe Ahmed’s 64th death anniversary also highlighted the confidence of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that Ahmed enjoyed.
“It was this confidence that led to his active involvement in formulation of policies envisaged for a separate Muslim state to be carved out of India once the British left it,” said Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) Chancellor/Aligarh Old Boys Association President ZA Nizami. “His papers reveal that he had suggested massive industrialisation in the North Western Frontier Province and establishment of the State Bank of Pakistan in the country’s eastern wing,” said Ahmed’s daughter Dr Aijaz Fatima.
Fatima said her father, who had also been the member of the Indian Legislative Assembly, was a strong proponent of socioeconomic empowerment of the Indian Muslims.
Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Dr Asim Hussain said being a logician, Ahmed could perhaps better realise the relevance of close and congenial relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Senior Sindh Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said Ahmed, who continued to serve as the vice chancellor of the AMU until his death in December 1947, strongly supported the establishment of the Sindh University in April 1947.
Haq said, “My grandfather Pir Ilahi Bakhsh (Alig) was quite disillusioned to realise that the Congress Party, claiming to be a secular party, was little interested in the establishment of a university in Sindh, a province with Muslim majority.”
He said under the guidance of his teacher, Bakhsh not only got the charter adopted by the Sindh Constituent Assembly for the university in the province, but also managed to convince Prof AB Haleem, another of his teachers from the AMU, to become its first vice chancellor.
“This very vision was also shared by the Pakistan People’s Party government under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto, who supported the establishment of private universities in Sindh,” he added. The minister said, “The SSUET was the first of these universities that was granted the charter by the Sindh Assembly.”
Former Ziauddin University vice chancellor Shahid Aziz Siddiqui said, “Though Ahmed never migrated to Pakistan, but his death in the UK had occurred during his efforts to raise funds for the establishment of a technical institute at Chittagong in former East Pakistan.”
Speakers highlighted Ahmed’s achievements as the first Indian Muslim to secure a master’s degree in mathematics from the Trinity College, Cambridge, and also to win the Sir Isaac Newton Scholarship. Tributes were also paid to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk and Nawab Waqarul Mulk for their contributions to promoting the Aligarh School of Thought among the Muslims.

Paying tribute: Dr Ziauddin Ahmed on his 64th death anniversary

Paying tribute: Dr Ziauddin Ahmed remembered on his 64th death anniversary
Published: December 26, 2011
KARACHI: The services rendered by Dr Sir Ziauddin Ahmed for education in the subcontinent were remarkable, said Senator Dr Asim Hussain. The university established with his name is also flourishing in the light of the Aligarh school of thought, he said at a seminar organised at Ziauddin Medical University (ZMU) to commemorate the 64th death anniversary of its ideological patron.
Dr Hussain, who is also the minister for petroleum and natural resources, was the keynote speaker.
“Dr Ahmed went on to become a member of the Indian Legislative Council and the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University from a mere assistant master in Mohammedian Anglo Oriental College,” he said. “Dr Ahmed was also awarded Sir Isaac Newton Scholarship in 1904, which was a rare academic honour to be conferred to an Indian.”
Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, the provincial education minister, said that Dr Ahmed’s services were exemplary especially so because he deterred the verdicts issued by conservative religious scholars of that time.
Haq told the audience that his grandfather, Pir Ilahi Bux – who also went to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for higher education, requested Dr Ahmed to become the vice chancellor for a university that Bux wanted to establish in Sindh. Bux later moved a draft bill for the Sindh University Act by the provincial legislative assembly, said Haq. “When the Sindh University was finally set up, Prof. ABA Haleem, from Aligarh University, was appointed by my grandfather as the first vice chancellor.”
Haq said that the late Benazir Bhutto believed that private institutions for higher education should be chartered by the Sindh government because soon the public-sector universities will not be able to cater to the needs of the young generation. “I received the honour to forward the draft bill for the establishment of the first ever private institution, Ziauddin University, in the Sindh Assembly,” said Haq. It paved the way for other institutions to be established, he added.
In his speech, the former vice chancellor of ZMU, Shahid Aziz Siddiqui, said that it would be unfair to Dr Ahmed if we discussed his services without remembering the tough times he lived in. “In those days, people were hunted and prosecuted for their beliefs. Mosques were locked up and there seemed to be no chances for Muslim renaissance,” he said.
Siddiqui said that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan took upon himself the task of bringing Muslims back into the mainstream society in a way that was consistent with new political realities. “Modern education was his prime focus,” he said. “Dr Ahmed was among those very few who carried the mission of Sir Syed forward as true followers of his ideology.”
Talking about Dr Ahmed’s personal achievement, Siddiqui said that he managed to bag the Cambridge Wrangler –the highest award available to a mathematics student by Cambridge University based on the result of an arduous forty-five hours exam.
Later, he moved to Germany and got a PhD in Astronomy from Goetingen University in 1906. “But eventually Dr Ahmed returned to Aligarh in the same year and devoted himself in serving his alma mater and the Muslims of the sub-continent,” Siddiqui said.
Dr Aijaz Fatima, the daughter of Dr Ahmed, told the audience how Dr Ahmed was as a father. “He took a lot of effort to educate his own family and the Muslims India,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2011.

Dr Ziauddin Ahmad

Afzal Usmani Saheb ASAK,

You quoted very appropriate sher for Dr.Ziauddin Ahmed.It is our tragedy
that AMU has forgotten Late Sir Ziauddin Ahmed & his services to AMU &
community.Jo Qoumain Apnay aslaf ko Bhool Jati Hain,woh Khatam bhi hon jati
Hain.Am grateful to Dr.Shaheer Khan saheb for providing a very informative &
useful article.

Abdurrab Siddiqui,
Dhahran, KSA

Dr. Sir Ziauddin fought for freedom of Muslims through education

‘Sir Ziauddin fought for freedom of Muslims’

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
By our correspondent

Sir Ziauddin Ahmad fought the greatest battles for human freedom through educating a large number of Muslims in South Asia without fearing the consequences, said Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza, while paying glowing tributes to Dr Ziauddin Ahmed on his 63rd death anniversary on Tuesday.

The gathering was hosted by the Dr Ziauddin Ahmad Memorial Society at the Ziauddin University Campus, Clifton.

She said that Ziauddin Ahmad’s life was a reflection of the continuous struggle that he undertook for the betterment of Muslims and added that he played a dominant role in educating the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent after Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

Senior Minister Sindh, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, said that Dr Ziauddin was a great champion in the field of education and wanted all the Muslims of the subcontinent to be a university graduate. He lauded the contributions of Ziauddin in different fields of life.

Dr Asim Hussain, Chancellor Ziauddin University, said the life of Sir Ziauddin Ahmad was a symbol of motivation for Ziauddin University and Hospitals. He added that Ziauddin Ahmad Trust was not a profit-making body, but the income generated from it was being spent on acquiring hi-tech medical technology and advanced medical education.

Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

Well written
He was buried at the AMU Mosque beside Sir Syed in 1948 after his body was brought from London.Earlier due to Politics his grave was done in Mintoi and was about to be burried there but Some prominent students Munnan Khan & group and my uncle Sajid Raza brought janaza to Mosque .He deserved the honour to be beside Sir Syed.
He believed that a student comes to AMU on his own but will not leave AMU due to lack of paying Fees.He loved his boys and girls and in return he was adored

Dr. Mohsin Raza Khan
Muscat, Oman

Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

Dear Afzal Usmani Sahib,

Thank you for forwarding this link to me with my own article that you significantly improved by inserting remarkably good photos. In the same magazine where this article was published you will find in Urdu "In Memoriam" on Dr. Sahib. Professor Haziq was a member of Persian Department. Look at it and if you you consider it worth while add it at the end of this article. Thank you again for the work you have been doing for FAAA, and through it for AMU. Khuda hafiz.

Habib A. Zuberi

63rd death anniversary of Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

For the first time when I paid a visit to the graveyard of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Jama Masjid, AMU Aligarh, I saw 2 other graves next to him. One was Sir Ross Masood and other Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed. To get a place next to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, someone must be very close to him or should have done something remarkable to realize his dream.
We all know that Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad has no blood relation with Sir Syed but he was a true deciple of Sir Syed and his mission and spent his entire life to realize the dream of Sir Syed and finally found a place next to his mentor and ideal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

23rd December 2010 was 63rd death anniversary of Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed. As usual, AMU campus was calm and quite

Afzal Usmani
Austin TX

Sir Syed Bi-Centenary


Hamiduddin Farahi


ZH Chowdhury

Satish Chandra