Aligarh Movement

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Sir Syed, the founder of Aligarh movement

Aligarh Movement (Urdu: تحریک علی گڑھ‎) was the movement led by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, to educate the Muslims of the South Asia after the defeat of the rebels in the Indian rebellion of 1857. Its most significant achievement was the establishment of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, which later became Aligarh Muslim University. Activists in the Aligarh Movement became leaders of the Pakistan Movement and Indian Independence Movement, demanding a greater voice for Muslims in the British Raj.[1] [2]

Writings of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan[edit]

Besides his prominent role in the educational uplift of the Muslims, Syed Ahmad Khan's writings played an important role in popularizing the ideals for which the Aligarh stood. His essay on "The Causes of Indian Revolt in 1858", and other writings such as "Loyal Muhammadans of India", Tabyin-ul-Kalam and "A Series of Essays on the Life of Muhammad and Subjects Subsidiary Therein" helped to create cordial relations between the British Government and the Indian Muslims. They also helped to remove misunderstandings about Islam and Christianity. It was from this platform that Syed Ahmad Khan strongly advised the Muslims against joining the Hindu dominated Congress. He was in favor of reserved seats for Muslims and also promoted the idea that Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nations. This idea led to the Two-Nation Theory.

Syed Ahmad Khan's Aligarh Movement played a significant role in bringing about an intellectual revolution among the Indian Muslims. Thus it succeeded in achieving its major objectives, i.e. educational progress and social reform. His efforts earned Sir Syed the title "Prophet of Education".


Sir Syed held the view that acquisition of modern education would help in the progress and development of Muslim so he set up a scientific study at Ghazipur in 1862 which established many educational institution at different places. Due to this, application of modern scientific knowledge became easy. They helped the development of the Urdu language because modern subjects were translated into it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mamraj Singh Jain, The Aligarh Movement (2006)
  2. ^ S. Qalb-i-Abid (1997). Muslim struggle for independence: from Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to Quaid-i-Azam Mohd Ali Jinnah (1857-1947). Sang-e-Meel Publications. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cug̲h̲tāʼī, Muḥammad Ikrām (2005). Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, 1817-1898: A Prominent Muslim Politician and Educationist. Sang-e-Meel Publications. 
  • Jain, Mamraj Singh. The Aligarh Movement Icon Publications, 2006.
  • Jaina, Ema Esa. The Aligarh Movement: Its Origin and Development, 1858-1906 (Sri Ram Mehra, 1965)
  • Kahn, Abdul Rashid. "All India Muhammadan Educational Conference and the Foundation of the All India Muslim League," Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society (2007) Vol. 55 Issue 1/2, pp 65-83.
  • Khan, Abdul Rashid. The All India Muslim Educational Conference: Its Contribution to the Cultural Development of Indian Muslims, 1886-1947 (Oxford University Press, 2001)
  • Maitra, Jayanti. Muslim Politics in Bengal, 1855-1906: Collaboration and Confrontation (KP Bagchi, 1984)
  • S. Qalb-i-Abid (1997). Muslim struggle for independence: from Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to Quaid-i-Azam Mohd Ali Jinnah (1857-1947). Sang-e-Meel Publications. 

External links[edit]