Early life of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was born on October 17,1817 at Delhi in a noble family. His elders were appointed to responsible posts in courts of Delhi during Shah Jahan period.
Sir Syed got got his early education from his maternal Grandfather Khwaja Farid-ud-Din, who remained Prime minister at Mughal court for eight years. Khwaja was a great scholar and only mathematician of his period.
Sir Syed Ahmed khan received education in Holy Quran and Arabic and Persian literature. He got excellence in history and mathematics. Sir syed had profound love for learning.
Sir Syed’s father died in 1838; therefore he had to join the services of East India Company due to his financial problems. He joined his first job as Clerk. In 1841 he was posted as judge and in 1846 he was promoted as chief judge and was posted in Delhi.
Educational Services of Sir Syed:
In 1858 Sir Syed was transferred to Muradabad, where he established a school. In which local languages including English were being taught. In 1862 he was transferred to Ghazipur, where he established Victoria School and Scientific Society. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan devoted his whole life for the educational cause of Muslims.
In 1869 Sir Syed went to England along with his son, to study the educational system of England. On his return to India he set up M.A.O High School at Aligarh in 1875. In 1877 he raised the school to college level, later on this college was upgraded to the university level. Sir Syed wanted Muslims to get education, his educational reforms left deep impact on the regeneration of Muslims in the Subcontinent. Due to the efforts of Sir Syed new generation of Muslims become educated and political conscious. Sir Syed’s Aligarh College became the cultural center of the Muslims of Indo-Pak. Sir Syed’s Aligarh movement became the hub of all the activities for the protection of political, social an economic rights of the Muslims. He emphasized on the education for Muslims so that they could compete with Hindus. According to him good education was the only way out for Muslims. He took many measures to impart quality education to Muslims. Sir Syed’s educational reforms also left deep impact on the rest of India. Many movements for the up lift of Muslims in the field of education were introduced. The Deoband Movement, the Nadva- tul-Islam, Anjuman-i-Hamai-ul-Islam, Anjuman-e-Islamia were founded, which opened new schools and colleges for Muslims.
Political Services of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
Initially Sir Syed was a great supporter to Hindu Muslim unity slogan. But Hindu’s opposition to Urdu changed his thoughts. The hostile behavior of Hindus towards Muslims awoke him from the dream of Hindu-Muslim unity. Thus he came to the conclusion that Hindus and Muslims belong to different nations. He identified Muslims as a nation. Thus he was the first thinker. who gave name of a nation to Muslims.
Sir Syed khan and Two Nation theory:
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was pioneer of Two nation theory. He used the word “two nations” for Hindus and Muslims. According to him two nation theory is meant the Hindus and Muslims in spite living together for centuries had nothing in common, their culture and civilization is totally different from each other. They had their own beliefs and faiths. The two nation theory was further progressed by Quaid-I-Azam and Allama Iqbal. Religious Services of Sir Syed and his work:
Sir Syed was deeply influenced by the methodology of Shah Waliullah. William Muir in his book, made many allegations against the Holly Prophet (PBUH) and Islam. In the reply of this book Sir Syed wrote many biographical essays on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Enlgish. Later published in Urdu with the name of al-khutabat-l-Ahmediya, refuted the allegation of Muir. Sir Syed Also published Rasala-i-Tehzib-ul-ikhlaq through which he tried to build a separate nation basing on Islamic principles. Sir Syed’s Risala-Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind was an effort to remove misunderstandings between Muslims and British rule.