Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh Movement

Movements for religious reform were late in emerging among Muslims. The Muslim upper classes had tended to avoid contact with western education and culture and it was mainly after 1857 that modern ideas of religious reform began to appear. A beginning in this direction was made when the Muhammaden Literary Society was founded at Calcutta in 1863 by Nawab Abdul Latif.It also encouraged upper and middle class Muslims to take western education. The most important reformer among the Muslims was Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan .he appealed to his people to return to the original Islamic principle of purity and simplicity. He declared that the Quran alone was the authoritative work for Islam and all other Islamic writing was secondary. He advocated English education for the regeneration of Muslims in India. He started building new schools and founded an association called the Scientific Society in 1864.The society published urdu translations of English books on scientific and other subjects and an English-Urdu journal for spreading liberal ideas on social reforms. His greatest achievement was the foundation of the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875.It mainly provided for education in the humanities and sciences through English medium. He was opposed to the participation of Muslims of Muslims in the activities of Indian National Congress. He wanted more time for the Muslims to organize and consolidate their position through good relations with British rulers. Besides introducing modern education among the Muslims Sayyid Ahmad Khan advocated the removal of many social prejudices that kept the community backward.