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Cultural Security of Indian Muslims: Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and His Legacy

Author: Asst.Lecu.Sujan Mondal
Journal: AL-AMEED JOURNAL مجلة العميد ISSN: 22270345 23119152 Year: 2017 Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Pages: 172-186
Publisher: Shiite Endowment ديوان الوقف الشيعي


In the middle of Nineteenth century, the Indian Muslims confrontedwith the crucial problems of the devastation of the long 800 yearsof Mughal Dynasty/ Muslim’s rule and concomitant colonial expansionof the British in India. The failure of the Revolt of 1857/ Mutiny/First War of Independence exacerbated plight of the IndianMuslims. In post-1857 India, several forces- both external as wellas internal - were working against the Muslims in India. The Britishers’retaliatory havoc in post-1857, colonial domination in the transformedhistorical situation and the darkness of ignorance engulfedthe Indian Muslims. The condition of Muslims was deplorable asthey were most backward in education and economically shatteredand politically defeated by the East India Company. The entire communitywas distressed and helpless, and their culture, identity andexistence were at stake in Hindustan. At that critical juncture, SirSyed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898), confronting the situation and negotiatingwith colonial modernity, came forward with westernmodern science and English education in one hand and the lightof the Quran on the other hand to offer a solution to the Muslimcommunity from this decadence. Syed Ahmed was a distinguishedscholar, philosopher, historian, Islamic reformer, educationist, politicalideologue, archaeologist, lawyer and a humanist who transformedsocio-political, cultural situation of Muslims in post- 1857India. He was primarily concerned about the socio-cultural issuesand modern education of the Indian Muslims. With a view to modernizingand uplifting the socio-cultural and economic status of theMuslims, he laid the foundation of Muhammadan Anglo-OrientalCollege (1975), which was later transformed into Aligarh MuslimUniversity (1920). Aligarh Muslim University has been serving as asocio-cultural Movement for protecting and preserving the culturalheritage and religious identity of the Indian Muslims.

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