By Nikhat Fatima, Muslim Mirror
Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, a name synonymous with education, fondly referred to as Baba e Taalim, left for his heavenly abode on 27th May, 2021, after a prolonged illness at his residence in Bengaluru.
Dr. Mumtaz Khan’s father was an advocate while his mother was a graduate in BA. Both his parents were alumni of Aligarh Muslim University. He moved to Bengaluru after his marriage as his maternal grandparents lived there and his wife also hailed from Bengaluru.
Mumtaz Ahmed Khan filled the gap in the field of education for Muslims after independence by establishing the Al Ameen Movement which later on became an inspiration to Muslim educationists all over India making them confident to set up educational institutions of their own.
The Al Ameen movement or the Al Ameen educational Society has educational institutes from Nursery to post graduation including nursing, law, pharmacy, management, medical and engineering colleges. Today Al Ameen has close to 250 institutes across the country.
Mumtaz Ahmed Khan moved to Bangalore, Karnataka in 1965, after completing his post-graduation in surgery in Chennai. Hailing from a financially well off family, Khan who practiced initially for a short period felt the need to do something for the Muslim community that would benefit them in the long run. He observed that Muslims were divided into different schools of thought like Deobandis, Barelvis, etc and felt that education was the only thing that would bind them.
Also he felt with the large inheritance from his grandparents there was no need for him to be running after bread and butter, instead he could put his talent and wealth to the better of the Ummah.
Also he noticed that there was nothing like the Jamal Mohammed College of Trichy from where he hailed in Karnataka. This college was a minority institute that provided education to the downtrodden and socially backward sections of the society particularly Muslims. He felt the need to have something like this in Karnataka.
In an interview taken couple of years ago, Mumtaz Ahmed Khan shared that all communities, Christians, Brhamins and other communities are ahead of the Muslim community by at least 50 years. And we need to catch up with them. Hence what better way to start than with education? Thus the first college was set up under the Al Ameen Educational Society in 1966 with support from his like-minded friends.
Today there are several schools and colleges in rural Karnataka enabling students from rural areas to pursue their dreams as the fee in these institutes is affordable.
Al Ameen Medical College that has produced thousands of doctors who are now practicing all over the world was set up in 1986 in Bijapur District, Karnataka. Bijapur, a richly historic place, situated in North Karnataka, was among the backward districts though at one time it was a flourishing city under the Adil Shahi rulers. But after a few years of the establishment of the medical college, the district developed considerably. And now Al Ameen also has a Dental college.
One of his students Dr. Atif Moiz shared that, Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Khan was a very down to Earth person and genuinely concerned about the Muslim community.
Dr Mumtaz Khan guided everyone who was interested in setting up a school or a college anywhere in India. He supported them financially and sometimes guided them to avail grants from different sources.
Despite his high education, affluent family background and wealth, Dr Mumtaz Khan had his share of hardships. In the beginning when he started with a college, people criticized that he was interested in earning more money so he was not practicing. He faced criticism and there was also an incident wherein some people cheated him. Establishing so many institutes needed a lot more money. And even though some rich people and politicians avoided him as they did not want to invest, it was serious dedicated people like him that came forward and contributed. And when his projects were a success the others also started contributing.
Dr. Khan had a few advises for those who wanted to establish a new organization and succeed. Firstly faith in Allah – Emaan; Sabr – patience; Azam – determination, consistency; keep away from opportunists, have courage and grit and keep doing your job.
Nurul Islam of West Bengal, who used to run coaching classes, was hugely inspired by Dr. Mumtaz Khan and changed the name of his organsiation ‘ Insitute of Islamic Culture to ‘Al Ameen Mission’. Nurul Islam now has more than 50 educational institutes, some with residential facilities, coaching centres for medical, engineering, civil services aspirants in different districts of West Bengal.
While Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan is known as Sir Syed of South India, Nurul Islam is knows as Sir Syed of West Bengal. Such is the impact Dr. Mumtaz has on people who want to work in the field of education for the community.
Dr. Mumtaz also worked for the promotion of Urdu language as most of his schools were in Urdu medium. And he also founded the Urdu daily ‘ The Salar Daily’. He also served as Pro Chancellor cum treasurer of Aligarh Muslim University.
An award for the best teacher is named after him ‘ Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Khan Best Teachers Award’.
Dr Mumtaz Khan is the recipient of several awards. Some of the prominent ones are Karnataka Rajyothsava Award (1990) for Education by Government of Karnataka; AFMI|American Federation of Muslims from India (AFMI) Award; Junior Jaycees Award; Kempegouda Award; Federation of Senior Citizen Forums of Karnataka Award and Public Relations Society of India Award.
The title Baba – e- Taleem was conferred to him on the 47th Founders Day of Al Ameen by the Al Ameen society.
Rich tributes were paid to Dr. Mumtaz from the former union Minister Dr. Rahman Khan, Vice president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Engineer Mohammed Salim, Vice Chancellor of AMU Prof Tariq Mansoor, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM) chief Navaid Hamid and many others.
Dr. Mumtaz is survived by his wife, one son and two daughters. His unflinching commitment, dedication and sacrifice towards the upliftment of the Ummah through education continues to inspire everyone whose lives he has touched directly or indirectly.