What prominent persons said about Sir Syed

By Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi

While the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has been in the eye of storm following the resurgence of right wing elements in the socio-political spectrum after the partition, the institution, also called as the Oxford of the East, has  provided base to India’s plurality besides being custodian of country’s modern education. Over century, the institution stood by its principles, core values of togetherness, earning praises from a range of luminaries. Here are statements and excerpts from writings of some of them.

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India 

“An ardent reformer who wanted to reconcile modern scientific thought with religion by rationalistic interpretations and not by attacking the basic belief. He was anxious to push new education. He was in no way communally separatist. Repeatedly he emphasized that religious differences should have no political and national significance.”(Discovery of India).

Mr. I.K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India

“Sir Syed’s vision and his laborious efforts to meet the demands of challenging times are highly commendable. The dark post-1857 era was indeed hopeless and only men like Raja Mohan Roy and Sir Syed could penetrate through its thick veil to visualize the Nation’s destinies. They rightly believed that the past had its merits and its legacies were valuable but it was the future that a society was called upon to cope with. I offer my homage to Sir Syed for his vision and courage that withstood all obstructions both from the friends and the foes”. (Message to Urdu Scientific Society, Lucknow).

Allama Iqbal on Sir Syed

“The real greatness of the man consists in the fact that he was the first Indian Muslim who felt the need of a fresh orientation of Islam and worked for it”.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

‘Sir Syed had established at Aligarh not only a college but an intellectual and cultural centre in tune with the progressive spirit of the times’.
Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Former Speaker, Lok Sabha, on Sir Syed

“Sir Syed wanted the College, to act as a bridge between the old and the new and the East and the West. He actively advocated the necessity of modern and scientific education. He wanted that the students of the college should preach the gospel of free enquiry, of large-hearted toleration and of pure morality. (Address to Aligarh students, 2007)

‘’Sons (of MAO college later AMU)) shall go forth throughout the length and breadth of the land to preach the message of free inquiry, of large hearted toleration and of pure morality’’.

‘’Acquisition knowledge of science and technology is the only solution for the problems of Muslims.’’
‘’Get rid of old and useless rituals. These rituals hinder human progress.’’

‘’Superstition cannot be the part of iman (faith).’’

‘’The first requisite for the progress of a nation is the brotherhood and unity amongst sections of the society.’’

‘’Yes the main purpose of this college (MAO) is to impart modern education to Muslims who are suffering because of lack of it but this institution is for all, Hindus and Muslims alike. Both of them need education.’’

‘’We (Hindus and Muslims) eat the same crop, drink water from the same rivers and breath the same air. As a matter of fact Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. Weakness of any one of them will spoil the beauty of the bride (dulhan).’’

‘’We (Hindus and Muslim) have evolved a new language Urdu.’’
‘’I wish that youth of India should follow the example of young men and women of England who are religiously engaged in the hard work of industrial development of their country (Sir Syed during his stay in England).’’

‘’Look forward, learn modern knowledge, do not waste time in studies of old subjects of no value.’’
‘’Show your face as the follower of true Islam representing character, knowledge, tolerance and piety.’’

‘’We should not (by remaining ignorant and illiterate) tarnish the image of our able elders.’’

‘’All human beings are our brother and sisters. Working for their welfare is obligatory for Muslims.’’

‘’Remember that the words Hindu and Muslim are only meant for religious distinction: otherwise all persons who reside in this country belong to one and the same nation.’’

‘’Strengthen Aligarh Movement for the betterment of the Community’’.

Also read-


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Stories

This Sir Syed Day, let’s pledge to carry forward his legacy

By Abdul Momin Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, a great social reformer, philosopher, educationist, and champion of Hindu-Muslim unity, was born on 17th October. The date...

Book review: AMU’s role in making Muslim mindset and its impact on India’s...

Book: Aligarh Muslim University: The Making of modern Indian Muslims Author: Mohammad Wajeehuddin Page:  216. Published by Harper Collins Reviewed by Khushboo Khan The book's title,...

Remembering Sir Syed Ahmad Khan on his birth

By Saba Harun Syed Ahmad Taqvi bin Syed Muhammad Muttaqi, also known as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who led the foundation of the Mohammadan Anglo...

Sir Syed – A quest for dignity

By Hasan Ghias Sir Syed’s prismatic persona refracts the story of a single life into multiple hues of a rainbow arching above a horizon that...

Is the party now over for Mayawati and BSP in UP?

Lucknow : The Bahujan Samaj Party has miserably failed to arrest its downslide in politics. The BSP failed to open its account in Chhattisgarh, Madhya...

FIR against Kafeel Khan for ‘objectionable’ content in his book

Lucknow : A case has been registered against Kafeel Khan, a former doctor at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, and five unidentified people...

US Muslims launch anti-Biden campaign ahead of 2024 presidential election

ANKARA : Muslims in the US have launched a campaign against President Joe Biden’s bid for re-election in 2024 over his support for Israel...

Death toll soars to over 15,500 as Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip continue

GAZA CITY, Palestine : The death toll from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has surged to 15,523 since the start of the conflict...

EU’s foreign policy chief regrets resumption of attack on Gaza, urges Israel to respect laws of war

LONDON : The EU's foreign policy chief on Saturday expressed "regret" over the resumption of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, emphasizing Tel Aviv's...

As BJP leads in 3 states, INDIA bloc schedules meet to strategize for LS polls

New Delhi : Leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc will meet at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence in Delhi on December 6 to chalk...

Student’s kin threaten Bihar school for ordering removal of hijabs inside classrooms

Sheikhpura : A government school in Bihar has received threats from family members of female students who were asked by teachers to take off...

Thousands across Europe protest Israel, demand cease-fire in Gaza

PARIS/MADRID/VIENNA/ROME : Thousands took to the streets in European capitals Saturday to protest Israeli attacks and demand a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Demonstrators once...

BSP MP Danish Ali challenges Ethics Committee’s “Cash-for-Query” report, calls for deletion of “unwarranted remarks”

BSP MP Danish Ali has raised objections to the upcoming report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, which recommends the expulsion of Trinamool Congress...

Israeli columnist Ari Shavit predicts the fall of Israel very soon

By Latheef Farook Today Israel  is badly in need of an exit  strategy to get out of Gaza. However  not only Israel even  United States...

Muslim woman moves HC after Delhi cops ‘forcibly’ detain her without veil

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of the city police on a petition by a ‘purdahnashin’ (veiled) Muslim woman...

Gaza ‘again most dangerous’ place to be child: UNICEF

WASHINGTON : The Gaza Strip is the "most dangerous place" in the world to be a child, a UN official said on Friday. "Today, Gaza...

73 Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli army in Gaza since Oct. 7: Gaza authorities

GAZA CITY, Palestine : The death toll of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli army since Oct. 7 has risen to 73, authorities in Gaza...

Delhi HC refuses to entertain pleas seeking Uniform Civil Code

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday refused to entertain a batch of petitions seeking a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), saying the Supreme Court...

Unravelling the disinformation machine: How the Hamas-Israel war became a tool for pre-election fear-mongering?

By Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur Overview  In the realm of contemporary politics, the utilisation of disinformation has become a potent tool for shaping narratives, influencing public...