3 Background and Early Life Syed Ahmed Khan was born in Delhi, then the capital of the Mughal Empire in October 17thSir Syed earned a reputation as a distinguished scholar while working as a jurist for the British East India Company. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he remained loyal to the British and was noted for his actions in saving European lives.After the rebellion, he penned the booklet Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind (The Causes of the Indian Mutiny)
4 Syed Ahmed Khan was depressed by the backwardness of the Muslims. He stressed the need for English education among the Muslims and opposed social prejudices which kept the community backward.All his life, he was guided by three aimsRemove British hostility towards the Muslims and ensure good relations between the two.Introduce reforms for the advancement of Muslims.And finally, induce the Muslims to accept these reforms.
5 All his life, Syed Ahmad Khan protested against the practices of purdah, polygamy and easy divorce. Promotion of modern western education, however, was his priority.He believed that progress was possible only if the Muslims adopted western scientific knowledge and culture.In AD 1864, he founded the Translation Society at Aligarh. It was later renamed the Scientific Society.
6 Philosophy.His main argument was that the Quran was the word of God and nature too was the work of God. a disparity between the two was therefore unthinkable.According to him, Vahee (revelation) and reason are identical. Reason operates in man's scientific investigations as much as in his concept of the divinity, his distinction between good and evil, his views on divine judgment and retribution, and his belief in life after death.For him reason alone was the right instrument for judging truth. Although Sir Syed accepted the term Vahee, he did not attach any special significance to it.
7 As a result he put forward the view that revelation was not something external brought to a prophet by an angel, as was generally believed, but a natural phenomenon like other human faculties. Sir Syed rejected the Fiqh totally. He said that in the past religiously minded scholars thought that, as far as possible, every thing should be done with the support of some religious authority. Therefore, when any problem arose, they searched for some religious sanction and with the help of far-fetched arguments and interpretations; they placed it under some religious ruling or subjected it to some general principle laid down by themselves.
8 The sayings and arguments of those religious scholars began to be collected and assumed the shape of Fiqh and books relating to the principles of Fiqh. As a thoughtful and enlightened writer on a wide variety of subjects encompassing political, social, religious and literary topics he may rightly be called the father of Urdu prose.He replaced the long-winded and bombastic style of writing with an impressive style, polished and of fine articulation.
9 He was also the ancestor of a new style of declamation He was also the ancestor of a new style of declamation. His most famous book is Asar-al- Sanadeed, dealing with 125 historical buildings of Delhi and its suburbs.Syed Ahmad possessed a very rich and precious collection of books on all subjects: literature, history, science and philosophy of oriental and Muslim scholars.Allama Shibli and others used to spend considerable time in his library in quest of knowledge and new information. Even foreign scholars used to study in the library and spoke highly of its collection.
10 Contribution in Journalism and Literature. Sir Syed was a government civil servant and a scholar. The 1857 revolt was a turning point in his life. The following are his important works:1) ‘’ASAR US SANADEED’’: It is an archaeological masterpiece providing a wealth of information on countless historical monuments in Delhi from the eight hundred long Muslim rule. This book was published in2) ‘‘ASBAB-E-BAGHAWAT-E-HIND’’- (The causes of Indian Revolt) This book was published in 1859 after the revolt after witnessing the atrocities committed by the British on the inhabitants of Delhi. Muslims were the main targets of the government’s wrath.
11 3) THE ALIGARH INSTITUTE GAZETTE - It was an organ of the Scientific Society started in It made the people think and use their wisdom.4) ‘’TEHZIB-UL-AKHLAQ’’ – It succeeded in making people realize the value of modern knowledge. It also gave new directions to Muslim social and political thoughts.
13 Tehzib-ul-Akhlaq and other Important works of Syed Badshah. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan sponsored the "Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq" in December This-eight-to-twelve page Urdu fortnightly, printed wholly in "type", was started on non-profit basis and aimed at the following:1. To acquaint the Muslims with the new values of civilization and culture in order, to make them better men.2. To impress upon them the virtues of self respect, punctuality, cleanliness, truthfulness, conduct in society, good behavior towards others, welfare of women and to stress the need for interest in business and commerce and Improvement of farming practices.
14 3. To bring home to the people the desirability of doing away with evils like selfishness, polygamy and useless customs opposed to their religious values.4. To make efforts for promoting rational approach to religion, freedom of expression and free discussion on the problems of the day.5. To encourage “Western learning” and at the same time to remind the Muslims of their glorious past.
15 Effects of Tehzib-ul-Akhlaq Free discussion led to a great controversy that, promoted free exchange of views through journals for and against Sir Syed's line of thought.The Mohammadan College was established in Aligarh. This was followed by a number of other institutions where western learning was promoted.
17 Changes were introduced in the syllabi of religious educational institutions and even Sir Syed's opponents began to realize the need for modern education for the ulema.Religious literature began to accept the new style of lucid and simple Urdu language.With this Urdu literature embraced a welcome renaissance exploring new techniques of expression and content.