Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a Muslim philosopher, social activist and educator who founded of the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. He was deeply devoted to the cause of education and believed that widespread education was the only way to enlighten the masses. A distinguished scholar, he was a progressive thinker who played a major role in promoting social, scientific, and economic development of Indian Muslims. Even though he religiously followed Islam, he was troubled by the rigidity of the orthodox outlook of the Muslims. His life-long interest in religion manifested itself in the form of several volumes of a modernist commentary on the Quran. In addition he also began a sympathetic interpretation of the Bible. But above everything else, it was his dedication towards the cause of education that defined him as a person. He believed in promoting Western–style scientific education and was instrumental in setting up several schools for implementing this purpose. He was a British loyalist and formed the Muslim League to promote pro-British attitudes and activities, thus raising suspicion in the minds of Indian politicians. Nonetheless, he commanded great respect from both Hindus and Muslims for his progressive views and dedication towards the cause of education.