In British-India Muslims were not given proper rights and status. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan a great thinker who realized that the only thing that can raise the status of Muslims is the combination of Islamic and Modern education.
A campaign was started by Sir Syed for the purpose to build a satisfactory educational institution for Muslims of India. Whenever meal baked in any Muslim’s house, a handful of flour was put on aside. At the end of every month, Sir Syed came along with sake on his shoulder to collect the flour from every house. After collection, he used to sell it at market price. The money he gathered by doing this act spent on building a primary school initially named ‘Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School’.
In just two years its status was raised to college. From where many Muslims enrolled and received the education. After the long-term struggles of Muslim leaders, it became a University in 1920. But Unfortunately, the founding father of Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (MAO) died in the very last of the 19th century. Muslims lost a great modernist, political thinker and leader Sir Syed. MAO College was then renamed as Aligarh Muslim University which provided a base for independence by producing several great Muslim leaders. Sultan Shahjahan Begum was appointed as its first chancellor.
A school for the blind was started in 1927, and a year later a medical college was established in the university. The Muslim leaders produced by Aligarh Muslim University strengthened the movement of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India and proved that they were a nation whose tradition, culture, religion and customs were different from that of Hindus.
Some famous leaders who received education from this university include Fazal Ilahi Chaudhary(5th President of Pakistan), Sheikh Abdullah (Former CM of Jammu and Kashmir), Khawaja Nazimuddin(Former President and Governor-General of Pakistan), Liaquat Ali Khan(1st PM of Pakistan), Moulana Mohammad Ali Jouhar (leading figure in Khilafat movement), Malik Ghulam Muhammad (Governor-General), Muhammad Amin Didi(Former President of Maldives), Mohammad Mansur Ali(Former PM of Bangladesh) and many leaders to be remembered.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah along with Allama Muhammad Iqbal motivated Muslims leading to their social and educational renaissance . With the untiring struggle of Muslim leaders, we got independence from the double yolk of slavery of British and Hindus. Quaid-e-Azam always advised Muslim youngsters to receive modern education. While speaking in the fourth session of the Gujrat Educational Conference held on the 14th January 1945, he said that education was the matter of life and death to our nation.
“The world is moving so fast that if we do not educate ourselves we will not only be left behind but also will be no more.”
In his message to the All Pakistan Educational Conference held in Karachi on 27th of November 1947, he said, ” Education does not merely mean academic education and that of a very poor type. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of future generations.”
On multiple occasions, Allama Muhammad Iqbal used the term “Shaheens” for the youth of this pure land;
عقابی روح جب بیدار ہوتی ہے جوانوں میں
نظر آتی ہے ان کو اپنی منزل آسمانوں میں
نہیں تیرا نشیمن قصر سلطانی کی گنبد پر
تو شاہین ہے بسیرا کر پہاڑوں کی چٹانوں کا
But the greater number of youngsters of today are strayed from the right path shown by our invaluable leaders. They waste their precious time playing PUBG and using applications such as TikTok which are proving to be harmful for the younger generation.
Youngsters are about 64% of the total population of Pakistan. They should realize their important role in society, do healthy and positive activities which can help them and the motherland as well.
By Abdul Samad
-Writer is a student of International Relations (IR) at Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology (FUUAST), Karachi.