Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, (born Oct. 17, 1817, Delhi—died March 27, 1898, Alīgarh, India), Muslim educator, jurist, and author, who is credited to have given the basis for the Two-Nation Theory which later was envisaged as a seperate country, Pakistan.
Following are five major contributions made by Sir Syed to the Muslim cause
- Founder of the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College at Alīgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, and the principal motivating force behind the revival of Indian Islām in the late 19th century.
- His works, in Urdu, include Essays on the Life of Mohammed (1870) and commentaries on the Bible and on the Qurān.
- He printed a pamphlet entitled ‘The Causes of the Indian Revolt’ (Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind), in which he did his best to clear the people of India, and especially the Muslims, of the charge of Mutiny. In spite of the obvious danger, he made a courageous and thorough report of the accusations people were making against the Government and refused the theory which the British had invented to explain the causes of the Mutiny.
- The onset of the Hindi-Urdu controversy of 1867 saw the emergence of Sir Syed as a champion for the cause of the Urdu language. He became a leading Muslim voice opposing the adoption of Hindi as a second official language of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Sir Syed perceived Urdu as the lingua franca of the United Provinces.
- His advocacy of Islam’s rationalist (Muʿtazila) tradition, and a broader, radical reinterpretation of the Quran to make it compatible with science and modernity, continues to influence the global Islamic reformation.