India and English Government

Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khn

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
India and English Government

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He was for several decades a member of India's civil service and during the Mutiny of 1857 remained loyal to the British. In addition to his own prolific reformist writings, he founded a translation society for the introduction of modern Western texts (1864) and the Anglo-Muhammadan Oriental College at Aligarh (1874), modeled on the British university system. In 1886 he established the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Educational Conference, which promoted Western education, the translation of Western scientific works, and women's education.

Khans message is that Muslims should educate themselves broadly, a process that would lead to a better understanding of their contemporary circumstances. The author acknowledges that the Muslims of India failed to benefit from such education as their institutions were currently providing. To him, much mischief has grown out of exposure to modern concepts, such as liberty, equality, and political activism (which he glosses as agitation). His controversial message to Indias Muslims was that they should lead a quiet life, demonstrate duty to the British Raj, and refrain from challenging its rule, lest the British abridge whatever benefits they had extended to the people. According to his logic, obedience to enlightened rule, which was how he characterized British administration in the country, was mandated by Islam itself.

Chapter.  1316 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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