Discuss the origin and development of the Aligarh Movement with special emphasis on the part played by Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan in promoting it.

Published: November 9, 2017

This movement was launched by Syed Ahmad Khan, who was in the judicial service of the Company at the time of the rebellion of 1857 and stood loyal to the Government. After his retirement from service he appeared in the role of a socio-religious reformer. His articles in Tahzib-al-Akhlaq, which he started in 1870, as well as his other writings, gave evidence of the markedly rationalistic and non-conformist trend of his thoughts.
Sir Syed liberalized Indian Islam and took upon himself the triple task of religious reinterpretation, social reform and education. He came to the conclusion that only by taking to Western education would the Muslims be able to rise above their backwardness and come to an understanding with their rulers. He made the town of Aligarh, a predominantly Muslim area, the centre of his activities. The range of his activities is known as the Aligarh movement. The Anglo-Oriental College was the centre of this movement.  The movement focused on spreading western scientific education among the Muslim masses in India.
With the formation of Annual Muslim Educational conference in 1886, the Aligarh movement further gained momentum. This conference acts as a forum for the spread of Muslims political ideas.
Aligarh Movement was not confined to the tasks of only providing education needed for the Muslim community but it was over all a movement which acted to regenerate the Muslim community in their socioeconomic, cultural, educational and political life of Muslims community also.

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