The university grew out of the work of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the great Muslim reformer and statesman, who in the aftermath of the Indian War of Independence of 1857 felt that it was important for Muslims to gain education and become involved in the public life and government services in India. Raja Jai Kishan helped Sir Syed in establishing the university
The British decision to replace the use of Persian in 1842 for government employment and as the language of Courts of Law caused deep anxiety among Muslims of the sub-continent. Sir Syed saw a need for Muslims to acquire proficiency in the English language and Western sciences if the community were to maintain its social and political clout, particularly in Northern India. He began to prepare foundation for the formation of a Muslim University by starting schools at Moradabad (1858) and Ghazipur (1863).His purpose for the establishment of the Scientific Society in 1864, in Aligarh was to translate Western works into Indian languages as a prelude to prepare the community to accept Western education and to inculcate scientific temperament among the Muslims. The intense desire to ameliorate the social conditions of Indian Muslims led Sir Syed to publish the periodical, ‘Tehzibul Akhlaq’ in 1870.
In 1877, Sir Syed founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in Aligarh and patterned the college after Oxford and Cambridge universities that he had visited on a trip to England. His objective was to build a college in tune with the British education system but without compromising its Islamic values. Sir Syed’s son, Syed Mahmood, who was an alumnus of Cambridge prepared a proposal for an independent university to the âMuhammadan Anglo-Oriental College Fund Committeeâ upon his return from England in 1872. This proposal was adopted and subsequently modified. Syed Mahmood continued to work along with his father in founding the college.
It is the dream of every scholar, every student to be a product of this almamater, and why shouldn’t it be? After all the foundation was laid by the great Sir Syed Ahmad Khan himself! Situated in the small state of Uttar Pradesh, this university is one of the most prestigious and reputed universities of world. With thousands of national and international students enrolled in this varsity, it has become an epicenter of higher education.