When British became the rulers of India in 1856, Muslims got Shattered in pieces. In 1857, Muslims took part in Independence War in their hope of reviving the Mughal empire. As a matter of fact, it could not be avoided that it was a mutiny not a war in which Muslims took part.
As a result, British held Muslims responsible for this mutiny and they adopt cruel policy against Muslims. They confiscated Muslims properties and Withdrawn their jobs. Muslims were suppressed by British and Hindus. Those were the dark days for Muslims. They were suffering by the hands of British and Hindus.
Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan’s Role:
Sir Sayyed awakened the Muslims. Muslims were in deep slumber at that time. He awakened them from their slumber. He guided Muslims. He struggled for them.
Sir Sayyed was from a noble family and was born on 17 Oct 1817 in Delhi. He got his early education from his maternal grandfather Khawaja Farid ud Din. He was educated in holy Quran, Arabic and Persian literature.
After his father death in 1833, he had to join government service. By 1857, Sir Sayyed Ahmed khan had spent nearly twenty years in judicial service. He was known for his justice.
In 1857, sir Sayyed was posted at Bijnaur when the war of 1857 broke out. It perturbed local European officers and their families. He saved many British Officers even at the risk of his own life. He also saved British women and children from being killed. He refused to accept the offered estate for his services which he rendered to the British.
The Beginning of the Aligarh Movement:
The British had held the Muslims responsible for the war of Independence and, therefore adopted a cruel policy to punish them for their role in the war of Independence. On the other hand Hindus were let off though they were also equally responsible for the war.
Due to policy adopted by British, Muslims remain suppressed. They lost their distinction as a nation. Their properties were confiscated and their jobs were withdrawn. To further increase pressure or situation, the British replaced Persian with English as Official Language. The Muslims didn’t learn English. They thought it is against their religion. On the other hand Hindus quickly superseded the Muslims in the educational field by adopting English.
Sir Sayyed Always desired to see Muslims at a respectable position in society and decided to guide them in their struggle for the revival of their past position of glory. The services which Sir Sayyed rendered for the Muslims are known as “The Aligarh Movement”.
The Indian Muslims had always saw British as their enemies and they always avoided social interaction with them, which created a great deal of misunderstanding among the British about the Muslims. Sir Sayyed knew that this condition of Muslims shall not be improved unless the Muslims change their behavior. He wanted Muslims should adopt a more lenient attitude towards British and extend necessary loyalties to rulers of the country. Muslim’s policy of hatred for the British was only beneficial for Hindus who were getting close to British. He advised to change that policy.
Muslims were also lagging behind in the education because of their conservative approach toward the English and Modern Knowledge. Sir Sayyed began his movement by diluting suspicion and misunderstanding between the Muslims and Hindus.