By: Tarun Prakash, Sr. Executive Editor-ICN Group
Sir Syed was the great assertor of National integration and he knew that unless Hindu and Muslim come on the same platform and join their hands warmly, our nation cannot become a great country in the world.
“Zameen tang hai sara jahan chhota hai,
Meri udaan ko har aasmaan chhota hai
(Small is earth simply insufficient is the world all
And for my flight even sky appears to be small)
Mere mayaar ka qad is tarah se nikla hai,
Mere wajood ka yaron makaan chhota hai”.
(My criterion in height is not bound of limit
To adjust that house of my existence is not fit)
When I scribed these lines, I did not know that only and only one personality is perfectly fitted in the frame of ideas of these couplets and he is none else but ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’.
Sir Syed must be considered as one of the most powerful pillars of modernization of India. When our country was suffering under British rules and the people, particularly Muslims were under the unbreakable layers of darkness, he appeared and enlightened them. Sir Syed told that religion and country both have the same value for a true Muslim and unless the Muslims become progressive, they would not be able to give their real contribution in making new India.
One of his most popular quotes is – ‘A true Muslim should have Quran in his one hand and science in other’. He knew that without having scientific and technological progress, no country could be developed and powerful. No doubt, the Muslims were very backward at that time and they were not able to participate in the main stream of the nation and it is Sir Syed who brought them forward and made them proud by feeling that they are also the important component of the new era of the country.
It may not be that important here to write about his number of works for preparing road map of modern India as important to talk about his wonderful vision and ideology. He was a great Indian who always loved his nation and made his nation proud throughout the world by his wonderful works in the fields of awakening the people, particularly Muslim community towards progressive and scientific education by bringing them in the main stream of the nation. It was his vision even to bring the soft gender i.e. the females into the main stream of the nation in future and he had done great jobs for the education of female of the Muslim community. In his time, the condition of the Muslim women was very pity and they had no social status at all and Sir Syed was the first person to advocate the importance of the education for Muslim female and not only this but he brought them ahead by creating a favorable atmosphere for their education.
In the field of education as well as social reformation for Muslim community, Sir Syed established such milestones which are remarkable as even on today. I have no hitch to say that when the Muslim peoples were being related to only religious education by the religious teachers of the community, Sir Syed pioneered them for their world class academic education. The dream of Sir Syed was to establish educational institutions for the Muslim community parallel to standard of Cambridge and Oxford Universities and he could be able to turn his dream into reality to a certain extent also and Aligarh Muslim University is its best example which has produced number of persons of International fame.
Sir Syed advocated the necessity of reinterpretation of Muslim ideology so as to reconcile traditions with western education and science. He felt the necessity to develop the high class intellectuality among the Muslims so that they can be able to interact with the World and be part of the social and political development of future.
In southern Asia, the impact and effects of great works of Sir Syed is easily visible. He said that acquisition of knowledge of Science and technology is the only solution for the problems of Muslim and he worked for it throughout his life. He was progressive and that is why he told the Muslim people to get rid of old and useless rituals because these rituals hinder human progress. He was the person of real world and always made his efforts to bring the Muslim community on the path of intellectual and realistic progress and that is why he taught them that superstitions cannot be the part of Iman (faith).
Sir Syed was the great assertor of National integration and he knew that unless Hindu and Muslim come on the same platform and join their hands warmly, our nation cannot become a great country in the world. He had said, “We (Hindu & Muslim) eat the same crop, drink water from the same river and breath the same air. As the matter of fact Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride i.e. Hindustan. Weakness of any one of them will spoil the beauty of bride”.
Whatever is done by Pandit Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya for the education of Hindus, Sir Syed has done the same for the Indian Muslims.
He has done a lot himself but still, number of things are left to be done to translate his dreams into reality and it is our duty to complete the incomplete job and that will be our best tribute to Sir Syed.