Sir Syed Ahmed Khan KCSI
(1817-1898)

Died aged c. 81

Syed Ahmad bin Muttaqi Khan CSI (Urdu: سر سید احمد خان‎; 17 October 1817 – 27 March 1898), commonly known as Sir Syed, was an Indian Muslim pragmatist, Islamic reformist and philosopher of nineteenth century British India who played an instrumental role in the Pakistan Movement. Born into nobility with strong ties with Mughal court, Syed studied the Quran and sciences within the court and later studied law from the University of Edinburgh. In 1838, Syed entered the service of East India Company and went on to become a judge at a Small Causes Court in 1867, and retired from service in 1876. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he remained loyal to the British Empire and was noted for his actions in saving European lives. After the rebellion, he penned the booklet The Causes of the Indian Mutiny – a daring critique, at the time, of British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. Believing that the future of Muslims was threatened by the rigidity of their orthodox outlook, Sir Syed began promoting Western–style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals and organising Muslim entrepreneurs. In 1859, Syed, established Gulshan School at Muradabad, Victoria School at Ghazipur in 1863, and a scientific society for Muslim's in 1864. In 1875, founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, the first Muslim university in South Asia. During his career, Syed repeatedly called upon Muslims to loyally serve the British Empire and promoted the adoption of Urdu as the lingua franca of all Indian Muslims. Syed heavily critiqued the Indian National Congress. Syed maintains a strong legacy in Pakistan and Indian Muslims, and is often described as the founder of the two-nation theory - the ideological foundation of Pakistan Movement. He strongly influenced other Muslim leaders including Allama Iqbal and Jinnah. His advocation of Islam's rationalist (Muʿtazila) tradition, and at broader, radical reinterpretation of the Quran to make it compatible with science and modernity, continue's to influence the global Islamic reformation. Many universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Sir Syed's name.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

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Sir Syed Ahmed Khan 1817-1898 Muslim reformer and scholar lived here 1869-1870

21 Mecklenburgh Square, Camden, WC1, London, United Kingdom where they lived (1869-1870)