(Last Updated on : 05-04-2014)
Syed Ahmed Khan, a renowned freedom fighter was born in Delhi
, which was the capital of the Mughal Empire. He was a popular politician and educator and also a modernist and reformer for Islam. His family is also said to have migrated from Arabia to Wamghan in Iran, and then shifted to Heart (now located in Afghanistan) in the time of Akbar
. Since then many generation of his family been highly connected with the Mughal administration. His maternal grandfather Khwaja Fariduddin served as wazir in the court of Akbar Shah II. Syed Hadi, his paternal grandfather, held a mansab, a high ranking administration position and honorary name of Jawwad Ali Khan in the court of Alamgir II. Sir Syed's father was named Mir Muhammad Muttaqi who was personally very close to Akbar Shah II and also served in the court as personal adviser.
However, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
was born as a time when disobedient governors, and regional insurrections and British colonialism had diminished the degree and authority of Mughal state, plunging its monarch to figurehead. Sir Syed, with his elder brother - Syed Muhammad Khan, was raised in a big house in a rich and wealthy family. Both the brothers were brought up according to strict rules of Islam, and were exposed to serious politics. Both the brothers were highly inspired by their mother - Azis-un-Nisa. She raised both the boys with rigid discipline and good education.
From a very young age Syed was encouraged to read the Holy Quran
by a female tutor. He received traditional education to Muslim nobility in Delhi. He learned various languages like Persian, Arabic, Urdu and religious subjects under the guidance of Hamiduddin. He also read the works of Muslim writers and scholars as Sahbai, Rumi and Ghalib. There were separate teachers who also instructed him in mathematics, astronomy and Islamic jurisprudence. Sir Syed was good in sports as well like swimming, wrestling and other outdoor games. He took an active part in the Mughal court's cultural activities.
His elder brother founded the first printing in their city in Urdu Language
along with the journal Sayyad-ul-Akbar. He later pursued education in medicine, but did not complete the course. Until his father died in the year 1838, Sir Syed had lived a life customary for a rich and affluent young noble. After his father's death he inherited the titles of his grandfather and father and was awarded the title Arif Jung by Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Syed's education came to an end due to financial difficulties, but he continued with the education in private - reading books on various subjects. Sir Syed assumed editorship of his brother's journal and rejected offers of employment from the Mughal court.