Decline of the Mughals:
Aurangzeb’s religious reforms
- Reinstituted Jizya Tax on non-Muslims.
- Destroyed Hindu Temples
- Enforced Islamic Laws
- Banned Suttee (Hindu Tradition)
- All of which led to Hindu’s (who formed a large part of India) agitation.
- Fought a war against the Rajputs
- Attempted to expand North (in a campaign against NWFP pathans) Numerous Rebellions (Sikhs, Satnamis, Jatts). The Maratha War which was the costliest.
- ^All these wars resulted in heavy taxes, and emptied the Mughal treasury. Leaving the Mughal Empire in economic misery.
Aurangzeb’s love for luxury.
- Built palaces, spend huge sums on himself.
- ^E.g Pearl Mosque for his own private prayers in Dehli made him unpopular. Furthered economic decline.
Indefinite law of succession.
- The dead Mughal emperor’s sons would fight for power.
- He tried preventing this by dividing the empire between his 4 sons. Didn’t work
- Muezzin was first emperor. Died. His sons fought. In 10 years, 12 claimed the throne. These wars cost a lot. Weakening the economy. Many capable soldiers, nobles died. Left the empire divided and weak.
Lazy ass successors.
- Were lazy, incompetent. Unable to control government.
- Handed the government over to the mansabdars (Nobles put in charge, system started by Akbar. These were often corrupt, disloyal and sought their own gains) these often corrupt nobles grew in power. Some princes and rulers were assassinated by courtiers. Such as Farukhsiyar and Alamgir
- Thus, there was an imbalance of power. Any emperor who would take control could not rule.
- Mughals used to be powerful, disciplined armies. Used to fight with clever tactics. With strong commanders.
- They became complacent with time. Didn’t feel the need for an army. Army became weak. Less disciplined. No modern advancements in warfare.
- Army was also made of different groups: Persian. Afghani etc.
- The Mughals lacked a naval fleet as well, despite having numerous ports.
- Over 1000’s of Communication and transport was difficult. Months before news e.g: Rebellions reached the emperor, and he couldn’t react in time.
- The Mansabdary system was weak and corrupt, no longer countered tis. Bihar, Deccan, Bengal managed to declare independence at points.
- Nadir Shah, Persian leader invaded. Defeated Muhammad Shah at Karnal 1734
- He sacked Delhi. Left after 2 months with many jewels, good and the peacock throne Ahmed Shah, an Afghan came in 1747.Attacked Kabul, Peshawar and Lahore. Had control over Punjab by 1749. Kashmir, Multan by 1756.
- Finally took control and effectively ended Mughal Rule
- They were military better equipped. Also employed local sepoys. Had military experience from their combat against the French, Portuguese.
- Won decisive Battles: Plassey, Buxar. Mir Jafar betrayed Indians, helped British. Exploited captured lands for a lot of profit.
Why the British took control over the EIC.
The Volume of trade and profit to the British was extremely significant. The crown did not feel that a thing of such importance should remain in the hands of a private company. They thus took control of the EIC.
The British needed to shape their foreign policy, since the Russians seemed to be trying to expand . This couldn’t be done under the EIC.
British Prestige was at stake. The needed expansion to regain the image they had lost in their disgraceful loss at Kabul by the Afghans.
Why European nations became involved in the subcontinent.
India had certain raw materials that the rest of the world did not have and they desired, including spices, cotton, sugar, silk, jute etc
The British had a great regard for the raw materials, since they had recently undergone the industrial revolution and wished to expand their industries.
The Middle Eastern countries had a tax on Europeans, and the Byzantine Empire was now under the ottomans who sought cheaper trade routes.
They avoided land routes in the middle East, since trading via sea was cheaper, more effective and gave economy of scale.
British went to India since other lands (e.g: Africa) were already under Portuguese control. They also fought against the French here.
Taking control of India:
Successes (Of Indians in resisting)
In 1666, EIC grew proud, refused taxes and issued coins. Aurangzeb sent a force against them, defeated them. EIC paid a fine, apologized, reduced activities. >In 1756, Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud Daulah defeated EIC and managed to drive them away from and they captured Calcutta.
Tipu Sultan had French support, and used his strong army against the EIC at several times. Defeating them.
The very next year in 1757, The British, under Robert Clive defeated Siraj ud Daulah’s forces with the help of Mir Jafar’s betrayal. Siraj died, and the Mir Jafar was placed as a puppet ruler by the British
In The Battle of Buxar of 1764, the British defeated the Mir Jafar’s son, Mir Qasim and Shah Alam II and the Nawabs of Oudh. This extended their influence, gave them Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. They collected Revenue from here, managed to get a bigger army. Ended true Muslim Rule.
In 1782, first GG, Warren Hastings signed a treaty with the Marathas They could now focus on other places, and Maratha take over was prevented.
In 1799, GG Wellesley invaded Mysore and killed Tipu Sultan. They thus killed a strong enemy and took control of his lands in Mysore.
In 1803, The British entered Delhi, forced Shah Alam II to accept rule under “British Protection” … which basically meant that The Emperor no longer had any real power. British were true rulers by this point.
They provoked the Sindh Amirs into war despite a treaty signed between the two parties in an attempt to make up for their disgrace in Afghanistan.
British managed this partly because of the Industrial Revolution, which made them technologically superior, giving them an edge over the Indians with their weapons, techniques.
India was very wealthy, but this wealth was heavily exploited by the british, with all this wealth going over to the British.
In 1829, they banned Suttee (A common hindu tradition)
Replaced Persian with English as the government language … Indians could no longer get government jobs.
Indians had to send their children to co-ed schools with westernized Educations. They disliked this as it went against their culture and religion.
Christian Missionaries came and set up schools, and seemed to try and convert the local populace to Christianity. This was resented by the Indians.
British brought in the railway system, which is also annoyed the Indians as they felt that the British were trying to intervene in India too much.
British sold cotton in India (thanks to Industrial Revolution) and collapsed the Indian Textile Industry, leaving millions jobless and poor.
The War of Independence.
Reasons for outbreak:
Political: The British introduced the Doctrine of Lapse, allowing them to confiscate the territory of any local ruler who did not have a real male heir. This did not please the Indian landlords as they were being deprived for their lands and thus rebelled.
Political: In 1957 the Mughal Emperor had little power left but was still an important symbolic figure. The British moved the Royal family form the Red fort of Delhi to a more obscure Qutub Sahi. Indians saw this as mistreatment.
Political: At a lower level of society there was a resentment of the lack of oppurtunities for native Indians in the Civil service. This resulted in more hatred for the British as their rights were not considered.
Political: 1934, English replaced Persian as the official language of administration. This created resentment because it wasn’t only seen as cultural intervention but also increased Indian unemployment as they didn’t know English.
Military: Greased Cartridge Incident
Military: Most of the sepoys were Indian, whereas officers were always British.
Military: They sent Indan troops to fight in Afghanistan. Unpopular as Hindus didn’t want to leave mother India and Muslims didn’t want to fight other Muslims.
Religious: Furthermore, regular rumors that Muslim, Hindu, Sikh soldiers would be forced to convert to Christianity. Angered Indian solders who felt that their religion was under threat.
Religious: Hindu tradition suttee was abolished, widow remarriage allowed. Pardha was ridiculed by the British,
Religious: Christian Missionaries made schools, taught Christianity, expected locals to give up own religion. Employers sometimes offered incentives for this.
Social: British had a very low view of the Indians. The tried to spread their own culture, and considered the Indians inferior and were reluctant in giving them high posts.
Social: The British were tried in special courts, but Indians/Locals were tried in ordinary courts. Judgments were made by the British and were often cruel/harsh.
Reasons for failure:
Disunity: There was disunity among the rebels. They lacked a common purpose and everyone fought for personal interest, often refused to fight unless they were harmed. …Nana Sahib, only interested in getting doctrine of lapse reversed and was ready to come to terms if this demand was accepted. Thus, Muslims lacked a common cause from the Indians, weakening them.
Disunity: Some of the princely state rulers supported the British in order to maintain their own power. Such as the ruler of Kashmir, who sent 2000 troops to help the British. Thus their strength against the war grew, and the Indians were less united.
Disunity: Lord Canning, the Governor General, adopted a conciliator policy towards the rebels. He allowed many concessions for them: Announcing the rebels who gave up their arms were to be forgiven. Thus, quite a few leaders left the battlefield to join in negotiations with the government.
Disunity: There had been a great deal of vandalism in the war, thus the local population was harmed and became displeased with the rebel’s nefarious activities. Instead, they sympathized with the British who stood for law and order. Hence the British strength increased even further, rebels weakened.
British Strength: Punjab and Sindh had been conquered by the British with their troops from Bengal and Central Asia. So, when the troops rebelled in 1857, the Punjabis and Singhies did not support. Meaning a much smaller amount of rebels against the British might.
British Strength: The Last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II, who was considered the main leader of the revolt showed incompetence during the war. More interested in poetry and luxury, and neglected the affairs of combat. Thus, his poor administration meant weak control.
British Strength: The British had experienced the Industrial Revolution and were technologically much more superior. Thus they had advanced weaponry, giving them an edge over the Mughal/Indian forces who had traditional and outdated weaponry.
British Strength: The British were a superpower at that time and had well trained, confident soldiers led by outstanding generals such as Edwards and Neil. Who fought with devotion and loyalty to the British Queen. The rebel leaders in comparison were indecisive and short sighted and hence were easily defeated by the British.
Results of the war of Independence:
Negative: The Indians failed their main objective of ending British Rule/Driving them out of the subcontinent. They not only failed, but ended as slaves to the British. They British attained complete autonomy over the country and established a rather tyrannical rule over the Indians.
Negative: The Mughal Empire was removed from the Indian political scene forever as the country came directly under the British Crown by the 1858 proclamation by Queen Victoria. The Muslims were greatly dismayed by this, as the main figure of Muslim authority was exiled.
Negative: The war left a trail of mutual fear and distrust in the minds of the ruler and the ruled. The British became cautious, rigid, reactionary in their attitude towards the Indians especially the Muslims, considering to be solely responsible for the revolt, since the wanted to restore the Mughal Empire. Thus the British began to develop a policy of suppressing the Muslims in their every walk of life. This hatred continued for half a century.
Negative: The army taking the initiative in the War of Independence was thoroughly revised. The number of European Soldiers was increased. Dismaying the Indians, who took part in an attempt to gain better posts and salaries through the revolt. Instead, some soldiers became jobless
Negative: The forces that had rebelled were executed by the British. Cruel punishments, such as being blown to pieces by a canon were used.
Positive: The British tried to being about a change in their administration and policies. They ended the “British East India Co’ to the happiness of the Indians who were now relieved of the Company’s tyranny. Thus there now to be ruled through a new, possibly less cruel ruler.
Positive: New reforms and constitutional changes were introduced. An act for the better government of India was passed and introduced. It involved a Secretary of State with a council of 15 members to help him. Policy of centralization in the 1833 act was changed, and new principles of decentralization and indianisation were recognized. And Indians could now be elected in provincial councils and thus attain power at a provincial level.
Positive: Moreover the 1861 Act restored legislative powers to the governments of Bombay and Madras. New Legislative Councils were established in many provinces including Punjab, Bengal etc. Thus, Indians were given much more political say, which had been an aim of theirs in the War of Independence.
Positive: The British policy of annexations was changed. The queen declared no more extensions to their present territorial possessions. Also, the Doctrine of Lapse was abandoned and Indians could now inherit ancestral lands with ease.
Positive: Greased Cartridge supply stopped. Indians relieved of a very sensitive Religious issue.
Why Pakistan Choose Urdu as its national language:
Because of its long History in the subcontinent. Widely used in the Mughal Period, dating as far back as the sultans of Delhi. Used by the Mughal armies and became widely spoken and understood all over the subcontinent. Thus, it was natural that such a well-established, natural language be chosen.
It had a high status in the subcontinent. Some of the finest early poets such as Amir Khusrau wrote in Urdu and Sir Syed’s school at Ali Garh became known as a center for Urdu study. Many religious books, including the Quran were translated into it. Thus it was rather important due to its rich literary tradition.
It was very closely associated with the Pakistani Movement. Sir Syed supported it, and the Muslim League was formed to defend Muslim interests and thus Urdu by extension. The Quaid was very keen on it, seeing it as a unifying force. Saw it as appropriate to promote a language that was a unifying force for the people of the subcontinent.
Promotion of Urdu:
Urdu is the medium of the national Media. Since media is well known to everyone, and everyone watches television, listens to the radio with interest for interest/entertainment, the language is promoted as more people are exposed to it.
Urdu is the medium of instruction in many schools. Develops interest in students towards their national language, as a lot of subjects are taught in urdu. They frequently read, write, communicate in Urdu.
Urdu is taught up to MA, MPhil and PhD in different institutions (such as the Urdu university). Thus scholars research the language and explore different aspects of its poetry and prose, modernizing it.
It is the compulsory subject to pass grade 10 and 12 in educational institutions. Therefore, the language is promoted as students get familiar with its literature and grammar.
It is the official language of courts (…along with English). Thus promoted as it is frequently judicial proceedings (Judges in their judgements, lawyers in their arguments) >Mushairas (poetry recitation sessions) are frequently held in Pakistan where poets recite poetry in front of the public, who appreciate it. This encourages them to write more in Urdu and are often given awards for their works.
It is the national language of Pakistan and is frequently used in all 4 provinces. Thus it’s not only a unifying force but also being promoted by people due to their regular use.
Failures of Urdu:
East Pakistan strongly opposed the selection of Urdu as the national language after independence. As their language, Bengali was spoken by 54% of the total population, leaving Urdu as a minority. This offended them to a great extent and eventually led to the creation of Bangladesh. Urdu ended up disintegrating rather than unifying Pakistan. >In Urban areas people prefer English over Urdu, and thus send their children to English medium schools for their better future, especially as they’re aware that the civil service exam is taken in English. Urdu is thus sidelined. In local areas people prefer their local languages instead of Urdu, Hindering the development of Urdu as many of them don’t even know it.
Why they’ve been promoted:
Literature and work undertaken by authors in areas such as Sindhi gas been popular and is a part of India’s history. Thus, it should be kept alive. So the government set up bodies to promote it, such as the Sindhi literary board.
Many Languages have played an important role in the history of the subcontinent. An example of this is Pushto literature, which was important in helping to create opposition towards the British rule. Thus it is important to preserve this history or future generations.
Balochi had little development before 1947 and its literature was in decline. The government felt that It should be kept alive rather than lost forever. They thus sought to keep it on par with the other languages.
Books on academic subjects like Law, Medicine, Science, History and Philosophy published in Punjabi. Thus developed as it’s been used as a means of imparting education.
The Punjabi University teaches it up to masters level. Thus the language is promoted as students and scholars do research in different aspects of its literature, which helps to modernize the language.
Radio Pakistan in Lahore, plus TV shows. These promote it though dramas and serials and news. Punjabi theater and films are also widely appreciated by because of their quality. Thus, by using it as a source of information and entertainment its understanding has been improved among the masses.
Quran was translated into Punjabi by Muhammad Ali Faiq. Thus promoted on religious lines as Punjabi Muslims read it with interest.
Punjabi Mushairas (poetry recitation sessions) are also held where poets recite their poetry in front of public. They are appreciated and it helps the people learn Punjabi. Poets themselves are also encouraged and are given wards.
Sindhi literary board was a step towards Sindhi’s development as it published different books and magazines in Sindhi and Sindhi literary figures like Fakir Nabi Baksh and G. Allama became well known.
Bazm e Talib ul Mawla Publishes books in Sindhi and have thus become known because of their services towards Sindhi literature.
Sarmast Academy established as tribute to Sindhi poet Sachal Sarmast also promotes the language, by printing his words and making them available to the common people. >The Sindhiology department teaches Sindhi literature at Jamsher up to MA level which helps students learn more about the language.
It is a compulsory language subject in schools of Sindh as an alternative to Urdu. It promotes its importance among the students and fosters their interest in Sindhi as they’re taught Sindhi literature and Grammar.
Establishment of Peshawar University and the post graduate Pashto literature classes promote the language and literature among the masses and it is thus more widely known.
Academy for the promotion of Pashto Literature was set up in 1954 and this prepared a widely accepted and known dictionairy, helped creating vocabulary and increasing understanding of Pashto amongst the people.
Broadcasts in Balochi on radio Pakistan Karachi, and Quetta Television help to make it more important through news, entertainment programmers.
Balochi Literary Association was set up and there are now weekly and monthly magazines published in the languages under it. Nan Kissan and Olassis being a few of them. Thus, this association promoted Balochi by encouraging different writers and helping in gaining more resources.
Many notable poets and writers such as AHA shad, Issac Shamim and others are also making Balochi widely available to the interested people through their works, thus promoting it.
Shah Wali Ullah
Why he wished to revive Islam In the subcontinent:
He believed that most of the problems of Muslims was due to their incomplete Knowledge and understanding of the Holy Quran. As the Holy Quran is in Arabic whereas common Muslims knew Persian. He wanted that the Quranic teachings be made accessible to the common people so they may act on them
The Muslim community was divided into sects, such as Sunni and Shia. Thus they were vulnerable to attacks on their religion. SWU wanted them to put aside their differences o that a more united and strong community could be created.
Many Unislmaic practices had enterest Islam due to constant interaction with Hindus and other no Muslim communities. Thus they had forgotten the moral andspiritual principles of Islam. Hence SWU wished to revive Islam to purify the Islamic Society.
Translation of Quran into Persian, the local language, despite opposition of the ulemas. So it was easier for common Muslims to act on Islamic teachings. Thus Islam was revived among the locals. This also paved way for his sons to translate it into Urdu, making it available to even more people.
Also treid to stop the Muslims dividing into sects. Studied the differences between Sunni and Shia objectively and wrote an account of the first four caliphs in a way acceptable to both groups. Thus treid to reconcile between them to unite the Muslims >Wrote 51 books on different aspects of Islam like Fiqh and HAdis. Significant among them were the Hujjatullah ul Baligha and Izalat ul Akhfa. This helped Muslim understand Islamic principles and act on them.
Also taught at the Madrassa Rahimiya for many years. Important as it paved for the youth to familiarize themselves with the fundamental principles and glorious past of Islam hence inducing solidarity and pride in them regarding their religion.
Tried to unite the Muslims against the Marathas and Sikhs so Islam could be protected and revived. It was he who invited Ahmed shah Durrani from Persia. He defeated the Marathas and the Muslims were saved from no Muslim tyranny.
Revived Islam in the prevalent economic system by stressing on social justice, equibilarium. He made laborers and craftsmen more aware by stressing that they should be paid justly and urged traders and business to adapt a fair Islamic system of trading thus eliminating sense of corruption in Business activities.
Haji Shariat Ullah
Why he wished to revive Islam in the subcontinent.
Believed that Muslims of the sub continent were leading miserable lives because they had started following Hindu practices due to their interaction with them. Thus they started the Faraizi Movement to purify the Islamic society.
Muslims in Bengal were surprised by the Hindu landlords. HSU wanted to end this tyranny. Thus he started the Faraizi Movement to create a sense of Jihad in muslims so that they could fight for their rights.
Muslims had forgotten the basic principles of Islam and did not practice religious obligations i.e Faraizi prayer and fasting. Thus he started the Faraizi movement to insist upon them to follow the pillars of Islam
He began his reform movement known as the “Faraizi Movement” started as a reaction to the anti Islamic policies of British and Hinds. The movement insisted upon the fullfillument of Fariaz i.e one’s religious obligations imposed by God and His Prophets. His followers came to be known as the “fairizis” on account of their insistence of the fulfillment of one’s duties. As a result many Muslims declared themselves to the performance of their duties and became staunch Muslims
Brought the Muslim peasantry together against the cruel exploitation by the Hindu Zamindars, infused a spirit amongst the Peasants who got together to direct Jihad against the then religious and social oppression to fight for their rights. This confidence and awakening of the Bengalis from their slumber prepared the grounds for future works of his successors like Titu Mir and Dadu mian.
Worked towards elimination of Hind customs that had crept into Muslim society due to their continuous interaction. Significant as he attempted to purify the lives of Muslims so that they oculd not only distinguish Islamic practices and rituals but also follow the true Islam.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi
Why he launched the Jihad movement against Sikhs of Punjab.
The Sikh rulers of Punjab were not letting the Muslims practice their religious freely and even the Azaan was banned. This angered SASB and he launched the Jihad movement against the Sikhs for Muslim religious freedom.
He launched it against the two main anti Muslim forces, British in Bengal and Sikhs in Punjab. He was aware that British were hard to defeat as a superpower, and thus hard to defeat. Therefore he launched the Jihad against the Siks first as they were a relativel weaker force and he thus was more likely to win against them
SASB knew that Punjab was surrounded by Muslim tribes, which encouraged him to fight against the Sikhs as these could help him
Launched the Jihad Movement against the Sikhs in Punjab as they were not letting the Muslims practice their religion freely. He gathered an army and launched war on them. Although the Mujahedeen were later defeated, this shows his commitment to liberate Muslims from oppressive rulers and grant them their due rights.
This movement not only infused a great deal of determination and moral courage but also had influence on future generations, inspiring them. It was like a forerunner for the Pakistan Movement.
It Unified Muslims together of different regions, created awareness among of them regarding their political, religious and cultural rights. It was also the first movement meant to free Muslims from tyranny rather than place a ruler in power.
Reasons for the movement’s failure.
SASB was not well trained in military tactics. Most of the fighters were teachers, or spiritual leaders. This made it difficult for the Mujahideen forces to fight against the Sikhs and come up with clever strategies to defeat them. On the other hand, the Sikhs were tough and well trained under Ranjit, who was a strong military ruler.
The Muslim army was disunited. The Muslims were of many different backgrounds. Soldiers often mistrusted each other and were reluctant to agree with one another. As a result, due to internal conflicts there wasn’t always full support from everybody. Which weakened the Muslim forces..
The Pathans did not tolerate being in an army that they weren’t ruining themselves. They weren’t ready to compromise which strained their relations with other Muslims. This weakened the Muslim forces as there was less support from pathan tribes. >SASB imposed taxes on locals to bear military costs, but local people were pissed off since they had never payed such a tax and were thus resented SASB. As a result, SASB lost support of the local people which further weakened his forces. >He thus lost money from taxes and his funds became limited and thus not all the military costs could be afforded. They could not improve upon/buy more needed military equipment.
Moreover, SASB’s army was not as sincere to him. There were attempts by Yar Muhamad Khan to assassinate SASB. He thus had to tackle with internal threats as well as external ones. Thus, his attention was diverted from his main goal, which was to defeat the Sikhs. Yar Muhammad’s army betrayed him in battle in Akora, weakened his fighting and causing his defeat.
When SASB was moving to Balakot, traitors informed Sikhs of the Muslim’s route. Thus, the Sikhs prepared themselves and strengthened their forces which made it easier for them to defeat the Muslims. So, when they launched their surprise attack at Balakot, the Muslims were unprepared for this unexpected attack, and were defeated. >Sikhs outnumbered the Muslims in this battle. The weaker Mujahideen lost, and SASB was killed, effectively ending the movement.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan:
Why he was considered Pro British:
SSAK saved the lives of many British women and children during the WoI. Since the Muslims were fighting against the British, this angered the Muslims and they started calling him pro-British.
Sir Syed wanted the Musims to not fight against the British in WoI. As he believed that they would be easily defeated by the British, as they were a superior power. Therefore he was called Pro British as everyone thought he was trying to establish British Power. >Muslims of the subcontinent believed that the British were invaders. Whereas Sir Syed believed that the Muslim should accept that British were rulers of the Indians and should accept their ideas, such as Western Education therefore this angered the Muslims and they labeled him pro British.
Why he established the Aligarh movement:
The British considered the Muslims guilty for the 1857 uprising. So after the war, the British started the policy of repression against the Muslims. Sir Syed wanted to end this policy. He thus started the movement to strengthen relations between Muslims and British by removing doubts of the British of Muslim loyalty.>Muslims considered the British as only invaders, and didn’t accept co operation with them. SSAK believed that Muslims should accept that British were now rulers and to accept British ideas, such as Western Education, so that they could improve their social and economic relations which will enable them to take jobs in civil service and army.
The Hindus of the sub continent were progressing socially, politically and economically due to their co operation with the British. This worried SSAK as he believed that the Muslims would get dominated by the Hindus and therefore he established the Aligarh Movement to inform the Muslims about the Hindu threat, and counter it.
Why SSAK tried to improve British – Muslim relationship.
The British considered the Muslims responsible for the WoT. Therefore they started a policy of repression against them. As SSAK wanted an end to this tyranny, therefore he tried to improve British – Muslim relationship to remove British Doubts about Muslim loyalty.
Muslims considered British as foreign invaders and were thus reluctant to acquire Western Education whereas SSAK believed that Western Education was important for Muslims to live a prosperous life. Therefore he tried to bridge the gap between the two communities so that Muslims could accept British Ideas.
SSAK feared that the Hindus would dominate Muslims as due to their co-operative attitude towards the rulers, they were developing economically, socially and politically. Therefore, SSAK tried to improve the British – Muslim relationship so that Muslims could come on par with the Hindus.
Why did SSAK want insist upon Muslims to acquire Western Education?
SSAK asked Muslims to acquire western educations so that Muslims could get civil service jobs because no language of administration was English and to improve their social and economic condition
Hindus received educations from English schools which improved their confidence and they viewed illiterate Muslims as inferiors. This worried SSAK and he asked Muslims to acquire education to come on par with the Hindu.
SSAK believed that as Quran stressed upon knowledge and exploring the universe, therefore western education of science was in line with the Quranic teachings. So he emphasized upon Muslims to acquire education to understand the full majesty of God as the creator.
Why SSAK developed his two nation theory:
Firstly Urdu had been the official language of India for many years. However the Hindus wanted it changed to their language, Hindi. This view wasn’t shared by the Muslims as Urdu was their main language. This provoked SSAK to give his “Two Nation Theory” as he realized that the Hindus and Muslims were two different nations because of their opposite cultures.
Secondly the Hindus wanted parliamentary system in India. Sir Syed, however rejected this by saying that as Hindus were in majority they wanted to dominate the Muslim minority b winning ever election. So that’s why SSSAK advocated his “Two Nation Theory” as he realized that These nations could not live in harmony.
Thirdly the Congress spoke of open competitive examinations for government jobs. However, SSAK rejected this as Muslims were not educated enough to pass these exams and so most of the posts would be taken over the educated Hindus.
Efforts to improve British Muslim relations:
Wrote the loyal Mohammadans of India – Gave a detailed account of the loyal services which Muslims had given and named various Muslims who had shown particular loyalty to the British. He not only defended Muslims from British accusations that they were disloyal but also called on them to end their hostility towards the Muslims
Wrote pamphlet: “Essay on the causes of the Indian revolt” – Pointed out causes of the WOI. (Poor management of India, forced conversions). Pamphlet helped convince the British that they were wrong to blame the uprising on Muslims. Some British readily decreased hostility and sympathized.
Sir Syed removed the “Nadarath” misunderstanding – British thought this was insult. Sir Syed said it meant “Helper”. Thus term reflected the positive term the Muslims had of the British.
Wrote rebuttal of an English book on The Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s life – Corrected errors concerning the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and Islam. Tried to convince the British that their Islamic knowledge was limited and needed to improve upon it to remove misconceptions.
Wrote Tabyin ul Kalam (Commentary on the bible) – Pointed out similarities between Islam and Christianity. This was incomplete, but shows his commitment in improving Muslim British relationship.
Established British Indian association – A platform where members of both communities could interact with each other and discuss various issues…helped to improve the level of understanding and cooperation between the two people.
Wrote pamphlet “Ahka Amet’ame ahle kitab” Food laws of people of the book – Told Muslims that they were allowed in Islam to dine with other chirstians …Urged upon them that they were closer to the British than the Hindus (Who were reluctant to eat with the Muslims)
Efforts to make Muslims acquire western education:
Journal on Tehzib ul Akhlaq – This journal included articles from influential Muslims who agreed with Sir Syed that there was a need for new approach regarding education. Some Ulemas attacked it, yet it played a major part in bringing about an intellectual revolution amongst the Muslim thinkers.
Scientific society at Ghazipur – Translated scientific writings from English, Persian or Arabic into Urdu; the main language of the Muslims. Muslims knew knowledge of science was being improved. Helped reduce Muslim hatred towards British as they read about scientific works and realized that they were more than just invaders but had done a lot for humanity through scientific inventions
Founded schools in Ghazipur, Muradabad
These efforts of Sir Syed shows his commitment towards expanding educational opportunities for Muslims as Muslims were reluctant to go in British Schools
Established MAO (Muhammad Anglo Oriental) school in 1875, made into college in 1877 – Provided Western and Islamic education on the pattern of English Public School system. This proved beneficial for Muslims in many ways:
- Provided quality educations to the Muslims of India and after graduating from this institute they could get better jobs in te Government Department
- It became a symbol of unity fr Muslims in the absence of the Muslim League
- Many future leaders of Pakistan such as LAK and Ayub Khan were educated there and many historians believe that this institution contributed the most for the formation of Pakistan
- It also helped to improve British Muslim relationship as noy only many British were teaching in this institute which created respect in the hearts of Muslims for the British but also after receiving English education, now the Muslims were in a better position to communicate with the British in their language and remove misconceptions
Mohammaden Educational Conference – Aim was to publicize the new educational Methods being used at MAO.
This helped improve Muslim education standards
Also played a major role in establishing a Muslim political platform in the days before the League was established as it attracted famous orators and writers who discussed the political problems of the Muslims in India
It was after the 29th session of the same organization in December 1906 at Dhaka that major leaders gathered to form the Muslim League, which was the founding party of Pakistan.