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Aligarh: A symposium on “Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Modernity” was held at the Center for Advanced Studies, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, marking the 205th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, a great social reformer of the 19th century and founder of the Aligarh Muslim University.

Speaking on the journalistic aspect of Sir Syed’s fellowship, Professor Shafey Kidwai (Department of Mass Communication) said that Sir Syed was the first Muslim public intellectual to address issues facing Indians in general and Muslims in particular.

“His basic aim was to create a revival in the society and to achieve this aim he published two journals namely Aligarh Institute Gazette and Tahzibul Akhlaq which played an important role in the reformation of Indian society,” said Professor Shafey.

He said Sir Syed’s model of journalism was based on telling the truth and he always challenged common notions on the basis of logic and rationalism.

“That is why, instead of joining the blind protest against the blasphemous book on the prophet of Islam by William Muir, Sir Syed chose to visit England and write a rejoinder against him, which has later published as Khutbat-e-Ahmadiya,” he added.

Professor Mohammad Asim Siddiqui (Chair of the English Department) stressed that Sir Syed embodied all the virtues of modernity and always emphasized the use of rationalism, logic, skepticism and freedom of thought. ‘expression.

“In all his writings Sir Syed was guided by logic and Orientalism played a large part in his rationality. Influenced by the renaissance of Delhi, Sir Syed has always worked for all forms of emancipation. He was not an apologist or a blind supporter of the British, that’s for sure,” Professor Mohammad Asim reiterated.

In his address on “Sir Syed’s Legal Ideas and Legal Thoughts”, Professor Mohammad Zafar Mahfooz Nomani (Law Department) said that Sir Syed’s legal ideas sprouted from the Banaras Education Committee Report and during Sir Syed’s long association with legal services.

“Sir Syed is the author of a book on law and his major contributions include the enactment of Qazi Law, Indian Waqf Law, etc. His notions of federalism, fundamental rights and fundamental duties were far ahead of modern constitutionalists of the time. He was instrumental in developing health awareness among people and advocated for the enactment of public health laws,” Professor Zafar emphasized.

In her presidential remarks, Professor Gulfishan Khan (Chair of the Department of History) said that Sir Syed was essentially a religious thinker, a great scholar and a good researcher. He wrote the rebuttal of William Muir’s book after consulting original sources.

Professor Perwez Nazir (programme manager) proposed a vote of thanks. Dr. Mohammad Nazrul Bari led the program.

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