A commemorative postage stamp on the Death Centenary of Sir Syed, an Muslim pragmatist, reformist, philosopher from British India :
Issued on Mar 27, 1998
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue this stamp, to pay homage to this great Indian social reformer and educationist of the 19th century; Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
Stamp : Aligarh Muslim University
FDC : Smt. Alka Sharma
Cancellation : Smt. Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint condition
Colour : Single Colour
Denomination : 200 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in reels 47 cms. width
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Syed Ahmad bin Syed Muhammad Muttaqi
Born on Oct 17, 1817 at Delhi, New Delhi, British India
Died on Mar 27, 1898 at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, British India
- Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born at Delhi on April 17, 1817 in a family with tradition of service in Mughal royal courts. He received primary education rather unsystematically at home. Nonetheless he developed an acquaintance with the profession of letters by occasionally contributing to “Sayyid–ul–akhbar”, one of the pioneers among the Urdu newspapers of India. He joined East India Company as a petty judicial officer and worked at different places in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. He retired in 1878 from the post of subordinate judge under the British government in India, with the title of Companion of the order of the Star of India which was conferred on him in 1869 in London where he had gone to study the English method of education and also to collect material from the British Museum and other libraries for a book on the life of Prophet Muhammad. After his retirement he was made a Knight Commander of the Star of India and was also taken on the Governor-General’s Council. In 1881 he was again nominated to the Council, where he continued for five years. In 1882, he was made a member of the Government-appointed Education Commission.
- His literary activities started mainly in 1847 with a graphic study of Delhi monuments in his important archaeological work, ‘Asar Us–sanadid’. The work was translated into French in 1861 by Garcin de Tassy, which introduced the author to the western world. Subsequently, in 1864, Syed Ahmad Khan was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of London, and in 1869 an honorary doctorate was conferred on him by the University of Edinburgh.
- In the later part of his life he settled at Aligarh and devoted his energy to uplifting the muslim society of India socially, educationally and religiously. In 1875, he succeeded in establishing, in the teeth of opposition by the muslim orthodoxy the Muhammadan Anglo–Oriental College which was raised in 1920 to the present Aligarh Muslim University. In 1886, he founded Muhammadan Educational Congress which was a non-political organisation to promote liberal education amongst the muslims.
- As a religious thinker, he stood for rationalism and for fresh interpretation of religion in the light of the changing conditions of society. In this field again he laid the foundation of a new school of thought (Ilm-i Kalam), which brought with it a revaluation of the traditional social ethics of the Muslim community.
- Text : National Biographies.
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