Comment Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Muslim Nationalism


  • Sharif al Mujahid


Within a brief span of some fifty years between 1880s and 1930s, three most outstanding Muslim leaders who had so enthusiastically started out as staunch Indian nationalists, ended up finally at the threshold of Muslim nationalism. In the ultimate analysis, their paradigmatic shift from one end of the political spectrum to the other was responsible for Muslims carving out for themselves a separate destiny and an independent state of their own out of India’s body politic. They were: Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-98), Allama Iqbal (1876-1938), and Quaid-iAzam Jinnah (1876-1948). Jinnah became the founding father of Pakistan, Iqbal the poet-philosopher and ideologue, and Sir Syed, though hardly perceptible at the time, the founder of Muslim nationalism.