Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) was a Muslim religious leader, educationalist, and politician. He contributed to the intellectual and institutional foundation of Muslim modernization in southern Asia.
Ideology of Pakistan derives its strength from the Two Nation Theory first propounded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in the 19th Century. It gained strength when in 1930 Sir Mohammed Iqbal spoke of the growing problems of Muslims in the sub-continent and his vision of a separate Muslim homeland. The dream came true under the dynamic and pragmatic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah who had finally concluded that the fundamental differences between Hindus and Muslim of the Subcontinent could never be resolved. The Muslim Nation had to take control of its own destiny and it did so through the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
The supreme interest of Sir Syed's life was education, in its widest sense. He established schools at Muradabad (1858) and Ghazipur (1863). A more ambitious undertaking was the foundation of the Scientific Society, which published translations of many educational texts and issued a bilingual journal, in Urdu and English. The institutions were for the use of all citizens and were jointly operated by Hindus and the Muslims; however, Sir Syed and many other Muslims felt threatened by their minority status; Sir Syed, against great opposition, felt that as a culture Indian Muslims should accept Western education and, to a limited extent, Western culture. During a visit to England (1869-70), he prepared plans for a great educational institution, a "Muslim Cambridge.” On his return, he set up a committee for the purpose and started an influential journal, Tahzib al-Akhlaq ("Social Reform"), for the "uplift and reform of the Muslim". A Muslim school was established at Aligarh in May 1875, and, after his retirement in 1876, Sir Syed devoted himself to enlarging it into a college. This college made rapid progress.