a. The Muslim Reformer:
In second half of the nineteenth century the person who tried to bring about a change in the outlook of the Muslims of India was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.
b. Aims of Syed Ahmed:
Much influenced by the modern scientific knowledge Syed Ahmed Khan wanted to instill a new outlook among the Muslims of India.
He interpreted Quran in the light of rationalism and science. He was very much opposed to the idea of accepting anything only because it was traditional.
Thus he urged upon the Muslims to have freedom of thought and critical approach to everything. Not to accept anything blindly.
He urged upon the Muslim youths to be broadminded and tolerant. These were the ideals of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan which had undergone a sea-change in subsequent years.
c. Aligarh Movement:
The greatest achievement of Sir Syed Ahmed was the foundation of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh. This college in course of time came to be known as the Aligarh College.
This College played an important role in the reawakening of the Muslim community of India. The movement for the regeneration of the Muslims began with the foundation of the College.
In short, the socio-religious and political movement that had begun centering the Aligarh College came to be known as the Aligarh movement.
d. Main Features:
The charteristic features of the Aligarh movement were as follows:
(1) it considered Hindus and Muslims to form two separate entities with conflicting interests.
(2) It was opposed to the representative institutions which they thought to be harmful to the interest of the Muslims.
(3) It favoured a policy of collaboration with the British which, according to them, would safeguard the interests of the Muslims.