Syed Ahmed Khan wanted to remove the bitter enmity between Muslims and the British government, to interpret Islam and living it in conformity with modern science and philosophy.

In 1862 he founded the scientific society to translate and publish scientific works in Urdu. He established Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875.

Aligarh Muslim University became one of the most important breeding grounds of new trends in the political, social and cultural life of the Muslims.

However, he insisted on the cooperation of the Muslims with the British government and looked at all political movements with distrust. So when the Indian National Congress was formed, he opposed it. One of the reasons for his attitude was his belief that in view of the backwardness of the Muslim community, the Muslim interests would be harmed if they started taking part in political activities.