Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk (1837-1907)
Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk (born 9 December 1837 ï¿½ 16 October 1907)was a prominent Muslim politician. He was a close friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and was involved in the Aligarh Movement and was one of thefounders of the All India Muslim League. His real name was Syed Mehdi Ali.
Mohsin-ul-Mulk was the son of Syed Mir ZaaminAli, and was born in the town of Etawah.Most of his early education was in and around Etawah. As per the trends andtradition during that period, he was given a thorough basic education inPersian and Arabic.
In 1867, he sat for the Provincial Civil Serviceexamination and topped the list of successful candidates. He was appointed asDeputy Collector in U. P. In 1874, Mehdi Ali proceeded to Hyderabad toenter into the service of the Nizam.For his meritorious services over nearly 20 years, he was conferred the titlesof Munir Nawaz Jang and Nawab Mohsin-ud-Daula by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
During his posting as Tahsildar in Etawah,Mohsin-ul-Mulk met Sir Syed AhmadKhan for the first time. Thismeeting resulted in a long lasting companionship and Nawab Mohsinul Mulk becamea staunch supporter of Sir Syed's vision and Mission for the rest of his life. Very fewfriendships have been as stable and strong as the frienship of these two.Mohsin-ul-Mulk retained a very high level of respect despite difference ofopinion for his dear friend. Thereafter Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, became one of thestrongest supporters of SirSyed's mission and AligarhMovement.
He became member of the Scientific Society fromits inception in 1864. He wrote passionate articles in Tahzeebul Akhlaq to support Sir Syed's vision and spread his mission andbecame a spokesperson of SirSyed's social thoughts and the Aligarh Movement.
When SirSyed formed The Committee Of TheSupporters Of The Advancement Of Muslim Education, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk was hiskey companion, and started collecting donations for the cause of the newlyformed committee.
Upon retirement from service in 1893 from State of Hyderabad, he came to Aligarh and offered hisservices to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to assist him in spreading the messageof Aligarh Movement. Upon the death of SirSyed, he was appointed as the Secretary of the Muslim Educational Conference in1899.
He also became the successor of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in all aspects. After Sir Syed's death in 1898, he became Secretary ofthe MAO College management and took Sir Syed's burden on his own shoulders and isregarded with as much respect as his forerunner. He continued the mission of Sir Syed while giving special attention tobring religious and oriental stream scholars together on one platform, i.e. MAO Collegeso that the students could benefit from the scholars to have a properunderstanding of religion alongside modern scientific education. He appointed acommittee under the Chairmanship of Maulana Habibur Rahman Khan Sherwani toimprove the religious studies courses in MAO College.Maulana Shibli Nomani was also a member of that committee.He played a key role in renewing Allama ShibliNomani's relationship with Aligarh and as aresult Allama Shibli joined Aligarh once again.
Mohsin-ul-Mulk remained the Secretary until hisdeath in 1907. He was thus instrumental in the development of MAO College,which eventually became the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.
In later years, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) honored him by naming a Hall ofresidence after him. The foundation stone of the Hall was laid by the then ViceChancellor, Mr. Badruddin Mohsin Tyabji on November 4, 1963. It started with aninitial strength of 400 and is now one of the largest residential Halls both insize and strength, having 900 students and six different hostels: Allama ShibliHostel (Previously this was Sir Ziauddin Hostel), Ameen Hostel, Majaz Hostel,Maulana Hali Hostel, Maulana Mohd. Ali Johar Hostel, and Saifi Hostel.
Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, being a farsighted andpolitically conscious leader, carried on correspondence with the privatesecretary of the Viceroy to give his point-of-view on the necessity of separaterepresentation for the Muslims in all legislatures and local bodies. Hepresided over the 9th session of Muhammadan Educational Conference whichwas held in Aligarh in 1894 where he proposed aresolution to help and support NadwatulUlama, the newly formed religious school in Lucknow. His impressivepresidential remarks softened the hearts of modern educationists to support thecause of Nadwatul Ulama.
In 1906, he became Secretary of All India Muslim League. Along withNawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, he was asked to draft the constitution of the League.
Towards the beginning of 20th century, theHindi-Urdu controversy arose in the United Provinces. Mohsin-ul-Mulk took upthe pen in defense of Urdu in collaboration with the Urdu Defense Association.He authored following books; Mazaameen-e-TahzeebulAkhlaq (Collection of hisarticles published in Tahzeebul Akhlaq), Taqleed-e-Amal, Kitabul Muhabbat-o-Shauq Makaateeb,Musalmano(n) ki Tahzeeb, Aayaat-o-Bayyanat
The followers of Sir Syed tried their level bestto save Urdu language. Mohsin-ul-Mulk was the outstanding person who organizedthe Muslims in defense of Urdu. Towards the beginning of 20th century, theHindi-Urdu controversy again flared up in the United Provinces. Mohsin-ul-Mulktook up the pen in defense of Urdu in collaboration with the Urdu DefenseAssociation.
Ealier, the success of the Hindi movement ledSir Syed to further advocate Urdu as the symbol of Muslim heritage and as thelanguage of all Indian Muslims. His educational and political work grewincreasingly centred around and exclusively for Muslim interests. He alsosought to persuade the British to give Urdu extensive official use andpatronage. His colleague, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk] established Urdu Defence Association, committed tothe perpetuation of Urdu. ToMuslims in northern and western India,Urdu had become an integral part of political and cultural identity. However,the division over the use of Hindi or Urdu further provoked communal conflictbetween Muslims and Hindus in India.
Sir Syed Ahmed khan and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk'spatronage of Urdu led to its widespread use amongst Indian Muslim communitiesand following the Partition of India its adoption as the official language of Pakistan,
The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) honored himby naming a Hall of residence after him. The foundation stone of the Hall waslaid by the then Vice Chancellor, Mr. Badruddin Tyabji on November 4, 1963. Itstarted with an initial strength of 400 and is now one of the largestresidential Halls both in size and strength, having 900 students and sixdifferent hostels: Allama Shibli Hostel (Previously this was Sir ZiauddinHostel), Ameen Hostel, Majaz Hostel, Maulana Hali Hostel, Maulana Mohd. AliJohar Hostel and Saifi Hostel.
On 16 October 1907, he died in Simla.