Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur, (also Sayyid Ahmad Khan) October 17, 1817 – March 27, 1898), commonly known as Sir Syed, was an Indian educator and politician, and an Islamic reformer and modernist.
Sir Syed pioneered modern education for the Muslim community in India by founding the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College, which later developed into the Aligarh Muslim University.
His work gave rise to a new generation of Muslim intellectuals and politicians who composed the Aligarh movement to secure the political future of Muslims in India.
Born into Mughal nobility, Sir Syed earned a reputation as a distinguished scholar while working as a jurist for the British East India Company.
During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 he remained loyal to the British and was noted for his actions in saving European lives.
After the rebellion he penned the booklet Asbab-e-Bhaghawath-e-Hind (The Causes of the Indian Mutiny) — a daring critique, at the time, of British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. Believing that the future of Muslims was threatened by the rigidity of their orthodox outlook, Sir Syed began promoting Western-style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals and organizing Muslim intellectuals. Towards this goal, Sir Syed founded the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875 with the aim of promoting social and economic development of Indian Muslims