The new book answers why Aligarh was chosen for AMU – Times of India

New Delhi: There are many theories as to why Sir Syed Ahmed Khan has decided to set up an educational institution in Aligarh, not in any other city, but a new book wants to give a definite answer to this.

The reason is probably in “ab-o-hawa” (water and air), among other reasons, suggested by the region that the Islamic educator-reformer found after rigorous research and was convinced of the establishment of a school that would become a dignified Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).



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Author Huma Khalil presents this and some other lesser-known topics of the city and the varsity “The Oliver of Aligarh: A Poetic Journey in the University City”, published by Hay House and presented by the Rekhta Foundation. Khan founded the MAO (Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental) School on May 24, 1925 to provide the best blend of Eastern and Western knowledge and science as a seat of higher learning for students. Two years later, it became MAO College. It only became AMU in 1920.


But why Aligarh?

“Sir Syed did extensive research before locating the college he visited. He consulted doctors and many other eminent persons on various issues related to the mental and physical well-being of the wards he wanted to nurture in the college,” Khalil wrote.

A detailed account was sent to Khan, stating that the “ab-o-hawa” of Aligarh was “perfectly suitable” for a person’s intellectual and physical well-being.


“Aligarh is in the Doab region of northern India. Its topography is bowl-shaped and located between two hills. It is a very fertile area. The water level and water quality were reasonably good,” Khalil said in the book.

“Also, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, being friendly with the British, was aware that many of the buildings they left behind were vacant and could be donated to the college. The current VC and PVC lodges are among those behind the British,” added AMU. Former student Khalil.

The author further says that at that time the main occupation of the inhabitants of Aligarh was the trade of salt, pepper and indigo and Chauhan, Yadav, Khwaja, Shervani, Lakhni Rajputs were the main inhabitants of Aligarh.


“After 1947, when many people moved to Pakistan, the class of people changed,” Khalil said.

With a foreshadowing by AMU VC Tariq Mansoor, the book runs about pages00 pages and blends with legends, myths and photographs, including black and white associated with AMU and its predecessor MAO College.

The book is dedicated to the chapters of notable alumni of the university – Akbar Allahabadi, Altaf Hussain Hali, Asrar ul Haq Majaz, among others, as it also talks about the “Tehjib” (culture) of the city and the changing environment year after year.


The book is full of two and poems on Aligarh city, university, culture and people.

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