Born in 1859
Died in 1925
Grandson of Syed Muhammad (Elder brother of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan)
Son-in-law of Syed Hamid (Eldest son of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan)
Wife’s name: Syed Ahmadi Begum (grand daughter of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan)
Married in February 1888
Personal Secretary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
Secretary of M.A.O.College Board of Trustees:
(Acting Secretary from Jan 1918- October 1918)
Founding Treasurer Aligarh Muslim University:
Syed Muhammad Ali, grandson of Syed Muhammad (elder brother of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan) was born in 1859. Completed his primary education in Madarsatul-Uloom and graduated from MAO College. In the beginning lived in hostels later moved-in Sir Syed House with Sir Syed’s family and lived there for a long time. After completing his education he joined judicial services and retired in 1918 as Session Judge from Muradabad. He lived his life with discipline, honesty and principles. He was a very famous criminal judge and well known for his unbiased treatments to all of the witnesses irrespective of their skin colors.
Association with Sir Syed & Aligarh Movement
Sir Syed had a great respect and admiration for his elder brother Syed Muhammad and so he took care of his family after his death. Syed Muhammad Ali was grandson of Syed Muhammad so grew up under the able guidance of Sir Syed. Sir Syed enrolled him in Madarsatul-Uloom in June 1875. He completed all of his education in Madarsatul-Uloom & MAO College and mostly lived with Sir Syed in Sir Syed House. In February, 1888 he got married to Ahmadi Begum, daughter of Syed Hamid (eldest son of Sir Syed). Before starting his profession career in judicial services, he worked as Sir Syed’s Personal Secretary. As he grew up under Sir Syed’s mentorship, had a great respect for Sir Syed and close association with him and his movement, The Aligarh Movement.
Nawab Ishaq Khan was Secretary of MAO College Board of Trustees from January, 1913 to 28th October, 1918. During the last days of his tenure, his health was not good so board appointed Syed Muhammad Ali as acting secretary and later when Nawab Ishaq Khan died, board elected Syed Muhammad Ali as Secretary to the MAO College board of trustees. During the beginning of his tenure as Secretary he put a lot of efforts to construct a new building for AMU Schools which was situated next to College in an old Bungalow (present Old Guest House). Condition of school building was not good so he moved the AMU School to Minto Circle Building on 1st April, 1919. He faced tough time due to the Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement in which had a strong presence in MAO College but he never surrendered.
On 9th September, 1920 Syed Muhammad Ali made the following speech in Viceroy Lodge of H.E.H. James Ford;
“I feel proud to mention that I am representing Muslim University Association and MAO College. I am associated with MAO College from its inception on 20th June, 1875 when I joined it as a student and have never imagined that one day I will represent this institution when it is going to become a University. This day will be remembered in the Muslims educational development history as RED LETTER DAY”
This was the day when MAO College became Aligarh Muslim University under the leadership of Syed Muhammad Ali. After government’s notification on 1st December, 1920, MAO College became AMU and Board of trustees ceased to exist and therefore all the positions of Board ceased to exists including Secretary. The same government order also appointed Raja Mahmudabad (Sir Muhammad Ali of Mahmudabad) as first Vice-Chancellor. The founding Vice-Chancellor, Raja Mahmudabad appointed Sir Ziauddin Ahmada founding Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Syed Muhammad Ali as Founding Treasurer of Aligarh Muslim University.