Mental state of the contemporary Muslim community

The Muslim community of India was passing through a grave mental and emotional crisis around this time. On the one hand, it has lost its former political supremacy lasting for several centuries, and was forced to wait expectantly for the emergence of a leader who could rid it out of its state of gloom and despair through his dynamic leadership. On the other, its religious, moral and cultural values were being seriously threatened by the materialistic ideas of Europe which had invaded the Sub-continent via the British rule. Its common people as well as the intellectual elite were finding themselves helpless against this onslaught. The intellectual element of the community had in fact been forced to conclusion that coping successfully with this dual challenge was impossible without acquiring and adopting the materialistic values of the West. It was on this premise that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the noted Muslim educationist and founder of the Muslim University at Aligarh, launched his historic movement to introduce the Muslims of India to the new cultural values of the West, and to popularize English education and arts among them. Consciously or otherwise, however, Sir Syed’s movement came to be associated with the spread of “naturalism”.