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Why did Sir Syed Ahmed Khan write Loyal Muhammadans of India (also known as The Causes of the Indian Revolt)? I need three reasons. This question is from History and Culture of Pakistan, chapter 4.

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Syed Ahmed Khan (1817–1898) was a Muslim Indian political figure and reformer under the British Raj (British colonial rule of India). Until 1857, the British crown administered its Indian colonial territories through the East India Company. Then, in 1857, there was an uprising called the Sepoy Rebellion or Great Rebellion of 1857. Syed Ahmed Khan, who was working in the judicial department of the East India Company, remained loyal to the British through the rebellion, but he also sought reform. Within this context, in 1858, he wrote Loyal Muhammadans of India, also referred to as The Causes of the Indian Revolt.

In his introduction, Ahmed Khan addresses explicitly his motive in writing the book. He seeks

to reflect on the real causes of those agitations, and with one's best sincerity to describe the true causes, I consider to be an excellent piece of well-wishing toward my Government. Thus it is incumbent upon me that although their cure would have very well taken place-- nevertheless, the causes that are in my heart, I should make them too manifest. It's true that many very wise men and experienced people have written the causes of this rebellion. But I believe that perhaps no Hindustani person would have written anything about it. It's better that one opinion of such a person too should remain.

From this passage, one can see that one purpose of the book was to identify the real causes of the revolt; this implies that the causes of the revolt were being misdiagnosed by British observers.

In affirming that he wishes the British government well, Khan implies that he wants to see it address real problems, not fictitious ones, and to address them comprehensively. He is a reformer but not a revolutionary.

Second, he sees sincerity, or honesty, as a virtue. He opens his heart.

Third, Ahmed Khan wants to provide a Hindustani perspective on the issue, since others would keep quiet out of fear.

The first link below provides a link to various versions of the work. The second link provides a literal translation into English of the original.

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Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur wrote “The Loyal Muhammadans of India” to achieve greater Muslim autonomy and greater status for Muslims with the British.

Bahadur was an educator who wanted to improve the lot of Muslims in India by winning favor with the British. Bahadur saw the social and economic status of his fellow Muslims declining, and he hoped that by supporting them he could gain greater access to education and other western institutions for others.

To achieve this aim, he wrote “The Loyal Muhammadans of India” which helped achieve three things. First, it helped improve cooperation between Muslim and British civic leaders since it dispelled some of the mystery of Indian Muslim’s true goals and intentions. Second, it helped explain the reason behind the 1857 rebellion that many Indian Muslims took part it. Third, it helped lessen British hostility towards Muslims in light of the recent rebellion and opened dialogue between the two parties.

Bahadur used his newfound leverage with the British to help forward his two-nation theory regarding Pakistan.


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sundas3 | Student

SIR SYED AHMED KHAN (1817-1898);

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a Muslim religious leader, educationalist and politician during the time of the British-rule in the Indian sub-continent.


In 1860, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan wrote the book ‘’The Loyal Muhammadans Of India’’ in order to achieve higher status for the Indian-Muslims with the British government.


  1. With the help of this book, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan defended the Muslims and tried to enhance the relations between them and the British, as it explained in detail that the Muslims’ goals were actually not against them. He recorded a considerate account of the loyal services which they rendered to the British rulers.
  2. He tried to convince the British that the Muslims were not to be solely blamed for the war against the British in 1857 and even listed the names of those Muslims who remained loyal to them during the uprising.
  3. The book helped a great deal in breaking the ice between the Muslim minorities and the British government and paved the road to dialogue among the two sides.