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Mohsin-ul-Mulk (Afzal Usmani)

Quick Sketch 
Name: Syed Mehdi Ali 
Honorary Titles: Munir Nawaz Jang and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Daula. 
Born: 9th December, 1837, Etawah (UP) 
Died: 16th October, 1907, Shimla (HP) 
Father’s Name: Syed Mir Zaamin Ali, 
Biography: Hayat-e-Mohsin (Amin Zuberi, 1934) 
Services: Secretary of MAO College Board (1899-07) 

Very few friendships have been as stable and strong as that of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Syed Mehdi Ali, popularly known as Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk. Mohsinul Mulk was born in Etawah( UP) and received the best of early education in and around Etawah. He was given a thorough basic education, both in Persian and Arabic. During his posting as Tahsildar in Etawah, he met Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. This meeting resulted in a long lasting companionship and Nawab Mohsinul Mulk became a staunch supporter of Sir Syed’s vision and Mission. He became member of the Scientific Society from its starting dates in 1864. He wrote passionate articles in Tahzeebul Akhlaq to support Sir Syed’s vision and spread his mission and became a spokesperson of Sir Syed’s social thoughts and Aligarh Movement. Regarding Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s visit to England, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk wrote a letter to Honorable Haji Ismail Khan:

Syed Ahmad Khan went to England to see with his own eyes the nation which is respected all over the world, and to see the people in their own homes and in their own country. Whatever he observed, he made known to his own people when he returned. When people go to Britain from this country, they usually go for the sights, the theaters, the parks and the museums. But this great friend of Islamic faith went there and sat down in a library to write the Khutbat-e-Ahmadiya and to visit colleges and Universities. He went there for the sake of his people, he stayed there for the sake of his people and he came back for the sake of his people. 

He was the son of Syed Mir Zaamin Ali. He got his early education in and around Etawah. He was given the education of Persian and Arabic. He participated in Aligarh Movement and was also included in those people who were founder of All India Muslim League. In 1867, he topped in the Provincial Civil Service examination. He was elected for Deputy Collector in U.P. He proceeded to Hyderabad into the service of the Nizam in 1874. Due to his twenty years’ service he got titles of Munir Nawaz Jang and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Daula by the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Mohsin-ul-Mulk met Sir Syed Ahmad Khan when he was posted as Tahsildar in Etawah. He became a strong supporter of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s vision and the Aligarh Movement. In 1864 he became member of the Scientific Society. In order to support Sir Syed vision and Aligarh Movement he started writing articles in Tahzeebul Akhlaq. His collection of published articles in Tahzeebul Akhlaq was Taqleed-e-Amal, Kitabul Muhabbat-o-Shauq Makaateeb, and Aayat-o-Bayyant. On formation of The Committee of the Supporter of the Advancement, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk became companion and started collecting donation for the newly formed committee. He got retirement in 1893 from the State of Hyderabad and served in Aligarh for propagating the massage of the Aligarh Movement. In 1894, the 9th session of Muslim Educational Conference was held at Aligarh. On the death of Sir Syed, in 1899 he was appointed as the Secretary of the Muslim Educational Conference.

After Syed Mahmud, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk became the Secretary of the College Trust. In his days the college was passing through the most critical period of administrative instability. Mohsin-ul-Mulk was a highly capable man. He, like Sir Syed, worked day and night to put the college on stable footing. He was able to collect the amount of 6 lac rupees to fulfill the condition imposed by the Government. Mohsin-ul-Mulk also endeavored sincerely for the promotion of Urdu literature. During his time the student were divided into two groups. Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, with his wisdom and administrative qualities successfully handle the situation and amicably settled the issue between the two groups.

Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk became Secretary of All India Muslim League in 1906. He and his brother Viqar-ul-Mulk were asked to draft the constitution for the Muslim League. He died in Simla on 16th October 1907.

 *Er. Afzal Usmani is US-based alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

In print edition of this magazine, photograph of Mohsinul Mulk in above article has wrongly been replaced by that of Viqarul Mulk. Editorial team is highly regretful for this blunder. 
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