Aga Khan III – Founder Pro-Chancellor – Aligarh Muslim University

From the blog of Karwaan-e-Aligarh

Karwaan-e-Aligarh blog has published the work and contributions of Aga Khan III in the field of education. Highly recommend you visit the source for a complete read. Below we’re quoting just an excerpt…

The response to the touching appeal of the Sir Aga Khan III was spontaneous. On his arrival at Lahore, the daily “Peace” of Punjab editorially commented and called upon the Muslims “to wake up, as the greatest personality and benefactor of Islam was in their city.” The paper recalled a remark of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan prophesying the rise of a hand from the unseen world to accomplish his mission. “That personality” the paper said, “was of the Sir Aga Khan III.”

On that day, the “London Times” commenting upon the visit, regarded him as a great recognised leader of Muslims.

Allama Shibli Nomani was with Sir Aga Khan in the delegation for fund raiser to Lahore. Shibli recited a very passionate Persian poetry to motivate the audience for fund raiser. The significant aspect of the Aga Khan’s fund collection drive was not the enthusiastic welcome accorded to him, but the house to house collection drive.

Qayyum A. Malick writes in his book “Prince Aga Khan” that once the Aga Khan on his way to Bombay to collect funds for the university, the Aga Khan stopped his car at the office of a person, who was known to be his bitterest critic. The man stood up bewildered and asked, “Whom do you want Sir?” “I have come for your contribution to the Muslim university fund,” said the Aga Khan. The man drew up a cheque for Rs. 5000/-. After pocketing the cheque, the Aga Khan took off his hat and said, “Now as a beggar, I beg from you something for the children of Islam. Put something in the bowl of this mendicant.” The man wrote another cheque for Rs. 15000/- with moist eyes, and said, “Your Highness, now it is my turn to beg. I beg of you in the name of the most merciful God to forgive me for anything that I may have said against you. I never knew you were so great.” The Aga Khan said, “Don’t worry! It is my nature to forgive and forget in the cause of Islam and the Muslims.”

The drive received further great fillip from the announcement of a big donation of one lac rupees by Her Highness Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum of Bhopal. The Aga Khan III was so moved by her munificence that in thanking her, he spoke the following words:

Dil’e banda ra zinda kardi,
dil’e Islam ra zinda kardi,
dil’e qaum ra zinda kardi,
Khuda’i ta’ala ba tufail’e Rasul ajarash be dahad”

It means, “You put life in the heart of this servant; you put life in the heart of Islam; you put life in the heart of the nation. May God reward you for the sake of the Prophet!”

In sum, Sir Aga Khan collected twenty-six lacs of rupees by July, 1912 in the drive and his personal contribution amounted to one lac rupees.

Complete at the source

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

3 thoughts

  1. Elsewhere in the blog entry a reference is made to the late Imam’s ‘India in Transition” published in 1918. Theoriginal edition is difficult to find. This work has been reprinted and is available at

    A couple of additional links to Pakistani web sites on Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah’s role in establishing the Aligarh University:
    and a letter in response to the above at



  2. Thanks for the references.
    Thanks for using the Blog, Karwaan-e-Aligarh.
    I am the owner of Blog Karwaan-e-Aligarh.
    Of course Sir Agha Khan saheb was a great man and was very much influnced by Sir Syed and his mission and always supported Aligarh Movement.


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