Aftab Hall

Aftab Hall

About Hall: Aftab Hall which comprises of four hostels namely, Morison Court, Mumtaz House, Aftab Hostel and Mac Donnell Hostel, Latouche- Mumtaz Hostel and Morison Court, is one of the largest Halls of residence of students. Aftab Hall was established in 1932 and named after Sahibzada Aftab Ahmad Khan who was the University's second Vice- Chancellor and one of the most outstanding figures associated with the University. After his death in 1930, the A.M.U. Old Boy's Association decided to construct a hall of residence in his memory.

Mir Wilayat Husain, Maulana Tufail Ahmad Manglori, Deputy Habibullah and Prof Mohd Habib were instrumental in collecting large donations for this purpose. Nawab Muzammiullah Khan was the biggest donor. The Hall was inaugurated in the year 1932. Sahibzada Aftab Ahmad Khan (1867-1930), born in 1867 at Kunjpura district (now Karnal, Haryana), was the son of Nawab Ghulam Ahmad Khan who was the member of Gwalior Council of Regency in the Gwalior State. Sahibzada joined the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College in 1878 & stayed there till 1890. He proceeded to England for higher studies in 1891 and completed his graduation from Christ's college (Cambridge University) and Bar-at- Law from the Inner Temple, London before his return to India 1894. Aftab Ahmad Khan made Aligarh his home and started his law practice. But the welfare of the college was always dearest to his heart. Sir Syed recognized Aftab Ahmad Khan's attachment to the College and in 1897 appointed him Trustee of the College. Subsequently in 1897, he was appointed Professor of Law in the college. After Sir Syed's death in 1898, Aftab Ahmad Khan's involvement with the college deepened. He organized the Sir Syed memorial fund to raise the college to a University. From 1905 to 1917 Sahibzada also actively served the Mohammadan Education Conference as its Joint Secretary. Later on, in 1923 he became its president.

Aftab Ahmad Khan was also instrumental in establishing student’s voluntary organization, the Anjuman Al-farz or Duty Society. The duty, as it was called, was entirely a matter of student initiative. Its purpose was to collect funds to enable poor students to come to Aligarh and to promote the interest of the college within the Indian Muslim community and the country as a whole. He was very active in promoting education among the Muslim and safeguarding their political interests. Aftab Ahmad Khan was a distinguished Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1924 to December 1926. Although he was persuaded to continue for a further term of three years, he declined the offer due to his ill health. Most of buildings and hostels after Sir Syed's death were constructed under his supervision which gives Aligarh Muslim University a charming look. He breathed his last 18 January 1930 and buried in the ground of the Ahmadi School for the Blind (1912.) which he had established in Memory of his father Nawab Ghulam Ahmad Khan whose pen name was Ahmadi. After his death, the A.M.U. old Boys Association decided to construct a Hall of residence in his memory in 1932 and in recognition of his valuable contribution named this Hall the Aftab Hall.

Mumtaz-ud-Daula-Nawab Sir Mohammad Faiyaz Ali Khan of Pahasu (1851-1922) was the son of Nawab Sir Mohammad Faiz Ali Khan. Nawab Sir Faiz Ali Khan rendered meritorious service to the British and was granted a Jagir and given the Knighthood. With his hereditary title of Muntazud-Daula. Sir Faiz Ali also got an opportunity to serve as Prime Minister of Jaipur State and was nominated as representative of the Musalmans in the Governor General's Council. Sir Faiyaz Ali inherited large property in Jaipur and Bulandshar. He was nominated to the Imperial Legislative Council and to the U.P. Legislative Council and acted as the Prime Minister of Jaipur in 1890. The title of K.C.S.I. (Knight Commander State of India) was conferred on him in 1903. Like his father he was also a great supporter of the Aligarh Movement and served the college as the President of the Board of Trustees. Sir Faiyaz Ali Khan was well aware of the growing shortage of the hostels for students and requested Sir James Latouche, the Lieut. Governor of U.P. who was also the patron of the MAO college to visit Aligarh and lay down the foundation of a hostel. The foundation stone was laid on August 3, 1903. The Mumtaz-ud-Daula donated quite handsome amount for the construction of the hostel. The construction was completed on October 3, 1906. Some sources say that the hostel was completed in 1907 and Rs. 65,000/- was spent on it. Both the Mumtaz-ud-Daula and Sir James Latouche took great interest in the construction of the hostel, which was later named as the Latouche- Mumtaz Hostel. Faiz gate which stands out near the University Circle was constructed by Faiyaz Ali Khan in the memory of his revered father.

Sir Antony Patrick Mac-Donnell, born in 1844, a Graduate from Queen’s London, joined the Indian Civil Service in 1865 in lower Bengal. He was subsequently appointed as revenue secretary of Bengal province and was later on elevated to the position of Home Secretary. He also served as Chief Commissioner of Central Province in 1891. As a distinguished civil servant, Mac Donnell also worked as Acting Lt. Governor of Bengal in 1893. In 1895, he was appointed Lt. Governor of north- west Province and Oudh, and served in this position till 1901. Mac Donnell sanctioned Rs. 20,000 from the provincial budget in 1900 for the construction of a hostel to meet lodging problems of the students at the M.A.O. College. The construction work was completed in March 1904 and the hostel was named after him.

Sir Theodore Morison, a graduate from the Trinity College, London, served in India as a Regent of Maharaja of Chatterpur (Bundelkhand) and Cherkheri (Hamirpur). Morison joined M.A.O. College as professor of English in Oct. 1889. He remained in this college for a decade till the time he went back to London. On his return in September 1899 (after the death of Theodore back), he served as the principal of MAO College. Morison was interested in the development of education among the Muslims and used to advise Sir Syed on all important matters of the college. During his stay in the college, he inaugurated several Madarsas and a middle school at Marehra, which is now called Morison Islamia School, Marehra. Morison reformed the college on the pattern of English universities. His tenure of principal-ship is said to be the golden period of the college. When he took charge of the college, the strength of the students was 454 and just before his resignation, it was 713. Morison impressed upon the students the usefulness of the residential character of the college which helps develop among students a sense of discipline, unity and character. The lecture delivered by him in the Brotherhood Society of the college, of which he was the president, was very much appreciated. Sir Syed inscribed the script of this lecture on a stone and got it fixed at the gate of Strachey Hall. Fortunately, it is still there.

To secure the government jobs for the students. Morison started a Service Agency which was like the present-day university Employment Bureau. Shortage of accommodation for students had been the crying need of the college during Morison's tenure. To address this problem, the Debenture system was introduced in 1894 and some boarding rooms were constructed, in 1900 Mohsin-ul-Mulk named it as Denton Court in memory of a professor of the college who expired in 1898. Subsequently more rooms were added to Denton. While Denton Court was confined to a big room the whole of the hostel was given the name Morison Court as an appreciation of the great services rendered by Theodore Morison. It goes to the credit of Morison that Ross Masood, the grandson of Sir Syed, received his early education under his able guidance. Morison brought him up like his own family member and provided for him the best of English education and culture. In 1904 he was elected the president of the 18th all Indian Mohammadan Educational conference. The British government conferred on him the title of Knight Commander State India (K.C.S.I) after his return from India. He also wrote a book on M.A.O. College. Sir Theodore Morison breathed his last in 1937 at the age of 73.