Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk (1837-1907), fondly known as Sayed Mehdi Ali, was born to a family of Barah Syeds on December 9, 1837 at Etawah. Mehdi Ali received the best of early education in and around Etawah. He was given a thorough grounding both in Persian and Arabic.
In 1867, he sat for Provincial Civil Service examination and topped the list of successful candidates and was appointed deputy collector in U.P. Here he came to know Sir Syed. In 1874, Mehdi Ali proceeded to Hyderabad and was conferred the titles of Munir Nawaz Jang and Nawab Mohsin-ud-Daula by the Nizam of Hyderabad, for his meritorious services.
In 1893, Mehdi Ali came to Aligarh and offered his services to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to assist him in spreading the message of Aligarh. Mohsin-ul-Mulk assumed the secretaryship of the Muslim Educational Conference upon the death of Sir Syed. Towards the beginning of the twentieth century, the Hindi-Urdu controversy arose in the “United Provinces.” Mohsin-ul-Mulk took up the pen in defense of Urdu in collaboration with the Urdu Defense Association.
Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, being a far-sighted and politically conscious leader, carried on correspondence with the private secretary of the viceroy to give his point of view on the necessity of separate representation to the Muslims in all the legislatures and in all local bodies. In 1906, he, along with Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, was asked to draft the constitution of the Muslim League.
Being a chronic victim of diabetes he died on October 16, 1907.