Syed Ameer Ali


Syed Ameer Ali, Indian lawyer-jurist, politician and ‘liberal’ Muslim thinker. A member of Awadh, Ameer Ali attended British-Sponsored Schools in Calcutta and become one of the first Muslim graduates in India in 1867. In the following year, he passed his M.A. in History, and Law in 1868, and in the same year proceeded to England on a Government Scholarship to pursue his higher studies. He joined the London Inner temple.

Syed Ameer Ali was the first to clearly visualize that the Muslims should also organize themselves politically if they were to have an honored place in Indian public life. With this devotion he established Central National Mohammadan Association on 1877 and served it for over twenty-five years for the political advancement of the Muslims

A successful barrister in Calcutta, he became a justice of that city’s High Court. In May 1908, he became the first president of the London Branch of the All-India Muslim League. He also stood for the separate electorates of the Muslims. In 1910, he established the first mosque in London. In 1908 he became the first Indian to sit as a “Law Lord” of the privy council.

Active in the Muslim league, Ameer Ali’s move to England gave him some influence in government circles. Syed Ameer Ali continued to serve the cause of Islam by producing a number of books on Islam. His most notable contributions in this field are ‘The Spirit of Islam’, ‘A Short History of the Saracens’ and ‘Mohammadan Law’.

Syed Ameer Ali died on August 3, 1928 in Sussex.


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