Sir Syed Ahmed Taqvi bin Syed Muhammad Muttaqi KCSI (Urdu: سید احمد خان; 17 October 1817 – 27 March 1898), commonly known as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, was an Islamic pragmatist, Islamic reformer, and philosopher of nineteenth century British India. Born into a family with strong debts to the Mughal court, Ahmed studied the Quran and Sciences within the court. He was awarded an honorary LLD from the University of Edinburgh in 1889. In 1838, Syed Ahmed entered the service of East India Company and went on to become a judge at a Small Causes Court in 1867, retiring from 1876. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he remained loyal to the British Raj and was noted for his actions in saving European lives. After the rebellion, he penned the booklet The Causes of the Indian Mutiny – a daring critique, at the time, of British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. Believing that the future of Muslims was threatened by the rigidity of their orthodox outlook, Sir Ahmad began promoting Western–style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals and organising Islamic entrepreneurs. In 1859, Syed established Gulshan School at Muradabad, Victoria School at Ghazipur in 1863, and a scientific society for Muslims in 1864. In 1875, founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, the first Muslim university in Southern Asia. During his career, Syed repeatedly called upon Muslims to loyally serve the British Raj and promoted the adoption of Urdu as the lingua franca of all Indian Muslims. Syed critiqued the Indian National Congress. Syed maintains a strong legacy in Pakistan and among Indian Muslims. He strongly influenced other Muslim leaders including Allama Iqbal and Jinnah. His advocacy of Islam's rationalist (Muʿtazila) tradition, and at broader, radical reinterpretation of the Quran to make it compatible with science and modernity, continues to influence the global Islamic reformation. Many universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Sir Syed's name. Aligarh Muslim University celebrated its 200th birth centenary with much enthusiasm on 17 October 2017. Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest.