Hakim Ajmal Khan
Date of Birth : 1863
Date of Death : 1927
Place of Birth : Delhi
Dr. Hakim Ajmal Khan was a noted Indian freedom fighter, renowned physician and educationalist. He was the founder of the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. Hakim Ajmal Khan was born in 1863 in Delhi. His family, a distinguished line of physicians descended from the army of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India. Khan studied the Qur'an and traditional Islamic knowledge, before studying medicine at home, under the tutelage of his relatives. After launching himself in practise, Khan was appointed chief physician to the Nawab of Rampur from 1892 to 1902. In Rampur he met Syed Ahmed Khan and was appointed a trustee of the Aligarh college, now the Aligarh Muslim University.
Hakim Ajmal Khan took much interest in the expansion and development of the indigenous system of medicine, Tibb-i-Yunani, or Unani. Khan's family established the Tibbiya school in Delhi, in order to expand the research and practise of Unani. In recognition of his services in this field the Government of India conferred on him, in 1907 the title of 'Haziq-ul-Mulk'. But in 1910, Dr. Khan was organizing Indian physicians in protest of a Government decision to revoke official recongition for the practioners of Indian systems of medicine, of Unani and Ayurveda. Dr. Khan's involvement in politics began with writing for the Urdu weekly 'Akmal-ul-Akhbar', which was founded in 1865-70 and was run by his family. Dr. Khan was in the deputation of Muslims that met the Viceroy of India in Shimla in 1906, presenting him a memorandum on behalf of the community, and in 1907 was present in Dhaka where the All India Muslim League was created. Dr. Khan also backed the British during World War I, encouraging Indians to support the government, but the situation changed with the entry of Turkey. Upon the arrest of many Muslim leaders, Dr. Khan came to Mahatma Gandhi for support, who joined Khan and other Muslim leaders like Maulana Azad, Maulana Mohammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali in the Khilafat movement. Dr. Khan resigned from the AMU when the authorities refused to endorse or participate in the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. He was elected the President of the Congress in 1921, and fiercely condemned the Amritsar Massacre and the British response to the Khilafat. He was imprisoned for many months by police authorities. Dr. Khan had left the AMU owing to its historic resistance to the Indian National Congress. Along with many prominent Muslim nationalists like Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, he laid the foundations of the Jamia Millia Islamia (Islamic National University) in Aligarh in 1920, in response to Mahatma Gandhi's call for Indians to boycott government institutions. The JMI grew into a prominent and prestigious university, and was moved to Delhi, where it stands today. Dr. Khan served as its first Chancellor, and was a key patron of the institution.
Dr. Khan died of heart problems on December 29, 1927. Dr. Khan had renounced his government title, and many of his Indian fans awarded him the title of 'Masih-ul-Mulk' (Healer of the Nation). He was succeeded in the position of JMI Chancellor by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari.