After failure of the first war of independence in 1857, Muslims in India became a shattered lot. They were psychologically broken. At that time Sir Syed Ahmad Khan embarked upon his educational mission and established MAO College in 1875 which later was incorporated into the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. Though Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and his associates had established only a College but their Aligarh Movement lighted a lamp of education and knowledge.
After passing away of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan a group of enlightened Muslims taking initiative from Sir Syed constituted Bazm-e-Iqbal at Agra with an aim to develop Urdu language and teaching. They established a distance educational institution named as Jamia Urdu at Agra in 1939.
Jamia Urdu passed from different stages and later an Executive Committee was constituted wherein Lt. Col. Nawab Dr. Sir Alhaj Hafiz Mohammad Ahmad Saeed Khan Sahab Bahadur of Chhatari, became its Rector and Mr. Right Hon’ble Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru Chancellor while Dr. Maulvi Abdul Haq became Pro-Chancellor. Alhaj Maulvi Abul Hasan became Vice Chancellor and Khan Bahadur Akhtar Adil Pro-Vice Chancellor. Pandit Rajnath of Agra held the position of Treasurer and Mr. Mohammad Tahir Farooqui was appointed as the Registrar.
Soon the news of establishment of Jamia Urdu spread in far corners. Various educational institutions including Madarsas like Madrasa Alia, Agra, Taleemi Board, Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu, Bayawar, Darul Uloom Hameediya, Bhopal, Idara-e-Sadia, Tonk, Darul Uloom Islamia, Jaipur and Madrasa-e-Islamia, Amroha launched coaching classes for preparing students for Jamia Urdu examinations.
n 1947 when Tahir Mohammad decided to migrate to Pakistan, the burning question cropped up where should Jamia Urdu may be located?
In the meantime Syed Zahiruddin Alvi came in forefront and in 1948 Jamia Urdu was transferred to Aligarh. Jamia Urdu shifted in the present building on January 8, 1960.
Syed Zahiruddin Alvi was a lecturer in Urdu Department of Aligarh Muslim University and was associated with a number of administrative activities. Being the Manager of Aligarh Magazine, he was quite familiar with the administrative and financial affairs.
The first meeting of Executive Committee in Aligarh was held on September 13, 1948 at which the following office bearers were elected. Former President of India, Dr. Zakir Husain became the Vice Chancellor and Professor Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqui, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Shifaul Mulk Hakeem Abdul Lateef was elected Treasurer and Syed Zahiruddin Alvi Registrar. Besides these, Nawab Ahmad Saeed Khan of Chhatari became Rector and Mr. Shanti Saroop Bhatnagar Chancellor while Pandit Rajnath Kunzru became Pro-Chancellor.