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The 1857 revolt was one of the turning points of Syed Ahmad's life. Before it, his career had been that of a civil servant and a scholar. Most of the historical works, which were to win him an honorary fellowship of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, were completed before 1857. In 1847, he published the famous archaeological masterpiece, 'Asarus Sanadeed' - a book that provided a wealth of information on countless historical monuments in Delhi from the eight hundred year long Muslim era.n 1855, he published yet another book 'Ain-e-Akbari'.
After the 1857 revolt, Syed Ahmad authored the marvelous book 'Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind' (The causes of Indian Revolt). The publication of this book in 1859 was, in fact, Syed Ahmad's induction to public life. He also witnessed the terrible revenge the British wrought on Delhi and its inhabitants after the city was recaptured in September 1857. At personal level, he found an uncle and a cousin dead; his aunt died of thirst before his eyes; he succeeded in rescuing his mother only for her to die because of the privations she had experienced. Muslims were the main target of the Government's wrath.
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