Friday, August 04, 2006

We call them "Traditions" at AMU

All Old and prestigious educational institutions have some things in common. They have good old buildings that boast of their being emblems of modernity in the past, their unique and distinct culture and their distinguished alumni. Likewise, my beloved alma mater - AMU, has these things as well.

AMU has a history of its own. It has old buildings with marvellous architecture. And it has a set of traditions for its students to follow. These are unwritten rules which are passed on by students to the later generation of students. While the student pursue their academic goals, they take out time for the AMU traditions so much so that it hardly takes anything to follow them. They become one's lifestyle. Most of these age old traditions must have been written by the first generation of AMU students. Some of them must have been added by, later, as and when felt.

I am listing down some of which I remember. It is just to fulfill my task of passing it on to the younger lot.

1. Knock before you enter
Knock and wait for an answer before you enter anyone's room except for your own though.

2. Greet everyone with common muslim greeting - Salam alaikum and try to grab the opportunity of being the first to do that. Probably, that's one reason why Aligarians seldom give the common reply "wa- alaikum as-salaam". Even if they fail to greet first, they reply with Salam - alaikum.

3. Following the dress code everywhere.
Step out of Hall/Hostel premises in Shirts, trousers and shoes. No folded sleeves. If wearing a kurta pyjama, sherwani is compulsory. The same rule applies for Dining Hall and Entertainment Room ("Common Room" as we call it).

4. Black sherwani, kurta -pyjama to be worn on all important occasions and university functions.

5. Introduction (a name given for a very mild ragging) is mandatory for all freshers even if they join university for Ph. D.

6. A student who spent at least 3 years is eligible to sit and watch the Introduction sessions. A 5 year senior can ask questions but a senior of 7 years or more actually leads the Intro sessions. A fresher's room-mate can never sit in his room-mate's Intro session.

7. If a student moves to another Hall then he has to give Introduction in the new Hall as well.

8. Respect the seniors (Senior students)

9. Queues for everything and everywhere. Seniors to be given preference.

10. Addressing another aligarian with the word "partner" in case one is not aware of other person's name.

11. Men can't carry or use umbrellas. They are supposedly meant for ladies. Raincoats/Rainsuits are allowed though.

12. Men shouldn't be found running or panicking when it starts raining. Walk gracefully to the nearest shelter.

13. Shouldn't call dining hall attendants as waiters. Ask for their name and add "miyan" or "bhai" to their names. The idea is to treat them with complete respect.

14. Tea, after meals
Tea after lunch and dinner is almost like a tradition. One who doesn't have tea is looked down upon. It is disgraceful, shameful and very Un-aligarian not to have tea at all.

15. "A guest is a guest". Any student's guest should be treated as a guest by all.

16. Share home-made food with room-mates and hostel mates.

17. Chausanth (64) chawanni ka fatiha
Give a treat to friends/roommates by spending at least sixteen rupees. The denomination is set to 25 paisa coins so as to make the figure look big and respectable.

18. The procedure was to get sweets and read fatiha for Sir Syed and then distribute the sweets. It served many purposes:
- Homage to the Honurable Founder of AMU
- Sweets for the craving ones
- The victim can strengthen bonds with the predators.

19. Going to Aligarh Exhibition ( Numaeesh)
Going to Aligarh Exhibition at least once a year was mandatory for all students. It was preferable that students go all the way walking. I know people who used to have 100% attendance there.

20. Tipping the postman if you received a money-order, a parcel or registered post(which means a bank draft).

21. On a Dhaba, Cafe or in any canteen, a senior has to pay if a senior and junior are eating together.

22. In Students' Union elections, the electoral candidates need to prepare and distribute their election manifesto.

23. During election campaigns, Campus walls shouldn't be used for painting or pasting posters/bills etc.

24. Use of four-wheelers is also banned in elections.

25. Candidates for the posts of President, Vice-President and Secretary, have to give a speech from the dais of Union Hall. It is the most decisive event in AMU students Union elections. The final speech can turn the tides in anyone's favour.

26. Before the Final speech, the candidates are carried on the shoulders and their supported take three rounds of Union hall cheering for their candidate.

27. One must cover his/her head at least while addressing a public gathering at AMU.

28. To begin all public gatherings, functions and events with recitation of Quran and ending them with University Tarana (Aligarh tarana).

29. See-off tea
How can I forget this one?
People have to treat everyone who came to see them off with Tea. And Tea could be not just it. It could include biscuits and other snacks. Later, it also meant soft-drinks when i was in Aligarh.

30. A vanished tradition - Mock Convocation was conducted by students as a part of extra-curricular activity. A leaflet was also brought out giving the details of the degrees and certificates awarded and their claimants.

The list could be longer, I know, but I need help from other Aligs. I will be happy to be told about the traditions i missed mentioning here. You can email me on:

~ Qais


Blogger Abdusalaam said...

Just out of curiosity, what year where you in AMU?

Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Qais said...

Salam alaikum AbdusSalam sb,

Thanks for visiting Aligarhnama. I was at AMU from 1993 to 1999.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Sehrish said...


I was just wondering who you are? Although I didn't study at AMU. Most of my cousins living there have. I so miss Aligarh. Ahhh. Anyways, I sorta like your posts.

So yeah, back to the question, WHO ARE YOU ?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, its me again. I forgot something. HeHe.

Perhaps , you might know Junaid Lodi ? I reckon he was the president of AMU last to last year? I'm his first cousin. =D

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:35:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Walekum assalaam Sehrish,
Pleasure to have u on my blog. It's good to know about your love for Aligarh or AMU even though you have not studied there but then.. AMU is like that.. Even visitors fall in love with it.
About knowing Junaid Lodi.. I must admit that i don't know him since I left Aligarh way back in 1999. Who knows i might have met or seen your cousins while I was there..

Coming to the Question: WHO AM I? It's very simple and at the same time a very difficult question to answer.
Though you haven't left your contact info here and i don't even know if you will come back for this answer but anyways here I am.

I AM just a small part of the clouds that rise from AMU and spread over around the world. As our tarana says, "Jo Abr yahan se uthega wo saare jahan per barsega"

As an individual, I am an AMU alumnus who wants to pay tribute to his alma-mater through this blog and a lot more. By profession, I am a Technical Writer, based in Hyderabad, India. If u need to know more, drop me a line on or send me an IM on Yahoo (

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 4:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Sehrish said...

Ah. '99! That was way back. Hmm.

Well,I guess, that's about it.
Thanks for ya info.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 4:54:00 PM  
Blogger Shiraz said...

ASAK Qais bhai,

What about "Barakallah" tradition, hope you just missed it :)??

some more are:
1. Not to use sleepers outside hostel
2. No Kurta Payzama without Sherwanee.
3. Not to use umbrealla (I think it is there)
4. Saying "Dr. Saheb" to strangers...

I cannot enumerate more than these, but I should accept it was an interesting article!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Qais said...

Walekum assalaam Shiraz Sb,

Thanks for visiting Aligarhnama and contributing to the post on AMU traditions. It really felt good.

Keep in touch, partner !

Thursday, September 14, 2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Sharjeel said...

Qais bhai, ASLKM!!!

Just remembered another tradition: "Insha Allah Taala".

It is customary for muslims to add "Insha Allah Taala," meaning if Allah wishes, to any wish, longing, aspiration, etc. More specifically, this phrase is used when talking about any intended activity in future.

This phrase had become a very prominent term with the Tablighi Jamaat, who persist on asking the students to join them for "Jamaat." The Tablighi people ask the students to say "Insha Allah" to the call given to accompany the Jamaat members.

And in Aligarh, it had become sort of a tradition to reply "Insha Allah Taala" - intending to AVOID going to the Jamaat. So, if you want to avoid doing anything that ought to have been done, say "Insha Allah Taala." :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger wildwackyworld said...

Accha hai Bahie...Very Good. You sent me back to the Aligarh.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 5:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Khurshid said...

Bahut khoob Qais Sb! Excellent, I really liked it very much.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 2:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Mazhar Khan said...

ASAK Qais Sb,
I just found your blog today when i was googling for AMU blogs. I must say that you have done a fantastic job by creating this blog and when i read your blog i felt like i am still in AMU and all the memories during my tenure at AMU refreshed.
Now regarding the traditions of AMU i think they don't exist in AMU anymore actually i was in AMU from 1998 to 2004 and at that time all the traditions were still alive. I went to AMU last year and was shocked to see that AMU has totally changed (some people might say for good but i don't totally agree with them), the students were in kurta paijamas with slippers at purani chungi, as you know introduction has been banned in the halls, there are walls everywhere on the AMU roads, not many dhabas are there as they used to be. I talked to some of the senior students of the university and they said they afrid to ask any junior to follow the traditions because they will complaint to the proctor office and they could be suspended or rusticated from the uni on their first complaint (which was not the case during my time).
In general the students are so afraid of the administration they don't even take a stand against the wrongdoings or misconducts of the administrative staff of AMU.

In general during my visit i felt that the educational environment of AMU has improved but it also gave me impression that AMU is becomming like an anyother University of India sadly the AMU traditioons, for which AMU was famous for are missing.

I don't how other alumnus feel about the current situation in AMU but for me its sad that we are loosing our identity.

Mazhar Khan
Darwin, Australia

Thursday, October 22, 2009 6:48:00 AM  
Blogger Qais said...

Thanks Mazhar sb, for taking out time to express your thoughts... It might be true that AMU is transforming faster than we anticipated... That's another reason why I wanted to have all my memoirs written sooner than they start fading from the memories of those who witnessed an era of traditions at AMU. We were lucky to have learnt and imbided more than that was printed in books.

What do you say?

Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:45:00 PM  
Blogger Rahmatullah said...

hi Qais bhai

i jus want to say that,by readin all ur post, i am feelin nostalgic.


Thursday, November 26, 2009 2:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is one more phrase used my aligs very commonly" duaaon mein yaad rakhiyega"

Friday, August 06, 2010 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger Danish said...

Salam alaikum,

i have been reading your blogs lately.. they are very inspiring.. M currently studin in AMU.. JNMCH.. and i along with some of my close frndz have started a page on facebook.. its titled ROAM - REVIVAL OF ALIGARH MOVEMENT.. please do join us as it would be immensely helpful to propogate our cause under ur thoughtfull guidance...

Thursday, March 03, 2011 6:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mumtaz said...

One comment is missing regarding traditions is addressing as " BIHARI" to an uncultured person. Its a state of mind not actually a particular region.Even a Lucknowite can be a Bihari if hez uncultured...

Sunday, May 08, 2011 3:29:00 PM  
Blogger Aamir Wahab said...

Assalam Alaikum Qais bhai,

aapka bohot shukriya ke AMU se judi hui taqreeban har baat aur har ehsaas ka zikr aapke blog me maujood hai...

aur ye Traditions waali post to bas SubhanAllah.........

main AMU me 2001 se 2007 tak tha aur bohot faqr se kehta hun ke humara batch wo aakhri khushnaseeb batch hai jiska tabiyat se INTRO liya gaya Allama me (dono saal)....aur aaj AMU se nikalne ke baad ehsaas hota hai ke ye traditions ek aligarian ki zindagi ko muqammal karte hain.....
lekin afsoos ki baat ye hai ke aaj kal to AMU ka mahol hi tabdeel ho gaya hai....balki aaj kal kya hamare engg ke final year ke zamaane se hi tabdeeliyan start ho gayi thi.......
jo dhaabon pe "productive discussions" hua karte the raat raat bhar, unki jagah discussions ke mauzu computer games, softwares, mobiles aur wagerah wagerah ne le li thi....
yun kahein ke humne apne zamaane me transition hote dekha hai AMU me....
traditions ko khatam hote dekha....aur kuch na kar bhi na sake....bas itna hi kar sake ke apne andar mehfooz kar liye wo sab traditions aur inshAllah marte dam tak mehfooz rakhenge...

Thursday, June 02, 2011 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Qais said...

Thanks Aamir Wahab sb!
I appreciate your sentiments and also acknowledge the fact - ke hawaaon ka rukh badal chuka hai...

AMU se hamne AMU ki jaan nikaal li aur kehte hain ki AMU mein ab dum nahi raha..

ye sirf introductions ke mutalliq nahi hai balke un saari riwayaton ke baare mein hai jo humein sochne pe majboor karti thiin aur kuch sikhati thiin.

Ye blog bhi ek koshish hai un yaadon ko lafzon mein qaid karne ki... Mera mashwara ye hai ke aap bhi apni yaadon ko kisi blog ki shakal de dijiye.. :) Aur aane walon ka to pata nahi lekin ye yaaden humko to kaafi sukoon dengi..

Thursday, June 02, 2011 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Aamir Wahab said...

InshAllah Qais bhai main bhi koshish karunga ke apni guzaare hue waqt ko ek blog ki shakal de dun....

Thursday, June 02, 2011 4:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Allen Harris said...

well what made me read this blog I went to AMU wearing Kurta & Jeans..I was not aware of any tradition like this..and at arts faculty when I was returning after passing ek sahab ne mujhe apne pass bulaya aur bataya is sab ke baare mein....kafi kuch acha likha hua hai yaha par sab kuch pada maine...& jo sab aap logo ne mention kiya hai..aisa sab kuch kafi badal gaya hai yaha par..well I will follow thez traditions...thanks a lot Qais sir for posting this all

Monday, October 31, 2011 5:29:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Thanks Allen Harris saheb for stopping by at Aligarh Nama and for caring to follow the traditions. I wish we have more of people like you at AMU.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Assalam Alikum...
2004-2011 SS south + NT

Qais bhai yeh bhi shamil kar sakte hain...

*hamare yahan allotment baad mein hote the pehle NOC back room partner se leni parti thi....

*SS day pe dinner ke baad univ ki ziyarat karna
aur woh taalyian baja kar guest/speaker ko chup karana...

*aur haan corridor mein cycle chalane ki sakht mamaniyat thi.

*Intro ki niyat kuch is tarah thi..
"main niyat karta hoon intro dene ki raat bhar waste sudharne ke rukh mera senior hazrat ki taraf murga bante hue KUKROON KOOO"

bas afsoos yeh ke jab junior ko seekhane ka waqt aaya tab tak to intro ka inteqaal ho gaya tha.....

Allah Hafiz

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Affan Ahmad said...

qais bhai if possible do call me...need to talk...its urgent

`Affan Ahmad (an Alig)

Saturday, June 22, 2013 3:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Mohd Amir Mintoee said...

Janab Amir sb main aapke jazbaat ki qadar karta hoon. Magar mere bhai sirf afsos karne se ya dil main rakh lene se kaam nahi chalega.....Kuch sochiye aur kuch kariye.
Chal k tera chaman tujhe bulata hai Amir,
Hai waqt k kuch qarz ab tu bhi utaare MAADR-E-DARSGAAH ka....

Friday, May 15, 2015 3:17:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I ve some cunfusion about wearing cap or muffler..which one is allowed and which is a tradition.

Sunday, February 19, 2017 5:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really awesome and thanx for refreshing the memory. I was in AMU from 1986 to 1993. It was really the time which is unforgettable memories. AMU is in our hearts and always thanx to Janab Sir Syed Sahab for giving such a wonderful platform to learn and What I am today is just because of AMU. Once again thankful of AMU and feel proud that I am also a part of it. Regards Syed Alam

Monday, October 09, 2017 8:52:00 AM  

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