Duty Society (Anjuman-Al-Farz) was founded by M.A.O. College alumnus Sahabzada Aftab Ahmad Khan during Sir Saiyid’s lifetime in 1889. The primary objective of Duty Society was to have a permanent fund to support the poor and needy students of the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental (MAO) College. Duty society focused on 3 main issues which helped to promote the vision and mission of Sir Saiyad Ahmad Khan and Aligarh Movement. The members of Duty Society visited to different parts of the country to generate funds to help poor and needy students of MAO College and garner support for MAO College and Aligarh Movement. The tour of the members of Duty Society played an important role in clarifying the misconceptions about Sir Saiyad Ahmad Khan and Aligarh Movement and encouraged the masses to send their children to MAO College for higher education. The prospective students and their family got an opportunity to meet the students, staff and supporters of MAO College at their doorsteps to clarify their misconceptions about Sir Saiyad and MAO College Aligarh. The first delegation consists of Sahabzada Aftab, Mr. Abdullah Khan, Maulvi Bahadur Ali and Maulana Tufail Ahmad made a visit to Agra to generate funds on 15th November 1890 and the second delegation comprised of Maulana Mazharul Haq and Maulana Tufail Ahmad visited Saharanpur to raise funds for Duty Society.
Sahabzada Aftab Ahmad Khan, Maulana Tufail Ahmad, Mr. Bahadur Ali, Mr. Abdullah Khan and Mr. Mazharul Haq were the founding members of Duty Society. They elected Prof. Thomas Walker Arnold of M.A.O. College as its Keeper (Ameen). These dedicated members of Duty Society adopted different means to raise funds. On 12-13 December 1890, Maulana Mazharul Haq opened a tea stall on annual sports day of the college and generated Rs.16/- for Duty Society. Sahabzada Aftab and Maulana Mazharul Haq repeated the experiment of similar stalls in annual conference of Muslim Educational Conference in December 1890 at Allahabad and generated Rs.500/-. With the sincere efforts from the members and generous support from the community, very soon Duty Society built a free boarding house (hostel) for poor students. The present University post office and its adjacent buildings are the said hostel built by Duty Society funds. Duty Society helped the struggle for Muslim University and provided funds to support the struggle to make MAO College as Muslim University.
Principal Theodore Beck, Prof. Theodore Morrison, Sir Shah Muhammad Sulaiman, Sir Mohammad Ziauddin, Dr. Zakir Hussain and Khawaja Ghulamus Saiyadain played key role to establish and maintain the Duty Society. Prof. T.W. Arnold, Prof. T. Morrison, Mr. Gardner Brown, Mr. J.H. Towle, Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad, Prof. Abdul Majeed Quraishi, Prof. L. K. Haidar, Mr. R.B. Rams Botham, Prof. A.B.A. Haleem, Prof. Mian Mohd. Shareef, Prof. Rasheed Ahmad Sddiqui, Prof. Omar Farooq, Dr. Yusuf Hussain Khan, Dr. Abdul Baseer Khan, Prof. Nawab Hussain Khan, Dr. Hashim Kidwai had served as Keeper (Ameen) of Duty Society. Prof. T.W. Arnold, eminent scholar of Islamic studies and a favourite teacher off Allama Iqbal was the first Keeper of the Society and Messrs Mazrarul Haquye, Bahadur Ali, Abdullah Khan and Maulana Tufail Ahmed were amongst its earlier Servants (Life Members). Later, illustrious personalities like Dr. Zakir Hussain, Sir Shah Sulaiman, Sir Ziauddin, Maulvi Obaidur Rehman Khan Sherwani and Dr. K.G. Saiyidin accelerated the progress of the Society. Among many patrons of the Society, notables were Maharajas of Porbandar Rai Bahadur Seth Hira Lal and Seth Hukum Chand, Sultan Mohammed Agha Khan II, Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi, Gyani Zail Singh, Prof. Moonis Raza, Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, Mr. Mohammad Usman Arif and S.H. Jafarey. Successive Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors played a vital role in running the Society successfully.
In the constitution of society the post of President was added in 1975 amendment by voice vote and Prof. Ali Muhammad Khusro, Vice-Chancellor and Prof. Mohd Shafi Pro-Vice-Chancellor of that period agreed to this amendment. Alhaj Obaidur Rehman Khan Sherwani, a legendary figure of Aligarh Movement in our time was elected the first President who continued till his death in 1992.Obaidur Rehman Khan Sherwani was son of Maulana Habibur Rehman Khan Sherwani, Founding Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Osmania, Hyderabad and a close friend of Allama Shibli Nomani. After his death Prof. Mohammad Naseem Farooqi, the then Vice-Chancellor was appointed President for term. After him Honble Khusrhid Alam Khan, the then Governor of Karnataka was elected President in 1997 unanimously. Recently he has been unanimously elected for the third term. Prof. Riyazur Rehman Khan Sherwani is the Vice-President of Duty Society. The executive committee comprise distinguish academicians and social work. The Duty society has done good work in the recent past.
Prof. Abul Hasan Siddiqui is The Keeper of the Duty Society since 1985 while Mr. Khursheed Alam Khan, former Governor of Karnataka, is its President from 1997. The Duty Society is very active, financially sound and helping needy and deserving youths( boys and girls) associated with Aligarh Muslim University. A book was published in 2004/05 to summarize the activities of Duty Society from its inception.
On 21st March, 1989, Duty Society organized a Centenary Celebration in New Delhi which was attended by dignitaries of Government of India.