The Aligarh Muslim University Act, 1920 was enacted on September 14, 1920 and came into effect on December 1, 1920 to establish in Aligarh a Muslim University and to suspend the societies that are registered according to the provisions of the Societies Registration Act, 1860 that are called the Muhamaddan Anglo Oriental College, Aligarh and Muslim University Association correspondingly. It also aims to transfer and vest the properties and powers granted to the Societies as well as the Muslim University foundation Committee. The Chancellor, Pro Chancellor, Vice Chancellor along with other members of the Court, Executive Council as well as the Academic Council shall be deemed to be body corporate under the name of Aligarh Muslim University. It shall have the power to enter into legal agreements and power to litigate.

The Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in Aligarh and the Muslim University Association was suspended from the initiation of the Act. The properties, rights, privileges, authorities etc of the Muslim University Foundation Committee shall be assigned and vest in the University and it shall be made valid to the aims and motives for which the University is established. The liabilities and debts of the Societies and the said Committee shall be conveyed to the University which shall be released and enjoyed by it. Where an enactment points out reading the said societies, it shall be interpreted to include the University. The will, document or record executed at any stage consisting of gift, bequest or trust to the society or Committee shall be interpreted in the same way as it include University. The university is entrusted with the power to give instructions in some area of learning as provided by the University and to create modes for research and development and spreading of knowledge, to advance Islamic and Oriental studies and provide teaching Muslim theology along with Muslim religion, convey moral as well as physical training, to enlarge the teachings on religion, traditions and civilization of India, to endorse educational and civilizing development of Indian Muslims, to conduct examinations and present degrees, diploma or certificate upon the stipulations determined by the University, award honorary degrees, grant instruction for the persons who are non-members of the University, introduce readerships, teaching or academic posts , lectureships etc.

The Act, in addition, empowers the University to co-operate or work together with various authorities and educational institutions in the mode prescribed by the University, to decide on the conditions of service of persons granted with lectureships, professorships etc, make appointments of teachers, to grant fellowships prizes, scholarships and conduct exhibitions, to initiate and uphold auditoriums, maintain laboratories and some division for research. The University is entitled to receive specific fees and to enquire and manage the residence and control the discipline of the students. Special arrangements can be created for residence and teaching with respect to woman students. The Department of Studies can be declared to be autonomous body and to lend money from the Central government for improvement and other purposes connected with the University.

The University shall advance and keep advanced in securities thirty lakhs rupees where trust funds are advanced as per the law connected with trusts in India as eternal endowment to clear off the persistent charges of the University. The students of the University are to be provided with hostel facilities to reside. The courses of the university shall be conducted under the administration of the Academic Council and complying with the Ordinances and Statutes. The University is empowered under the Act to constitute and uphold educational institutions inclusive of High Schools. The President shall visit the university in the specified period. The chief authorities of the University under the Act are the Court, Executive Council, Academic Council, Finance Committee and the faculties. The present Act was amended by the Aligarh Muslim University (Amendment) Act, 1951 and the Aligarh Muslim University (Amendment) Act, 1972.