Biography of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Biography of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad


Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Born: November 11, 1888

Died: February 22, 1958

Success: The the presidency of Congress in 1923 and 1940, first Education Minister of independent India

Maulana Azad’s first title used to be Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiuddin. He is referred to by the name of Maulana Azad. Maulana Abul Kalam is among the foremost freedom fighters of independent India. In addition, Maulana Abul Kalam was a renowned poet and scholar. Maulana Azad was fluent in a variety of languages, including Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian, and Bengali. Maulana Azad was extremely adept in addressing any topic that was and was known only by his name.

Abul Kalam means “Lord of Dialogue”. He adopted his surname “Azad” to get rid of his narrow views of religion. Maulana Azad was the first minister of education in independent India. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has been recognized with the Bharat Ratna which is India’s top civilian prize, in 1992 in recognition of his significant contribution to the nation.


Life is the first step.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, born the 11th of November, 1888 at Makkah. His great-grandfather came from India through Herat (a city located in Afghanistan) during the time of Babur. Azad was born to a family of an educated Muslim scholar or Maulana. His mother was a child of the Sheikh Mohammed Zahar Watri of Arab origin. His father Maulana Khairuddin, was a Bengali Muslim of Afghan origin. Khairuddin was forced to leave India in the Sepoy Mutiny and settled in Mecca. Khairuddin went back to Calcutta with his family in 1890.

Due to their conservative heritage, Azad had to follow a strict Islamic education. His father was initially his teacher however, he later was educated at home by a renowned teacher in his region. Azad began his studies in Arabic in addition to Persian and then he studied geometry, philosophy, maths, and algebra. He was a student of the English language as well as world history, as well as political science on his own.


Biography of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad


He wrote numerous articles and revised his interpretation of the Holy Quran. His studies recommended he abandon the tradition of Taqleek and follow the most recent concepts of Tajdeed. He became interested in the pan-Islamic ideas that were developed by Jamaluddin Afghani and Aligarh and the theories that were developed by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. With the pan-Islamic spirit of his work, he traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.

He met with exiled revolutionary leaders in Iraq who are fighting for the establishment of a constitution-based government in Iran. In Egypt, He had the pleasure of meeting sheik Muhammad Abduh and Sayyid Pasha along with other revolutionary activists in The Arab country. He was firsthand acquainted with the spirit and determination that were the Ottoman youth of Constantinople. These experiences turned him into a revolutionary nationalist.

When he returned from the foreign country, Azad met two prominent revolutionaries from Bengal, Arvind Ghosh, and Sri Shyam Sundar Chakraborty. They joined the revolution against British rule. Azad was able to limit his revolutionary activities only to Bengal in Bengal and Bihar. In just two years Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had created secret revolutionary centers all over North India and Bombay. A lot of revolutionaries in the period were anti-Muslims due to their fear it was likely that the British government was going to use the Muslim community to hinder India’s independence struggle. Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad was trying to convince his fellow revolutionaries.


Biography of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

The year 1912 was the time Maulana Abul Kalam Azad created the weekly Urdu magazine dubbed ‘Al Hilal’, which promoted the spirit of patriotism within Muslims. Al Hilal played an important part in encouraging the unity of Hindus and Muslims following the division between both communities due to Morley Minto reforms. Al Hilal was the mouthpiece of revolutionary thought to promote the views of Garam Dal.

In 1914 the government prohibited Al Hilal from spreading separatist opinions. Maulana Azad later launched a new weekly publication called ‘Al Balag’, which was aimed at promoting Indian nationalists and revolutionary views built on the idea of Hindu-Muslim unity. In 1916, the government prohibited the publication as well. Maulana Abul Kalam Azam was banished from Calcutta and put under house detention in Ranchi which is where he was released following the First World War in 1920.

Following his release, Azad brought back the Muslim community with The Khilafat movement. The principal goal of the campaign was to reinstate an Islamic caliphate, which was the British chiefdom of occupied Turkey. Maulana Azad was a member of the Indian National Congress in 1920 and was a supporter of the non-cooperation movement that was initiated by Gandhiji. In 1923 Congress elected him as the head of the special meeting of the Congress which was held in Delhi.


Maulana Azad was detained again in 1930, for breaking an act known as the Salt Act as part of Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned in the Meerut Jail for a year and one-half. Maulana Azad was elected the president of the Congress during the Ramgarh Conference in 1940 and continued to hold the position until 1946. He was strong opposition to partition and believed that every province should be able to operate independently on its constitution, with public security and economics. Partition was a huge blow to him and destroyed his hopes for a united nation.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a member of the nation as the Minister of Education in Pandit Jawaharlal Nathu’s cabinet from 1947 until 1958. He died from an attack of the heart on February 22, 1958.

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