...Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves... Surah Ar-Rad 13:11 The Holy Quraan
Mohammed Shaakir S/o Shahul Hameed,
Std 7A, Sunrise English Private School,
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abul Kalam Azad, original name Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin, also called Maulana Abul Kalam Azad or Maulana Azad, (born November 11, 1888, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; died February 22, 1958, New Delhi, India), Islamic theologian who was one of the leaders of the Indian independence movement against British rule in the first half of the 20th century. He was highly respected throughout his life as a man of high moral integrity.
Azad became active in journalism when he was in his late teens, and in 1912 he began publishing a weekly Urdu-language newspaper in Calcutta, Al-Hilal (“The Crescent”). The paper quickly became highly influential in the Muslim community for its anti-British stance, notably for its criticism of Indian Muslims who were loyal to the British. Al-Hilal was soon banned by British authorities
Unfazed by the move, Maulana Azad, few months later, launched a new weekly, called "Al-Balagh". Failed to put a prohibition on the writings of Maulana Azad, the British Government then finally decided to deport him off Calcutta in 1916. When Maulana Azad reached Bihar, he was arrested and put under house arrest. This detention continued till December 31, 1919. After his release on January 1, 1920, Azad returned to the political atmosphere and actively participated in the movement. In fact, he continued to write provocative articles against the British Government.
During that time, the idea of an independent India had solidified and Maulana headed the Constituent Assembly Elections within Congress as well as led the negotiations with the British Cabinet mission to discuss the terms of independence. He vehemently opposed the idea of partition based on religion and was deeply hurt when the idea went forward to give rise to Pakistan.
1920. Back in Calcutta, he joined the Indian National Congress (Congress Party) and galvanized India’s Muslim community through an appeal to pan-Islamic ideals
Azad and Gandhi became close, and Azad was involved in Gandhi’s various civil-disobedience (satyagraha) campaigns, including the Salt March (1930). He was imprisoned several times between 1920 and 1945, including for his participation in the anti-British Quit India campaign during World War II. Azad was president of the Congress Party in 1923 and again in 1940–46.
After the war Azad was one of the Indian leaders who negotiated for Indian independence with the British. He tirelessly advocated for a single India that would embrace both Hindus and Muslims while strongly opposing the partition of British India into independent India and Pakistan.
The role and contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad could not be overlooked. He was appointed as India's first Minister for Education and inducted in the Constituent Assembly to draft India's constitution. Under Maulana Azad's tenure, a number of measures were undertaken to promote primary and secondary education, scientific education, establishment of universities and promotion of avenues of research and higher studies.
Maulana was a firm believer in the co-existence of religions. His dream was that of a unified independent India where Hindu and Muslims co-habited peacefully. Although this vision of Azad was shattered post partition of India, he remained a believer. He was the founder of the Jamia Milia Islamia Institution in Delhi along with fellow khilafat leaders which has blossomed into a renowned University today. His birthday, November 11, is celebrated as National Education Day in India.
He had adopted Azad (Free) as his pen name
After the two separate countries were established, he served as minister of education in the Indian government of Jawaharlal Nehru from 1947 until his death. His autobiography, India Wins Freedom, was published posthumously in 1959. In 1992, decades after his death, Azad was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.