Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed (11 November 1888 – 22 February 1958) was an Indian Muslim scholar and a senior political leader of the Indian independence movement. He was one of the most prominent Muslim leaders to support Hindu-Muslim unity, opposing the partition of India on communal lines. Following India's independence, he became the first Minister of Education in the Indian government. He is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad; he had adopted Azad (Free) as his pen name. His contribution to establishing the education foundation of India is recognized by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day across India.
As a young man, Azad composed poetry in Urdu as well as treatises on religion and philosophy. He rose to prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian nationalism. Azad became the leader of the Khilafat Movement during which he came into close contact with Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. Azad became an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi's ideas of non-violent civil disobedience, and worked actively to organize the Non-cooperation movement in protest of the 1919 Rowlatt Acts. Azad committed himself to Gandhi's ideals, including promoting Swadeshi (Indigenous) products and the cause of Swaraj (Self-rule) for India. He would become the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1923.
Azad was one of the main organisers of the Dharasana Satyagraha in 1931, and emerged as one of the most important national leaders of the time, prominently leading the causes of Hindu-Muslim unity as well as espousing secularism and socialism. He served as Congress President from 1940 to 1945, during which the Quit India rebellion was launched and Azad was imprisoned with the entire Congress leadership for three years. Azad became the most prominent Muslim opponent of the demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan and served in the interim national government. Amidst communal turmoil following the partition | | |Early life | |Azad's family descended from a line of eminent Ulama or scholars of Islam, hailing from Herat (now in western Afghanistan) and had | |settled in India during the reign of the Mughal emperor Babur. His mother was of Arab descent, the daughter of Shaikh Muhammad | |Zahir Watri, and his father, Maulana Khairuddin was, then living in Bengal, was from Herat. The family lived in the Bengal region | |until Maulana Khairuddin left India during the Indian rebellion of 1857 and settled in Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, where he | |met his wife. Azad mastered several languages, including Urdu, Arabic,Hindko, Persian, and Hindi. An avid and determined | |student, the precocious Azad was running a library, a reading room, a debating society before he was twelve, wanted to write on the| |life of Ghazali at twelve, was contributing learned articles to Makhzan (the best known literary magazine of the day) at | |fourteen, was teaching a class of students, most of whom were twice his age, when he was merely fifteen and succeeded in | |completing the traditional course of study at the young age of sixteen, nine years ahead of his contemporaries, and brought out a | |magazine at the same age. In fact, in the field of journalism, he was publishing a poetical journal (Nairang-e-Aalam) and was| |already an editor of a weekly (Al-Misbah), in 1900, at the age of twelve and, in 1903, brought out a monthly | |journal, Lissan-us-Sidq, which soon gained popularity. At the age of thirteen, he was married to a young Muslim girl, Zuleikha | |Begum. Azad was, more closer, a follower of the Ahl-e-Hadith school and compiled many treatises reinterpreting the Qur'an, | |the Hadith, and the principles...
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