Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, also known as Maulana Azad, was an eminent Indian scholar, freedom fighter, and prominent leader of the Indian National Congress during the Indian independence movement. He is remembered today as one of the most prominent figures in Indian history, not only for his contributions to the country’s freedom struggle but also for his role in shaping the post-independence era of India.
Born on November 11, 1888, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Maulana Azad’s family moved to Calcutta, India, when he was young. From a young age, he showed exceptional academic abilities and was fluent in several languages, including Arabic, English, Urdu, Persian, and Hindi. He went on to become one of the most prominent Muslim scholars and intellectuals of his time.
During pre Independence, at an early age, his interest was in writing and journalism. He published an Urdu weekly newspaper Al-Hilal in Calcutta in 1912 in which he highlighted the Harsh British policies towards Indians along with underlining the challenges faced by common people in everyday life, which was banned by Press Act in 1914.
Maulana Azad’s contribution to India is significant in many ways. He played an instrumental role in the Indian independence movement and worked tirelessly to bring people from different backgrounds and religions together to fight for the country’s freedom. He was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and served as the president of the Indian National Congress from 1940 to 1945.
As a visionary, Maulana Azad believed in the importance of education and worked towards the promotion of education in India. He established Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, which has today become a renowned institution for higher education. He also supported the development of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to promote education across the country.
Maulana Azad’s vision of a united India, where people of all religions and backgrounds could live in harmony, is still relevant today. He played a crucial role in promoting communal harmony and worked towards bridging the divide between Hindus and Muslims. His speeches and writings continue to inspire people today.
On Maulana Azad’s birth anniversary, November 11, India celebrates National Education Day in his honour. This day serves as a reminder of his immense contribution to the country and his vision of a modern, secular India.
In conclusion, Maulana Azad was an exceptional scholar, a visionary leader, and a tireless freedom fighter who dedicated his life to the service of India. He played a crucial role in the country’s independence struggle and worked towards the promotion of education and communal harmony. His legacy continues to inspire people today, and his vision of a united India serves as a beacon of hope for the country’s future.
There are many interesting facts related to Maulana Azad which show his commitment to social harmony. Heritage Times has documented one of those.
When Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was expelled from Bengal by the British government, he remained under house arrest in Ranchi from 1916 to 1919, during which he continued to deliver Friday sermons in Ranchi’s Jama Masjid. In one such sermon, Maulana told Muslims that ‘it is a religious duty of Muslims to participate in the freedom movement’.
Influenced by his sermons, the Muslims of Ranchi started participating in the freedom struggle with full enthusiasm. This also inspired the Hindus of Ranchi and they asked told Maulana Abul Kalam Azad if they would also like to listen to his speech.
The British government had, however, banned him from making any speeches in public. And to address the request made by Hindus, a room was built in the mosque itself where the Hindus of the city started coming to listen to the Friday sermon.
Perhaps this was the first event in Indian history when Hindus also came to the mosque to listen to the Friday sermon. At the same time when some Muslims objected to the visit of a Hindu religious leader in a mosque in Delhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wrote a book “Jamius Shaheed” (Collection of Proofs) and then proved that in Islam there is no restriction for non-Muslims on coming to mosques.
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