Abul Kalam Azad was the senior leader of the Indian National Congress. He was involved in the Indian independence movement. He was also an Islamic theologian and writer. After the independence of India, Abul Kalam Azad became the first Minister of Education. He was commonly known as “Maulana Azad”. Abul Kalam Azad played a leading role in establishing the education foundation in India. For this, the government of India celebrating his birthday as National Education Day.
Full Name: Sayyid Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin al Hussaini.
Born: 11 November 1888 AD. Makkah, Hejaz, Ottoman Empire.
Death: 22 February 1958 AD. Delhi, India.
Father’s Name: Muhammad Khairuddin bin Ahmed Al Hussaini.
Mother’s Name: Sheikha Alia bint Mohammad.
Wife’s Name: Zulaikha Begum.
Political Party: Indian National Congress.
Awards: Bharat Ratna.
First Life And Education: Abul Kalam Azad was born on 11 November 1888 in Makkah. At that time, Makkah was part of the Ottoman Empire. Abul Kalam Azad’s father was a Bengali Muslim scholar who the descent of Afghan. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, his father Khairuddin left India and settled in Makkah. His father wrote 12 books and he had thousands of students. His mother was Sheikha Alia bint Mohammad, the daughter of Sheikh Mohammad bin Zaher Alwatri. Sheikh Mohammad was a Muslim scholar in Medina and he had famous outside of Arabia.
In 1890, Abul Kalam Azad settled in Calcutta with his family. Azad took education by Self-education. He learns Arabic as a first language. Later Azad started to learn several other languages Such as Bengali, Hindustani, Persian, and English. He took education in the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali fiqh, Shariat, Mathematics, Philosophy, world history, and Science from his tutors by his family. At the age of 13, Azad was married to Zulaikha Begum.
When his age 15 years old, he was teaching a class of students who there was twice his age. At the age of 16, he has completed the traditional course of study. He brought out a magazine at the same age and he was publishing a poetical journal. In 1900, Abul Kalam Azad was an editor of a weekly (Al-Misbah). In 1903, he brought out a monthly journal, Lissan-us-Sidq. After a short time its gained popularity.
Political Career: First Abul Kalam Azad start to contact revolutionary leaders like Shri Arvind Ghosh and Shyamsunder Chakraborty. Azad has adopted revolutionary leader’s thinking. And Azad was entered revolutionary politics. After some days later, Azad traveled to Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and other countries for met with other revolutionary leaders. And he started talking to them. After talking to those leaders, Azad understood that a revolution must be needed for the independence of India.
After returning to his country, he started publishing a magazine in Urdu called “Al Hilal”. Azad trying to inspiring people for freedom through this magazine. He was starting to criticize the British, and inspiring people to anti-British attitude. The paper became very popular in a short time. The British government confiscated the magazine. The British government expelled him from Calcutta. Azad moved to Bihar. There he was kept under house arrest. On 1 January 1920, Azad was released and moved to Calcutta.
After returning to Calcutta, Azad joined the Khilafat Movement. Azad led the Khilafat movement. On the other hand, Mahatma Gandhi had started a Non-co-operation movement. As a result, the Khilafat movement and the Non-Cooperation movement going together. At that time, Abul Kalam Azad came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi. In this situation, Azad supported Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement. And he played an active role in both movements. He was arrested with other Congress leaders. Azad was released after two years in prison. During this time, Azad became one of the top congress leaders.
The Congress Leader fo Azad: In 1923, Abul Kalam Azad was elected as President of the Indian National Congress. He was the youngest president of Congress. In 1931, Abul Kalam Azad joined the Satyagraha Movement. At that time he became one of the leading political leaders of British India. In 1936, the Congress session was started in Lucknow. In this session, Azad stands against Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, C. Rajagopalachari of socialism as the congress goal. Abul Kalam Azad has supported the election of Jawaharlal Nehru as Congress President.
In 1940-1945, Azad was elected President of the Congress for a second term. At that time relations between Hindu Muslims became bad. The Pakistan movement was started. Abul Kalam Azad did not agree about the Pakistani movement. Pakistan movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Quit India Movement: In 1938, Azad worked for supporters of Congress. At that time, Shubhash Bose was the President of Congress. Abul Kalam Azad supported Mahatma Gandhi like others Congress leaders. When India involves in World war II, he supported the withdrawal from the Congress conference in 1939. Nationalists were upset that Viceroy Lord Linlithgow had entered India into the war without any discussion with national leaders. Jinnah called Congress rule in the provinces as “Hindu Raj”. Azad criticizes Jinnah and Muslim League. Azad called the resignation of the congress ministries as “Day of Deliverance” for Muslims.
Jinnah and the League gained support from the people of Muslims. Muslim political leaders criticized Azad because he did not agree to the partition of India. In 1940, the Muslim League took the proposal of a separate Muslim state (Pakistan) in the session in Lahore. Azad was elected congress president in Ramgarh. Azad requested the Muslim people to build a united India with Hindus. Because Muslims and Hindus were also Indians as like a brother.
Partition of India: Partition of India was the political partition of British India. On 15 August 1947, British India was divided into two parts as the State of Pakistan and the State of India. The State of India was later known as the Republic of India. Azad thinks that the idea of creating Pakistan was born out of hatred. This hatred will consume the relations between India and Pakistan. It is not possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims in India. Because of its scarcity of land. On the other hand, it is not possible for Hindus to live in West Pakistan. After the independence of India, Abul Kalam Azad was appointed to head the Department of Education.
Death: Abul kalam Azad died on 22 February 1958. The cause of his death is a stroke. In 1992, Abul Kalam Azad was awarded the Bharat Ratna. This is the highest India civilian award.