Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's Multifaith Perspective: 
A Bio-bibliographical note, 
by Dr. Mohamed Taher

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Quotable Quotes     Speeches by the Maulana      Reflections about his Philosophy and Thought
Memorial Lectures         Biographical Glimpses        Additional Readings on Secular India
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Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Scholarship


Quotable Quotes:
Unity of Faith is his central idea, but this does not mean that all historical religions as they exist today are true or that there is truth in every religion, . . . but that "All religions as originally delivered are true.  — Oneness of God, Unity of Mankind. [See also his Tarjuman-al-Quran]**

Essentially a thinker and the chief exponent of Wahdat-i-deen or the essential oneness of all religions, Azad played around with a variety of ideas on religion, state and civil society.  — Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
by Prof. Mushirul Hasan - Former Pro VC, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi.

Maulana Azad refused to contest election from Rampur in 1952 parliamentary elections as it was Muslim majority constituency saying he was not representing Muslims alone in the Parliament. Secular Perspective, May 16-31, 1999)

His arguments are based not only on the verses of the Qur’an but also on his extensive knowledge of other religions like Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and even Zorashtrianism. He very systematically argues both from Qur’anic perspective as well as on the basis of teachings of these religions and tries to validate the concept of Wahdat-i-din. Maulana Azad and his concept of wahdat-e-deen, By Asghar Ali Engineer

Azad’s last work was an incomplete commentary on the Holy Qur’an in which his literary style bloomed in full vigor. But unlike his previous writings, the commentary added further to his unpopularity because he attempted to find a common ground between Islam and other religions. This was offensive to Muslim sentiment because it brought Islam to a level with other religions. — in Islam -- The Straight Path: Islam Interpreted by Muslims by Kenneth W. Morgan

As his title suggests, Azad was trained as a Maulana, an orthodox scholar of Islamic law and religion. Like many of his age, Azad’s Islamic spirituality was deeply imbued a broadminded Sufi mysticism that was firmly rooted in Islamic tradition and, at the same time, comfortable with religious plurality.For India and Islam: Maulana Azad’s Vision of Religious Pluralism, Dr. Yoginder Sikand

Maulana Azad’s pluralism was akin to Vivekananda’s, with Islam taking the place of Vedanta.  — Perspectives on pluralism, T.N. MADAN.

That is why Maulana Azad is so relevant. He spoke as a liberal who was also deeply religious, which goes on to convince that liberalism is at its best when it is rooted actually in religion.Sagarika Ghose

Speeches by the Maulana (Text format):

Reflections about his Philosophy and Thought:

Memorial Lectures:

Biographical Glimpses:

Maulana Azad was a strong supporter of Jawaharlal Nehru, whom he felt could best communicate to young Muslims and develop a secular system of government. Azad also supported Nehru's socialism in India's economic policy and the advancement of education as a way to combat social evils, poverty and spread opportunity. He served as the Minister of Education in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's Cabinet from 1947 to 1958. He died on February 22, 1958. He was honored with the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1992  source: Wikipedia

A Glimpse of the Maulana:
He was Minister of Education in the Government of India from 15th January 1947 till his death on the 22nd February 1958. A devote Muslim, he always stood for national unity and communal harmony. National spirit was the driving force of his life. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, paying a tribute in the Indian Parliament on 24th February 1958 said 'so we mourn today the passing of a great man, a man of luminous intelligence and a mighty intellect with an amazing capacity to pierce through a problem to it score'.


Another Glimpse of the Maulana:
Indian literature extolling our composite culture and heritage is vast. I recall particularly the seminal contributions of four prominent Indians, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad. Maulana Azad is one of the most erudite scholars of Islam in modern times. He was among the closest colleagues of Mahatma Gandhi and a front-rank leader of the Indian Freedom Movement. In his presidential address to the plenary session of the Indian National Congress in 1940, he said:
"I am a Muslim and profoundly conscious of the fact that I have inherited Islam's glorious traditions of the last thirteen hundred years. I am not prepared to lose even a small part of that legacy...I am equally proud of the fact that I am an Indian, an essential part of the invisible unity of Indian nationhood, a vital factor in its total make-up without which its noble edifice will remain incomplete. I can never give up this sincere claim. It was India's historic destiny that its soil should become the destination of many different caravans of races, cultures and religions. Even before the dawn of history's morning, they started their trek into India and the process has continued since."

Additional Readings on Secular India:


**The Tarjuman al-Qur®an: A critical analysis of Maulana Abu®l-Kalam Azad®s approach to the understanding of the Qur®an, by °Imadulhasan Azad Faruqi [Vikas/0706913426]
**Despite these sharp theological differences, the Qur'an does suggest there is hope for the salvation of Jews and Christians: at the Last Day, distinct communities will be judged according to "their own book" [Qur'an 45:27-29] and: "Those who believe [in the Qur'an], and those who follow the Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabians, any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." [Qur'an 2:62. ]
See :
The Tarjuman Al-Qur'an (Paperback) by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Translated by Syed Abdul Latif: Surah 2: verse 62, on pages 20-21 and Surah 5: verse 69 Syed Abdul Latif p.174
How to cite this article:
Taher, Mohamed (2006),"Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's Multifaith Perspective
A Bio-bibliographical note,"
Available at] (non-visual version)
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Friday, December 16, 2005