Maulana (Mohiuddin) Abul Kalam Azad, born in an Indian family at Mecca on 11 November 1888, rose to the front ranks of India's freedom struggle. He earned the respect of Gandhiji for his views on religion and politics that led to emphasis on communal unity as a necessary component of national independence. Maulana Azad started his career not as a religious or community leader but as a member of a revolutionary group. Later he was convinced of non-violence as a better instrument for political struggle and worked shoulder to shoulder with Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru. Leaving the path of revolutionary violence he launched on journalism to create political awareness among Muslims who were at that time keeping aloof from national politics. According to him struggle for freedom was a religious obligation for Muslims. He played an important role in Indian National Congress of which he became president on two crucial junctures, first in 1923 when he saved its unity threatened by the controversy on council entry and later in 1940 when there was direct and final confrontation with the imperialist power.
In independent India he was Minister for Education in which capacity he promoted the setting up of various academic and cultural institutions. Apart from a politician Maulana was a writer with a distinct prose style marked by high level erudition and a poet's sensitivity to men and affairs. His Tarjaman-ul-Qur'an is one of the most authentic and intellectually stimulating interpretations of the fundamentals of Islam. Among his political writings Qaul-e-Faisal and India Wins freedom are significant as expressions of his views on politics.