New Delhi: What's so Muslim about Dr APJ Abdul Kalam?, was the question raised in 2002 when the nuclear scientist joined the race to be the 11th President of India.
Kalam went on to occupy the Rashtrapati Bhavan...and the minds and hearts of countless Indians. Dr Kalam reached the ethereal space that transcends name or religion, he became the People's President.
He was the 'PRESIDENT' in a way no one else before him have ever been.
Dr Kalam was a devout Muslim and believed in the teachings of Quran but he also loved the Gita.
He was strict vegetarian, played the classical musical instrument Veena and was heavily inspired by the philosophy of Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar.
Kalam had published a book on the teachings of the poet - Thirukkural: Pearls of Inspiration.
A man of frugal needs, Kalam's undying passion in life was to see India as a developed country and he believed that the only way to achieve that goal is to give 'Wings of Fire' to the youth of the country.
And, he worked towards that till his last breath – he passed away while interacting with students at IIM Shillong.
Kalam was more a Muslim than many of those who profess their faith in the religion. He had understood the true essence of Islam – respect for other faiths.
But his true religion was love for his country.
“For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.” APJ Abdul Kalam