|Born||25 September 1903(1903-09-25)|
|Died||September 22, 1979(1979-09-22) (aged 75)|
|Notable ideas||“We cannot expect the rest of mankind to embrace Islam without any effort on our part”|
Syed Abul A'ala Maududi(Urdu: سید ابو الاعلىٰ مودودی – alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi and Modudi) (September 25, 1903(1903-09-25) – September 22, 1979(1979-09-22)), also known as Molana (Maulana) or Shaikh Syed Abul A'ala Mawdudi, was a Wahabi/kharjee Pakistani journalist, theologian, Muslim revivalist leader and political philosopher, and a major 20th century Islamis thinker. He was also a prominent political figure in his home country (Pakistan) and was the first recipient of King Faisal International Awar for his services to Islam in 1979. He was also the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamic revivalist party
Maududi was one of the descendants of Khwaja Qutb ad-din Mawdud al-Chishti, a notable of the Chishtiyya Tariqa. Hazrat Muinuddin al-Chishti of Ajmar was Qutb ad-din's caliph, one of those who were ordered and given permission by him to guide the people who wanted to learn.
Maududi was born in Aurangabad, then part of the princely state of Hyderabad (presently Maharashtra), India. Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was born to Maulana Ahmad Hasan, a lawyer by profession. Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was the youngest of his three brothers. His father was "descended from the Chisht line of saints; in fact his last name was derived from the first member of the Chishti Silsilah i.e. Khawajah Syed Qutb ul-Din Maudood Chishti (d. 527 AH)
At an early age, Maududi was given home education, he "received religious nurture at the hands of his father and from a variety of teachers employed by him." He soon moved on to formal education, however, and completed his secondary education from Madrasah Furqaniyah. For his undergraduate studies he joined Darul Uloom, Hyderabad (India). His undergraduate studies, however, were disrupted by the illness and death of his father, and he completed his studies outside of the regular educational institutions. His instruction included very little of the subject matter of a modern school, such as European languages, like English. He reportedly translated Qasim Amin's The New Woman into Urdu at the age of 14and about 3,500 pages from Asfar, a work of mystical Persian thinker Mulla Sadra.
In his early life, Maududi also wrote poetry. Here is a translation of a few lines of a ghazal written by him:
Friendship is reciprocated with betrayal
They require faithfulness along with treachery Why do You inquire about the destiny of this miserable patient
Who is a play thing for the Healer O, thou who is dying of thirst, do not beg the river
Death is continuous if love is accompanied with dignity The poison and antidote are both in one cup
Flowers rain along with sparks In the robe of success, failures are hidden
My destiny is asleep with a wakeful stride
After the interruption of his formal education, Maududi turned to journalism in order to make his living. In 1918, he was already contributing to a leading Urdu newspaper, and in 1920, at the age of 17, he was appointed editor of Taj, which was being published from Jabalpore (now Madhya Pradesh). Late in 1920, Maududi went to Delhi and first assumed the editorship of the newspaper Muslim (1921–23), and later of al-Jam’iyat (1925–28), both of which were the organs of the Jam’iyat-i Ulama-i Hind, an organization of Muslim religious scholars. According to Dr. Israr Ahmed, Maududi worked for sometime at the Dar ul Islam Trust, Pathankot, an Islamic research academy established by the Muslim philanthropist, Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan.
Founding the Jamaat-e-IslamiIn 1941, Maududi founded Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in British India as a religious political movement to promote Islamic values and practices. JI was against the creation of Pakistan. Presented with a fait accompli after the Partition of India, JI was redefined in 1947 to support an Islamic State in Pakistan. JI claims to be the oldest religious party in Pakistan.
With the Partition of India, JI split into several groups. The organisation headed by Maududi is now known as Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. Also existing are Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, and autonomous groups in Indian Kashmir, also in Sri Lanka.
Maududi was elected Jamaat’s first Ameer (President) and remained so until 1972 when he withdrew from the responsibility for reasons of health.
Political StruggleIn the beginning of the struggle for the state of Pakistan, Maududi and his party were against the idea of creating a separate state of Pakistan. He did criticize other leaders of the Muslim league for wanting Pakistan to be a state for Muslims and not an Islamic state. After realizing that India was going to be partitioned and Pakistan created, he began to support the idea. Maududi moved to Pakistan in 1947 and worked to turn it into an Islamic state, resulting in frequent arrests and long periods of incarceration. In 1953, he and the JI led a campaign against the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan resulting in the Lahore riots of 1953 and selective declaration of martial law. He was arrested by the military deployment headed by Lieutenant General Azam Khan, which also included Rahimuddin Khan, and sentenced to death on the charge of writing a seditious pamphlet about the Ahmadiyya issue. He turned down the opportunity to file a petition for mercy, expressing a preference for death rather than seeking clemency. Strong public pressure ultimately convinced the government to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. Eventually, his sentence was annulled.
Last daysIn April 1979, Maududi's long-time kidney ailment worsened and by then he also had heart problems. He went to the United States for treatment and was hospitalized in Buffalo, New York, where his second son worked as a physician. During his hospitalization, he remained intellectually active.
Following a few surgical operations, he died on September 22, 1979, at the age of 76. His funeral was held in Buffalo, but he was buried in an unmarked grave at his residence in Ichhra, Lahore after a very large funeral procession through the city.
Islamic beliefs and ideologyMaududi wrote over 120 books and pamphlets and made over 1000 speeches and press statements. His magnum opus was the 30 years in progress translation (tafsir) in Urdu of the Qur’an, Tafhim al-Qur’an (The Meaning of the Qur'an), intended to give the Qur’an a practical contemporary interpretation. It became widely read throughout the subcontinent and has been translated into several languages.
Mawdudi saw Muslims not as people who followed the religion of Islam, but as everything: "Everything in the universe is 'Muslim' for it obeys God by submission to His laws." The only exception to this universe of Muslims were human beings who failed to follow Islam. In regard to the non-Muslim:
“His very tongue which, on account of his ignorance advocates the denial of God or professes multiple deities, is in its very nature 'Muslim' ... The man who denies God is called Kafir (concealer) because he conceals by his disbelief what is inherent in his nature and embalmed in his own soul. His whole body functions in obedience to that instinct… Reality becomes estranged from him and he gropes in the dark".Mawdudi believed that Islam was a "religion" in a broader sense of the term. He stated: "Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the sense this term is commonly understood. It is a system encompassing all fields of living. Islam means politics, economics, legislation, science, humanism, health, psychology and sociology. It is a system which makes no discrimination on the basis of race, color, language or other external categories. Its appeal is to all mankind. It wants to reach the heart of every human being."
Maududi believed that without Sharia law Muslim society could not be Islamic:
That if an Islamic society consciously resolves not to accept the Sharia, and decides to enact its own constitution and laws or borrow them from any other source in disregard of the Sharia, such a society breaks its contract with God and forfeits its right to be called 'Islamic.'"
Mawdudi also largely expanded upon his view of the Islamic State and Sharia in his book Islamic Way of Life.
Maududi also believed that Islam required the establishment of an Islamic state. The state would be a "theo-democracy,"and underlying it would be three principles: tawhid (oneness of God), risala (prophethood) and khilafa (caliphate).
The "sphere of activity" covered by the Islamic state would be "co-extensive with human life ... In such a state no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private."
The state would follow Sharia Islamic law, a complete system covering
family relationships, social and economic affairs, administration, rights and duties of citizens, judicial system, laws of war and peace and international relations. In short it embraces all the various departments of life ... The Sharia is a complete scheme of life and an all-embracing social order where nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking.Consequently, while this state has a legislature which the ruler must consult, its function "is really that of law-finding, not of law-making."
Maududi believed that the sovereignty of God (hakimiya) and the sovereignty of the people are mutually exclusive. Therefore, while Maududi stated in one of his books that "democracy begins in Islam," Islamic democracy according to him was to be the antithesis of secular Western democracy which transfers hakimiya (God's sovereignty) to the people.
He also advocated personal freedom and condemned suspicion of Government:
This espionage on the life of the individual cannot be justified on moral grounds by the government saying that it is necessary to know the secrets of the dangerous persons. Though, to all intents and purposes, the basis of this policy is the fear and suspicion with which modern governments look at their citizens who are intelligent and dissatisfied with the official policies of the government. This is exactly what Islam has called as the root cause of mischief in politics. The injunction of the Prophet is: "When the ruler begins to search for the causes of dissatisfaction amongst his people, he spoils them" (Abu Dawud). The Amir Mu'awiyah has said that he himself heard the Prophet saying: "If you try to find out the secrets of the people, then you will definitely spoil them or at least you will bring them to the verge of ruin." The meaning of the phrase 'spoil them' is that when spies (C.I.D. or F.B.I.agents) are spread all around the country to find out the affairs of men, then the people begin to look at one another with suspicion, so much so that people are afraid of talking freely in their houses lest some word should escape from the lips of their wives and children which may put them in embarrassing situations. In this manner it becomes difficult for a common citizen to speak freely, even in his own house and society begins to suffer from a state of general distrust and suspicion.Non-MuslimsThe rights of non-Muslims are limited under Islamic state as laid out in Maududi's writings. Although non-Muslim "faith, ideology, rituals of worship or social customs" would not be interfered with, non-Muslims would have to accept Muslim rule.
Islamic 'Jihad' does not recognize their right to administer State affairs according to a system which, in the view of Islam, is evil. Furthermore, Islamic 'Jihad' also refuses to admit their right to continue with such practices under an Islamic government which fatally affect the public interest from the viewpoint of Islam." Non-Muslims would also have to pay a special tax known as jizya. This tax is applicable to all able adult non-Muslims, except old and women, who do not render military service. Those who serve in the military are exempted. It must be noted that all adult Muslim men are subject to compulsory military service, whenever required by the Islamic State. Jizya is thus seen as a protection tax payable to the Islamic State for protection of those non-Muslim adult men who do not render military service.Maududi believed that copying cultural practices of non-Muslims was forbidden in Islam, having
very disastrous consequences upon a nation; it destroys its inner vitality, blurs its vision, befogs its critical faculties, breeds inferiority complexes, and gradually but assuredly saps all the springs of culture and sounds its death-knell. That is why the Holy Prophet has positively and forcefully forbidden the Muslims to assume the culture and mode of life of the non-Muslims.Maududi strongly opposed the Ahle Sunnah waljamat all practises whcih were continued 7 hundred years.He preached against Ale sunnha waljamatin his books and pamphlet.
Maududi strongly opposed the Ahmadiyya sect and the idea that Ahmadiyya were Muslims. He preached against Ahmadiyya in his pamphlet The Qadiani Question and the book The Finality of Prophethood.
JihadBecause Islam is all-encompassing, Maududi believed that the Islamic state should not be limited to just the "homeland of Islam". It is for all the world. 'Jihad' should be used to eliminate un-Islamic rule and establish this Islamic state:
Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard-bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. Islam requires the earth—not just a portion, but the whole planet .... because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme [of Islam] ... Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad’. .... the objective of the Islamic ‘ Jihād’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule.He explained that jihad was not only combat for God but all effort that helped those waging combat (Qita'al):
“In the jihad in the way of Allah, active combat is not always the role on the battlefield, nor can everyone fight in the front line. Just for one single battle preparations have often to be made for decades on end and the plans deeply laid, and while only some thousands fight in the front line there are behind them millions engaged in various tasks which, though small themselves, contribute directly to the supreme effort.” Criticism and controversy
PoliticalA general complaint of one critic is that Maududi's theo-democracy is an
ideological state in which legislators do not legislate, citizens only vote to reaffirm the permanent applicability of God's laws, women rarely venture outside their homes lest social discipline be disrupted, and non-Muslims are tolerated as foreign elements required to express their loyalty by means of paying a financial levy.On a more conceptual level, journalist and author Abelwahab Meddeb questions the basis of Maududi's reasoning that the sovereignty of the truly Islamic state must be divine and not popular, saying "Mawdudi constructed a coherent political system, which follows wholly from a manipulation." The manipulation is of the Arabic word hukm, usually defined as to "exercise power as governing, to pronounce a sentence, to judge between two parties, to be knowledgeable (in medicine, in philosophy), to be wise, prudent, of a considered judgment." The Quran contains the phrase `Hukm is God's alone,` thus, according to Maududi, God – in the form of Sharia law – must govern. But Meddeb argues that a full reading of the ayah where the phrase appears reveals that it refers to God's superiority over pagan idols, not His role in government.
Those whom you adore outside of Him are nothing but names that you and your fathers have given them. God has granted them no authority. Hukm is God's alone. He has commanded that you adore none but Him. Such is the right religion, but most people do not know. [Qur'an 12:40]Quranic "commentators never forget to remind us that this verse is devoted to the powerlessness of the companion deities (pardras) that idolaters raise up next to God…"
Abdel Meddab's view is contradicted by well-respected Islamic scholars such as Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan he writes in his book Aqidah ul-Tawhid: "He who accepts a law other than Allah's ascribes a partner to Allah. Whatever act of worship that is not legislated (hukam) by Allah and His Messenger is Bid'ah, and every Bid'ah is a means of deviation... Any other law which is legislated (hukam) by neither Allah nor His Messenger in politics, or for judging in people's disputes, it is considered as the law of Taghut, and Jahiliyyah. Allah says: Do they seek the judgment of Jahiliyyah? And who is better than Allah as a judge for a people who have firm faith? (Qur'an 5:50) The right of legalizing and illegalizing belongs to Allah too, and no one is permitted to share this right with Him. Allah says: And do not eat of that on which the name of Allah is not pronounced, for surely that is disobedience. And certainly Satans inspire their friends to argue with you. And if you obey them, then you are polytheists. (Qur'an 6:121)"
Maududi is also criticized for his early open opposition to Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the drive to create Pakistan, although Maududi later changed his view and supported the state of Pakistan. Some critics believe Maududi's opposition stemmed from sectarian differences, as Jinnah came from a Shia Muslim background.
A unique honourHe was rendered with the title Of Imam-ul-Muslimeen in the annual meeting of Raabta-e-Aalam-e-Islami Saudia Arabia held in January 1974.
ClericalMaududi is said to have received "sustained hostility" from the ulema.Muhammad Yusuf Banuri(d. 1397/1977) is quoted as saying
"Great Muslim scholars of India of every madhhab congregated at Jamiyyat al-'Ulama' in Delhi on the 27th of Shawwal, 1370 (August 1, 1951) and reached the conclusion that Mawdudi and his Al-Jamaat al-Islamiyya caused the destruction and deviation of Muslims and published this fatwa (decision) in a book and in papers." And the scholars of Pakistan passed a resolution that Mawdudi was a heretic who tried to make others heretics; this resolution was edited once again in the Akhbar al-Jamiyya in Rawalpindi on the 22nd of February, 1396 (1976)."He has been criticised by some Deobandi scholars, such as Allamh Yusuf Ludhyanwi, for what was seen as disrespect towards the Sahabah (Companions of the prophet Muhammad) and the Mahdi.Maududi has been criticised by Salafist author Jamaal Ibn Fareehaan al-Haarithee for "rejection of the Dajjal as Maududi is alleged to have claimed that the prophet Muhammad used to think that the Dajjaal (Anti-Christ) would come out in his time, or close to his time. However, 1350 years passed away and many long generations came and went, yet the Dajjaal did not come out. So it is confirmed that what the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) thought did not prove true!!” Maududi's alleged belief in this theory was explained by its being an "opinion and analogical deduction" of Muhammad while al-Haarithee considers this shirk (polytheism) as the Quran says “And he does not speak from his own desire. It is revelation inspired to him.”
Other clerics who have criticised Maududi are Shaykh Safi ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri –, Hammaad al-Ansaareeand Al-Albaanee, Sanaullaah Amritsari
In an article entitled Fatwa about the Deviation of Mawdudi, Mawdudi is accused of being "CIA agent"; of attempting to solve "the main principles of Islam" using "his own reason," and departing from "Islamic knowledge"; and of preaching revolution when, "Islam would spread not through revolution but through knowledge, justice and morals."
However, such attacks against Maududi's work affected their widespread influence in the Islamic community, nor did they conflict with the majority of Maududi's views. The only thing that was desputed was Maududi's usage of certain terms relating to Islamic Prophets and Muhammad's Companions Maududi always reject all practices of Ahle sunnah due to this whole Muslim nation condemned his view and thinking.He says,Companion of Muhammad's not standard for me to act upon his Sahabas teaching.
|“||It must now be obvious that the objective of the Islamic jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system, and establish in its place an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine his rule to a single state or a hand full of countries. The aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution. Although in the initial stages, it is incumbent upon members of the party of Islam to carry out a revolution in the state system of the countries to which they belong; their ultimate objective is none other than world revolution.||”|
— Jihad in Islam (Jihad Fi Sabillilah), Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, Transl. Abdul Waheed Khan, page 20, Islamic Publications Ltd, Pakistan
|“||Human relations are so integrated that no state can have complete freedom of action under its principles unless the same principles are not in force in a neighbouring country. Therefore, a, ‘Muslim Party’ will not be content with the establishment of Islam in just one area alone –both for its own safety and for general reform. It should try and expand in all directions. On one hand it will spread its ideology; on the other it will invite people of all nations to accept its creed, for salvation lies only therein. If this Islamic state has power and resources it will fight and destroy non-Islamic governments and establish Islamic states in their place.||”|
— Haqiqat-i-Jihad, Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, page 64, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan 1964
|“||It (Jamaat-e-Islami) is not a missionary organisation or a body of preachers or evangelists, but an organisation of God’s troopers.||”|
— Haqiqat-i-Jihad, Sayyid Abu A’la Maududi, page 58, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan 1964
|“||In our domain we neither allow any Muslim to change his religion nor allow any other religion to propagate its faith.||”|
— Murtad ki Saza Islami Qanun Mein, Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, page 32, Lahore Islamic Publications Ltd, 1981, 8th edition
|“||the real place of women is the house and she has been exempted from outdoor duties…She has however been allowed to go out of the house to fulfil her genuine needs, but whilst going out she must observe complete modesty. Neither should she wear glamorous clothes and attract attention, nor should she cherish the desire to display the charms of the face and the hand, nor should she walk in a manner which may attract attention of others. Moreover she should not speak to them without necessity, and if she has to speak she should not speak in a sweet and soft voice||”|
— Purdah and the status of Women in Islam, Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, page 140, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan
|“||Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the sense this term is commonly understood. It is a system encompassing all fields of living. Islam means politics, economics, legislation, science, humanism, health, psychology and sociology. It is a system which makes no discrimination on the basis of race, color, language or other external categories. Its appeal is to all mankind. It wants to reach the heart of every human being.||”|
— Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, Towards Understanding Islam Chapter 7, Lahore, Pakistan
LegacyMawdudi's influence was widespread in wahabi community. According to historian Philip Jenkins, Egyptians Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb read him. Qutb "borrowed and expanded" Mawdudi's concept for being a modern as well as pre-Muhammadan phenomenon, and of the need for an Islamist revolutionary vanguard movement. His ideas influenced Abdullah Azzam, the Palestinian Islamist jurist. The South Asian diaspora, including "significant numbers" in Britain, were "hugely influenced" by Mawdudi's work. Mawdudi even had a major impact on Shia Iran, where Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is reputed to have met Mawdudi as early as 1963 and later translated his works into Persian. "To the present day, Iran's revolutionary rhetoric often draws on his themes."
Mostly, however, Mawdudi influenced South Asia. In Pakistan, Jamaati party members joined Pakistan's military and intelligence establishments in large numbers, which were reportedly "rife with hard-line Islamist views" by the 1970s.
- 1903 – Born in Aurangabad, Hyderabad Deccan, India
- 1918 – Started career as journalist in Bijnore newspaper
- 1920 – Appointed as editor of the daily Taj, Jabalpur
- 1921 – Learned Arabic from Maulana Abdul Salam Niazi In Delhi
- 1921 – Appointed as editor daily Muslim
- 1926 – Took the Sanad of Uloom e Aqaliya wa Naqalia from Darul Uloom Fatehpuri Delhi
- 1928 – Took the Sanad in Jamay Al-Tirmidhi and Muatta Imam Malik Form same Teacher
- 1925 – Appointed as editor Al-jameeah, New Delhi
- 1927 – Wrote and Al- Jihad fil Islam
- 1930 – Wrote and published the famous booklet Al- Jihad fil Islam
- 1933 – Started Tarjuman-ul-Qur'an from Hyderabad (India)
- 1937 – Aged 34, introduced to South Asia's premier Muslim poet-philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, by Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan at Lahore
- 1938 – Aged 35, moved to Pathankot from Hyderabad Deccan and joined the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute, which was established in 1936 by Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan on the advice of Allama Muhammad Iqbal for which Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan donated 66 acres (270,000 m2) of land from his vast 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) estate in Jamalpur, 5 km west of Pathankot
- 1941 – Founded Jamaat-e-Islami Hind at Lahore, appointed as Amir
- 1942 – Jamaat's headquarters moved to Pathankot
- 1942 – Started writing a Tafseer of the Qur'an called Tafhim-ul-Quran
- 1947 – Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Headquarters moved to Lahore (Ichhra)
- 1948 – Campaign for Islamic constitution and government
- 1948 – Sentenced to Jail by the Government
- 1949 – Government accepted Jamaat's resolution for Islamic Constitution
- 1950 – Released from jail
- 1953 – Sentenced to death for his historical part in the agitation againstAhmadiyah to wrote a booklet Qadiani Problem. He was sentenced to death by a military court, but it never carried out;[
- 1953 – Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment and later canceled.
- 1958 – Jamaat-e-Islami banned by Martial Law Administrator Field Martial Ayub Khan
- 1964 – Sentenced to jail
- 1964 – Released from jail
- 1971 – Ordered his followers to fight to save United Pakistan along with Pak Army.
- 1972 – Completed Tafhim-ul-Quran
- 1972 – Resigned as Ameer-e-Jamaat
- 1978 – Published His Last book "Seerat-e-Sarwar-e-Aalam" in two volumes.
- 1979 – Departed to United States for Medical Treatment
- 1979 – Died in United States
- 1979 – Buried in Ichhra, Lahore