Abul Ala Maududi: Wikis


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Sayed Abul A'la
Full name Sayed Abul A'la
Born September 25, 1903
Died September 22, 1979
Era Modern Era, 20th Century
Region Muslim Scholar and Thinker
School Sunni Islam: Ghair Muqallid
Main interests Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, Politics
Notable ideas “We cannot expect the rest of mankind to embrace Islam without any effort on our part”,[1]
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

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Al-Sunan al-Sughra
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Sunan al-Darami

Syed Abul A'ala Maududi[2] (Urdu: سید ابو الاعلىٰ مودودی - alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi and Modudi) (September 25, 1903(1903-09-25) - September 22, 1979), also known as Molana (Maulana) or Shaikh Syed Abul A'ala Mawdudi, was a Sunni Pakistani journalist, theologian, Muslim revivalist leader and political philosopher, and a major 20th century Islamist thinker.[3] He was also a prominent political figure in his home country (Pakistan). He was also the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamic revivalist party.[4]





  • 1903 - Born in Aurangabad, Hyderabad Deccan, India
  • 1918 - Started career as journalist in Bijnore newspaper
  • 1920 - Appointed as editor of the daily Taj, Jabalpur
  • 1925 - Appointed as editor daily Muslim
  • 1925 - Appointed as editor Al-jameeah, New Delhi
  • 1927 - Wrote and published Al- Jihad fil Islam
  • 1930 - Wrote and published the famous booklet Deenyat
  • 1932 - Started Tarjuman-ul-Qur'an from Hyderabad (India)
  • 1938 - At the age of 35, moved to Pathankot 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 of land from his vast estate in Jamalpur, 5 km west of Pathankot
  • 1941 - Foundation meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, appointed as Amir
  • 1942 - Jamaat's headquarters moved to Pathankot
  • 1943 - Started writing a Tafseer of the Qur'an called Tafhim-ul-Quran
  • 1947 - Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Headquarter moved to Lahore (Ichhra)
  • 1948 - Campaign for Islamic constitution and government
  • 1948 - Wrote a booklet Qadiani Problem
  • 1948 - Sentenced to Jail by the Government
  • 1949 - Government accepted Jamaat's resolution for Islamic Constitution
  • 1953 - Sentenced to death for his historical part in the agitation against Ahmadiyah. He was sentenced to death by a military court, but it never carried out;[5]
  • 1953 - Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment and later canceled.[5]
  • 1955 - Released from jail
  • 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
  • 1979 - Departed to United States for Medical Treatment
  • 1979 - Died in United States [6]
  • 1979 - Buried in Ichhra, Lahore

Early life

Mawdudi 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 (Rahmatullahi 'Alayh) 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.[citation needed]

Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was born on September 25, 1903 (Rajab 3, 1321 AH) 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.[7] His father was "descended from the Chishti 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)[8]

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."[8] 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.[7] His instruction included very little of the subject matter of a modern school, such as European languages, like English.[8] He reportedly translated Qasim Amin's The New Woman into Urdu at the age of 14[9] and about 3500 pages from Asfar, a work of the mystical Persian thinker Mulla Sadra.[10]

Main entrance of the House of Syed Abul A'la Maududi 4-A, Zaildar Park, Ichhra, Lahore

Journalistic career

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.[11] According to Israr Ahmad he worked for sometime at Darul Islam an Islamic research academy established by Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan.[12]

Founding the Jamaat-e-Islami

In 1941, Maududi founded Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in British India as a religious political movement to promote Islamic values and practices. After the Partition of India, JI was redefined in 1947 to support an Islamic State in Pakistan. JI is currently the oldest religious party in Pakistan.[13]

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.[13]

Maududi was elected Jamaat’s first Ameer (President) and remained so until 1972 when he withdrew from the responsibility for reasons of health.[13]

Political Struggle

In the beginning of the struggle for the state of Pakistan, Maudidi 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.[13] 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.[11]

Last Days

In 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.[11]

Islamic beliefs and ideology

Maududi wrote over 120 books and pamphlets and made over a 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.[11]


Because 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. It must be evident to you from this discussion that the objective of Islamic 'Jihad' is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of State rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.[14]

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.”[15]


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".[16]


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.'"[17]

Islamic democracy

Maududi stated in one of his books that "democracy begins in Islam."[18]

Islamic state

Maududi also believed that Islam required the establishment of an Islamic state. The state would be a "theo-democracy,"[19] and underlying it would be three principles: tawhid (oneness of God), risala (prophethood) and khilafa (caliphate).[20][21][22]

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."[23]

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.[24]

Consequently, while this state has a legislature which the ruler must consult, its function "is really that of law-finding, not of law-making."[25]

Mawdudi believed that the sovereignty of God (hakimiya) and the sovereignty of the people are mutually exclusive.[26] Therefore, he declared Islamic democracy to be the antithesis of secular Western democracy which transfers hakimiya (God's sovereignty) to the people.[27]


The 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."[28]

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 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 those Non-Muslims adult men who do not render military service.[29]

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.[30]

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.[31]

Criticism and controversy


A 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.[32]

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 who 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…"[33]

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.[citation needed]


Maududi is said to have received "sustained hostility" from the ulema.[34] 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."[35] 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)." [36]

He has been criticised by some Deobandi scholars, such as Allamh Yusuf Ludhyanwi,[37] 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 [38] 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!!” [39] Maududi's alleged believed 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.” [40]

Other clerics who've criticizing Maududi are Shaykh Safi ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri - [41], Hammaad al-Ansaaree[42] and Al-Albaanee, Sanaullaah Amritsari [43]

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."[36]


Grave of Syed Abul Ala Maududi

Mawdudi's influence was widespread. 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, who in turn influenced the young Osama bin Laden during the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan. 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 Farsi. "To the present day, Iran's revolutionary rhetoric often draws on his themes." [44]After Imam Ibn Taymiyyah He is the second thinker who influenced the Muslim Political thinking in The Modern day world."[45]

Mostly, however, Mawdudi influenced South Asia. In Pakistan, Jamaati party members joined Pakistan's military and intelligence establishments in large numbers, which were "rife with hard-line Islamist views" by the 1970s.[44]

Documentary - Related Videos

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Maulana Maududi & His Ideolgy
  3. ^ Zebiri, Kate. Review of Maududi and the making of Islamic fundamentalism. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 61, No. 1.(1998), pp. 167-168.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ a b Encyclopedia of World Biography© on Abul A'la Mawdudi
  6. ^ Syed Moudoodi biography at a glance
  7. ^ a b Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi. Official website of the Jamat-e-Islami.
  8. ^ a b c Adams, p.100-101
  9. ^ Oliver Leaman (2005), The Qur'an: an encyclopedia, Routledge, p. 396
  10. ^ Muhammad Suheyl Umar, "…hikmat i mara ba madrasah keh burd? The Influence of Shiraz School on the Indian Scholars", October 2004 – Volume: 45 – Number: 4, note 26
  11. ^ a b c d Abul Ala Maududi at famousmuslims.com
  12. ^ "Lessons from History", Israr Ahmad
  13. ^ a b c d Jamaat-e-Islami, GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2007-7-1.
  14. ^ Sayeed Abdul A'la Maududi, Jihad in Islam p.9
  15. ^ Vol 2. No1. of The Faithful Struggle in the section entitled "Permanent Jihad."
  16. ^ "A. Maududi's 'Towards Understanding Islam'". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. http://www.webcitation.org/5klXo9uVR. 
  17. ^ Maudidi, S. Abul al'la, Islamic Law and Its Introduction, Islamic Publications, LTD, 1955, p.13-4
  18. ^ http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2001-11/islam.html
  19. ^ Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, "Political Theory of Islam," in Khurshid Ahmad, ed., Islam: Its Meaning and Message (London: Islamic Council of Europe, 1976), pp. 159-61.
  20. ^ Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, Islamic Way of Life (Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islami, 1967), p. 40
  21. ^ Esposito and Piscatory, "Democratization and Islam," pp. 436-7, 440
  22. ^ Esposito, The Islamic Threat, pp. 125-6; Voll and Esposito, Islam and Democracy, pp. 23-6.
  23. ^ Mawdudi, Islamic Law, p.154
  24. ^ Mawdudi, Islamic Law, p.57 quoted in Adams p.113
  25. ^ Mawdudi, Islamic Law, p.77 quoted in Adams p.125
  26. ^ Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, "Political Theory of Islam," in John J. Donahue and John L. Esposito, eds., Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 253.
  27. ^ Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, Political Theory of Islam (Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1976), pp. 13, 15-7, 38, 75-82
  28. ^ Sayeed Abdul A'la Maududi, Jihad in Islam, Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., p.28
  29. ^ Abul A'la Mawdudi, The Meaning of the Qur'an, (Islamic Publications Ltd., Lahore (1993 edition), vol 2, page 183 & page 186 (last paragraph).
  30. ^ Maududi, Towards Understanding Islam, p.131
  31. ^ Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at By Simon Ross Valentine
  32. ^ Choueiri, p.111, quoted in Ruthven, p.70
  33. ^ Meddeb, Abdelwahab (2003). The malady of Islam. New York: Basic Books. p. 102. ISBN 0-465-04435-2. OCLC 51944373. 
  34. ^ Review of Mawlana Maududi and the making of Islamic Revivalism
  35. ^ [Al-ustad al-Mawdudi, p.7. Reproduced in Arabic by Hakikat Kitabevi, Istanbul, 1977.] quoted in Fatwa about the Deviation of Mawdudi
  36. ^ a b Fatwa about the Deviation of Mawdudi
  38. ^ in his book Rasaa‘il wa Masaa‘il (p. 57)
  39. ^ Maudoodi's rejection of The Dajjal. Waseelatus Salifiyyah
  40. ^ Sooratun-Najm 53:3-4
  41. ^ SalafiTalk.Net - Refutation of Maududi's principle of Shirk in Haakimiyah by Shaykh SaifurRahman Mubarakpuri rahimahullah
  42. ^ FatwaIslam.Com : Shaikh Hammaad al-Ansaaree's encounter with Maududi
  43. ^ SalafiTalk.Net - Radd Alaa Maudoodee!
  44. ^ a b tnr.com The New Republic "The roots of jihad in India" by Philip Jenkins, December 24, 2008
  45. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpxVnRig9lw

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Party created
Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami
1941 – 1972
Succeeded by
Mian Tufail Mohammad


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Sayyid Abul Ala al-Maududi (Urdu: سيد ابو الاعلى مودودی, Arabic: سيد أبو الأعلى المودودي; alternative spellings of first and last names: Syed, Maudoodi, and Mawdudi; often referred to as Maulana Maududi and Imam Maududi) (September 25, 1903 – September 22, 1979) [1] Maududi was the founder of the Islamic Fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan.



German Nazism

Law making in an Islamic state

  • [Islam] leaves no room of human legislation in an Islamic state, because herein all legislative functions vest in God and the only function left for Muslims lies in their observance of the God-made law.
    • Adams, Charles J., "Mawdudi and the Islamic State," in John L. Esposito, ed., Voices of Resurgent Islam, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983) on page 125, quoting Ahmad, Khurshid, Islamic Law and Constitution, (Mawdudi's writings collected and translated into English by Khurshid Ahmad), 1967 on page 77
    • This quote is accessible online at Gems of Islamism under the link "Mawdudi In His Own Words"


  1. Short Biography of Abulala Maududi

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