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 Sunni Pakistani journalist, theologian, Muslim revivalist leader and political philosopher, and a major 20th century Islamist thinker. He was also a prominent political figure in Pakistan and was the first recipient of King Faisal International Award for his services to Islam in 1979. He was also the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamic revivalist party.
Maududi was born in Aurangabad, (presently Maharashtra), India, then part of the princely state enclave of Hyderabad, until it was annexed by India (1948) . 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 the descendent of 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)
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 14 and about 3,500 pages from Asfar, a work of mystical Persian thinker Mulla Sadra.
Journalistic careerAfter 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, and 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.
Late lifeHe was given the title of Imam-ul-Muslimeen in the annual meeting of Raabta-e-Aalam-e-Islami, Saudia Arabia held in January 1974.
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.
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 ul-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.
IslamMaududi 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".Maududi 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."
ShariaMaududi 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.'"Maududi also largely expanded upon his view of the Islamic State and Sharia in his book Islamic Way of Life.
Islamic stateThe modern conceptualization of the "Islamic state" is attributed to Maududi. In his book, The Islamic Law and Constitution, published in 1941 and subsequent writings, Maududi coined and popularized the term "Islamic state" itself. In addition, he coined and popularized the term "Islamic revolution" in the 1940s, even though this phrase is commonly associated with the 1979 Iranian Revolution that occurred 40 years later.
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. 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 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 the world-wide 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 Abdel Wahab Meddeb questions the basis of Maududi's reasoning that the sovereignty of the truly Islamic state must be divine and not popular, saying "Maududi 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.
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-'Ulema' in Delhi on the 27th of Shawwal, 1370 (August 1, 1951) and reached the conclusion that Maududi 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 Maududi 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 Allama 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-Ansaaree and Al-Albaanee, Sanaullaah Amritsari
However, such attacks against Maududi's work haven't affected their widespread influence in the Islamic community, nor did they conflict with the majority of Maududi's views. The only thing that was disputed was Maududi's usage of certain terms relating to Islamic Prophets and Muhammad's Companions
Mostly, however, Maududi influenced South Asia. In Pakistan, Jamaat 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 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 against Ahmadiyah to write a booklet Qadiani Problem. He was sentenced to death by a military court, but it was 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
- Maulana Maududi & His Ideolgy
- 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.
- [dead link]
- ^ a b Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi. Official website of the Jamat-e-Islami.
- a b c Adams, p.100-101
- Oliver Leaman (2005), The Qur'an: an encyclopedia, Routledge, p. 396
- 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
- a b c d Abul Ala Maududi at famousmuslims.com
- "Lessons from History", Israr Ahmad
- a b c d Jamaat-e-Islami, GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2007-7-1.
- "A. Maududi's 'Towards Understanding Islam'". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. http://www.webcitation.org/5klXo9uVR.
- Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Towards Understanding the Quran Chapter 7, Lahore, Pakistan
- Maudidi, S. Abul al'la, Islamic Law and Its Introduction, Islamic Publications, LTD, 1955, p.13-4
- a b Nasr, S.V.R. 1996. Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism, Ch. 4. New York: Oxford University Press
- Maududi, Abul Ala. The Islamic law and constitution, ed. and tr. Khurshid Ahmad, Lahore 1955
- 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.
- Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, Islamic Way of Life (Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Islami, 1967), p. 40
- Esposito and Piscatory, "Democratization and Islam," pp. 436–7, 440
- Esposito, The Islamic Threat, pp. 125–6; Voll and Esposito, Islam and Democracy, pp. 23–6.
- Mawdudi, Islamic Law, p.154
- Mawdudi, Islamic Law, p.57 quoted in Adams p.113
- Mawdudi, Islamic Law, p.77 quoted in Adams p.125
- 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.
- Islam and Democracy
- Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi, Political Theory of Islam (Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1976), pp. 13, 15–7, 38, 75–82
- Maududi, Human Rights in Islam, p11
- Sayeed Abdul A'la Maududi, Jihad in Islam, Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., p.28
- Abul A'la Mawdudi, The Meaning of the Qur'an, (Islamic Publications Ltd., Lahore (1993 edition), vol 2, page 183 & page 186 (last paragraph).
- Maududi, Towards Understanding Islam, p.131
- Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at By Simon Ross Valentine
- Sayeed Abdul A'la Maududi, Jihad in Islam, p.6,7,22
- Vol 2. No1. of The Faithful Struggle in the section entitled "Permanent Jihad."
- Choueiri, p.111, quoted in Ruthven, p.70
- Meddeb, Abdelwahab (2003). The malady of Islam. New York: Basic Books. p. 102. ISBN 0-65-04435-2. OCLC 51944373.
- Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan, Aqidah at-Tawhid Section 2 Chapter 7
- The General’s Isolation Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)
- Asia Times
- Review of Mawlana Maududi and the making of Islamic Revivalism
- [Al-ustad al-Maududi, p.7. Reproduced in Arabic by Hakikat Kitabevi, Istanbul, 1977.] quoted in Fatwa about the Deviation of Maududi
- Fatwa about the Deviation of Maududi
- ABU'L 'ALA MAUDUDI'S CALUMNIATIONS AGAINST THE GREAT PROPHETS AND COMPANIONS OF THIS UMMAH
- in his book Rasaa‘il wa Masaa‘il (p. 57)
- Maudoodi's rejection of The Dajjal. Waseelatus Salifiyyah[dead link]
- Sooratun-Najm 53:3–4
- SalafiTalk.Net – Refutation of Maududi's principle of Shirk in Haakimiyah by Shaykh SaifurRahman Mubarakpuri rahimahullah
- FatwaIslam.Com : Shaikh Hammaad al-Ansaaree's encounter with Maududi[dead link]
- SalafiTalk.Net – Radd Alaa Maudoodee!
- a b tnr.com The New Republic "The roots of jihad in India" by Philip Jenkins, December 24, 2008
- a b Azam, K.M., Hayat-e-Sadeed: Bani-e-Dar ul Islam Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan (A Righteous Life: Founder of Dar ul Islam Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan), Lahore: Nashriyat, 2010 (583 pp., Urdu) [ISBN 978-969-8983-58-1]
- a b Encyclopedia of World Biography© on Abul A'la Mawdudi
- Syed Moudoodi biography at a glance