Abul Ala Maududi cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Abul Ala Maududi

Pakistani theologian, politician and philosopher

1903   -   1979

country of citizenship: British Raj, Pakistan
language of expression: Urdu
occupation: theologian, politician, philosopher, journalist, translator, writer
award received: King Faisal International Prize in Service to Islam

Abul A'la Maududi (Urdu: ابو الاعلی مودودی‎, Abul Alā Mawdūdī – alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi, Mawdudi; (1903-09-25)25 September 1903 – (1979-09-22)22 September 1979) was a colonial Indian and Pakistani Islamist, Muslim philosopher, jurist, historian, journalist, activist and scholar. Described by Wilfred Cantwell Smith as "the most systematic thinker of modern Islam", his numerous works, which "covered a range of disciplines such as Qur’anic exegesis, hadith, law, philosophy and history", were written in Urdu, but then translated into English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Burmese, Malayalam and many other languages. He sought to revive Islam, and to propagate what he understood to be "true Islam". He believed that Islam was essential for politics, and that it was necessary to institute sharia and preserve Islamic culture similar to the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and abandon immorality, from what he viewed as the evils of secularism, nationalism and socialism, which he understood to be the influence of Western imperialism.He was the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the then largest Islamic organisation in Asia. At the time of the Indian independence movement, Maududi and the Jamaat-e-Isami actively worked to oppose the partition of India. After it occurred, Maududi and his followers shifted their focus to politicizing Islam and generating support for making Pakistan an Islamic state. They are thought to have helped inspire General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to introduce "Sharization" to Pakistan, and to have been greatly strengthened by him after tens of thousands of members and sympathizers were given jobs in the judiciary and civil service during his administration. He was the first recipient of the Saudi Arabian King Faisal International Award for his service to Islam in 1979. Maududi was part of establishing and running of Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia.He has been the second person in history whose absentee funeral was observed in the Kaaba, succeeding King Ashama ibn-Abjar.
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