New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Long reads
10 February 2010updated 24 Sep 2015 10:46am

Sayyid Abul-A’la Maududi

The Islamist politician and leader of the righteous vanguard.

By Ian K Smith

Maududi was the first of the Islamic revivalists to develop a wide-ranging ideology through the Jamaat-e-Islami, the party that he founded in Lahore in 1941. Party branches and student arms now exist in Pakistan, India, Kashmir and Sri Lanka.

Maulana Maududi, as he is sometimes called, was one of the first Muslims to equate religious devotion with political obedience, through Jamaat-e-Islami. Maududi wished, as did Sayyid Qutb, to establish a true Islamic society. He agreed with Qutb that civilisation was torn between the forces of Islam and jahiliyah, or ignorance, and that Islamic law was central to a just society.

In this quest, Maududi sought a vanguard of religious intellectuals to transform society through education, spreading Islamic teachings as widely as possible. This vanguard became the Jamaat. After the creation of Pakistan, the party focused its efforts on making sure the Islamic republic lived up to its name.

On the need for Islamic law:

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

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”.

Next: Ayatollah Khomeini (d.1989)

Previous: Ali Shari’ati (d.1977)

Back to list.

Content from our partners
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors