One of the most influential Islamic thinkers of the twentieth century. His ideas have greatly influenced Islamic movements in his native subcontinent as well as the Middle East and North Africa in the west and Southeast Asia in the east.
His voluminous (six volumes) translation and interpretation Tafhim-al-Qur’an, began in 1942 and completed in 1972, are his magnum opus – a masterpiece of Urdu literature unmatched in traditional religious scholarship. Maududi’s racy style of Urdu and its interpretative reading influenced Muslim thinkers and activists throughout the Muslim world.
Sayyid Mawdudi articulated his particular views on four aspects of life namely religion, politics, economy, and society. His was a clear and coherent writing pertaining to Islam and raising issues relating to Muslims in general and Indian Muslims in particular in the first half of the twentieth century. It all began concerning the future of his own native Hyderabad State in the Deccan, southern India. His view on Islam and the future of Muslims in British India have been the subject of numerous polemics, paeans and academic works.
He spent ten years (1917–27) in central and north India and worked for various newspapers: Madinab of Bijnor (1918), Taj of Jabalpur (1920), Muslim (1922 –23) and finally editor of al-Jam’iyyat, Delhi (1925) the official newspaper of the ulema of the Indian subcontinent. In 1928, he moved back to Hyderabad for a period of ten years.
The collapse of the Khilafat movement in 1924 was a turning point in his life. He now believed that it was his duty to lead his community to political and religious salvation. He proposed a program for safeguarding and promoting Muslim rights and advocated a separate homeland for Indian Muslims. In 1941 he had formed Jamat-i-Islami, which is even now a formidable force in Pakistan. As a result of his political activism, he had to go to jail several times in 1948 and 1967.
Sayyid Mawdudi was born in Aurangabad, India, (the family had settled there though they belonged to Delhi), and was raised in religious environment and that permanently imprinted his heart and mind. He was educated at home in Urdu, Arabic and Islamic texts. He died in New York and his funeral took place in Lahore that drew a crowd of over a million. The house where Maulana was born and raised has now been acquired and made a centre of Islamic da’wah. The ancestral home, named as “Maulana Mawdudi House” opened its doors on 23 July 2000.
Sayyid Maududi (ra) is author of more than 100 books on Islamic Fiqah, history, Tafseer, biography, political science, and Da’wa. He wrote a pamphlet Qadiani Masla – for which he was sentenced to death by the first military dictator, General Ayyub Khan.
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