When the world used to believe that Islam is just a set of rituals like other religions, a man came and crushed this idea with his writings and vision. Aurangabad, the oft-celebrated town in the former Indian princely state of Hyderabad, has become noted for being the birthplace of the remarkable champion of Islam and an institution in himself –Maulana Abul Ala Maududi.
At the tender age of four years, Maududi was already offering 5 daily prayers in the mosque alongside his father. Under his father’s guidance he was able to memorise the complete holy Quran and the Muwatta of Imam Malik. His academic performance always distinguished him from his classmates and his father spared no effort or expense in ensuring that his son received the best of instruction and training from the comport of his own home. After his father passed away, the daily hardships and increased poverty led Maududi to subsequently discontinue his education for want of resources.
Great people are remembered but legends are loved and never forgotten. Maududi was the author of a hundred plus books and a thousand plus essays which have since been printed and translated into different languages, some notable ones including Tafhim Al Quran, Khilafat o Mulukiyat, Insaan ki Haqiqat, Sood, Pardah, Sunnat ki Aayeni Haisiyat (An effective response to Munkareen-e-Hadith). His legacy and influence continue to inspire and motivate Muslims to pure Islamic principles and orthodoxy in a world that is rapidly in favour of excluding Islamic principles and influence from the realms of public opinion and policy.
He had no time for people who used to degrade his noble personality. He never responded to rudeness and fatwas of mullahs who continuously tried to contaminate his public figure. In fact, he spent most of his time in reading and translating classical Islamic texts as well as authoring his own literature in Urdu and English. One of his most notable works during the 1920’s came in the wake of popular rhetoric against Islam and the claim that Islam was spread by the sword only. The Maulana wrote his famous masterpiece, Al Jihad Fil Islam (Jihad in Islam) in which he explained and demonstrated principles and rules of true Jihad.
The Maulana spent most of his life in the service of Islam. He suffered harm, poverty, rejection and imprisonment for his ideology and principles, like challenging nationalism, defending Khatm-e-Nubuwat, criticising Westernisation (after meeting Allama Iqbal), yet his efforts were not hampered by these trials and tribulations. Syed Maududi, through his writings, influenced countless people around the globe. He presented a holistic vision of Islam, and also provided a scholarly critique of Western ideologies. The historical task that Maulana Maududi did was to strongly reject Socialism, Secularism, Imperialism and all other “isms” and bring forth Islam as the perfect way of life for entire humanity.
His intellectual abilities earned him much more honour and admiration not only in India and Pakistan but across the globe. There are people who speak ill of great personalities. Be aware that such people have a disease in their hearts. Hope Allah pardons them or changes their mind.
Let me summarise with the golden words of WC Smith: “The most significant contribution of Maulana Maududi has been the gradual and continual elaboration of an impressive system of ideas. He is the most systematic thinker of Islam. It is because of the impact of Maulana Maududi that even those who have differed from him have come increasingly to premise that there is an Islamic system of economics, an Islamic political system, and an Islamic constitution.” [from ‘Islam in Modern Age’ by Wilfred Cantwell Smith (page 235)]
The writer is a former student at Department of Chemistry, University of Kashmir, Srinagar. [email protected]