THE ISLAMIC POLITY OF ABDUL A’LA MAWDUDI

Muzaffar Hussain

Abstract


Abdul A’la Mawdudi is an important exponent and interpreter of Islam. Mawdudi played important role in the expressions of several themes, which are very important in revivalist writings of Islam of the twentieth century. Like many revivalists of Islam, Mawdudi sought to present a programme for resuscitation of Muslims and for the removal of evils from world. His thought is premised on his understanding that the modern world with its specific principles and ideologies is the source of all evils and sufferings. His writings, which he derives from interpretation of Qur’an and other Islamic sources, are therefore in response to Western ideologies and provide an alternative to them. He seeks to present a reasoned critique of the modern world system particularly in its Western form and offers an alternative to it by presenting Islam as a system. This alternative, in his interpretation existed in the past in the form of the early Islamic state of the Prophet and the Caliphate. Therefore, his concern becomes that of reviving this early system of Islam. But, then his project is not of merely reviving the ideal Islamic past. It also involves modernisation of Islamic political thought to meet the challenges of the modern world. His writings reinterpret various Islamic principles so that they can be applied to modern setting. Driven by the concerns mentioned above, the writings of Sayyid Abdul Ala Mawdudi seek to provide an understanding of the modern world, its criticisms and an alternative. So his political thought- expressed in speeches and writings- present his understanding of modernity (particularly its ideologies), his understanding of Islam and finally his alternative to modernity, which is an Islamic system or polity. Mawdudi’s thought is an outcome of interpretation of Islam, which is consistent with the long tradition of Islamic thought and jurisprudence. This quest for alternative or revival makes Mawdudi offer a different understanding of Islam as an ideology and as a polity. In this regard, the paper seeks to map out the various aspects of Mawdudi’s political thought. It would explore the understanding of the modern world as reflected in his thought. The paper will present Mawdudi’s understanding of Islam as an alternative. Finally, the paper would explore Mawdudi’s process of change or revolution.

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