Chapter

Political Theory of Islam

Mawdd Ab-L-Al

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Political Theory of Islam

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Mawln Mawdd received an early traditional religious education, which was supplemented by his self-taught knowledge of Western thought. He pursued a career in journalism and in 1933 assumed editorship of Tarjuman al-Qur'n [Exegesis of the Quran], which throughout the years served as a vehicle of his thought. He has been perhaps the most systematic modern Muslim writer, and his many writings have been translated into English and Arabic and circulated throughout the Muslim world. In 1941 Mawdd established the Jamat-i-Islm [the Islamic Association], an extremely well organized association committed to the reestablishment of an Islamic world order or society (politi-cally, legally, and socially). Although originally against any form of nationalism and thus opposed to the establishment of Pakistan, Mawdd nevertheless migrated to Pakistan, after the partitioning, where the Jamat-i-Islm has been very active in politics.

In a work written near the end of his life, Mawdudi incisively rejects the practice, which he believes to be too common among Muslims, of being defensive and apologetic about their faith when the issues of democracy, social justice, and other concepts basic to political theory in the modern period are raised. He then discusses the main principles of Islamic political theory as he sees it: (1) Gods oneness and His sovereignty; (2) the human beings obedience to divine law; (3) theo-democracy, meaning the government of God as conducted by the common believers themselves, rather than by priests; (4) constraints upon the believers to order their economic activities, personal status matters, and the like on the basis of divine ordinances; (5) the confinement of rulers to the role of mere commissioners of God and whose only powers are for the purpose of implementing divine commands; (6) the assignment of rule to the whole community (with the assumption of office by rulers predicated only on their implementing Islamic law).

Chapter.  4333 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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