Nasr examines the life and thought of Mawlana Mawdudi, one of the first and most important Islamic ideological thinkers. Mawdudi was the first to develop a modern political Islamic ideology, and a plan for social action to realize his vision. The prolific writings and indefatigable efforts of Mawdudi's party, the Jamaat-i-Islami, first in India and later in Pakistan, have disseminated his ideas far and wide. His views have informed revivalism from Morocco to Malaysia. Nasr discerns the events that led Mawdudi to a revivalist perspective, and probes the structure of his thought, in order to gain fresh insights into the origins of Islamic revivalism. He argues that Islamic revivalism did not simply develop as a cultural rejection of the West, rather it was closely tied to questions of communal politics and its impact on identity formation, discourse of power in plural societies, and nationalism. Mawdudi's discourse, though aimed at the West, was motivated by Muslim-Hindu competition for power in British India. His aim, according to Nasr, was to put forth a view of Islam whose invigorated, pristine, and uncompromising outlook would galvanize Muslims into an ideologically uniform and hence politically indivisible community. In time, this view developed a life of its own and evolved into an all-encompassing perspective on society and politics, and has been a notable force in South Asia and Muslim life and thought across the Muslim world.
- Publication Date:
- 26 / 10 / 1995