- 1903 - Born in Aurangabad, Hyderabad Deccan, India
- 1918 - Started career as journalist in Bijnore newspaper
- 1920 - Appointed as editor of the daily Taj, Jabalpur
- 1925 - Appointed as editor daily Muslim
- 1925 - Appointed as editor Al-jameeah, New Delhi
- 1927 - Wrote the blockbuster book of the history Al- Jihad fil Islam
- 1930 - Wrote and published the famous booklet Deenyat
- 1932 - Started Tarjuman-ul-Qur'an from Hyderabad (India)
- 1938 - Moved to “Pathankot”, established Darul Islam
- 1941 - Foundation meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, appointed as Amir
- 1942 - Jamaat's headquarters moved to Pathankot
- 1943 - Started writing a Tafseer of the Qur'an called Tafhim-ul-Quran
- 1947 - Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Headquarter moved to Lahore (Ichhra)
- 1948 - Campaign for Islamic constitution and government
- 1948 - Wrote a booklet Qadiani Problem
- 1948 - Sentenced to Jail by the Government
- 1949 - Government accepted Jamaat's resolution for Islamic Constitution
- 1953 - Sentenced to death for his historical part in the agitation against Ahmadiyah. He was sentenced to death by a military court, but it never carried out;
- 1953 - Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment and later canceled.
- 1955 - Released from jail
- 1958 - Jamaat-e-Islami banned by Martial Law Administrator Field Martial Ayub Khan
- 1964 - Sentenced to jail
- 1964 - Released from jail
- 1971 - Ordered his followers to fight to save United Pakistan along with Pak Army.
- 1972 - Completed Tafhim-ul-Quran
- 1972 - Resigned as Ameer-e-Jamaat
- 1979 - Departed to United States for Medical Treatment
- 1979 - Died in United States 
- 1979 - Buried in Ichhra, Lahore
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Mawdudi was one of the descendants of Khwaja Qutb ad-din Mawdud al-Chishti, a notable of the Chishtiyya Tariqa. Hazrat Muinuddin al-Chishti of Ajmar (Rahmatullahi 'Alayh) was Qutb ad-din's caliph, one of those who were ordered and given permission by him to guide the people who wanted to learn.
Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was born on September 25, 1903 (Rajab 3, 1321 AH) in Aurangabad, then part of the princely state of Hyderabad (presently Maharashtra), India. Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was born to Maulana Ahmad Hasan, a lawyer by profession. Unfortunately, little is known regarding his mother. Given his later writings on gender and women, knowing the pattern of gender relations he witnessed in the home would be of value to scholars. Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was the youngest of his three brothers. His father was "descended from the Chishti line of saints; in fact his last name was derived from the first member of the Chishti Silsilah i.e. Khawajah Syed Qutb ul-Din Maudood Chishti (d. 527 AH)
At an early age, Maududi was given home education, he "received religious nurture at the hands of his father and from a variety of teachers employed by him." He soon moved on to formal education, however, and completed his secondary education from Madrasah Furqaniyah. For his undergraduate studies he joined Darul Uloom, Hyderabad (India). His undergraduate studies, however, were disrupted by the illness and death of his father, and he completed his studies outside of the regular educational institutions. His instruction included very little of the subject matter of a modern school, such as European languages, like English. Also, he mastered so much Arabic that he translated Qasim Amin's The New Woman into Urdu when he was only 14 or, even more astonishing, about 3500 pages from the celebrated mystical Persian thinker Mulla Sadra's work Asfar, always in his youth.
After the interruption of his formal education, Maududi turned to journalism in order to make his living. In 1918, he was already contributing to a leading Urdu newspaper, and in 1920, at the age of 17, he was appointed editor of Taj, which was being published from Jabalpore (now Madhya Pradesh). Late in 1920, Maududi went to Delhi and first assumed the editorship of the newspaper Muslim (1921-23), and later of al-Jam’iyat (1925-28), both of which were the organs of the Jam’iyat-i Ulama-i Hind, an organization of Muslim religious scholars.
Founding the Jamaat-e-Islami
In 1941, Maududi founded Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in British India as a religious political movement to promote Islamic values and practices. After the Partition of India, JI was redefined in 1947 to support an Islamic State in Pakistan. JI is currently the oldest religious party in Pakistan.
With the Partition of India, JI split into several groups. The organisation headed by Maududi is now known as Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. Also existing are Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami , and autonomous groups in Indian Kashmir, also in Sri Lanka.All of them are closely linked and work in cohesion and harmony.
In the beginning of the struggle for the state of Pakistan, Maudidi and his party were not against the idea of creating a separate state of Pakistan. He did criticize other leaders of the Muslim league for wanting Pakistan to be a state for Muslims and not an Islamic state. After realizing that India was going to be partitioned and Pakistan created, he began to support the idea. Maududi moved to Pakistan in 1947 and worked to turn it into an Islamic state, resulting in frequent arrests and long periods of incarceration. In 1953, he was sentenced to death on the charge of writing a seditious pamphlet about the Ahmadiyya issue. He turned down the opportunity to file a petition for mercy, expressing a preference for death rather than seeking clemency. Strong public pressure ultimately convinced the government to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. Eventually, his sentence was annulled.
In April 1979, Maududi's long-time kidney ailment worsened and by then he also had heart problems. He went to the United States for treatment and was hospitalized in Buffalo, New York, where his second son worked as a physician. During his hospitalization, he remained intellectually active.
Following a few surgical operations, he died on September 22, 1979, at the age of 76. His funeral was held in Buffalo, but he was buried in an unmarked grave at his residence in Ichhra, Lahore after a very large funeral procession through the city.
Islamic beliefs and ideology
Maududi wrote over 120 books and pamphlets and made over a 1000 speeches and press statements. His magnum opus was the 30 years in progress translation (tafsir) in Urdu of the Qur’an, Tafhim al-Qur’an (The Meaning of the Qur'an), intended to give the Qur’an a practical contemporary interpretation. It became widely read throughout the subcontinent and has been translated into several languages.
Mawdudi believed that jihad was worldwide in scope
“A time will come when Communism will fear for its survival in Moscow, Capitalistic democracy will tremble for its safety in Washington and New York. ... The objective of Islamic Jihad is to put an end to the dominance of the un-Islamic systems of government and replace them with Islamic rule, Islam intends to bring about this revolution not in one country or in a few countries but in the entire world.”
and explained jihad was not only combat for God but all effort that helped those waging combat (not undermining the importance of combat (Qita'al):
“In the jihad in the way of Allah, active combat is not always the role on the battlefield, nor can everyone fight in the front line. Just for one single battle preparations have often to be made for decades on end and the plans deeply laid, and while only some thousands fight in the front line there are behind them millions engaged in various tasks which, though small themselves, contribute directly to the supreme effort.”
Mawdudi saw Muslims not as people who followed the religion of Islam, but as everything, "Everything in the universe is 'Muslim' for it obeys God by submission to His laws." The only exception to this universe of Muslims were human beings who failed to follow Islam. In regard to the non-Muslim:
“His very tongue which, on account of his ignorance advocates the denial of God or professes multiple deities, is in its very nature 'Muslim' ... The man who denies God is called Kafir (concealer) because he conceals by his disbelief what is inherent in his nature and embalmed in his own soul. His whole body functions in obedience to that instinct… Reality becomes estranged from him and he gropes in the dark".
Maududi believed that without Sharia law Muslim society could not be Islamic:
That if an Islamic society consciously resolves not to accept the Sharia, and decides to enact its own constitution and laws or borrow them from any other source in disregard of the Sharia, such a society breaks its contract with God and forfeits its right to be called 'Islamic.'"
Maududi also believed that Islam required the establishment of an Islamic state. The state would be a "theo-democracy," and underlying it would be three principles: tawhid (oneness of God), risala (prophethood) and khilafa (caliphate).
The "sphere of activity" covered by the Islamic state would be "co-extensive with human life ... In such a state no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private."
The state would follow Sharia Islamic law, a complete system covering
family relationships, social and economic affairs, administration, rights and duties of citizens, judicial system, laws of war and peace and international relations. In short it embraces all the various departments of life ... The Sharia is a complete scheme of life and an all-embracing social order where nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking.
Consequently, while this state has a legislature which the ruler must consult, its function "is really that of law-finding, not of law-making."
Mawdudi believed that the sovereignty of God (hakimiya) and the sovereignty of the people are mutually exclusive. Therefore, he declared Islamic democracy to be the antithesis of secular Western democracy which transfers hakimiya(God's sovereignty) to the people.
The rights of non-Muslims are sacrosanct, and cannot be violated. In this book, Human Rights in Islam, he states, "...when we speak of human rights in Islam we really mean that these rights have been granted by God; they have not been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly. The rights granted by the kings or the legislative assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in which they are conferred. The same is the case with the rights accepted and recognized by the dictators. They can confer them when they please and withdraw them when they wish; and they can openly violate them when they like. But since in Islam human rights have been conferred by God, no legislative assembly in the world, or any government on earth has the right or authority to make any amendment or change in the rights conferred by God. No one has the right to abrogate them or withdraw them. Nor are they the basic human rights which are conferred on paper for the sake of show and exhibition and denied in actual life when the show is over. Nor are they like philosophical concepts which have no sanctions behind them."
The rights of non-Muslims are limited under Islamic state as laid out in Maududi's writings. Although non-Muslim "faith, ideology, rituals of worship or social customs" would not be interfered with, non-Muslims would have to accept Muslim rule. 
Non-Muslims would also have to pay a special tax known as jizya if they are able. This tax is applicable to all able adult Non-Muslims, except old and women, who do not render military service. Those who serve in military are exempted. It must be noted that all adult Muslim men are subject to compulsory military service, whenever required by the Islamic State. Jizya is thus seen as a protection tax payable to the Islamic State for protection of those those Non-Muslims adult men who do not render military service.
Maududi believed that copying cultural practices of non-Muslims was forbidden in Islam, having
very disastrous consequences upon a nation; it destroys its inner vitality, blurs its vision, befogs its critical faculties, breeds inferiority complexes, and gradually but assuredly saps all the springs of culture and sounds its death-knell. That is why the Holy Prophet has positively and forcefully forbidden the Muslims to assume the culture and mode of life of the non-Muslims.
Criticism and controversy
A general complaint of one critic is that Maududi's theo-democracy is an
ideological state in which legislators do not legislate, citizens only vote to reaffirm the permanent applicability of God's laws, women rarely venture outside their homes lest social discipline be disrupted, and non-Muslims are tolerated as foreign elements required to express their loyalty by means of paying a financial levy.
On a more conceptual level, journalist and author Abelwahab Meddeb questions the basis of Maududi's reasoning that the sovereignty of the truly Islamic state must be divine and not popular, saying "Mawdudi constructed a coherent political system, which follows wholly from a manipulation." The manipulation is of the Arabic word hukm, usually defined as to "exercise power as governing, to pronounce a sentence, to judge between two parties, to be knowledgeable (in medicine, in philosophy), to be wise, prudent, of a considered judgment." The Quran contains the phrase `Hukm is God's alone,` thus, according to Maududi, God - in the form of Sharia law - must govern. But Meddeb argues that a full reading of the ayah where the phrase appears reveals that it refers to God's superiority over pagan idols, not His role in government.
Those who you adore outside of Him are nothing but names that you and your fathers have given them. God has granted them no authority. Hukm is God's alone. He has commanded that you adore none but Him. Such is the right religion, but most people do not know. [Qur'an 12:40]
"Great Muslim scholars of India of every madhhab congregated at Jamiyyat al-'Ulama' in Delhi on the 27th of Shawwal, 1370 (August 1, 1951) and reached the conclusion that Mawdudi and his Al-Jamaat al-Islamiyya caused the destruction and deviation of Muslims and published this fatwa (decision) in a book and in papers." And the scholars of Pakistan passed a resolution that Mawdudi was a heretic who tried to make others heretics; this resolution was edited once again in the Akhbar al-Jamiyya in Rawalpindi on the 22nd of February, 1396 (1976)." 
Maududi has been criticised by salafist author Jamaal Ibn Fareehaan al-Haarithee for "rejection of the Dajjal", as Maududi is alleged to have claimed  that the prophet Muhammad "used to think that the Dajjaal (Anti-Christ) would come out in his time, or close to his time. However, 1350 years passed away and many long generations came and went, yet the Dajjaal did not come out. So it is confirmed that what the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) thought did not prove true!!”  Maududi's alleged believed in this theory was explained by its being an "opinion and analogical deduction" of Muhammad while al-Haarithee considers this shirk (polytheism) as the Quran says “And he does not speak from his own desire. It is revelation inspired to him.” 
In an article entitled Fatwa about the Deviation of Mawdudi, Mawdudi is accused of being "CIA agent"; of attempting to solve "the main principles of Islam" using "his own reason," and departing from "Islamic knowledge"; and of preaching revolution when, "Islam would spread not through revolution but through knowledge, justice and morals."
Mawdudi's influence was widespread. According to historian Philip Jenkins, Egyptians Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb read him. Qutb "borrowed and expanded" Mawdudi's concept of jahiliyya (pagan ignorance) being a modern as well as pre-Muhammadan phenomenon, and of the need for an Islamist revolutionary vanguard movement. His ideas influenced Abdullah Azzam, the Palestinian Islamist jurist, who in turn influenced the young Osama bin Laden during the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan. The South Asian diaspora, including "significant numbers" in Britain, were "hugely influenced" by Mawdudi's work. Mawdudi even had a major impact on Shia Iran, where Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is reputed to have met Mawdudi as early as 1963 and later translated his works into Farsi. "To the present day, Iran's revolutionary rhetoric often draws on his themes." 
Mostly, however, Mawdudi influenced South Asia. In Pakistan, Jamaati party members joined Pakistan's military and intelligence establishments in large numbers, which were "rife with hard-line Islamist views" by the 1970s.