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Mawdudi, Abu'l-a'la’ (1903–1979)

A seminal figure in Islamist thought and organization, Abu'l-a'la’ Mawdudi influenced several generations of Muslim activists in South Asia and beyond. He is especially well known for his rejection of Western-style modernization and insistence on Muslim societies adopting a political system rooted in Islam. (“Mawdudi” is also transliterated as “Maududi” or “Maudoodi,” and he is often referred to as “Maulana Mawdudi.”)

Mawdudi came of age in an India rife with anti-imperialist politics and heightened (religious) communal identities. After his father's death, he left school to take up journalism. Early in his career, Mawdudi wrote for nationalist publications that supported the Congress Party's vision of independence. It was his involvement with the failed Khilafat movement—a body of nationalist-minded Indian Muslims organized around a proOttoman and anti-British politics—that ...

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