Abul-Alaa Mawdudi (1903-1979) was the founder and first Amir of the so called Jama’at-e-Islami, a radical Islamist political party which has never been successful in achieving its stated aims since its founding in the 1940s (more than seventy years ago).
Mawdudi’s real disservice to Islam, however, was his introduction of a new and dangerous ideology into the Muslim Ummah which has caused nothing but destruction and misguidance. Mawdudi inspired men like Syed Qutb, who in turned inspired with his writings the modern phenomena of “Islamic” terrorism. The origins of modern-day “Islamic” terrorism, political violence, turmoil and Takfir (excommunication of other Muslims) lies in the pen of Mawdudi.
With utmost regret, many Muslims praise the writings of Mawdudi as being a “breeze of fresh air” in contrast to the “stifling” atmosphere and “staleness” of traditional Islamic thought. They particularly praise a few of his “monumental” works such as his commentary of the Holy Qur’an entitled Tafhim ul-Qur’an.
However, after having reviewed this so called monumental commentary and explanation of the Holy Qur’an, I come to the conclusion that Mawdudi has not brought anything “fresh” or “groundbreaking” as is allegedly claimed.
In fact Mawdudi’s interpretation and explanation of the Holy Qur’an is quite superficial, ordinary and lacking in any real deep insight.
For example, his commentary of Surah al-Fatihah, which is the “Mother of the Qur’an” and the most virtuous and powerful Surah in the entire Book of Allah, is only a measly three pages!
Mawdudi in fact betrays his extreme arrogance and disingenuity throughout the pages of his so called “Tafsir”.
Whatever Mawdudi is unable to explain due to his woeful lack of knowledge and wisdom he dismisses out of hand as being “unimportant” and unworthy of deep study and attention. For example, with respect to the Huruf al-Muqatta’at (the disjointed letters which appear as verses of the Holy Qur’an at the beginning of certains Surahs), Mawdudi writes:
لیکن یہ ظاہر ہے کہ نہ تو ان حروف کا مفہوم سمجھنے پر قرآن سے ہدایت حاصل کرنے کا انحصار ہے اور نہ یہی بات ہے کہ اگر کوئی شخص ان کے معنی نہ جانے گا تو اس کے راہ راست پانے میں کوئی نقص رہ جائے گا۔ لہذا ایک عام ناظر کے لیے کچھ ضروری نہیں ہے کہ وہ ان کی تحقیق میں سرگردان ہے۔
Translation: “But it is evident that understanding the meaning of these Letters (Huruf al-Muqatta’at) is not necessary for acquiring guidance from the Qur’an. If anyone does not know their meaning it is not a deterrent to him finding the right path. Therefore, for an ordinary viewer it is not necessary at all that he should busy himself in researching these Letters.”
Reference: Tafheem-ul-Qur’an; v.1 p.49
When confronted about his scandalous dismissal of the importance of studying and researching the meaning of the Letters that appear throughout the Holy Qur’an, Mawdudi defended himself by saying:
یہ حروف چونکہ خطیبانہ بلاغت کی شان رکھتے ہیں اور ان میں کوئی خاص حکم یا کوئی خاص تعلیم ارشاد نہیں ہوئی ہے۔ اس لئے اگر آدمی ان کا مطلب نہ سمجھ سکے تو اس کا یہ نقصان نہیں ہے کہ وہ اللہ تعالی کے کسی حکم کو جاننے سے یا کسی تعلیم کا فائدہ اٹھانےسے محروم رہ گیا۔
Translation: “Because these Letters [Huruf al-Muqatta’at], are an expression of oratory eloquence, and they do not contain any particular command or any particular knowledge, that is why if a man fails to understand their meaning it does not hurt him in the sense of being deprived of knowing some command of Allah Most High or from benefitting from any piece of knowledge.”
(Rasa’il-o-Masa’il; Part 2, P. 82)
In summary, Mawdudi claims that the purpose of these Huruf al-Muqatta’at is only for eloquence, otherwise, they do not contain any hidden meaning, any knowledge, and command, and therefore if a person fails to grasp their meaning or significance he is in no way deprived of any beneficial thing.
In opposition to this, Allah Most High says:
إِنَّ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا
Translation: Verily this Qur'an directs you to the path that is straight, and gives happy tidings to those who believe and do the right: For them is a great reward. (Surah 17:9)
Hence, the entire Holy Qur’an, from cover to cover, its every verse, its every word and every letter is such that it is a means of guidance to the Straight Path. To dismiss any part of the Holy Qur’an as inconsequential to a person’s guidance and as not necessary or beneficial in knowledge is a grave heresy and misguidance which Mawdudi has brought due to his pride and ego.
The following verse of the Holy Qur’an therefore applies to his fallacious ideas:
أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ
Translation: “Do you then believe a part of the Book and reject a part?” (Surah 2:85)
الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا الْقُرْآنَ عِضِينَ
Translation: “Those who have made the Qur’an into fragments” (Surah 15:91)