Thursday, 30 November 2017

Mawdudi: "Except for My Tiny Jama'at Rest of the Muslim World is Ignorant of Islam"


In the Name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

 

Salutations of Peace and Blessings upon our Beloved Prophet and Master Muhammad and upon His Family and Progeny

 

In a previous entry I exposed Mawdudi's cynical view of the Muslim Umma, regarding whom he said: ''They cannot distinguish between Islam and non-Islam'' (Musalman aur Mojuda Siasi Kashmakash, p. 26). Mawdudi in fact considered himself and his small Jama'at as the only ones who truly understand the reality and spirit of Islam:

اور یہی جہالت ہم ایک نہایت قلیل جماعت کے سوا مشرق سے لے کر مغرب تک مسلمانوں میں عام دیکھ رہے ہیں، خواہ وہ ان پڑھ عوام ہوں، یا دستار بند علماء یا خرقہ پوش مشائخ، یا کالجوں اور یونیورٹیوں کے تعلیم یافتہ حضرات۔ ان سب کے خیالات اور طور طریقے ایک دوسرے بدرجہا مختلف ہیں، مگر اسلام کی حقیقت اور اس کی روح سے ناواقف ہونے میں یہ سب یکساں ہیں۔

''Except for an extremely small Jama'at, we see this ignorance widespread among the Muslims from East to West. Whether they are the illiterate masses, turbaned Ulama, patched-frock wearing (Sufi) Masha'ikh, or college or university educated gentlemen; their ideas and behavior may be different from each other, but they are all united in having no understanding of Islam's reality and its spirit.'' (Tafhimat; v. 1, p. 45)


 

These statements of Mawdudi reveal his exclusivist attitude and contempt for the general body of the Muslim Umma. This mass Tajhil of the Muslim Umma from the likes of Mawdudi and those affected by his Fikr, such as Syed Qutb is in fact what gave rise to the contemporary Fitna of mass Takfir (excommunication) of whole Muslim societies by the radical Jama'aat (groups). While it is certainly true that at present the majority of the Muslim Umma may be characterized as negligent in their duties to Allah, and as having nowhere near the level of faith and piety of previous generations of Muslims, there is a fine line between understanding this reality and making either Tajhil or worse, Takfir, of whole Muslim societies. Though Mawdudi has not explicitly made Takfir of the Muslim Umma, he accuses all of the Muslims, with the self-serving exception of his own Jama'at, of being totally ignorant of the reality of Islam. This is a dangerous view which logically leads to the attitude of Takfir and Khuruj.

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