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Jamaat e Islami
جماعتِ اسلامی
Abul ala maududi.jpg
Founder of Jamaat e Islami
Founded Aurangabad, Hyderabad, British India
Founder Syed Abul Ala Maududi
Typereligious organisation
Purpose Islamic conservatism
Syed Jalaluddin Umri
Quran, Hadith, Sunnah

Jamaat-e-Islami (Urdu: جماعتِ اسلامی) is an Islamist political and right-wing Muslim nationalist movement founded in 1941 in British India by the Islamist theologian and socio-political philosopher, Abul Ala Maududi. [1] Along with the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, Jamaat-e-Islami was one of the original and most influential Islamist organisations, [2] and the first of its kind to develop "an ideology based on the modern revolutionary conception of Islam". [3]

Muslim Brotherhood Transnational Sunni Islamist organization

The Society of the Muslim Brothers, better known as the Muslim Brotherhood, is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928. Al-Banna's teachings spread far beyond Egypt, influencing today various Islamist movements from charitable organizations to political parties—not all using the same name.


The group split into separate independent organisations in India and PakistanJamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind—following the Partition of India in 1947. Other groups related to or inspired by Jamaat-e-Islami developed in Bangladesh, Kashmir, Britain, and Afghanistan (see below). The Jamaat-e-Islami parties maintain ties internationally with other Muslim groups. [4]

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Pakistan federal parliamentary constitutional republic in South Asia

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometres. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the far northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.

Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Pakistani political party

Jamaat-e-Islami,, abbreviated JI, is a socially conservative and Islamist political party based in Pakistan. Its objective is the transformation of Pakistan into an Islamic state, governed by Sharia law, through a gradual legal, and political process. JI strongly opposes capitalism, communism, liberalism, socialism and secularism as well as economic practices such as offering bank interest. JI is a vanguard party: its members form an elite with "affiliates" and then "sympathizers" beneath them. The party leader is called an ameer. Although it does not have a large popular following, the party is quite influential and considered one of the major Islamic movements in Pakistan, along with Deobandi and Barelvi.

Maududi was the creator and leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, which became the spearhead of the movement to transform Pakistan from a Muslim homeland into an Islamic state. Though he opposed the creation of Pakistan fearing the liberalism of its founders and the British-trained administrators, he later accepted it as a gradual step to the Islamization of its laws and constitution even though he had earlier condemned the Muslim League for the same approach. Madudi like the traditionalist ulama regarded the six canonical hadiths and the Quran, and also accepted much of the dogma of the four schools of fiqh . His efforts focused on transforming to a "theo-democracy" based on the Sharia which would enforce things like abolition of interest-bearing banks, sexual separation, veiling of women, hadd penalties for theft, adultery, and other crimes. [5] The promotion of Islamic state by Maududi and Jamaat-e Islami had broad popular support. [6]

Islamic state type of government in which the primary basis for government is sharia (Islamic law)

The term Islamic state has been used to describe various historical polities and theories of governance in the Islamic world. As translation of the Arabic term dawlah islāmiyyah it refers to a modern notion associated with political Islam (Islamism).

All-India Muslim League political party within the Indian Empire

The All-India Muslim League was a political party established in 1906 in the British Indian Empire. Its strong advocacy for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state, Pakistan, successfully led to the partition of British India in 1947 by the British Empire.

Ulama Muslim legal scholar

In Sunni Islam, the ulama are the guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge, of Islamic doctrine and law.

Maududi created Jamaat-e-Islami with the objective of making post-colonial India (or a separate Muslim state if the Muslim League got its wish), an Islamic state. [7] Although this would be the result of an "Islamic revolution", the revolution was to be achieved not through a mass organising or a popular uprising but by what he called "Islamization from above", by winning over society's leaders through education and propaganda, and through putting the right people (Jamaat-e-Islami members) in positions of power. [8] [9] [10] incrementally and through legal means. [11] [12]

Maududi believed politics was "an integral, inseparable part of the Islamic faith". Islamic ideology and non-Islamic ideologies (such as capitalism and socialism, liberalism or secularism) were mutually exclusive. The creation of an Islamic state would be not only be an act of piety but would be a cure for all of the many (seemingly non-religious) social and economic problems that Muslims faced. [9] [10] Those working for an Islamic state would not stop at India or Pakistan but would effect a sweeping revolution among mankind, and control all aspects of the world's life. [13]

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

The influences of socialism and socialist movements in Pakistan have taken many different forms as a counterpart to political conservatism, from the groups like Lal Salam which is the Pakistani section of the International Marxist Tendency, The Struggle, to the Stalinist group like Communist Party through to the reformist electoral project enshrined in the birth of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.


Maududi opposed British rule but also opposed both the anti-colonialist Muslim nationalist Muslim League's proposal for a separate Muslim state led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and the "composite nationalism" (muttahida qaumiyyat) idea of Jam'iyyat al-Ulama-ye Hind and Deobandi scholar Husain Ahmad Madani for a united independent India with separate institutional structures for Hindus and Muslims. [14]

Muslim nationalism in South Asia the political and cultural expression of nationalism founded upon the religious tenets and identity of Islam of the Muslims of South Asia

Muslim nationalism in South Asia is the political and cultural expression of nationalism, founded upon the religious tenets and identity of Islam, of the Muslims of South Asia.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah Founder and 1st Governor General of Pakistan

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a lawyer, politician and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan's creation on 14 August 1947, and then as Pakistan's first Governor-General until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam and Baba-i-Qaum, "Father of the Nation"). His birthday is considered a national holiday in Pakistan.

Deobandi revivalist movement within Sunni Islam

Deobandi is a revivalist movement within Sunni Islam that started in South Asia. It is centered in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, has spread to the United Kingdom, and has a presence in South Africa. The name derives from Deoband, India, where the school Darul Uloom Deoband is situated. The movement was inspired by scholar Shah Waliullah Dehlawi (1703–1762), and it was founded in 1867 in the wake of the First War of Indian Independence in northern India a decade earlier.

Although Maududi believed Muslims formed a separate nation from the Hindus of India, he initially opposed the partition of India to create a "Muslim state" circumscribed to Muslim-majority regions, agitating instead for an "Islamic state" covering the whole of India [9] [15] —this despite the fact Muslims made up only about one quarter of India's population.

In his view Muslims were not one religious or communal group among many working to advance their social and economic interests, but a group `based upon principles and upon a theory` or ideology. A "righteous" party (or community) that had "a clearly defined ideology, allegiance to a single leader, obedience, and discipline", [16] would be able to transform the whole of India into Dar al-Islam. [16] Unlike the fascists and communists, once in power an Islamic state would not be oppressive or tyrannical, but instead just and benevolent to all, because its ideology was based on God's commands. [17] [18]

In 1940, the Muslim League met in Lahore and passed the Pakistan Resolution, calling for autonomous states in the Muslim majority areas of India. Maududi believed the nationalism in any form was un-Islamic, concerned with mundane interests of people and not Islam. [19] In response he launched his own party, Jamaat-e-Islami, founded on 26 August 1941, at Islamia Park, Lahore. [20] Seventy-five people attended the first meeting and became the first 75 members of the movement.

Maududi saw his group as a vanguard of Islamic revolution following the footsteps of early Muslims who gathered in Medina to found the first "Islamic state". [9] [10] Members uttered the Shahada , the traditional statement of conversion to Islam, when they joined, implying to some that Jama'ati felt they had been less-than-true Muslims before joining. [21] Jamaat-e-Islami was and is strictly and hierarchically organised in a pyramid-like structure. All supporters work toward the common goal of establishing an ideological Islamic society, particularly through educational and social work, under the leadership of the emir. [15] [22] Being a vanguard party, not all supporters could be members, only the elite. Below members were/are "affiliates", and "sympathizers" beneath them. The party leader is called an ameer (commander). [23]

Maududi sought to educate the elite of the Muslim community in the principles of Islam and correct "their erroneous ways of thinking" both because he believed societies were influenced from the top down. [24]

During the years before the partition of India, Jamaat-e-Islami stood aloof from the intense political fights of the time in India, concentrating on "training and organising" and refining and strengthening the structure of Jamaat-e-Islami. [25]

Groups associated with Jamaat-e-Islami

See also

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