Review of book on Mawdudi
Milli Gazette Online
I have read the review of my book Between Muslim Nationalists and Nationalist Muslim: Mawdudi Thoughts on Indian Muslims, (New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies, 2004), by Yoginder Sikand and the attached note to it by Zafarul Islam Khan in The Milli Gazette (1-15 January 2005), p. 28; as well as the comments by Syed Shahabuddin under the titled ‘The Maudoodi Formula of 1938’ in two parts published in The Milli Gazette (01-15 February 2005, p. 12-13, and 16-28 February 2005), p. 12. Sikand’s review is simply dishonest and appalling. He imputes words to Mawlana that he never uttered. No wonder he does not even once quote directly from my text or the Maulana’s own texts that I have introduced and translated. Instead Sikand merely rehashes the old lies about the Mawlana, in particular in the following lines Thus, he suggested that even if Hindus decided to establish a Hindu raj and impose the cruel laws of Manu on the lower castes and the Muslims, it was not for Muslims to protest! Where can he find this line in my book? Sikand merely repeats Justice Muhammad Munir’s imputed remarks to that effect in the Lahore court without verifying directly from Mawdudis own writings. Unlike Sikand, I have reproduced extracts from the Maulanas letter dated 20 August 1962, to Najatullah Siddiqi in my book, p. 78, which read: There is a fair amount of distortion in things attributed to me in Munir Report. Actually I did not say that Manus Dharma Shastra be introduced in India and that I would concur with the treatment of Muslims as Mlechhas and Shudras. In fact these were [Justice Muhammad] Munir Sahib’s own remarks which he attributed to me. I have alluded to only one and the most obvious error in Sikand’s review. A closer reading of Sikand’s review reveals that he is rattling off his own views on Mawdudi rather than sticking to the task of reviewing someone else’s work. He is entitled to his views even when mis/ill-informed, but he has clearly succumbed to the temptation of expressing his views on the wrong forum, a book review, rather than attending to the matter at hand.
Zafarul Islam Khan is wrong when he says that Mawdudi stuck to what he calls Abbasid fiqhi and ideas of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. These ideas that he attributes to the Maulana are not in any of Mawdudis own writings. As to Sayyid Muhammad Miyan’s refutation of Mawdudi, let me remind him that Miyan wrote this offensively-titled diatribe Fitana-yi Mawdudiyat, in 1975/76 during the infamous Emergency of Indira Gandhi when Jamaat leaders were in jail and communication with Pakistan was poor. Miyan’s diatribe drew a sharp rebuke from Mawlana Said Ahmad Akbarabadi, a respected alim and editor of Burhan, no particular admirer of Mawdudi or the Jamaat. In a review of the Miyan’s book in Burhan February 1977 Akbarabadi berated the author for his mean-spirited misrepresentation of Mawdudi’s view at a time when neither he nor the Indian Jamaat could respond. In the truly Islamic spirit, I can only pray that Allah (SWT) forgive the late Miyan for his awful transgressions.
As to Syed Shahabuddin’s characterisation of Mawdudi’s prescription of 1947 as abdication of civil and political right, was no more than a suggestion at a time when anti-Muslim hysteria was at its height under Patel and his minions. I also regret that someone so sober and thoughtful as Syed Shahabuddin has chosen to repeat the remarks attributed to Mawdudi when I have established from the Mawdudi's own writings to the contrary. The first task in any review is to quote directly from the text under scrutiny rather than an occasion for airing one's own views.
Editor: I think you have not seen Maulana Maududi's "fatwa" published in Tarjamanul Quran (Lahore, June 1951) in which he advised Pakistanis that there is no inheritance between Muslims of India and Pakistan, that Pakistanis should divorce their spouses remaining in India and that there should be no further marriages between the Muslims of India and Pakistan (see my book, Hijrah in Islam, Delhi 1997, fn 171, p. 240). Zindagi (Rampur, September 1951) refuted this. Muhammad Miyan's Do zaruri mas'alay (Deoband 1957) was a reaction to this "fatwa".
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