UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The political thought of Abul A'la Maududi and the limits of the secular Islam, Jaan


This thesis is an analysis of the political thought of Abul A’la Maududi (d. 1979), a theologian and political theorist who formed one of the strongest movements of Islamist thought in the 20th century. Facing the dilemma of the modern nation-state vis-à-vis its centralizing and homogenizing tendencies in the post-colonial Muslim context, Maududi offered a solution to the problems concerning the inability of many of these countries to build a national vision, often the same problems experienced in so-called secular nation-states (i.e., white Europe and North America). It is argued that Maududi recognized the inability of any coherent group of people to create such a national vision. In his view, this is compounded by – and in many ways the impetus for – ideological conflict in Muslim countries resulting from an inability to realize the Divine Will. That is, for Maududi, this was a theological issue as much as it was a quest for peace and coherence in the nascent nation-state of Pakistan in which he was writing. It is argued that despite the problematic areas, Maududi’s theory provides an alternative solution by proposing an alternative to the nation-state by realizing the Divine Will through the cultivation of moral selves – which to date has remained a mere wistful longing of many post-modern theorists.

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