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From Holy Community to Political Party
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2. From Holy Community to Political Party

Following partition the Jama‘at continued to change; interacting more vigorously with other political forces, it refined and restructured its organizational design. The search for a successful political strategy led the party to sublimate ideological posturing in favor of more pragmatic politics. Ideological imperatives soon clashed with involvement in politics, creating tensions in the ranks. Those members interested in questions of principle revolted. The party was forced to reexamine its role and mission in Pakistan, reassessing the relative importance of religious ideals and political interests in its plan of action.

The Punjab Elections of 1951

Following the creation of Pakistan and Jama‘at’s move to Lahore, Mawdudi escalated the party’s involvement in politics just as he consolidated its identity and organizational structure. The Jama‘at grew in numbers during these years, but more important, it was able to do so with greater facility. It was no longer plagued with the kinds of problems of morale and discipline that had characterized its prepartition years. Difficulty, however, continued to loom on the horizon for a party which remained divided over the extent of the rights of its leader, its religious calling, and political agenda, and the question of ideological principles versus political interests. Even as late as 1951 the Jama‘at had described its plan of action as (1) the reform of the life and minds of individual Muslims, (2) organization and training of virtuous men, (3) social reform, and (4) reform of the government and the political structure.[1] Politics was not only listed last, but it could not be addressed until the first three phases of the plan had been completed. Until the end of the first decade of its existence, the Jama‘at remained a movement immersed in religious work; it strove to control the souls of men and eyed politics with awe and suspicion. Although it spoke of its political ideals, it stayed aloof from the day-to-day conduct of politics, preferring the seclusion of its holy community to the vicissitudes of action. It deliberately, for instance, avoided any involvement in the Indian national elections of 1945.[2]

The resolution of the conflict over the party’s ultimate aim continued to attract the attention of the Jama‘at’s leaders during an otherwise uneventful period in the party’s history following its move to Pakistan. It continued to operate as it had in its days in India. No longer inhibited by the fear of lending support to the Congress, it became bolder in its opposition to the Muslim League, but its politicization remained in the nature of moral guidance and the articulation of an ideal for Pakistan. It continued to rely on the power and appeal of its message and to operate more in the mold of a holy community than that of a political party. This was in keeping with Mawdudi’s reading of Jinnah’s success. Pakistan was the product not of the Muslim League’s efficacy as a political machine but of the appeal of Islam on the one hand and Jinnah’s ability to relay his vision to the multitude of Indian Muslims on the other. The Jama‘at therefore began its activity in Pakistan debating with the country’s founders and its citizens, hoping to replicate the intellectual and emotional process which Jinnah had initiated a decade earlier. The party’s emphasis remained on propaganda, and its campaign to publish its literature during those early years is indicative of its understanding of politics in Pakistan.

It was not long before the Jama‘at’s hopes for a quick and easy Islamization of Pakistan were dashed. Mawdudi’s political naïveté and the limits of the Jama‘at’s ingenuous political program began to show. Pakistan was not going to fall into the hands of the Jama‘at through propaganda alone; the party had to politicize its activities to stave off challenges from a hostile government and to push Pakistan toward an Islamic goal. Elections scheduled in Punjab for March 1951 provided the occasion for the Jama‘at to initiate a new plan of action and enter into an era of more direct political involvement.

Participation in elections and expanding the Jama‘at’s political horizons were questions that came before the party when Mawdudi was temporarily out of power. He had been put in prison for questioning the Islamicity of the state, and the party was being led by the two provisional amirs, ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan and ‘Abdu’l-Jabbar Ghazi. They put the matter before the shura’, which debated it extensively. Despite the opposition of some members to participating in the elections and associating with the political system, the shura’ sanctioned the party’s participation,[3] but did not put forward any candidates of its own. It would lend support to those candidates whom it deemed virtuous (salih)[4] as determined by voters’ councils (panchayats). Each of these councils would consist of fifty-three members, twenty-three of whom would be appointed by the Jama‘at. The role the Jama‘at chose in the elections was peculiar: it was not vying for its own political gain but fighting to prevent the election of those who would prevent it from gaining in the future. The party still saw its role as providing religious education and propaganda and regarded elections as merely a tool for sanitizing politics.

The election results were not a triumph for the Jama‘at. The candidates it favored collected only two hundred thousand votes in the thirty-seven constituencies in which it was active.[5] Either the people of Punjab had not heard the Jama‘at’s call or they had chosen to ignore it. Whichever the case, the Jama‘at was clearly dejected by the results, aside from Mawdudi, who saw gains even in defeat. The election, he argued, had served to propagate the Jama‘at’s program far and wide and had strengthened the party by bringing in many new members, workers, and sympathizers, an argument that was ever after repeated by the Jama‘at leaders to justify participation in elections and to make defeats therein palatable.

Despite Mawdudi’s optimism, the defeat was serious enough to cause much soul-searching. The party thenceforth became more diligent in its organizational and propaganda efforts, hoping to amend those shortcomings which it saw as responsible for its defeat and to redeem itself in future elections. Coveting electoral victories required a different organizational outlook and a different attitude toward politics and elections. The Jama‘at found it had a vested interest in the electoral process. It began to compare itself with other political parties, transforming its aim of establishing virtuous leadership (salih qiyadat) from a distant goal into an immediate objective.

The election campaign had also presented the Jama‘at with an unwelcome breakdown of discipline. To the chagrin of Mawdudi and the elders of the Jama‘at, workers and rank-and-file members were sufficiently swayed by the demands of the electoral campaign to transgress the party’s code of ethics. The frequency and extent of complaints put before the party’s leaders were disconcerting and led Mawdudi to reiterate the need to maintain party discipline. The election and its aftermath had, all in all, thrown the Jama‘at into confusion. On the surface, the party continued to adhere to its four-point plan of action, outlined shortly before the elections in November 1951. In reality politics was no longer last on the list. Debates over whether the party’s mission was religious propaganda or politics were waged with increasing frequency. Senior members such as Mas‘ud ‘Alam Nadwi, ‘Abdu’l-Jabbar Ghazi, and ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf, citing the deleterious effect of electoral politics on the morale of the holy community, argued against remaining active in politics for the time being.[6] Mawdudi and Islahi were inclined toward politics, and hence suggested two agendas—political activism and religious work—simultaneously, which only added to both the confusion and the debate.[7] The anti-Ahmadi agitations of 1953–1954 and Mawdudi’s subsequent imprisonment gave them no opportunity to resolve this issue satisfactorily. It was left to fester until it eventually caused the most serious rupture in the party’s history.

The Machchi Goth Affair, 1955–1957

Mawdudi was released from prison in 1954. After his release a general meeting was held in Karachi, a routine session that unexpectedly turned into a forum for airing grievances about procedural matters, the electoral defeat of 1951, and government harassment in 1953–1954.[8] In that session Sa‘id Ahmad Malik, a one-time Jama‘at amir of Punjab, leveled charges of ethical misconduct and financial embezzlement against another high-ranking member. Mawdudi was greatly disturbed by Malik’s allegation, all the more so because it had been aired before the entire body of the Jama‘at. Eager to spare the holy community the shock of confronting its fall from grace, Mawdudi sent Islahi to dissuade Malik from further registering his complaint before the gathering by promising a full investigation.

Malik agreed, and, true to his promise, Mawdudi announced the formation of a review (ja’izah) committee, consisting of seven members of the shura’ and Malik himself. The committee was to investigate Malik’s charges and prepare a report on the general discontent in the Jama‘at that had been aired in the Karachi meeting. The committee immediately made apparent a concealed source of power in the party. In its early years the Jama‘at had few office holders and hardly any “workers”; there was no real division of power or duties and no payroll. The Jama‘at’s members in those years had all been part-time religious organizers and missionaries.[9] The expansion and rationalization of the Jama‘at in Pakistan after 1947, however, had generated an organizational machine managed by party operatives out of the secretariat in Lahore. These party workers and managers, many of whom were full-time employees, had by 1954 gained considerable control over the Jama‘at’s operations. They were mainly younger and more politically inclined members and had vested interests of their own, both with regards to the Jama‘at’s internal policies and its stand on national issues.[10]

The Jama‘at’s bureaucracy supported the leader whom Malik had accused of wrongdoing. The complaints the committee would be reviewing in most cases involved the policies and operational procedures followed by the Lahore secretariat. Afraid that the bureaucracy would be blamed, Mian Tufayl Muhammad, the secretary-general at the time, procrastinated to hinder the committee from beginning its work. ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf, appointed by Mawdudi to head the committee, brought up the subject in the shura’ meeting of November 1955.[11] With the shura’’s sanction the committee began its deliberations, but the bureaucracy managed to trim it down to four members—Ashraf, ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan, ‘Abdu’l-Jabbar Ghazi, and Sultan Ahmad—all of whom were ulama and senior leaders, and none of whom was either a functionary or stationed in Lahore.

No sooner had the committee begun its investigations than it became clear that the scope of complaints and misconducts far exceeded what had initially been suspected, and worse yet, they reached far up in the hierarchy. At the time they met Mawdudi was away touring the Arab world; he was therefore not aware of the scope of the committee’s probes and findings. In his absence, ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan was made interim overseer of the party, which permitted him to stifle any resistance to the investigation by the Lahore bureaucracy. The investigations lasted a year, during which its members interviewed some two hundred members across Pakistan, noting their complaints and questioning them regarding their attitude toward the party.

The findings were not complimentary and were in many ways disturbing. Wide-ranging ethical transgressions and financial misdeeds were reported, and complaints were registered against the procedures and behavior of the Lahore bureaucracy. Even Mawdudi and Islahi were implicated. The committee prepared a comprehensive report of its findings and submitted it to the shura’ for consideration during its session in November 1956: the Jama‘at had strayed from its path of “upholding the truth” (haqq-parasti) to opportunism (maslahat-parasti) and following popular will (‘awam-parasti); it had departed from its original educational aim and mission and had become a political organization; its moral and ethical standards had sharply dropped, and political work was occupying an increasing share of its time to the exclusion of religious studies and even worship; the treasury was relying to too great an extent on outside sources of funding, which influenced the members and the decisions of the party, and since 6.7 percent of its members were paid employees that part of the membership had lost its independence of thought and action.[12] The report suggested that, since the issues raised by the committee’s findings were in part the result of the party’s premature involvement in politics and their remedy would require the lion’s share of the party’s time and resources, the party should not participate in the general elections which were expected to follow the passage of the constitution of 1956 in Pakistan. This recommendation enmeshed the committee’s findings in the party’s debate over its future course of action, further complicating the resolution of the problems. Ethics was posited as the antithesis of politics, forcing the party to choose between them.

The shura’ meeting of November 1956 lasted for fifteen days. This was the longest and liveliest session in its history. The four committee members, led by Ashraf, presented their case: (1) the Jama‘at had gone completely astray, as the extent and nature of the complaints registered in the committee’s report indicated; (2) politics had come to dominate the Jama‘at’s activities with dire results; and (3) if the Jama‘at did not desist from political activities it would lose what it had gained. Ashraf, in a nine-hour speech presented their points and argued that any departure from the four-point plan of action stipulated in November 1951 would seriously compromise the Jama‘at’s doctrinal position.[13] Mawdudi and Islahi, although supported by some of the shura’’s members, were unable to argue with the findings of the report and, at best, staved off some of the sharpest criticisms leveled against the party. Mawdudi tendered his resignation a number of times during the session but was dissuaded: committee members argued their objective was not to oust him but to restore the party’s moral standing.[14] Mawdudi was not, however, thoroughly convinced, but he was outvoted.

The fifteen-day shura’ session ended with a four-point resolution: First, the Jama‘at had veered from its proper course. While the party had made gains, it had also been damaged, and this damage should be repaired. Second, the decisions of the shura’ session of July 1951, the four-point plan that de-emphasized politics, continued in effect; therefore the new stress on politics since 1951 should be reversed. Third, the Jama‘at’s position on various issues was based on the Qur’an, hadith, and decisions of the amir and the shura’, and not on any party document. In other words, Mawdudi’s works did not dictate policy, and the Jama‘at was not an extension of him. Finally, Islahi along with two other senior members of the Jama‘at would form a committee to see that the resolution was carried out.

Mawdudi was clearly upset by the proceedings of the shura’ and by the resolution, which was constitutionally binding on him. Not only had the fifteen-day meeting revealed problems and curbed the party’s appetite for politics, but it had also challenged his authority. For the first time in the Jama‘at’s history it was the shura’, rather than he, who was deciding the party’s future. The party’s constitution had been invoked to assert its autonomy from his person. The guarantees of the autonomy and efficacy of the Jama‘at’s organizational structure, which had been designed by none other than Mawdudi, were now in competition with him. He was by no means reconciled to the decision of the shura’, and this allowed the Lahore bureaucracy to enter the fray.

Remedying the problems cited in the review committee’s report would certainly encroach upon the bureaucracy’s powers. It consisted mainly of lay religious activists and had a different view of the choice between ethics and politics than the ulama members of the committee. Young activists were predicting imminent victory at the polls in the forthcoming elections, and this expectation of victory made them eager to run candidates in the elections, to ignore the four-point plan, and to become a national party. But men like Ashraf anticipated a repeat of the party’s 1951 electoral performance.[15] Hence, no sooner had Mawdudi arrived back in Lahore than the activists led by Sayyid As‘ad Gilani, ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad, and Kawthar Niyazi approached Mawdudi to encourage him to defy the writ of the shura’. They argued that it had been biased, and its resolution represented mutiny against Mawdudi’s authority that would encourage factionalism and even the party’s dissolution. These were far graver transgressions against the party’s constitution, they argued, than the amir’s disobeying the shura’’s decisions.[16] Moreover, since the resolution had been based on an “erroneous” report—which the committee members were accused of having contrived with ulterior motives in mind—it could not be binding, and the issue should be reopened. The Jama‘at, or at least elements in it, were showing a surprising independence in trying to influence the amir in a manner hitherto not associated with that party.

Mawdudi allowed himself to be persuaded by the arguments of the Lahore bureaucracy, because they presented an opportunity to break the unwelcome restrictions the shura’ had placed on the party and on his office.[17] Mawdudi’s two-year stint in prison had given him prestige and made him a hero.[18] He was not prepared to forego his newly found stature, and expected the respect that went with it. The prolonged shura’ session had led to recriminations and bitterness. Mawdudi regarded criticism of his leadership as disrespect for the office of amir, as well as representing a vendetta against his person. The latent disagreement over the extent of the amir’s powers and the nature of his leadership, which had first become apparent when the Jama‘at was founded in 1941, was once again casting its shadow. The ulama members continued to view the amir as primus inter pares and as a manager rather than a spiritual guide, while Mawdudi felt the amir’s role should be that of a preeminent and omnipotent religious leader.

On December 23, 1956, thirteen days after the shura’ session, Mawdudi wrote to the members of the review committee, arguing that by exceeding the powers mandated to them they had at best inadvertently conspired against the Jama‘at. He accused them of factionalizing the organization to further their own ambitions.[19] Given the gravity of their “crime,” and the fact that their performance in the shura’ had proven destructive, Mawdudi demanded their resignation. Should they not resign, he threatened, he would go to their constituencies and demand that the Jama‘at members “turn them out.”[20]

The four members of the committee appealed to Islahi for justice. Islahi, a man of mercurial temperament, had up to this point supported Mawdudi, but now he took it upon himself to respond on behalf of the four. He chastised Mawdudi for his prevarication and pointed out that the four were among the Jama‘at’s most senior members and all men of the highest moral standing. Mawdudi had himself approved of their selection for the review committee. Three of them, ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan (1948–1949, 1956), ‘Abdu’l-Jabbar Ghazi (1948–1949), and Sultan Ahmad (1953–1954), had been appointed by Mawdudi as provisional amirs. How could their integrity be slighted without casting aspersions on Mawdudi’s own judgment? Islahi furthermore charged that Mawdudi was being influenced by the insidious propaganda of “the staff of the Jama‘at’s central offices” to act “undemocratically” and against the Jama‘at’s constitution.[21] Islahi was, at a more fundamental level, trying to consolidate or defend the constitutional powers of the shura’ against what he regarded as encroachments upon them by the amir.

When he read Islahi’s letter, Mawdudi was incensed. He wrote to Mian Tufayl that the party should choose a new amir, as “if [he] had died.”[22] Mawdudi was no doubt doing just what he had already threatened the review committee he would do: force the Jama‘at to choose between him and his critics. Clearly Mawdudi was confident of where their loyalty lay.[23] Mian Tufayl, Na‘im Siddiqi, and Malik Nasru’llah Khan ‘Aziz, three of Mawdudi’s most loyal lieutenants, went to Islahi to end the mounting crisis. Islahi ordered them not to disclose the news of Mawdudi’s resignation to anyone, within or outside the Jama‘at, and quietly to call a session of the shura’. Siddiqi, a fervent Mawdudi loyalist, thought otherwise. He resigned from the Jama‘at forthwith to relieve himself of the obligations of the party’s code of conduct and Islahi’s order, and proceeded to spread the news of Mawdudi’s resignation, along with incriminating reports against Islahi and the review committee. The news soon spread beyond the party; it appeared in the press.

After Mawdudi’s resignation, Chaudhri Ghulam Muhammad was named vice-amir (qa’im maqami amir) by Mian Tufayl, so that he could oversee the party’s operations. Ghulam Muhammad set out to bring about a reconciliation between the two men. The party’s leaders were aware that government intrigue would make the Jama‘at’s internal problems worse if they dragged on or were exposed in national news with embarrassing consequences for the holy community. Arguing that the very future of the Jama‘at was at stake, Ghulam Muhammad asked Mawdudi to withdraw his resignation; ordered those aware of the dispute to maintain strict silence; and suggested that the issues in dispute be put before an open Jama‘at meeting at the earliest possible date. The trepidation of the Jama‘at’s leaders and members regarding possible government machination in this crisis no doubt assisted Mawdudi. He was a national figure; his resignation from the office of amir, many felt, could spell the end of the party.

The shura’ called by Mian Tufayl met on January 12, 1957. Islahi, Ashraf, and Ghazi were not present. Islahi charged that the Jama‘at’s bureaucracy had deliberately arranged the session so that critics of Mawdudi could not attend.[24] Already sensitive to allegations that in his dispute with Mawdudi he was motivated by personal ambition, Islahi tendered his resignation.[25] A delegation of senior Jama‘at members led by Ghulam Muhammad managed to dissuade him pending the result of the open meeting, scheduled for February 1957 in Machchi Goth, a small and desolate village in the Chulistan Desert in southern Punjab. Islahi acquiesced and withdrew his resignation. He was receptive to compromise, and those who approached him in this spirit found him forthcoming.[26] Islahi demanded redress for the grievances of the members of the review committee and limits on Mawdudi’s powers, but Mawdudi and his supporters felt no need to compromise and continued to force a showdown.

Under pressure from Ghulam Muhammad the handpicked shura’ accepted his proposals without change and ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan was compelled to ask Mawdudi to withdraw his resignation.[27] Mawdudi agreed on the condition that an open party meeting be given the power to resolve the dispute. He would not return to his duties until they had reached a decision.[28] He intended to hold the threat of resignation over the shura’ and the review committee, because he was convinced that the rank and file of the party supported him and that an open session would circumvent the constitutional powers of the shura’, which was stacked against him by supporters of Islahi and the review committee. Faced with constitutional restrictions and unable to win his case through regular channels, Mawdudi circumvented the very rules he had himself devised to prevent the domination by any one leader. This was a volte-face with momentous implications and a testament to the fundamental role politics and personal ambitions played in Mawdudi’s decisions and policies. By acceding to an open meeting and Mawdudi’s demand that Jama‘at members arbitrate the issues in dispute, the shura’ surrendered its constitutional powers to an ad hoc body, opening the door for the amir to undermine the authority of the shura’ with the blessing of its members.

Meanwhile, warned by Siddiqi, the Jama‘at’s bureaucracy mobilized its resources—organizational circulars, newspapers, and magazines—to inveigh against Islahi and the review committee, and to sway minds before the antagonistic parties could put their cases before them in the open session.[29] The bureaucracy especially sought to shift the focus of the debate away from the report, the grievances of leaders against the amir, the constitutional implications of Mawdudi’s attack on the committee, and the future of the holy community and toward the victimization of Mawdudi and his resignation from the office of amir. The bureaucracy also helped embolden Mawdudi by casting in a conspiratorial light all the criticisms leveled against him or Jama‘at’s functionaries. They convinced him that, with the backing of the review committee, Islahi was maneuvering himself into the position of amir, an accusation which had enough truth to it to seem compelling to Mawdudi.[30] He took to treating criticism of his decisions as invidious efforts to paralyze the Jama‘at, and became uncompromising in his drive to cleanse the organization of dissent and to use, if needed, extraconstitutional measures to preserve its unity. This accusation put Islahi on the defensive and effectively silenced him. Unwilling to give credence to rumors regarding his own ambitions, Islahi approved all resolutions that confirmed Mawdudi’s leadership.

With Mawdudi’s backing the bureaucracy now went on the offensive. Sa‘id Ahmad Malik, who had started the review committee’s investigation, and ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf, who led the committee, were first suspended and later expelled from the Jama‘at by the amirs of Rawalpindi and Faisalabad (Lyallpur).[31] Disgusted with the turn of events, ‘Abdu’l-Jabbar Ghazi resigned from the Jama‘at, and the tide began to turn to Mawdudi. He was not content with victory alone, nor did he seek conciliation; he set out to purge the Jama‘at of his critics. In a meeting of the shura’ which convened in Machchi Goth before the open session began, it was suggested that Mawdudi resume his activities as amir and a committee be appointed to study the findings of the review committee. Mawdudi, smelling victory, rejected the suggestion out of hand—if such a committee was formed, he would resign from the Jama‘at. Only his resignation and participation in future elections were to be discussed in the open session. At the behest of Mawdudi’s supporters, the shura’ declared that it preferred having Mawdudi as amir over pursuing the review committee’s report.

Of the Jama‘at’s 1,272 members, 935 attended the Machchi Goth session.[32] They came anxious about where their party was heading and sympathetic to Mawdudi, as the circulars, journals, magazines, and newspapers meant them to be. Islahi was the most prominent of those in dissent, but he made no mention of the questions of principle that had caused his break with Mawdudi and instead spoke of the organization’s four-point plan of November 1951.[33] He preached moderation and balance (tawazun) between religious pursuits and political activism. Politics had begun to fill all the hours of Jama‘at members, lamented Islahi, leaving no room for pious works. The content and tone of Islahi’s speech showed interest in a reconciliation, but Mawdudi wanted no part of it. This refusal infuriated Islahi, and he left the Jama‘at. In a letter to Mawdudi afterward, Islahi wrote that he had been assured by Chaudhri Ghulam Muhammad that Mawdudi had at least accepted partially some of his grievances and was willing to accommodate him. Islahi’s expectation was not realized at Machchi Goth, proving that Mawdudi was hoping to mollify him and tone down his hostility before that session, without actually intending a compromise. This realization, wrote Islahi, was a major reason why he left the Jama‘at.[34] He had withdrawn his earlier resignation on assurances given to him by Mawlana Zafar Ahmad Ansari, a confidant of Mawdudi, that a compromise would be reached at Machchi Goth. Islahi felt that he had kept his part of the bargain and that Mawdudi had reneged on his.

Islahi’s cautions therefore fell on deaf ears, and his appeal for the party to return to its original agenda was rejected. With events moving in Mawdudi’s direction, his supporters became even less compromising, and all dissenters were barred from addressing the gathering.[35] Having kept the review committee’s report and his own high-handed policies out of the proceedings, Mawdudi went on the attack. In a six-hour speech, he demanded more political action and introduced a new agenda in place of the four-point plan of 1951.[36] He reiterated the Jama‘at’s original objectives and reviewed the party’s history; he said that the party would continue as a holy community and a religious movement but it would now participate in electoral politics. Reforming the political order was moved up from a distant fourth to a primary aim. Mawdudi argued that the Jama‘at had been formed with the objective of establishing the rule of religion (iqamat-i din) and a divine government (hukumat-i ilahiyah). Neither would be attainable if the Jama‘at permitted the secular forces to become too entrenched. The organization must abandon its isolation and enter the political scene, if not to further its own cause, at least to deny success to its adversaries.[37] The Jama‘at was therefore to revise its original agenda; it would now pursue political objectives and religious education and propaganda with equal vigor.

Mawdudi’s speech struck such a receptive chord that subsequent efforts to temper his call to politics met with hostility from the rank and file. Mustafa Sadiq, one of those who sought to temper Mawdudi’s powers, however, managed to secure only 148 votes for a resolution which censured overt politicization.[38] At the end of the session, participation in politics was put to a vote. All but fifteen voted in favor; the fifteen handed in their resignations then and there. A peculiar feature of this whole episode was that the two things that had originally precipitated the crisis—the review committee’s report and Mawdudi’s reaction to it—were not even discussed at Machchi Goth. Neither Mawdudi nor the opposition ever mentioned it. An ethical issue had turned into a political one and served as the handmaiden for the party’s greater politicization.

Mawdudi and his supporters were not content with their victory at Machchi Goth. They met in the nearby village of Kot Shair Sangh and initiated a purge, which Ashraf dubbed “the Jama‘at’s Karbala.” Mawdudi set out to reestablish the authority of the amir’s office and to bring the party back to its original unity of thought and practice. The idea of a holy community found new meaning when, its moral content eviscerated, it persisted only to legitimize the party’s political activities. The review committee’s report was to be destroyed to eliminate any possibility of division over its content. Na‘im Siddiqi, who had violated the orders of Islahi and Ghulam Muhammad by leaking the news of Mawdudi’s resignation, was reinstated as a member. At Kot Shair Sangh the meeting also decided that all those who had differed with Mawdudi, like non-Muslims (zimmi) in an Islamic state, could remain in the party but were henceforth barred from holding office or positions which could influence the party’s platform. This decision, interpreted by many as sheer vindictiveness, led to further defections from the ranks, including Israr Ahmad, Mustafa Sadiq, and ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan. Hasan resigned primarily to protest the purge of those who had spoken their minds.[39]

The immediate impact of these defections was muted. Islahi’s resignation was perhaps the most damaging, for he enjoyed a certain following in the Jama‘at, especially among those who had studied the Qur’an with him. Yet even his departure did not lead to a mass exodus.[40] Mawdudi, it appeared, had overcome the challenge to his authority with great dexterity and at minimal cost. In the long run, however, the purge had a debilitating effect on the intellectual caliber of the party’s members. Fifty-six members left the Jama‘at at Machchi Goth, Kot Shair Sangh, and in the months that followed; most were ulama and represented the party’s religious weight and intellect.[41] They were replaced by lay activists and functionaries.

Mawdudi was not greatly discomfited by these desertions; had they stayed, those who had left would have interfered with his plans. Those who left were simply given up as souls who had fallen from the path of Islamic revolution.[42] Those who remained would be more servile and amenable to his leadership. In a letter to Ghulam Muhammad after Machchi Goth, Mawdudi clearly showed no interest in patching up his differences with Islahi.[43] Shortly after, the Jama‘at presented candidates for the elections of the Karachi municipal corporation and won nineteen of the twenty-three seats it contested. This showing vindicated Mawdudi and erased the last traces of the Machchi Goth affair. Despite all, however, the party waged a campaign based on the four-point plan of 1951.[44]

The Machchi Goth affair and the subsequent purge reoriented the party toward politics, redefined its conception of Islam and its place in the life of men, and replaced its ideological outlook with a more pragmatic one. The Jama‘at had begun as a movement of cultural and religious rejuvenation; it had been premised on ethics and religious teachings. Its primary target was man, whose “reconversion” to the unadulterated truth of his faith would catalyze social change and eventually bring political reform. At Machchi Goth, this puritanical and somewhat traditional formula was altered. The conversion of men would now occur in tandem with, if not in pursuance of, the reform of politics. The Jama‘at, much like revivalist movements everywhere, began to show more interest in governing how Muslims lived than in their individual souls. By overlooking the review committee’s report and Malik’s allegations of financial misconduct to maintain the Jama‘at’s role in politics, Mawdudi suggested that Islamization ultimately flowed from politics to society to the individual, and not the other way around.

It can be argued that at Machchi Goth Jama‘at’s bureaucracy was manifesting the party’s reaction to outside changes. The Jama‘at had been founded in India; it had operated in Pakistan for a decade with little modification in perspective. By 1956, the Pakistani polity had consolidated and the country was now unlikely to wither away. The Jama‘at’s notion that it could conquer the new country’s soul and centers of power had proved to be fleeting. Its campaign for an Islamic constitution had, moreover, reached its aim with the passage of the constitution of 1956, which the Jama‘at had accepted as “Islamic.” The Jama‘at, therefore, had to find a new role. To remain relevant to Pakistani politics and the future development of the country, the party had to move out of its organizational shell and beyond single causes; it had either to engage in concrete debates or be yet another missionary (tabligh) movement. While, even after the Machchi Goth affair, the Jama‘at did not fully abide by these directives to its own detriment, the party was pushed to rationalize its structure and refine its plan of action.

By 1956 the Jama‘at had lost its intellectual momentum. Its zeal and ideological perspective had been important for the development of contemporary Muslim thought in the Subcontinent and elsewhere, but the party was no longer producing ideas which would sustain its vitality as a religious movement and secure a place for it at the forefront of Islamic revivalist thinking. Most of Mawdudi’s own seminal works, outlining his views on Islam, society, and politics had been written between 1932 and 1948. His worldview and thought had fully taken shape by the time he moved to Pakistan. All subsequent amendments to Jama‘at’s ideology pertained to politics more than theology. Its experience over the decade of 1946–1956 had shown that its contribution and influence lay not so much in what it espoused but in its organizational muscle and political activism. Its survival as a holy community could no longer be guaranteed; it was in politics that the party had to search for a new lease on life. This imperative was most acutely felt by the party’s lay activists and bureaucratic force, who had the least grounding in Islamic learning, and for whom the Jama‘at was the sole link to a holistic view of the role of Islam in the world. Many ulama whose ties to Islam were independent from the Jama‘at felt the depletion of the party’s ideological energies less acutely. They did not have the sense of urgency the first group felt, nor were they prepared to sacrifice values and principles to resuscitate a party. Their departure from the Jama‘at no doubt worsened its intellectual and ideological crisis and strengthened the bureaucratic element that would continue to politicize the Jama‘at.[45]

The outcome of the Machchi Goth session sowed the seeds of a “cult of personality” around Mawdudi in tandem with the bureaucratization of the Jama‘at. The political needs of the party required its amir to be more than primus inter pares; the party needed a command structure which precluded the kind of discussion, debate, and dissension which the ulama members of the Jama‘at—and most of those who had left the Jama‘at in 1957—were accustomed to. The Machchi Goth affair, much as Nu‘mani’s departure from the Jama‘at, had augmented the powers of the amir and institutionalized this eventuality as a corollary of any resolution of tensions and crises surrounding the party’s politicization. This was a cost which a party bent on a more active political role had to incur.

The Machchi Goth affair also marked the “end of ideology” and the beginning of pragmatic politics and decision making in the party. Interestingly, Mawdudi oversaw the routinization of his own chiliastic and romantic idealism. While his earlier works and career had done much to kindle revivalism across the Muslim world, his arguments for abandoning the ideological perspective in favor of greater pragmatism in large measure went unnoticed by his admirers across the Muslim world.

Mawdudi was not altogether oblivious to the problems that had produced the Machchi Goth imbroglio in the first place. At Kot Shair Sangh he initiated far-reaching constitutional reforms which would guarantee greater organizational unity and prepare for the new plan of action. Some of these reforms were designed to devolve power from the office of the amir and to contain abuses of power by himself as well as other Jama‘at members. In May 1957, the Jama‘at’s constitution was revised to iron out the anomalies and sources of discord in the organizational structure and to guard against a repeat of Machchi Goth. The amir was made subject to the writ of the shura’, but he would no longer be elected by the shura’ but by the Jama‘at’s members; the shura’ was expanded to fifty members; its procedures were streamlined; the amir was given greater control over the agenda and discussions; the shura’ was given veto power over the amir’s decisions, and vice versa; procedures were set to govern disagreements between the two; and finally, a majlis-i ‘amilah (executive council)—a politburo of sorts—was formed to serve as the ultimate arbiter between the amir and the shura’, its members to be appointed by the amir from the shura’ members.

Schism and Purge after 1957

The Machchi Goth affair by no means resolved the party’s problems, nor did it render the party invulnerable to the ethical pitfalls of pragmatic politics. In fact, it exposed the increasing discrepancy between its religious facade and the pragmatic political reality of its program. Because of that, other Machchi Goths were likely to occur.

While Mawdudi was in prison following a government crackdown on the Jama‘at in 1963, the party joined the Combined Opposition Parties, a group that had organized to resist Ayub Khan’s rule. The alliance decided to challenge Ayub Khan in the presidential elections of January 1965 and proposed to run Fatimah Jinnah (d. 1967) as its candidate for president. The Jama‘at endorsed this choice, a decision which flew in the face of Mawdudi’s oft-repeated arguments against any public role for women.[46] It was a monumental doctrinal compromise which, given the national attention focused on it, could not be easily justified. The Jama‘at appeared to have abandoned its ideological mainstay and declared itself a political machine through and through, one which recognized no ethical or religious limits to its pragmatism.

Mawdudi responded to the resulting clamor by arguing that the decision was made by the whole party and not by himself. He then went on to justify the decision as an evil warranted by the necessity of combating yet a greater evil, Ayub Khan and his martial-law regime.[47] Mawdudi’s explanation did not convince those outside the Jama‘at and led to dissension within the party as well. Kawthar Niyazi, then the amir of Lahore and an ardent defender of Mawdudi during the Machchi Goth affair, began in the pro-Jama‘at journal Shahab openly to question the wisdom of his position.[48] Niyazi argued against supporting a woman candidate and claimed that the Jama‘at had gone too far in compromising its principles; as a result it had ceased altogether to be a religious entity. In a deft maneuver against Mawdudi, Niyazi then digressed from the Jinnah candidacy to widen the debate to include Mawdudi’s other doctrinal compromises in accommodating the Jama‘at’s political interests. He repeated all Mawdudi’s arguments against elections in earlier times, juxtaposing them with the Jama‘at’s policy of putting up candidates since 1951. Inferring duplicity on the part of Mawdudi, Niyazi sought to put both Mawdudi and Jama‘at’s political agenda on trial yet again.

This time it did not work. Unlike Islahi, Niyazi had no following of his own within the party, and some even disliked his bureaucratic style in the party’s secretariat. The Jama‘at had changed significantly since 1957. It was now more centralized, and, as Niyazi charged, had more members on the payroll, which hampered their ability to express their ideas, let alone voice dissent.[49] By airing the problem in his journal, Niyazi infuriated his fellow members, who accused him of doing the bidding of the government by trying to paralyze the Jama‘at before the elections. Mawdudi responded by asking Niyazi to resign from the party.[50]

Although Niyazi’s challenge to Mawdudi showed that the conflict between ideology and pragmatic politics continued to hound the party, the response also suggested the changes had enabled them to contend with internal differences.[51] The party had become sufficiently pragmatic not to be shocked by Mawdudi’s inconsistency in supporting Fatimah Jinnah. The other leaders of the party had already endorsed Miss Jinnah while Mawdudi was still in jail and were therefore fully prepared to defend his decision.

In the coming years the Jama‘at continued to suffer from tensions arising from its slide toward pragmatic politics, showing less tolerance for dissent and a greater ability to maintain unity.[52] The purge of dissenting members became more frequent until it was a routine mechanism for resolving disputes. As a result, a diverse movement built upon a tradition of discussion, debate, consensus, and a shared vision of the ideal Islamic order turned into a party in which policies were so pragmatic that its original purpose and intellectual vitality were destroyed and ideological roots weakened. Perhaps that is the fate of any holy community that ventures into politics. The Machchi Goth affair gave the party a new lease on life, but the price was that it evolved along lines neither anticipated nor necessarily desired by its founders, and it became a full-fledged political party. Mawdudi’s initial enthusiasm for politics may have clouded his vision, or perhaps he was simply unable to control the forces he had let loose. He could ride the tide of politicization, as he did in 1956–1957, but he, and later his successors, were hard-pressed to contain it. Politicization became a consuming passion that drowned out ethical considerations, intellectual vitality, pious works, and worship.

From the mid-1960s onward Mawdudi constantly referred to incidents of violence involving the Jama‘at and emphasized organizational discipline, showing his growing concern with what political pragmatism had done to his party.[53] His farewell address to the Jama‘at in 1972 following the election of Mian Tufayl to the office of amir centered on the need to reestablish a balance between ideological imperatives and pragmatic concerns.[54] Especially after the Jama‘at was routed at the polls in 1970, Mawdudi turned back to the idea of holy community, as the election results did not justify the sacrifices made nor the damage incurred by purges and compromises. His colleagues were, however, no longer willing to heed his advice. Mawdudi was at odds with his party, and after he stepped down as amir in 1972, he found his influence limited. In a clear departure from his attitude at Machchi Goth, he concluded that the party had given away too much to politics without gaining enough in return.[55] In 1972 he lamented to his wife that the party “was no longer up to his standards…. If he had the stamina he would have started all over again.”[56] “I hope this will not be the case,” he told a friend, “but when historians write of the Jama‘at, they will say it was yet another revival (tajdid) movement that rose and fell.”[57] Finally, he advised the shura’ in 1975 to move the Jama‘at away from politics and to revive the holy community; for elections had proved not only to be a dead end but also debilitating. His advice was largely ignored.[58]

Today the Jama‘at is an important political party in Pakistan, but Islamic revivalism in Pakistan has been passed on to other movements,[59] many of which were founded by former Jama‘at members, such as Israr Ahmad and Javid Ahmadu’l-Ghamidi.[60] The outcome may have saddened Mawdudi, but it was unavoidable and for some not unwelcome. What the party’s history shows is that the relation between ideology and social action in Islamic revivalism is neither as harmonious and spontaneous nor as permanent and immutable as is often believed. Mawdudi’s revivalism, as powerful as its synthesis between religious idealism and political action may seem, in reality produced an inherently contradictory attitude toward social action and spiritual salvation. To resolve the conflicts innate in Mawdudi’s program, ideological zeal gave way to greater pragmatism and transformed the movement from holy community to political party.


1. Cited in Mithaq 39, 3 (March 1990): 52–53. [BACK]

2. SAAM, vol. 1, 323. [BACK]

3. SAAM, vol. 1, 408–13. [BACK]

4. Interview with Mawdudi in Chatan (January 24, 1951): 2. [BACK]

5. SAAM, 419. [BACK]

6. Interview with ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf. [BACK]

7. See Mawdudi’s interview reprinted in A’in (October 1989): 33–36, and his speech before the Jama‘at’s annual session of November 20–23, 1955, cited in MMKT, vol. 3, 139–56, wherein Mawdudi asserted that the Jama‘at was not a party but a multidimensional organization. On Islahi’s views see, for instance, his article in TQ (September 1956): 377–402. [BACK]

8. Much of the following discussion unless otherwise stipulated is based on interviews with ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan, ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf, Israr Ahmad, and Mustafa Sadiq. [BACK]

9. RJI, vol. 2, 48–60 and 72ff. [BACK]

10. NGH, 68–69. [BACK]

11. Israr Ahmad, Tahrik-i Jama‘at-i Islami: Ik Tahqiqi Mutala‘ah (Lahore, 1966), 5. [BACK]

12. Cited in Ahmad, Tahrik-i Jama‘at-i Islami, 187–201. [BACK]

13. NGH, 21. [BACK]

14. Ibid., 22–24. [BACK]

15. Interview with Amin Ahsan Islahi. [BACK]

16. See, for instance, Gilani’s later account of Machchi Goth in Sayyid Asad Gilani, Maududi: Thought and Movement (Lahore, 1984), 10. [BACK]

17. For instance in a letter to Islahi after Machchi Goth, dated January 18, 1958, Mawdudi explains that he viewed the shura’ session of November–December 1956 as the proof of emergence of factionalism in the Jama‘at, which unless controlled there and then would destroy the party altogether. Since the factionalist tendency was unconstitutional and anti-Jama‘at, no compromise with it, as was evident in the resolution that shura’ session, was possible; and in the interests of preserving the Jama‘at, Mawdudi was justified in using all means available to him. The letter is reprinted in Nida, March 7, 1989, 29–30. [BACK]

18. Abd cites that even Islahi eulogized Mawdudi’s sacrifices in prison, stating, “I…spontaneously kissed his hands which Allah had endowed with the help of the pen to be testimony to the Truth”; cited in Abdur Rahman Abd, Sayyed Maududi Faces the Death Sentence (Lahore, 1978), 16–17. [BACK]

19. NGH, 31. [BACK]

20. Ibid. [BACK]

21. Ibid., 33–56. [BACK]

22. Archival papers of Islamic Studies Academy, Lahore. [BACK]

23. Israr Ahmad argues that Mawdudi knew that his resignation was serious enough to create fears in the hearts of the party’s members regarding the future of the Jama‘at, thus influencing their choice; see NGH, 73–75. [BACK]

24. NGH, 82. [BACK]

25. In a letter to Mawdudi in 1958, explaining his resignation, he denies harboring personal ambitions in the strongest terms. That letter is reprinted in Nida (March 14, 1989): 29. [BACK]

26. Mithaq 39, 3 (March 1990): 32. Israr Ahmad also reports that similar efforts were mounted by Jama‘at members from all over Pakistan to prevail upon their leaders to resolve their differences; ibid., 50. [BACK]

27. Since members of the review committee had never asked for Mawdudi’s resignation, they were hard-pressed not to go along with Ghulam Muhammad’s initiative. Sultan Ahmad did register a note of dissent regarding such manipulations of the shura’ to Mawdudi’s advantage. This note was excluded from circular no. 118–4–27 of January 19, 1957, which reported the proceedings of this shura’ session to the members; see NGH, 80–81. [BACK]

28. Ibid., 81. [BACK]

29. Islahi names Tarjumanu’l-Qur’an and Tasnim as most significant in this regard; see Nida (March 14, 1989): 30. [BACK]

30. Islahi had a following of his own in the party and was viewed as a more serious scholar than Mawdudi by many outside the Jama‘at. In later years a number of the Jama‘at’s rising intellectual leaders, notably among them, Javid Ahmadu’l-Ghamidi and Mustansir Mir, became impressed with Islahi’s Qur’anic commentaries and left the Jama‘at to study with him. [BACK]

31. NGH, 75. [BACK]

32. SAAM, vol. 2, 8–10. [BACK]

33. Mithaq 39, 3 (March 1990): 50–55. [BACK]

34. Nida (March 14, 1989): 30–31. [BACK]

35. Mithaq 39, 3 (March 1990): 58. Elsewhere Israr Ahmad reports that ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf had asked Chaudhri Ghulam Muhammad to guarantee adequate time for all views to be aired at Machchi Goth. Mawdudi turned down the request flatly, and Ghulam Muhammad complied; Mithaq 13, 2 (February 1967): 49. [BACK]

36. The speech was later published as Tahrik-i Islami ka A’indah La’ihah-i ‘Amal (Lahore, 1986). This book is seen today as the most lucid exposition of Mawdudi’s views on religion and politics, but it is often not examined within the context of the debate over the enfranchisement of the party which prompted its ideas. [BACK]

37. Mawdudi, Tahrik-i Islami, 172–73. [BACK]

38. Mithaq 39, 3 (March 1990): 58–68. [BACK]

39. Hasan was also disturbed by what he saw as Mawdudi’s innovative religious interpretation in an article in TQ (December 1956): 9–32. In that article, Mawdudi had responded to those who criticized his departures from his earlier position by arguing that Islam was a rational religion and it permitted choice between two evils when expediency necessitated such a choice; see SAAM, vol. 2, 59–60. [BACK]

40. Of Islahi’s disagreements with him and his departure from the Jama‘at Mawdudi said deprecatingly, “Amin Ahsan sahab was scared off by his experience with prison” (referring to his incarceration following the anti-Ahmadi agitations); interview with Begum Mahmudah Mawdudi. On a more serious note, Mawdudi explained to Chaudhri Ghulam Muhammad that Islahi’s temper, which had shown its full force throughout the Machchi Goth ordeal, was likely to be a source of trouble and had alienated many in the Jama‘at from him, hinting that Mawdudi was not eager for Islahi to return to the Jama‘at; Nida (March 7, 1989): 26. [BACK]

41. Among those who left, the most noteworthy were Amin Ahsan Islahi (Jama‘at’s second highest ranking leader, provisional amir, 1954; and later an important scholar and commentator of the Qur’an); Sultan Ahmad (member of the shura’; provisional amir, 1953–1954); ‘Abdu’l-Jabbar Ghazi (member of the shura’; provisional amir, 1948–1949); ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar Hasan (member of the shura’ provisional amir, 1948–1949 and 1956); ‘Abdu’l-Rahim Ashraf and Sardar Muhammad Ajmal Khan (both members of the shura’); Mawlana Abu’l-Haqq Jama‘i (former amir of Bhawalpur); Sa‘id Ahmad Malik (former amir of Punjab); Muhammad ‘Asimu’l-Haddad (director of the Arabic Translation Bureau); Arshad Ahmad Haqqani (editor of Tasnim); and Israr Ahmad and Mustafa Sadiq (both of whom became notable political and religious figures in later years). [BACK]

42. Sayyid Ma‘ruf Shirazi, Islami Inqilab ka Minhaj (Chinarkut, 1989). [BACK]

43. Mawdudi’s letter is reproduced in Nida (March 27, 1989): 24–25. [BACK]

44. For instance, in preparation for the general elections of 1958, the Jama‘at reiterated the four-point plan of action of 1951; see Short Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Conference, Jamaat-e-Islami, East Pakistan (March 14–16, 1958), 2; enclosed with U. S. Consulate, Dacca, disp. #247, 4/3/1958, 790D.00/4–358, NA. [BACK]

45. Rana Sabir Nizami, Jama‘at-i Islami Pakistan; Nakamiyun ke Asbab ka ‘Ilmi Tajziyah (Lahore, 1988), 47, and 76–77. [BACK]

46. Some years previously, in the summer of 1950, the Jama‘at had criticized a public appearance by Fatimah Jinnah, questioning the presence of a woman at such an occasion; see TQ (July–September 1950): 220. [BACK]

47. Mawdudi explained the Jama‘at’s position in the following terms: “On one side is a man; other than his gender there is nothing good about him; on the other side is a woman; aside from her gender nothing is wrong about her.” Cited in Israr Ahmad, Islam Awr Pakistan: Tarikhi, Siyasi, ‘Ilmi Awr Thiqafati Pasmanzar (Lahore, 1983), 37. [BACK]

48. Interview with Kawthar Niyazi; also see Kawthar Niyazi, Jama‘at-i Islami ‘Awami ‘Adalat Main (Lahore, 1973), 11–17. [BACK]

49. Niyazi, Jama‘at-i Islami, 31–32. [BACK]

50. Ibid., 38, and interview with Niyazi. [BACK]

51. The Jama‘at had become more adept at contending with internal dissent and had also became more sensitive to it over the years. While Niyazi was asked to resign, Mawlana Wasi Mazhar Nadwi, an elder of the Jama‘at and the one-time amir of Sind, was expelled from the Jama‘at in 1976 for divulging information about Mawdudi’s disagreements with the shura’ over the issue of the Jama‘at’s continued participation in elections (which is discussed later); correspondence between the author and Wasi Mazhar Nadwi, 1989–1990, and interview with Javid Ahmadu’l-Ghamidi. [BACK]

52. The Machchi Goth affair was replayed in Bangladesh following the bloody Pakistan civil war of 1971. During the civil war the Jama‘at of East Pakistan, which later became the Jama‘at-i Islami of Bangladesh, was drawn into the conflict and was thoroughly politicized. The debacle of East Pakistan and the calamity which befell the Jama‘at in Bangladesh after the war precipitated a major debate over the party’s mission—religious work or political activity. A schism followed when Mawlana ‘Abdu’l-Rahim, amir of Jama‘at-i Islami of East Pakistan during the war, left Jama‘at-i Islami of Bangladesh to form a new organization which would embody the original idea of the Jama‘at as a holy community, primarily immersed in religious work, and only indirectly interested in politics. See Mumtaz Ahmad, “Islamic Fundamentalism in South Asia: The Jamaat-i-Islami and the Tablighi Jamaat,” in Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago, 1991), 503. Similarly, a major internal conflict erupted in the Jama‘at in 1988 over the party’s relations with General Zia, which is discussed in chapter 9. [BACK]

53. See, for instance, SAAM, vol. 2, 310. [BACK]

54. Ibid., 426–28. [BACK]

55. Mawdudi’s anguish was reflected in a letter to Wasi Mazhar Nadwi, wherein he discussed his disappointment with the Jama‘at; cited in Nizami, Jama‘at-i Islami, 101–2. Begum Mawdudi recollects that her husband was particularly perturbed about the breakdown of ethical conduct in the Jama‘at caused by the party’s politicization, something he introduced to the party and could not later control; interview with Begum Mawdudi. [BACK]

56. Interview with Begum Mawdudi. [BACK]

57. Interview with Khwaja Amanu’llah. [BACK]

58. Wasi Mazhar Nadwi, who had been present in that shura’ session, later wrote to Mawdudi and asked the Mawlana to reiterate his views and confirm what Nadwi had understood him to say. Mawdudi repeated his disdain for elections in a letter to Nadwi. Nadwi was subsequently expelled from the Jama‘at for divulging information about the shura’ session and Mawdudi’s letter to those outside the party. Correspondence with Wasi Mazhar Nadwi, 1989–1990; interview with Ghamidi; and Mithaq 39, 3 (March 1990): 11–12. [BACK]

59. The Jama‘at for instance no longer has a notable and widely respected religious thinker. While it does indulge in religious exegesis, its leaders are not at the forefront of revivalist thinking in Pakistan any longer. Mian Tufayl accedes to this conclusion: “the calibre of Tarjumanu’l-Qur’an despite its continued vitality has gone down since Mawlana Mawdudi’s death”; interview with Mian Tufayl Muhammad. However, he takes comfort in the fact that “Mawlana [Mawdudi] was such a paramount thinker that the Jama‘at will not need one for another century”; interview with Mian Tufayl Muhammad in Takbir (November 16, 1989): 52. [BACK]

60. Similarly, in India, Mawlana Wahidu’ddin Khan and in Bangladesh Mawlana ‘Abdu’l-Rahim left the Jama‘at to form more vital Islamic intellectual movements. [BACK]

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