An Unlikely Champion of Women’s Rights under Muslim Personal Law: Mawdudi on Anglo-Muhammadan Law
Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization (Fall 2019)
28 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2019 Last revised: 26 Dec 2019
Date Written: October 13, 2019
Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi was one of the most renowned Muslim scholars of the 20th century. In addition to his portrayal as gender insensitive/women unfriendly scholar, he is regarded as one of the founding fathers of political Islam in modern era for developing a comprehensive political theory of Islam. Mawdudi was a prolific writer who wrote on a wide array of subjects: there are some areas in which his contributions have never attracted such academic attention they deserve. With this background, the paper analyzes Mawdudi’s book Huquq al-Zawjayn written during British Raj which has generated debates in post-colonial legal landscape of Pakistan on some important issues related to women rights in marriage. Mawdudi expressed unflinching disapproval of contemporary Muslim scholars for their parasitic imitation of rules of fiqh and hesitation to have recourse to the divine sources, i.e. the Quran and Sunnah, for ushering solutions of then prevalent religious and social vices. Additionally, he criticized sternly British Raj and the byproduct of its legal apparatus in the domain of family law, i.e. Anglo-Muhammadan law. Consequently, Mawdudi presented a model for Muslim personal law inspired by and reconstructed from the Quranic verses and sayings of the Holy Prophet.
Keywords: Mawdudi; Maududi; Islamic Personal Law; Muslim Personal Law; Huquq al-Zawjayn; British Raj; British India; Anglo-Muhammadan Law; Islamic Law; Pakistan; Quran; Sunnah
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