Maududi Theory and Communism Jihad Thesis

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Mawdudi Islamic Theory and Communism

The comparison of Islam and Communism as political ideologies does indeed spur academic debate, and no one would be speaking out of turn to say that there indeed exist similarities between Islam and Communism as political governances. The trained mind of the academician could also probably find like similarities between Islam and Capitalism: a minority of the population is allowed to live in ostentatious wealth, while the majority of the population between comfortable and abject poverty. The subject of this essay, however, is the political similarities drawn between Islam and Communism as governances, because of late Islamists like Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (1960) entered the ring of ancient and contemporary philosophers promoting Islam not as just a religious ideology, but as a political one. An eloquent and articulate speaker, an intellectual, and, inarguably, a philosopher; Mawdudi argues in favor of a theocracy, which Mowdudi philosophizes, and his proponents support, as a free state of living for people in a way that he claims would not be construed when considering the ideas of Karl Marx or Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

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Like Marx and Lenin, Mawdudi rationalizes the use of jihad to bring about total saturation of Islamic ideology. When communist leaders ceased forcing their political ideology upon people under that ideological governance, it might be said that they abandoned communist jihad, and it disintegrated as a form of governance over the people.

TOPIC: Thesis on Maududi Theory and Communism Jihad Assignment

This essay relies on the writings of these three men, Mawdudi, Marx, and Lenin in comparing and contrasting the meanings and theories of Islamic jihad and Communism. While Communism has failed, Islamic jihad facilitates the fastest growing religion, and, therefore, because Islam is imbedded in all aspects of social, political, legal and religious thinking and behavior of its followers, it is the fastest growing form of governance, in the world. It is important that the free world understands the extent to which Islam is imbedded in the life of its followers, and a comparison and contrast to the spread of Communism facilitates that process.

Defining Jihad

Since September 11, 2001, there has been endless discussion and debate on the philosophy, propaganda, and the violence that is, or is not, encompassed by the definition of the word "jihad." Gerrie Ter Haar and James Busuttil (2005) refer to jihad in terms of a spiritual idea on the material plane, but only under certain circumstances, most notably in defense of self (p 10). In the case of Islam, the defense of self is the defense of Islam, because the devout Muslim's life revolves around Islam and the presence of God in their daily lives. Professor Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi describes God in the life of the Muslim this way:

"In summing up I should like to point out that Islam is a complete system of life of a Divine origin which has been very wisely formulated by the almighty God for the benefit of his creatures in this world and in the hereafter (Shawarbi, p 11 of 13)."

Reuven Firestone (1999) says that the concept of jihad as a holy war evolved in a way consistent with and linear to historical trends that impacted the life of Muhammad as a prophet in the 7th century Arabia (p vi).

"The prophetic sunna, in a quite unsystematic way, provides hierarchies of value for specific activities that may be considered religious acts or acts of devotion ('ib-d-t). Such hierarchies are found throughout the various collections of tradition literature, and they are inconsistent in their conclusions. The term jih-d finds a prominent place in many of these hierarchical statements, and this jihad invariably means fighting in the path of God. The opening h-ad1+?th of the chapter The Book of Jihad in the most highly respected collection of traditions, for example, starts off with a faithful follower of the Prophet asking, "What is the best deed (ayyul-'amal afd-al)?" Muh-ammad's answer here is, "Prayers at their proper times." The question is then asked, "And then what?" To which the reply is given, "filial piety." The third item is "jihh-d in the path of God (Firestone, p 100)."

Jihad, then, does not necessarily mean physical fighting; it can mean working without violence to convert others who have no faith, infidels, to Islam; and even people of other faiths, because Islam is the final Word of God. Mawdudi teaches a non-violent approach, employing propaganda, logic, and perhaps appealing to people who are disgruntled with the politics that defy their religious beliefs, like gay marriage, abortion, or other social issues they feel strongly about. Islam is appealing to all infidels, and people of other faiths to convert to the fourth and final Word of God that was delivered to the Prophet Muhammad.

To the extent non-violent conversion fails, however, jihad holds that a person who is not a Muslim is a threat to the security of Islam, and should be converted, or eliminated.

"Another tradition slightly further along in the same collection raises the status of fighting to the top of the list: "A man came to God's messenger and said: 'Show me an act equal to jihad' [Muh-ammad] replied: 'I cannot find one.'" 2 In other traditions, raiding or jihad is considered "better than the world and all that is in it." 3 Ascribing exceptional merit to engaging in raids or war on behalf of the Umma may be found throughout h-ad1+?th literature. 4 The large number of traditions ascribing great merit for engaging in warring acts on behalf of the community has virtually no dissenting traditions to temper it. It seems to reflect a view that had become universal by the time that the oral traditions were committed to writing (Firestone p 100)."

Jihad has rewards for the faithful, and, as was seen on September 11, 2001, there is no greater conscience for Muslims than Islam. They take their commitment more seriously than perhaps any other religion in history and as a part of their commitment is the responsibility to convert or to eliminate the unfaithful (to Islam). Jihad empowers all Muslims to take action, and to utilize violence to eliminate threats to Islam. There are no geographical borders within which Islam is to be contained, and we can see from the writings of Mawdudi that he is appealing to those individuals who are in some form disgruntled with their own societies, lives, and religions.

Jihad came under debate within the Muslim community, and Mowdudi knew that unless the violence of jihad could be rationalized, then Islam would be at risk of being held as an excuse for unfounded violence.

Communist Jihad

Howard Selsam, David Goldway, and Harry Martel (1970) describe Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (who was the literary mind of the pair) as 19th century philosophers and revolutionaries (p 19). That men who think in terms of imposing their own designer ideologies upon others of a state, against the will of some, and not of others, as philosophers and revolutionaries might be perceived by many today as a stretch of the imagination. In fact, as we understand the spread of communism in Russia and in the Eastern European states following World War II, many people might equate the actions of those philosophical revolutionaries with the modern day terrorism, or jihad, that we are now seeing proponents of Islam imposing upon nation states not capable of resisting that philosophy.

A commonality in thinking between Mawdudi and Marx is found in a letter cited by Selsam, Goldway, and Martel (p 71). In a letter written by Marx to the editor of Otyecestvenniye Zapisky (Notes on the Fatherland) (end of 1877), Selected Correspondence, (pp 353-355) Marx writes:

"[My critic] feels himself obliged to metamorphose my historical sketch of the genesis of capitalism in Western Europe into a historico-philosophic theory of the marche generale [general path] imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the historic circumstances in which it finds itself, in order that it may ultimately arrive at the form of economy which will ensure, together with the greatest expansion of the productive powers of social labor, the most complete development of man. But I beg his pardon. (He is both honoring and shaming me too much.) Let us take an example (ed. Selsam et al. 1970 p 70)."

We can find, likewise, the thoughts of Mawdudi where he writes that Islam is, as Marx saw socialism, which is cited in a Friday, August 26, 2005, online discussion surrounding the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Panorama presentation on Islamic fundamentalism, which focused on Mawdudi's Islamic philosophies (MCB Watch 2005). Taken from Mawdudi's Islamic Law and Constitution, MCB Watch blogger quotes from Mawdudi's book:

"Individual liberty is not suppressed under it (the Islamic state) nor is there any trace of dictatorship in it. It presents the middle course and embodies the best that the human society has ever evolved (Mawdudi, cited on MCB Watch 2005)."

Note here that both Marx and Mawdudi perceive their own philosophies as the manifestation of the highest form or level of human evolution. Brij… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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