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The Political Interpretation of Islam pdf download

  • Book Title:
 The Political Interpretation Of Islam
  • Book Author:
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
  • Total Pages
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The Political Interpretation of Islam


Book contents

  • Chapter 1 the nature of the error of the political interpretation of islam 10
  • Chapter 2 the political interpretation of islam 14
  • Chapter 3 maulana maududi’s writings 26
  • Chapter 4 arguments from the quran and hadith 43
  • Chapter 5 where does an erroneous interpretation of the deen take us? 57
  • Chapter 6 how mindsets work!

The Nature of the Error of the Political Interpretation of Islam

Marxism is referred to as an economic interpretation of History. This is because in Karl Marx’s understanding of life, the economic factor dominates everything else. In the same way, Maulana Maududi projected Islam in such a way that every aspect of it seemed to acquire a political hue.

Accordingly, one can term his ideology as a political interpretation of the deen or the religion of Islam.

Life is a collection of various parts or aspects. These parts are separate from each other but yet are inter- linked. They can also be ranked or placed at different levels.

Ordinarily, they are three broad ways in which we can discuss or describe these aspects:

We can describe a particular aspect in its relation to the totality in exactly the same way as it is in reality or as it appears to be. This is a legalistic sort of description.

We can stress a particular aspect which is the major subject of discussion in a given context.

We can make a particular aspect the basis of the interpretation of the totality of a phenomenon. In this way, this particular aspect is presented as representing the phenomenon as a whole, or as its crux or centre-point. It is as if by understanding this aspect we can understand the totality or all the other aspects of this phenomenon.

In this booklet, I have used the term ‘interpretation’ in precisely this sense.

Let me clarify this point about these three broad ways that one can describe the different parts of a phenomenon by examining how the term ‘Economy’ can be used in different ways.

One way of talk about the economy is to say that human beings are made up of body and soul, and that the human body has certain needs that require to be satisfied through economic activity, just as the soul also needs certain things for its nourishment.

This is a way of talking about an aspect of a phenomenon in terms of its relation to the whole.

A second way of talking about the economy is to say that life depends on the economy, and that without the existence of appropriate economic means or resources, life is difficult, if not impossible.

 This is a way of talking about an aspect of a phenomenon by stressing its particular importance.

A third way of talking about the economy is to say that economic conditions are the real driving-force of, or power behind, History; that it is the economy that determines every aspect of life; and that every human feeling, all forms of knowledge, and all human institutions are shaped by the prevailing economic conditions.

This is a way of talking about an aspect of a phenomenon by presenting it as the crux or core of the phenomenon, the sole basis of understanding the phenomenon as a whole.

The first of these examples is illustrative of alegalistic sort of description. The second is an instance of a way of addressing an issue in order to stress its particular importance while at the same time not making it out to be the fundamentally determining factor.

The third is an example of making a particular aspect or factor the basis of interpreting a phenomenon in its totality.

What we have been discussing here applies to religion as well. The deen or religion of Islam has various parts or aspects or dimensions, and there are different ways of explaining and describing them.

Talking about them in terms of fiqh or jurisprudence is akin to the first method of description referred to above.

Missionaries and social reformers typically use the second method of description.

 As for the third method, it has been rare among Muslims, although it has been characteristic of some strands of Sufism. Maulana Maududi’s thought is an example of this third approach.

He expressed his understanding of the deen of Islam in such a manner that it can be called, in the sense I am using the word, a particular interpretation of the deen based on a single central factor—politics.

In brief, his understanding of the deen can be said to be a political interpretation of Islam.

I am aware that no single word can fully represent a complex phenomenon, but the picture of the deen that emerges from Maulana Maududi’s writings can be said to approximate what I term as a ‘political interpretation of the deen’.

In the Maulana’s attempted comprehensive interpretation of the deen, the political aspect appears as the focal point of the totality of the deen. From this perspective, the reality of belief and prophethood cannot be understood without taking politics into account.

Nor can the true significance of worship be comprehended apart from its supposed political underpinnings.

Nor, too, according to this perspective, can one progress on the spiritual path or understand the meaning of the Prophet’s ascension (miʿraj) if these are sought to be understood without taking into account their supposed political dimensions.

It is as if without politics, the deen of Islam is so utterly empty and so totally incomprehensible that, in the words of Maulana Maududi, it is bereft of ‘more than three- fourths’ of its components.

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