If the most sacred group of Islaam the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) are not spared in Maududi‟s opinion, then how is he going to value the saints, jurists, Muhadditheen, Ulama and Sufiya who came thereafter. Consequently he has advised his followers that criticising the elders of the Ummat is a part of Imaan. He writes in the explanation of the Kalimah under section 3 of his “Dastoor Jamaat-e-Islaami”: “Do not make anyone besides Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) a basis of truth. Do not regard anyone as free of criticism, nor be involved in anyone‟s “mental slavery”. Judge every person according to the perfect standard shown by Allaah Ta`ala.” (Page 24)
Maududi has used the term “mental slavery” to mean Taqleed. i.e. to put so much trust in the piety, honesty, knowledge and practice of any particular individual or group so that there remains no need to ask for any proof. In other words, if any member of his group puts his trust in anyone besides Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) regarding that person‟s way as correct and did not criticise him, then according to Maududi he is out of the pale of Islaam. Hence, according to him the primary condition for embracing Islaam is that every person should keep the complete standard shown by Allaah in front of him and criticise the whole Ummat. Thereafter Maududi glanced at the Ummat and was extremely disappointed to notice that the Ummat was void since its inception and not even one „perfect man. was born. In his famous book “Tajdeed wa Ahya-e-Deen” under the caption “Khilaafat e Raashidah” he writes:
“The Seal of all Prophets (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) completed all this work in 23 years. After him Islaam was blessed with two perfect leaders who continued the work with the same conciseness. Thereafter the reigns of power were transferred to Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu anhu) and for several years the situation remained as it was during the Nabi.s time.” (Page 36)
Thereafter under the title “The invasion of ignorance” he writes: “However due to the extreme pace at which the Islaamic Empire was expanding, the task was becoming more and more difficult. Furthermore Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu anhu) on whom this whole responsibility rested, did not possess all those capabilities which his predecessors were endowed with. Accordingly, during his rule ignorance was given an opportunity to infiltrate the Islaamic social structure. Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu anhu) endeavoured to prevent this peril but was unable to do so. Thereafter Hadhrat Ali (radhiAllaahu anhu) advanced and attempted to save the Islaamic political hierarchy from the influence of jaahiliyyah, but the sacrifice of his life could not prevent this inverted revolution. Eventually the Khilaafat which was on the line of prophethood, terminated. Scattered kingdoms replaced it and in this manner the foundation of the government was established on jaahiliyyah instead of Islaamic foundations. After controlling the government, jaahiliyah gradually began penetrating social life like a cancerous disease, because the key of authority was now in its hands. Islaam was deprived of a government and could not prevent its effects from increasing. The greatest difficulty was that jaahiliyyah did not appear clandestinely but came in the form of a Muslim. Had there been open atheists, polytheists and disbelievers then perhaps the confrontation would have been easy, but in the forefront was the admission of unity and prophethood, practice on Salaat and fasting, evidence from the Qur`aan and Hadith and behind all that jaahiliyyah was secretly doing its task.” (Page 36-37)
Maududi has drawn this sketch of the period 20-25 years after Nabi.s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) demise. According to his words, this jaahiliyyah had become a facade for Islaam and this jahaalat had now masqueraded as the Islaamic world. Thereafter he describes what happened to the Muslims and Islaam: “When a „Muslim. controls the rule and politics of jaahiliyyah, when he is the teacher of jaahili school, when he is a sage on the mat of jaahiliyyah then such a deception abides, that very few people can be saved from such fraud. The most dangerous side of this inverted revolution was that all three kinds of jaahiliyyah wore the garb of Islaam and began spreading their roots and their effects began increasing daily.
(1). Pure jaahiliyyah consolidated its control on the government and on wealth. The name was that of a Khilaafat but it was in essence the same kingdom which Islaam came to efface. No one had the courage to call the kings „God. anymore, hence the adage: “the king is the shadow of Allaah” was coined. Based on this false ideology, the kings chose the same status of unconditional obedience that exclusively belongs to Allaah.
(2). The polytheistic jaahiliyyah attacked the masses, removed them from the path of Tauheed and misled them towards countless deviations. Flagrant paganism could not find a footing, but there was not a single type of polytheism which did not find its way amongst the Muslims.
(3). Jaahiliyyah attacked the Ulama, Mashaaikh, the abstinent and the pious and began spreading those evils which I have previously mentioned amongst them. Due to the effect of this jaahiliyyah, philosophy, monastic morals, a sense of helplessness in every aspect of life spread through the Muslim society. Not only did it influence literature and science but in reality it made the good elements of society lax by giving them a “mafia injection”. It consolidated the ignorant system of kingship and narrowed the thinking in the Islaamic arts and sciences. It confined all religiousness to a few specific acts.” (Page 38-41)
Read this entire tale of Maududi again and ponder that if jaahiliyyah had overcome Islaam in the presence of the Sahaabah and Tabieen, and Islaam could not regain the keys of power from that time, then can there be any Ummat more unsuccessful than the Muslim Ummat? Are not the statements of Maududi an echo of the mockery which the atheists and communists of today are making of Islaam.
Thereafter under the caption: “Need for Mujaddids” he tells us: “In the midst and due to the thorough infiltration of theses three types of jahaalat, there came a need for Mujaddids to restore Islaam to its former glory”. (Page 41)
Then from pages 48 to 50 under the title „FUNCTION OF RENEWAL” he descr ibes in detail those faculties in which there is a need for a renaissance. He has in his own words classified them under nine categories, viz:
(1) A correct evaluation of the environment
(2) A plan for reform
(3) Specification of the limits
(4) Intellectual revolution
(5) An attempt at practical reform
(6) Ijtihaad in Deen
(7) An effort at defence
(8) Revival of the Islaamic system
(9) An attempt for a universal revolution
After an explanation of these nine categories, he says: “After carefully pondering over these nine points it can be realised that the first three are indispensable for every person intending a revival, but the remaining six points are not collectively conditions for a Mujaddid. In fact,a person who has attained success in two, three or four of these categories can also be called a Mujaddid. However he will be a partial Mujaddid. A complete Mujaddid can only be one who has achieved distinction in all the categories and thereby fulfil the rights of the Prophet‟s Inheritance.” (Page 50)
The question arises whether there was a perfect Mujaddid to save Islaam from the clutches of jaahiliyyah or was there anyone who was able to fulfil the rights of the Prophet‟s Inheritance? Maududi gives an answer in the negative. He remarks: “By glancing at history it can be realized that till now no perfect Mujaddid has been born. Umar bin Abdil Azeez was close to achieving this status but was unsuccessful. After him whichever Mujaddid was born worked in a specific faculty or in a few faculties. The place of a perfect Mujaddid is as yet empty. But the mind, nature and the pace of the world‟s conditions demand that such a leader be born now or in the near future. His name will be Imaam Mahdi.” (Page 51)
In short, according to Maududi no perfect man has been created. It is apparent that you will only place your trust in a person whom you regard as of a high calibre. Maududi‟s opinion that there was no person of a truly high calibre in this Ummat, quite clearly explains why he does not regard anyone in the entire Ummat as being beyond criticism and as to why he does not trust anyone.
However Maududi‟s courage and that of his followers is commendable. He states that from the early days of the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhu) jaahiliyyah has been in control. The kings have assumed a status like gods. The masses are ensnared in the grip of the polytheistic „jaahiliyyah‟. The Ulama and elders are administering „mafia injections‟ to the people. Islaam is floundering in the quagmire of jaahiliyyah, but no Sahaabi, Tabiee, Imaam, Muhaddith or Mujaddid can arise to snatch the keys of power from jaahiliyyah. This is tantamount to saying that the entire Ummat is deprived of fulfilling the Inheritance of Prophethood for 1400 years. They are either working as agents of the jaahiliyyah or are caught in the deception and fraud of it. In this Ummat, even if Mujaddids appear, they do not fulfil their entire objective. None of them have accomplished their actual task. They, according to Maududi are incapable of fulfilling the rights of the Prophet‟s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) inheritance. Can there be an expression that shows the Ummat to be more at a disadvantage and barren than this? When I look at the image that Maududi has invoked of this Ummat and think of my predecessors, my head hangs in shame. I congratulate Maududi and his associates because, notwithstanding all these factors, he does not have the slightest reservation or any shame in counting himself amongst this crippled Ummat. If this tale regarding the deprivation of the Ummat is accepted as true, then this Ummat does not remain “the best of nations” as stipulated in the Qur`aan and Hadith but becomes “the worst of nations”.
This entire narrative of Maududi is a fairy tale reminiscent of the style of Shiah ideology. There is no objective or accomplishment except to besmirch the elders and to cut off the new generation from them. Whoever harbours belief in the unseen about Maududi‟s ideology, may regard it as accurate, but a person who has faith in the perpetuality of Islaam, the explicitness of the Qur`aan and Hadith and the truth of Rasulullaah‟s prophethood, cannot for even a moment be taken in by Maududi‟s ridiculous ideology.
I am not advocating an seraphic quality for the entire Ummat, such that no individual has committed any sin, nor do I intend defending unjust kings, the perverse masses, the misguided Ulama and the „sufi -tradesmen‟. However I am protesting against Maududi‟s logic in so far as his conclusion that this Ummat has collectively become a representative of jaahiliyyah instead of Islaam. According to him Islaam has become a handmaid and only a handful of individuals are practising true Islaam. He states: “These two factors were not sufficient for the original aim of sending the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam). Nor was it sufficient that control be in the hands of the jaahiliyyah while Islaam assumes a secondary status, nor that some individuals here and some there be practical Muslims and that the combination of Islaam and jaahiliyyah be spread in the society. Hence there was a need and still is in every age for such powerful personalities, groups and institutions which could alter the damaged pace of life and revert it to Islaam.” [Tajdeed Wa Ahyaa-e-Deen, page 42]
Maududi is openly stating that after a mere quarter century from the time of Rasulullaah‟s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) demise, the whole Ummat forgot the aim of prophethood. This is a crime of such magnitude that it gives the whole Ummat and its elders the status of the worst criminals. Therefore either one of two things are incorrect; either Maududi fails to understand the duty of the Messengers, or his opinion regarding the Ummat is incorrect. By portraying the Sahaabah, Tabieen and the elders of the Ummat as criminals before the new generation, he has been unfair to the Ummat and unjust in his opinion. To cause the new generation to despise the predecessors is not an achievement worthy of Maududi‟s pen. The Shiahs, Rawaafidh, etc. have been executing this task from before. In present times the Qadianis, Chakralwis, Parwezis and Communists have taken up the same function. Whoever wishes to build the foundation for a new ideology must firstly collide with the predecessors. Unfortunately Maududi‟s swift pen has achieved the same result.