Sayyid Abul Ala’a Al-Mowdoodi was a renowned Pakistani journalist, theologist and promulgator of Islam throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Al-Mowdoodi was born in Hyderabad, India, in 1903. He received home education before moving to formaleducation. However, his undergraduate studies in Darul Uloom, Hyderabad, were disrupted by the death of his father, and he turned on to journalism for a living, while continuing his self-education. At the age of 17, he wrote his magnus opus, Tarjuman al-Quran, a coveted series providing brief but powerful commentary of the Holy Qur’an in Urdu language. This was followed by a series of copious publications, including Mabadi’ al-Islam (Principles of Islam), which was translated to numerous languages, and Tafhim al-Quran (The Meaning of the Qur’an) in which he tried to simplify the meanings of the Qur’an in order to bring it closer to the understanding of ordinary people. Of particular importance is his book Islamic Law and Constitution which embodied his views on the doctrine and philosophy of Islam and the divinity of Islamic laws. He was also the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami in India, a religious political movement to promote Islamic values and principles. It is currently the oldest religious party in Pakistan. His political struggle led to his imprisonment several times. In 1953, he was sentenced to death, but overwhelming public pressure forced the government to commute his sentence to life imprisonment and eventually to release him.
Al-Mowdoodi is regarded as one of the most influential Islamic philosophers of the 20th century. His life and thought have been researched by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars worldwide. His vast knowledge and prolific writings inspired many Muslims to adhere to the spirit and values of Islam.
Sayyid Abul Ala’a Al-Mowdoodi was awarded the Prize in recognition of his following services to Islam:
The laureate contributed extensively to Islamic journalism since his early youth.
He has effectively advocated the renewal of Islamic thought, such that it dominates the lives of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent.
He is considered by many as the most influential Islamic philosopher of the 20th century. His life and thoughts have been researched ever since by scholars worldwide.
He died in September 1979 while undergoing surgical treatment for a kidney ailment in a hospital in Buffalo, New York. He was buried in Lahore, Pakistan.