Historical Timeline of Jamaat-E-Islami (Part 1)

Fallen Leaf's picture
Submitted by A Mother [Guest] on Wed, 20/02/2013 - 8:23pm

1. Formally established on 26 August 1941, Jamaat -e - Islami's (JI) intellectual inspiration came from the thoughts of Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, a journalist, theologian and political thinker. The vision of its formations was (i) pan-Islamist in nature (Islamic state without boundary) (ii) to transcend the national boundaries to encompass all peoples and countries (iii) become the moral guardians of Pakistan: a holy community that did not dirty its hands in the mud of political wrangling” [1, 2]. 

2. Maududi vehemently rejected the creation of an independent state for Muslims and suggested that the new country Pakistani should be named as Napak-istan [19]. In Maududi's own words “The establishment and birth of Pakistan is equivalent to the birth of a beast.” “Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s place is not on the throne of leadership. He deserves to face trial as a traitor” [12, 13].
After years of strong opposition towards the creation of Pakistan, denouncing Jinnah as a religious lightweight and decrying democracy as satan’s handiwork, Maududi made an astonishing 180 degree flip and embraced Pakistan, Jinnah and democracy in 1948. This is when he moved from India to Pakistan [11].

3. Moududi portrayed the Jamaat as "the moral guardians of Pakistan: a holy community that did not dirty its hands in the mud of political wrangling” [1]. JI initially limited its role in Pakistan to spreading Islam’s message and social work for the refugees who had migrated from India [3] during the partition. However  the party's initial position changed before long and Jammaat-i-Islami initiated a campaign to establish an Islamic state and involved itself in the country’s politics [2].

4. During the partition of India, princely states were given the right to choose to side with either India or Pakistan. Kashmir, a princely state, with a majority Muslim population was expected to join Pakistan but the Hindu Maharaja of the state decided it would accede with India. Pakistan, in response, declared jihad (holy war) against the Indian army in the territory. Maududi, a scholar on the subject of jihad, disagreed with the Pakistani government on terming the war a jihad and went on to make his criticism public. This resulted in his arrest along with the arrest of other Jamaat leaders [1]. 

5. Moududi began working to build an Islamic state and society. He relentlessly criticized the secular policies of the nascent state and berated Pakistani leaders for failing to create an Islamic political order.  In 1953, Maulana Maududi wrote a staunch pamphlet which criticized the Qadiyani sect as enemies of Islam and incited people against them. The pamphlet resulted in widespread riots and violence against this minority group. Numerous murders and widespread rape was reported as part of this violence. A military court arrested Maududi for the primary force behind instigating the raiot and sentenced him to death for sedition. Later the punishment was reduced to life sentence and finally he was released from Jail in 1957 after some changes in political spectrum in 1957 [4].

6. Jammat initially was completely against participating in any democratic process, especially in Pakistan, which they declared as a 'non-Islamic' country. Participating in their elections will make them hypocrites as it would make their practice go against their basic philosophy. Instead of directly participating in elections, Jamaat started supporting big-name islamic leaders and tried to gain influence in the government through their support [2].

7. In 1957, there came a drastic drift in their policy as Jamaat decided to participate in national election. From the bottom-up approach of changing individuals to bring changes in the society, and thus to the political structure, Jamaat-I-Islami decided to go for the top-down approach of power sharing in a democratic government and to infuse social and individual change from that position of governance [1].

8. Before the JI could make its debut in Pakistani politics, General Ayub Khan brought a military coup in Pakistan. Khan was seen as a secular figure who intended to keep religion separate from politics [1, 2]. In order to make Pakistan into a modern state, he passed the Muslim family laws in 1961. These laws abolished unmitigated polygamy, gave powers to the women by making it compulsory for husbands to seek their wives consent for a second marriage, and abolished the practice whereby a husband could divorce his wife by saying talaq (divorce) three times [1, 2]. Seen as very progressive and in contrast to the traditional understanding of Islam, JI strongly opposed these laws and tried to put pressure on Khan to repeal them. 

9. While opposing Ayub Khan in women empowerment, in 1965, JI was supporting Fatima Jinnah for her presidential campaign against Ayub Khan in 1965 even though it was against Maududi’s views on the social role of women [5]. But due to massive vote rigging Fatima Jinnah lost the 1965 election and General Ayub Khan managed to stay in power [5].

10. Towards the end of 1965, India-Pakistan war started. Ayub Khan appealed to Maududi to declare the war against India a jihad in order to legitimize the Pakistani army’s actions and to raise the morale of its soldiers [1]. Maudid, who was widely considered to be a scholar in Jihad, and who was vehemently in opposion to General Ayub, agreed to his proposiation. Ayub Khan's meeting with religious parties - mainly the Jamaat-i-Islami under Maulana 'Abul 'Ala Maududi - marked the beginning of "the military-mullah nexus" [6].

11. When general Yahya Khan, another secular and brutal military leader, took the power in 1969, Jamaat went so far as to certify Yahya's draft constitution as Islamic. The draft was authored by Justice A.R. Cornelius, Yahya's law minister.[6, 7, 21]

12. The stage finally came for JI to test its political strength in 1970. Ayub’s successor, Yahya Khan held general elections in 1970 in which Jamaat-i-Islami took part [1] for the first time. The campaigned as a religious party and sought votes by clearly declaring that God (Allah) will be pleased if you voted for Jamaat. The expected the deeply religious people of the country would give a substantial presence in the government. Contrary to their high hopes, Jamaat received an embarrassing election result winning only 4 out of the 300 seats in the national assembly [2].

13. In 1971, General Yahya, along with the civilian politician Bhutto, planned one of the worst genocides of 20th century in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) . Jamaat supported and openly aided the Pakistan military in carrying out the genocide of unthinkable magnitude in the name of religion. The 1953 riots, killings and rapes, which led to the conviction of death penalty for Maududi, became pale against the horrific attrocities of Pakistani Army and Jamaat-i-Islami [20, 14].

14. The results of the 1970 elections and defeat in 1971 war in Bangladesh had dejected Maududi forcing him to return to his original vision of the party where it only existed as a holy community, in a domain separate from politics [1].

15. On 20th December 1971, General Yahya stepped down as the president and Bhutto took the charge who remained as martial law administrator till 14th August 1973. On 15th August, he took the oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan under the newly promulgated 1973 constitution and employed General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq as the army’s chief of staff. 1976, Bhutto summoned the general before the cabinet to explain his actions [8, 9].Later during his trial before the supreme court, Bhutto was to remark, “I appointed a Chief of Staff belonging to the Jamaat-i-Islami and the result is before all of us [9, 10].” His statement underscores the Jamaat’s increasing influence in the armed forces and the party’s role in bringing down his regime.

16. In 1976, General Zia-ul-Haq came to bringing down Bhutto’s government and imposing martial law in the country. Jamaat-i-Islami became hopeful to be a player in the national politics once again. Maududi supported Zia-ul-Haq and he was appointed as a senior statesman during Zia’s rule [1].

17. When Zia overthrew Bhutto in 1977, Maududi endorsed his Islamization initiative. Zia- ul-Haq met JI Chief Mian Tufail Mohammad for 90 minutes the night before Bhutto was hanged. The following day, the JI supporters took to the streets and distributed sweets to celebrate Bhutto’s death. Although the JI’s constitution prohibits coming into power using underground means, yet Jamaat was part of Zia’s cabinet holding the ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Production, Water and Power and National Resources [6].

18. Dr. Haider Maudoodi, the son of Maulana Maudoodi, has openly denounced the actions of Jamaat-i-Islami, the very same Jamaat his father formed and a Jamaat that is following his example to the letter. He stated in The Nation on 1/27/99 that his father was like a heroin peddler who would not allow his children to go near the drug. They never discussed Jihad at home, but he sold this idea to millions of others; Maududi never allowed any of his children to read any of his 80 books. While Jamaat-i-Islami was encouraging an uprising by Kashmiri’s against the government, Haider Maudoodi stated, “Islam does not allow them taking up arms against the State” and praised Pakistanis for not allowing religious extremists like Jamaat-i-Islami members from attaining many seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan. “My father though he could only use the people who came to him. But in his old age, he did get a taste of his medicine. When he was on his deathbed, these Maulana’s treated him as dirt” [13, 14, 15, 16].

19. Dr. Haider Maudoodi, the son of Maulana Maudoodi, also described in detail about how the Jamaat-e-islami conducted massive destruction, slaughtering of innocent people and rape of women by creating organizations such as Razakar, Al Badar etc.

20. According to Moulana Moududi's nine children and Islamic scholars of Pakistan unanimously reached into the conclusion that Jamaat-e-islami is the mother of all Pakistan's  terrorism [17, 18, 13, 14, 15, 16]. 


[1] Jackson, Roy. Mawlana Mawdudi & Political Islam. New York: Routledge, 2011.
[3] Ai, Sheikh Jameel. Islamic Thought and Movement in The Subcontinent. New Delhi: D.K Printworld, 2010.
[4] Justice Munir Enquiry Report on Anti-Ahmadiyya riots of 1953 (English)
[5] Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza. Mawdudi and The Making of Islamic Revivalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
[6] Real & Ugly Face of Jamat-e-Islami
[7] MMA and the NSC By A.R. Siddiqi (30 June 2004 Wednesday 11 Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1425)
[8] Interview with ‘Abdu’l-Hafiz Pirzadah in The Bhutto Years, 1971–1977 
[9] The Vangaurd of the Islamic Revolution
[10] Quoted in Khalid B. Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan: The Nature and Direction of Change (New York, 1980), 162. [Similarly, Stanley Wolpert reports that when in 1977 the director of the Inter-Services Intelligence sent a secret report to Bhutto, informing him of the Jama‘at’s influence in the army’s Multan barracks, the prime minister responded by saying that the Jama‘at was dangerous to the army only because it received General Zia’s “official blessings and respect.” See Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto, 280–81.]
[11] MAWDUDI'S  DEVIATIONS (Let us correct our Islamic faith)
[12] Two faces of Moududi by Faisal, June 28, 2012
[13] JI Mentor Maudoodi exposed – by Yasser Latif Hamdani ( Let us build Pakistan), June 26, 2012
[14] Interview of Moulana Moududi's son Dr. Haider Moududi ;
[15] a. Interview of Moulana Moududi's son Dr. Haider Moududi
[16] Mawdudi, Jamat-e-Islami & Deobandis had Opposed Pakistan's Creation. January 10, 2011
[17] Jamaat-e-Islami historically the mother of all terrorism in Pakistan

[18] Jamaat e Islami and Terrorism
[19] A youtube video about Moududi's Napak-istan
[20] Pakistan Chief Justice Hamdur Rahman Comission's Report
[21] Goodsoln, Larry P. “The 2008 Elections.” Journal of Democracy, 2008: 5-15.

19/02/2013 - 7:38pm


সন্দেশ's picture

Thanks for posting this important piece of the history! We converted most of the text into a timeline. The timeline entries are assigned to your account, so you should be able to edit them and fix any error you see.

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Fallen Leaf's picture

Converted the article as a time line entry as you suggested. Thanks.

তানিম এহসান's picture

Carry on! চলুক

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জোহরা ফেরদৌসী's picture


Keep up the good work!

জয় হোক মানবতার ।। জয় হোক জাগ্রত জনতার

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