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Jizya against nationalism: Abul a‘la maududi’s attempt at decolonizing political theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1145-1157
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Accepted/In press2021
PublishedJul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: I would like to thank all the anonymous referees for their thoughtful comments and questions. I am grateful to Gyan Prakash, Margaret Moore, David Gilmartin, Ovarmir Anjum, Jan-Peter Hartung, and Muhammed Qasim Zaman for their comments on this article. Versions of this article were presented at the UK and Ireland Association for Political Thought annual conference, History of Political Ideas seminar at the Institute of Historical Research London, and the Universities of Michigan, Oxford, and Cambridge, as well as the London Comparative Political Theory workshop. Funding Information: Initial research for this project was funded by the ERC project “Tolerance in Contemporary Muslim Polities: Political Theory Beyond the West.” Much of the writing was finalized at Princeton University, where I was hosted by the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the Southern Political Science Association. All rights reserved. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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Abul A‘la Maududi (1903–79), the influential Indo-Pakistani Islamist thinker and founder of Jama‘at-e-Islami, was deeply concerned with the dominance of European political ideas on Muslim thought. Showing that Maududi’s critique of nationalism had greater depth and complexity than most commentators have recognized, and taking seriously his stated interest in moving beyond the “intellectual slavery” engendered by colonialism the essay argues for reading his analysis of nationalism in modern democracies and his proposed solution of jizya as an attempt at decolonizing political theory through conceptual innovation that employed Islamic resources to address limitations of European thought and practice, and inverted colonial hierarchies of thought. Recognizing it as such deepens our understanding of the challenges involved in and raised by decolonizing political theory.

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