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Abul Ala Maududi (25 September 1903 – 22 September 1979), was a South Asian scholar, philosopher, journalist, Islamist and Imam. He was one of the most influential Muslim scholars and imams of the 20th-century. His numerous works were written in Urdu, but then translated into English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Burmese and many other languages. He strove not only to revive Islam as a mujaddid or "renewer" of the religion, but to propagate "true Islam", a remedy for the weakness from which Islam had suffered over the centuries. He believed politics was essential for Islam and necessary to institute sharia and preserve Islamic culture from what he saw as the evils of secularism, nationalism, and women's emancipation.
He was the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamic organisation in Asia. He and his party are thought to have been the most important influences generating support for an Islamic state in Pakistan. They are thought to have helped inspire General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to introduce "Sharization" to Pakistan, and to have been greatly strengthened by him after 10,000s of members and sympathizers were given jobs in the judiciary and civil service during his administration. Maududi was the first recipient of the Saudi Arabian King Faisal International Award for his service to Islam in 1979. After his death his Gayby Salat al-Janazah were prayed in all over the world, including in Mecca, making him the second person in the history whose prayer was observed in the holy Kaaba, preceding King Ashama ibn-Abjar.