His major work is Tafhim al-Qur’an which explains the meaning of the Qur'an. A quick survey of his tafsir should convince you that he knew his subject matter. [Qur'an links in this post are to Tafhim al-Qur’an.]
Jihad In Islam brings up some important concepts which deserve careful consideration. On the first page, Maududi brings up the concept of Jihad, and turns it against Islam's detractors with a reverse projection. He accuses the West of making war for economic gain, contrasting that with Jihad in the way of Allah, for the holy purpose of making things right in the world. Of course, he overlooks Moe's mercenary motivation, which was revealed by Allah in 8:67.
On the second page, Maududi punches a large hole through the fiction of Islamic passivity. [Emphasis added.]
We have now officially denounced armed. struggle of all sorts just to convince and satisfy our overlords. Now the term Jihad only refers to word-war through spoken or written word.
Another significant revelation, on the third page, could be overlooked too easily. A misunderstanding of the nature of Islam is partially responsible for misunderstanding Jihad.
The first misunderstanding is that Islam is taken as a religion in the conventional I sense of the term ‘religion’.
Maududi proceeds to define that conventional sense. Pay close attention to this.
Religion as a common term means nothing more than a hotch potch of some beliefs, prayers and rituals.
Maududi told his audience that, under this definition, religion should be "a private affair". ... "There is no occasion- and justification to take up arms in this process. "
If we quit reading there, we miss the message. On the next page, Maududi deflates the balloon.
...if Islam is taken as a conventional type of religion, the institution of Jihad cannot be justified.
So why was Maududi lecturing about Jihad?
In fact Islam is neither a religion, nor the Muslims are a nation in the conventional sense of these terms. Islam, instead, is a revolutionary concept and ideology which seeks to change and revolutionise the world social order and reshape it according to its own concept and ideals.
This concept is further developed beginning on page 9.
It is the .most important, rather fundamental ideal of the Muslims, the most outstanding revolutionary party to sacrifice its life and and all the resources at its command to fight, against the evil forces. of the world, not to take their place but completely eliminate the evil and to enforce the word of Allah all over the world.
Islam is a revolutionary program to impose itself upon the entire world by force if necessary. But there is more. At the end of the page 10, another important concept is introduced: Allah's sovereignty.
No one has the right to become self-appointed ruler and order and prohibit whatever he likes on his own volition and authority.
Any ruler not ruling by the Qur'an is an evil tyrant who must be overthrown. The following verses are cited to support these ideas: 26:151-152, 18:28, 11:18-19, 12:39, 28:38, 79:24, 2:258 and 41:15.
Page 15 of the lecture spells out the intention of Islam with some clarity. [Emphasis added.]
...Islam is not merely a religious creed or a set of rituals but it is a comprehensive system that tends to annihilate all tyrannical and evil systems in the world and to enforce its own reformation programme which it deems best in the interest of mankind.
Any system that is not Islamic is necessarily tyrannical and evil. Islam decides what is good for us and imposes it by force of arms, annihilating our system of government and way of life.
On page 16 we learn that the purpose of the Party of Allah is
to eliminate the hegemony of un-Islamic aystems replacing them with a balanced social and cultural order called the Word of Allah by the holy Quran,
To support this, Maududi cites 3:110, which describes Muslims as the best of peoples. Sahih Bukhari 6.60.80 explains what makes them the best: bringing us with chains on our necks until we embrace Islam.
In the lecture's next page, Maududi cites three ayat as the scriptural basis for Jihad: 2:193, 8:73 and 9:33. On that basis, the Party of Allah must "capture power".
On page 18, Maududi explains why the Muslims living among kuffar is compelled to strive for "the extirpation of the rule opposed to their ideology and bring their own ideology into power". They can't tolerate the ideological conflict.
Maududi restates Islam's strategic objective on page 20.
...that the objective of ‘Jihad’ in Islam is to liquidate the suzerainty of an un-Islamic system of life and replace it with the rule of Islam.
We learn next that Islam must be expanded, that it must be imposed globally. This is made plain on page 21.
...no State can fully implement her ideology without expanding it to her neighbouring States.
Maududi presents the example of Islam's founder, who invited the rulers of neighboring states to embrace Islam and "resolved to take military action" against those who refused. It should become clear to you that Islam is violent, not peaceful; that it seeks to impose its will upon the entire world, destroying our way of life in the process. Islam is waging an existential conflict against us; what are we going to do about it?
While I urge everyone to read translations of the original sources: the Qur'an & Sahih Bukhari and their derivatives such as Reliance of the Traveller and Ibn Kathir's Tafsir, much can be learned from Jihad In Islam, Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah and The Religious and Moral Doctrine On Jihad and from many secondary sources. “Radical Islam: A Threat America Must Take Seriously” will be web cast Saturday, April 24, '10 from 10 to 5 EDT.