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  • Darul Islam, 1939, Pathankot

    The Darul Islam Trust [click link above, pdf file, Urdu; source: Tazkira Maudoodi, Vol.2, inset between pages 712-713; Idara Marif Islami, Lahore; 1998] is an example of Muslim institutional efforts in India in the first half of the Twentieth Century to re-establish a culture of learning and scholarship, leading to societal reform. The document indicates the following members: "Mian Nizamuddin, Lahore; Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf, Barrister at Law, Gurdaspur; Choudhry Niaz Ali, Jamalpur; Choudhry Rahmat Ali, Deputy Collector, Anhar, Retired; Maulvi Fatah ud Deen, Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture, Punjab; Maulana Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss), journalist, Model Town, Lahore; Maulana Syed Abul 'Ala Maudoodi, Journalist, Kouchay Punt Delhi, Editor, Tarjuman ul Qur'an, Lahore".

    The venture thus brought together two brilliant thinker-activists, Muhammad Asad and Maudoodi.

    Darul Islam's objectives included undertaking "through all lawful means research on Islamic theology [Islami madhab], culture and history and to publish and print works...". Among the scholars also participating in the project were Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi and Maulana Sadruddin Islahi, both outstanding Qur'anic scholars and writers of the era.

    When the Jamaat Islami was formally launched a few years later, its Constitution (published ~1941) retained the emphasis on intellectual enquiry and research: it included a clause 'Shu'ba ilmi wa ta'limi', defining the role of a unit to "undertake deep and detailed study into Islam's system of thought [nizam-e-fikr] and way of life [nizam-e-hayat]; conduct extensive and critical reviews and research into the world's other systems of thought and practice; and present its research findings through powerful publications". The unit would also "establish a training institution [tarbiyat-gah] "to prepare the best cadre for promoting Islamic change [Islami inqilab burpa kar-ain]". (Tazkira Maudoodi, Vol.2, p.530-531; Idara Marif Islami, Lahore; 1998).

    After the inception of Pakistan in 1947, the focus of activities moved from Pathankot to Ichra in Lahore. The spirit of fostering research and learning was retained in subsequent ventures, such as the Islamic Research Academy established in the 1960s in Karachi by Jamaat Islami activist Professor Khurshid Ahmed.

    Other histories: The Muslim Institute for Research and Planning, 1974, London

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