Jamaat-e-Islami was established in Lahore on August 26, 1941 (2 Sha’ban, 1360 AH). One hundred and fifty (150) people were invited to attend the institutional meeting held at Maulana Sayyed Abul A’la Maududi’s residence located near Mubarak Masjid , Shibli Street, Poonach Road, IslamiaPark, Lahore.In response, about 100 persons attended the meeting, out of which 75 agreed to join and work for party mission. These pioneer members came from all corners of Sub-continent; 24 belonged to areas now falling in Pakistan. They were all well qualified; 50 had received modern education; others were mostly religious scholars and represented variety of professions. The overwhelming majority (69) belonged to the age group of 20-40 years.
Sayyed Maududi often said that the idea for establishing the Jamaat came to him as he reflected on the problems the Muslims of India faced close to partition. The solution to those problems, he concluded, would require the services of a political party that could initiate radical changes in Muslim society. Life-long observation of problems faced by Muslims of Sub-continent led Sayyed Maududi to believe that no Muslim party was likely to succeed unless it followed ethical and religious standards set in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. He enjoined Muslims to be morally upright and to adhere without compromise to the values of their religion. Sayyed Maududi and his earliest companions did not worry much about the number, what they emphasized instead was the attaining qualitative standards. Hence, a party launched with merely 75 persons in 1941 raised its strength to 625 close to partition (1947).
With the founding of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, the Jamaat was also reorganized. It was then classified into two independent organisations the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (385 members) and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (240 members). Besides these two bodies, Jamaat has an autonomous existence in the Indian held Kashmir, also in Sri Lanka the Jamaat is working as a self-reliant establishment. In mid ’70s, the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh was also revived as an independent movement. While all the five organisations under the name of Jamaat-e-Islami are working for essentially similar objectives and have identical ideological approach, there is no organisational link between them. Each operates independently and has developed its programs and strategies for change and reconstruction in light of peculiar politico-ideological conditions of the country. The focus here in this presentation is exclusively on Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan.