Syed Abul A'ala Maududi  (Urdu: سید ابو الاعلىٰ مودودی - alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi and Modudi) (September 25, 1903(1903-09-25) - September 22, 1979), also known as Molana (Maulana) or Shaikh Syed Abul A'ala Mawdudi, was a Sunni Pakistani journalist, theologian, Muslim revivalist Leader and political philosopher, and a major 20th century Islamist thinker. He was also a prominent political figure in his home country (Pakistan). He was also the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami the Islamic revivalist party.
1903 - Born in Aurangabad, Hyderabad Deccan, India
1918 - Started career as journalist in Bijnore newspaper
1920 - Appointed as editor of the daily Taj, Jabalpur
1925 - Appointed as editor daily Muslim
1925 - Appointed as editor Al-jameeah, New Delhi
1927 - Wrote and published Al- Jihad fil Islam
1930 - Wrote and published the famous booklet Deenyat
1932 - Started Tarjuman-ul-Qur'an from Hyderabad (India)
1938 - At the age of 35, moved to Pathankot and joined the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute, which was established in 1936 by Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan on the advice of Allama Muhammad Iqbal for which Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan donated 66 acres of land from his vast estate in Jamalpur, 5 km west of Pathankot
1941 - Foundation meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, appointed as Amir
1942 - Jamaat's headquarters moved to Pathankot
1943 - Started writing a Tafseer of the Qur'an called Tafhim-ul-Quran
1947 - Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Headquarter moved to Lahore (Ichhra)
1948 - Campaign for Islamic constitution and government
1948 - Wrote a booklet Qadiani Problem
1948 - Sentenced to Jail by the Government
1949 - Government accepted Jamaat's resolution for Islamic Constitution
1953 - Sentenced to death for his historical part in the agitation against Ahmadiyah. He was sentenced to death by a military court, but it never carried out;
1953 - Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment and later canceled.
1955 - Released from jail
1958 - Jamaat-e-Islami banned by Martial Law Administrator Field Martial Ayub Khan
1964 - Sentenced to jail
1964 - Released from jail
1971 - Ordered his followers to fight to save United Pakistan along with Pak Army.
1972 - Completed Tafhim-ul-Quran
1972 - Resigned as Ameer-e-Jamaat
1979 - Departed to United States for Medical Treatment
1979 - Died in United States 
1979 - Buried in Ichhra, Lahore
Mawdudi was one of the descendants of Khwaja Qutb ad-din Mawdud al-Chishti, a notable of the Chishtiyya Tariqa. Hazrat Muinuddin al-Chishti of Ajmar (Rahmatullahi 'Alayh) was Qutb ad-din's caliph, one of those who were ordered and given permission by him to guide the people who wanted to learn.
Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was born on September 25, 1903 (Rajab 3, 1321 AH) in Aurangabad, then part of the princely state of Hyderabad (presently Maharashtra), India. Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was born to Maulana Ahmad Hasan, a lawyer by profession. Syed Abul A'ala Maududi was the youngest of his three brothers. His father was "descended from the Chishti line of saints; in fact his last name was derived from the first member of the Chishti Silsilah i.e. Khawajah Syed Qutb ul-Din Maudood Chishti (d. 527 AH)
At an early age, Maududi was given home education, he "received religious nurture at the hands of his father and from a variety of teachers employed by him." He soon moved on to formal education, however, and completed his secondary education from Madrasah Furqaniyah. For his undergraduate studies he joined Darul Uloom, Hyderabad (India). His undergraduate studies, however, were disrupted by the illness and death of his father, and he completed his studies outside of the regular educational institutions. His instruction included very little of the subject matter of a modern school, such as European languages, like English. He reportedly translated Qasim Amin's The New Woman into Urdu at the age of 14 and about 3500 pages from Asfar, a work of the mystical Persian thinker Mulla Sadra.
Main entrance of the House of Syed Abul A'la Maududi 4-A, Zaildar Park, Ichhra, Lahore Journalistic career
After the interruption of his formal education, Maududi turned to journalism in order to make his living. In 1918, he was already contributing to a leading Urdu newspaper, and in 1920, at the age of 17, he was appointed editor of Taj, which was being published from Jabalpore (now Madhya Pradesh). Late in 1920, Maududi went to Delhi and first assumed the editorship of the newspaper Muslim (1921-23), and later of al-Jam’iyat (1925-28), both of which were the organs of the Jam’iyat-i Ulama-i Hind, an organization of Muslim religious scholars. According to Israr Ahmad he worked for sometime at Darul Islam an Islamic research academy established by Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan.
Founding the Jamaat-e-Islami
In 1941, Maududi founded Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in British India as a religious political movement to promote Islamic values and practices. After the Partition of India, JI was redefined in 1947 to support an Islamic State in Pakistan. JI is currently the oldest religious party in Pakistan.
With the Partition of India, JI split into several groups. The organisation headed by Maududi is now known as Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. Also existing are Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, and autonomous groups in Indian Kashmir, also in Sri Lanka.
Maududi was elected Jamaat’s first Ameer (President) and remained so until 1972 when he withdrew from the responsibility for reasons of health.
In the beginning of the struggle for the state of Pakistan, Maudidi and his party were against the idea of creating a separate state of Pakistan. He did criticize other leaders of the Muslim league for wanting Pakistan to be a state for Muslims and not an Islamic state. After realizing that India was going to be partitioned and Pakistan created, he began to support the idea. Maududi moved to Pakistan in 1947 and worked to turn it into an Islamic state, resulting in frequent arrests and long periods of incarceration. In 1953, he and the JI led a campaign against the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan resulting in selective declaration of martial law. He was arrested by the military deployment, which included Rahimuddin Khan, and sentenced to death on the charge of writing a seditious pamphlet about the Ahmadiyya issue. He turned down the opportunity to file a petition for mercy, expressing a preference for death rather than seeking clemency. Strong public pressure ultimately convinced the government to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. Eventually, his sentence was annulled.
In April 1979, Maududi's long-time kidney ailment worsened and by then he also had heart problems. He went to the United States for treatment and was hospitalized in Buffalo, New York, where his second son worked as a physician. During his hospitalization, he remained intellectually active.
Following a few surgical operations, he died on September 22, 1979, at the age of 76. His funeral was held in Buffalo, but he was buried in an unmarked grave at his residence in Ichhra, Lahore after a very large funeral procession through the city.
Islamic beliefs and ideology
Maududi wrote over 120 books and pamphlets and made over a 1000 speeches and press statements. His magnum opus was the 30 years in progress translation (tafsir) in Urdu of the Qur’an, Tafhim al-Qur’an (The Meaning of the Qur'an), intended to give the Qur’an a practical contemporary interpretation. It became widely read throughout the subcontinent and has been translated into several languages.
For more readings; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abul_Ala_Maududi