Maududi was born in Aurangabad, India, then part of the princely state enclave of Hyderabad, until it was annexed by India in 1948. He was born to Maulana Ahmad Hasan, a lawyer by profession.
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.