Who are the Jama’aatu Tableegh?

Jamaa’at Tableegh – pros and cons

Praise be to Allaah.

The Tablighi Jamaat was formed in 1927 in the Mewatregion around Delhi, in north India, which was inhabited by the Meos, a Rajputethnic group, The Tablighi Jamaat was founde by Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawiin India, which was the dream of his teacher Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi. Tablighi Jamaa’ah came forth as an offshoot of the Deobandi movement. Although Tabligh Jamaa’ah emerged from the Deobandi sub-school in the Hanafi fiqh, no particular. The group began to expand its activities in 1946. The initial expansion within South Asia happened immediately after the partition of India in 1947, when the Pakistan Chapter was established in the hinterlands of Raiwind town near Lahore, Pakistan. The Pakistan Chapter remained the largest till Bangladesh became independent from Pakistan in 1971. Today, the largest Chapter is Bangladesh followed by the second largest in Pakistan. Within two decades of its establishment, the group reached Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. The first foreign missions were sent to the Hejaz and Britain in 1946. The next nation to receive Tablighi Jamaat missionaries was the United States. During the 1970s and 1980s the Tablighi Jamaat established a large presence in continental Europe. The construction of the Markazi Masjidin Dewsbury, England commenced in 1978 and subsequently became the European headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat. This centre holds one major gathering annually, generally in Dewsbury itself. It has also constructed a busy madrasah, called the Institute of Islamic Education. Introduced in France in the 1960s, Tablighi Jamaat grew significantly in the two decades following 1970. Tabligh Jamaat declined around 1989.


Ameer is title of leadership in the Tabligh Jamaat. The ameer of Tabligh Jamaat is appointed for life by a central consultative council (shu’ara’) and elders of the Tabligh Jamaat. The first ameer, who was also the founder, was Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi, the second was his son Muhammad Yusuf Kandhalawiand the third was Inaam ul Hasan. The fourth Ameer was Zubair ul Hassan. At present, there is a council of their known scholars like Haji Abdul Wahhab Sb, Saad Kandhalawi etc. Zubair Ul Hasan the son of Inamul Hasan sahab passed away in Delhi on March 18, 2014. He was one of the members of the Shurah (Council) of Nizamuddin Markaz Delhi.

Tabligh Jamaa’ah encourages its followers to follow the pattern of spending “one night a week, one weekend, a month, 40 continuous days, a year, and ultimately 120 days at least once in their lives engaged in tabligh missions”. During the course of these tours, members are generally seen dressed in simple, white, loose-clothing, carrying sleeping bags on their backs. These members use mosques as their base during this travel but particular mosques, due to more frequent tablighi activities, have come to be specifically associated with this organisation. These mosques generally hold the periodic, smaller scale convocations for neighbourhood members.

During their stay in mosques, these jamaats conduct a dailygasht, which involves visiting local neighborhoods, preferably with the help of a guide. They invite people to attend the Maghrib prayer at their mosque and those who attend are delivered a sermon after the prayers, which essentially outlines the Six Principles. An annual gathering of followers, called ijtema, is summoned at headquarters of the respective countries. A typical ijtema continues for three days and ends with an exceptionally long prayer.

The fact is that Jamaa’atut Tebleegh did not appear until after the first three generations, even it is less than 100years in age today, which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) praised when he said, “The best of mankind is my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them” (narrated by al-Bukhaari,2652; Muslim, 2533; from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood)

“Jamaa’at al-Tableegh” is one of the groups that are working for Islam. Their efforts in calling people to Allaah (da’wah) cannot be denied. But like many other groups they make some mistakes, and some points should be noted concerning them. These points may be summed up as follows, noting that these mistakes may vary within this group, depending on the environment and society in which they find themselves. In societies in which knowledge and scholars are prevalent and the madhhab of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is widespread, the mistakes are much less; in other societies these mistakes may be greater. Some of their mistakes are:

1 – Not adopting the ‘aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. This is clearly seen from the variations in the ‘aqeedah of some of their members and even of some of their leaders.

2 – They are not paying attention to shar’i knowledge.

3 – Their misinterpretation of some Qur’aanic verses in a manner that was not intended by Allaah. For example they interpret the verses on jihaad as referring to “going out for da’wah”. The verses which mentioned the word khurooj (going out) etc. are interpreted by them as meaning going out for da’wah.

4 – They make their system of going out for da’wah an act of worship. So they started to misquote the Qur’aan to support their system which specifies certain numbers of days and months. This system, which they think is based on evidence from Qur’aan, is widespread among them in all countries and environments.

5 – They do some things that go against sharee’ah, such as appointing one of them to make du’aa’ for them whilst the group goes out for da’wah, and they think that their success or failure depends on whether or not this man was sincere and his du’aa’ accepted.

6 – Da’eef (weak) and mawdoo’ (fabricated) ahaadeeth are widespread among them, and this is not befitting for those who aim to call people to Allaah.

7 – They do not speak of munkaraat (evil things), thinking that enjoining what is good is sufficient. Hence we find that they do not speak about evils that are widespread among the people, even though the slogan of this ummah – which they continually repeat – is:

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islaam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islaam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:104 – interpretation of the meaning]

The successful are those who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, not just those who do only one of the two.

8 – Some of them fall into self-admiration and arrogance, which leads them to look down on others, and even to look down on the scholars and describe them as inactive and sleeping, or to show off. So you find them talking about how they went out and travelled, and they saw such and such, which leads to unfavourable results, as we have mentioned.

9 – They regard going out for da’wah as better than many acts of worship such as jihaad and seeking knowledge, even though those things are obligatory duties, or may be obligatory for some people but not others.

10 – Some of them audaciously issue fatwas, and discuss tafseer and hadeeth. That is because they allow each one of them to address the people and explain to them. This leads to them speak audaciously on matters of sharee’ah. So the inevitably speak of the meaning of a ruling, hadeeth or verse when they have not read anything about it, or listened to any of the scholars. And some of them are new Muslims or have only recently come back to Islaam.

11- Some of them are negligent with regard to the rights of their children and wives No doubt the cause of this problem and others is ignorance of many of the rulings of Islam, and a lack of understanding of a man’s responsibilities towards those whom he is supporting, and the duties towards his family that Allaah has enjoined upon him.

And other mistakes like praying at the graves, etc

Hence the scholars do not allow people to go out with them, except for those who want to help them and correct the mistakes that they have fallen into.

We should not finaly keep the people away from them altogether, rather we must try to correct their mistakes and advise them so that their efforts will continue and they will be correct according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

There follow the fatwas of some of the scholars concerning Jamaa’at al-Tableegh:

1- Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked the following question: I went out with the Tableeghi Jamaa’at to India and Pakistan. We used to gather and pray in mosques in which there are graves, and I heard that prayers offered in mosques in which there are graves are invalid. What is your opinion on my prayers, and should I repeat them? What is the ruling on going out with them to these places?

He replied:

The Tableeghi Jama’ah does not have a clear idea on matters of ‘aqeedah, so it is not permissible for anyone to go out with them apart from the one who has knowledge and understanding of the correct ‘aqeedah followed by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, so that he can teach them, advise them and cooperate with them for good purposes, because they are very active, but they need more knowledge and they need scholars who know about Tawheed and the Sunnah to teach them. May Allaah help us all to understand His religion properly and adhere to it steadfastly…

Majmoo’ Fataawa ash-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/331

2 – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:
Going out for the sake of Allaah does not refer to the kind of going out that they mean nowadays. Going out for the sake of Allaah means going out to fight. What they call going out nowadays is a bid’ah (innovation) that was not narrated from the salaf.

Going out to call people to Allaah cannot be limited to a certain number of days, rather one should call people to Allaah according to one’s abilities, without limiting that to a group or to forty days or more or less than that.

Similarly the daa’iyah must have knowledge. It is not permissible for a person to call people to Allaah when he is ignorant. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge”

[Yoosuf 12:108]

i.e., with knowledge, because the caller must know that to which he calls people, what is obligatory, mustahabb, haraam and makrooh. He has to know what shirk, sin, kufr, immorality and disobedience are; he has to know the degrees of denouncing evil and how to do it.

The kind of going out that distracts people from seeking knowledge is wrong, because seeking knowledge is an obligation, and it can only be achieved by learning, not by inspiration. This is one of the misguided Sufi myths, because action without knowledge is misguidance, and hoping to acquire knowledge without learning is an illusion.

From Thalaath Mihaadaraat fi’l-‘Ilm wad-Da’wah.

And Allaah knows best.

Sheikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid


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