Tabligh Jamat is an Islamic movement that has portrayed itself throughout the whole world as a dakwah movement. The movements originated from India in the early nineteen centuries. It has portrayed itself as a very noble job and they claim that the work done by Tabligh Jamat is very similar to the works of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w and their companions. It also portrayed itself as a work that inculcates the spirit of sacrifice among Muslims similar to what Prophets Muhammad s.a.w and his companions used to do. Are all the claims that Tabligh Jamat made are true .Is Tabligh Jamat truly a dakwah movements. Is Tabligh Jamat similar to the work of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w or is similar to other ‘tarikat’ movements. I have been involved with the work of Tabligh Jamat more than thirty years. Since the Jemaah portrayed itself as doing the work of dakwah, I become interested and decided to join the group although at that time I was only a student. What surprised me Tabligh Jamat does not give dakwah to non-Muslim? They argue with me saying that the present day Muslims cannot do dakwah to non-Muslims because Muslims are not practicing Islam. They said to me that we have to correct the Muslims first then only we can give dakwah to the non-Muslims. At that time, I was young and immature so I heard and I obeyed.
Whatever they said to me always remain in my mind. While I was involving with the work of Tabligh Jamat, I was always thinking and hoping that one day the work of dakwah to the non-Muslim will start. Although I am always eager to do the work of dakwah to the non-Muslim, yet I do not know how to do it. When I look at the Muslims involved with work of Tabligh Jamat I have very slightest hope that the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims will ever starts .I was worried and I always pray to Allah to teach me how to do the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims as Prophets Muhammad s.a.w used to do. With the blessing of Allah, my prayer was granted and to cut short the story, the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims starts in my locality in early February 2008. Now when I do the work of visiting the peoples to call them to Allah I will visit everyone including the non-Muslims. Now I will not miss any house as I used to do. When I met Muslims I will remind them about the meaning of the great words and about the orders of Allah, I will ask him to do the work of dakwah, and to perform five times daily solat with congregation in the mosque. When I met with non-Muslims, I will invite them to enter Islam and to recites the great words. In case there are no opportunities to give dakwah with words then I will make prayer and ask Allah to give guidance to them.
When the elders of Tabligh Jamat in India know that I am also giving dakwah to non-Muslims and teaching others to do dakwah to non-Muslim, they start to take action to stop me from spreading the teaching to others. As I was one of the Syura of Malaysia, they withdraw my right to make any decisions and they prevent me from making any lectures in any meetings of Tabligh Jamat all over Malaysia. The decisions made by the elders of Tabligh Jamat clearly indicates that Tabligh Jamat do not want to do dakwah to the non-Muslims. Tabligh Jamat is only interested to invite the Muslims to join their movements. Therefore, I conclude that Tabligh Jamat is not a dakwah movement as they portrayed themselves to be but Tabligh Jamat is only one of the many ‘tarikat’ groups. The reasons that they gave to me thirty years ago for not doing the work of dakwah to non-Muslims was only an excuse not to do the work of dakwah.
The Tabligh Jamat is using reasons created in their minds and using logics not in accordance with Quran and Hadis so that the Muslims should not do the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims. Some of the members of Tabligh Jamat argued to me that avoiding the work of dakwah to non-Muslims is the ‘hikmah’ of their elders. Allah knows hikmah and no one knows hikmah except Allah and Allah teaches hikmah to the Prophets Muhammad s.a.w. When Muslims do exactly like Prophets Muhammad s.a.w did then Muslims have hikmah and when Muslims are not doing like the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w did then Muslims are making fitnah.When Muslims do not do dakwah to the non-Muslims like Prophet Muhammad s.a.w did then Muslims are making fitnah and the so call scholars that stop the Muslims from doing the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims are actually spreading fitnah.When the Muslims stop the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims Allah is not pleased with the Muslims and Allah put the Muslims in so many fitnah.
I conclude that Tabligh Jamat is not a dakwah movement as they claimed themselves to be. Tabligh Jamat is only one of the many tarikat groups and like all other tarikat group; they are usually very fond of admiring their elders instead of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. When they give lectures, they often quote the words of their elders instead of Quran and Hadis. When any Tabligh Jamat visit a Muslim, instead of asking the person to obey the commandments of Allah, that is to do the work of dakwah and to perform five times daily solat with congregation they are more interested to ask the person to join their group by participating to what they call as going in the path of Allah for three or forty days or four months. At the end of any lectures that they make they will also ask the audience to join their groups by participating in the so call going in the path of Allah for three or forty days and four months. They are only interested in the number of persons that can join their tarikat group and they are not interested in establishing the orders of Allah. Although more than ninety years Tabligh Jamat is in existence yet the first order of Allah that is to give dakwah to the non-Muslims, to deliver the great words to them is still not established.
When Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas started the work, the work has no name and at that time, it is commonly known as the work of calling peoples towards kalimah and solat. At those times, it was a true work of dakwah and Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas used to visit the people in their houses and their fields to invite them to recite the kalimah or the great words and to ask them to perform five times daily solat. After the demise of Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas the work has been mutilated by his deciples who modified the noble work to becomes a tarikat group by the names Tabligh Jamat.Their elders instead of doing the work of visiting the peoples in their homes and fields to invite them to recite the kalimah and to performs solat are only interested to give long and exhausting lectures. Therefore, I conclude that the present Tabligh Jamat is not the group that does the work of dakwah or tabligh and neither it is the group that do the work of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, as the Tabligh Jamat claim to be. It is only one of the tarikat group developed by the Muslims in India and instead of calling it by the name of Tabligh Jamat, it should be better known as ‘IndiansTarikat Group’.
Prof Dr Nasoha Saabin
Integrative Holistic Wellness Centre