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 do the work similar to the work of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w or is doing the work 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 the 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. Since I was young and immature, so I heard and obeyed. Although at that time I already knew that Tabligh Jamat is not the work of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w but in my opinion when compared with other Islamic work, Tabligh Jamat is the best. I made this conclusion after I have spend 4 months in India and Pakistan in 1979.
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 have doubt that the work of Tabligh Jamat can rectify the Muslims. I was worried and I always pray to Allah to teach me how to do the work of reminding the Muslims and to do the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims as Prophets Muhammad s.a.w used to do. With the blessing of Allah, Allah granted my prayer and to cut short the story, the work of reminding the Muslims about the work of dakwah and dakwah to the non-Muslims the way Prophet Muhammad s.a.w did 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 non-Muslim 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 them guidance. Now I am convince that I am doing the work of Dakwah very much similar to what Prophet Muhammad s.a.w had done thousands of years ago. However, I continue to pray to Allah to give me guidance so that the path that I have threaded is truly the path of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
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 in India in my opinion 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. Although I am not saying that they are deviated but in my opinion, 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 to the non-Muslims.
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. There is no one who knows hikmah except Allah. Allah teaches Prophets Muhammad s.a.w hikmah. Muslims will have hikmah when they do exactly like Prophets Muhammad s.a.w and Muslims are making fitnah when they do not do like what the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w used to do. Fitnah will come when Muslims are not doing dakwah to the non-Muslims like Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. The so call scholars that stop Muslims from doing the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims are spreading fitnah.When Muslims stop the work of dakwah to the non-Muslims Allah is not pleased with the Muslims and Allah will put the Muslims in so many fitnah.
In my opinion, 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. Whenever members of Tabligh Jamat visit a Muslim their main aims is to ask the person to join their group. They will ask the person to join their group by participating to what they call as going in the path of Allah for 3 or 40 days or 4 months. Whenever members of Tabligh Jamat made any lectures, 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 3 or 40 days and 4 months. They are only interested in the number of persons that can join their tarikat group and they are not so interested in establishing the first orders of Allah that is dakwah. In order for people to come to the Masjid and listen to their lectures, members of Tabligh Jamat will do Umumi Ghast prior to the lecture, visiting only Muslim houses and ask them to come to the Masjid to listen to their lecture. Whenever they get more people to join their group, they regard it as a great success to their work. 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 the non-Muslims is still not established.
When Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas may Allah shower mercy upon him started the work, the work has no name. People used to call the work 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. The deciples of Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas may Allah showers mercy upon him, modify the work to become a tarikat group that people call by the name Tabligh Jamat. Instead of doing, the work of visiting the peoples in their homes and fields to invite them to recite the kalimah and to perform solat, their elders is more interested to give long and exhausting lectures in their gatherings. Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas said that Ghast is the backbone of dakwah but instead of doing Ghast daily many Tabligh brothers only likes to give long lecture. Therefore, I conclude that the present Tabligh Jamat is not the group that does the work of dakwah or tabligh or the work of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. It is only one of the tarikat group developed by Muslims in India and should be called as ‘Indian Tarikat Group’ instead of calling it by the name of Tabligh Jamat.
Some of the members of Tabligh Jamat are very angry at these articles and they started to attack me personally. They call me Iblis and one of the army of Dajjal. They must know that these articles represent my views that has joint the work of Tabligh Jamat for nearly thirty years and I think by the grace of Allah I has contributed significantly to the growth of Tabligh Jamat in Malaysia and I have much more love to Tabligh Jamat than those who critics me. When I give critic to the work, it means I want the work to change and move forwards. I have written these articles because all my effort to move the work forward while I was in Tabligh Jamat has met with failure. I would like to inform all the Tabligh brothers that in my opinion the work is no longer, what it used to be as during the time of Sheikh Inamul Hassan (may Allah shower his grave with light). Now they are so many people who try to take advantage of Tabligh Jamat and there are so many politics involved in the decision making of Tabligh Jamat. Tabligh Jamat has grown bigger and many rich peoples start to join this work .To those who are not sincere will use Tabligh Jamat to pursue their worldly desires.
Many members of Tabligh Jamat have the attitudes that only those in Tabligh Jamat are on the right path and none is on the right path except them. When anyone critics us, we become very angry and we start to attack them personally. The one who critics us is the one who actually loves us and the one that want us to be in the correct path. In case we disagree with the critics, we have all the right to disagree with them and we should gives point in light of the Quran and Hadis to explain our disagreement and not to attack them personally. When you attack those who critics personally, it shows you are angry and you are decreasing your rewards and increasing the rewards of those who critic you. When we are angry, we start to write nonsense .When we do that we are not doing any good to ourselves neither to the work. We should love the truth rather to love Tabligh Jamat and the Elders. Allah and the Prophet love the truth. Read this article with open heart and think wisely. In case after doing that, you still want to follow Tabligh Jamat, then it is your choice and please do not attack me personally .We should remain friends although we may have different of opinion regarding Tabligh Jamat. All of us are free to have our own opinion and we should not become enemy to each other simply because we have different opinion. We all are free to do what we think and believe to be the truth. We cannot make everybody to have the same opinion and to do the same thing as us. There is no one that can give guidance except Allah. In the hereafter, I hope I am not to be blame for not telling all of you what I think to be the truth. I think I have written enough and I bear patient until Allah reveal the truth. Please read my other articles on dakwah to non-Muslim and the work of reminding the Muslims.
Prof Dr Nasoha Saabin
Integrative Holistic Wellness Centre