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Tablighi Jamaat tells its followers not to pursue political dominance in this world

Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic religious reform movement. It has emerged as one of the most dominant forms of religiosity in postcolonial India, writes Hilal Ahmed in his book Siyasi Muslims.

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Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic religious reform movement. It has emerged as one of the most dominant forms of religiosity in postcolonial India. This “loosely organized” organization offers us a very different form of Islam. The adherents of the Jamaat are encouraged to avoid all references to politics and asked to devote themselves for what is called din ki mehnat (struggle to consolidate faith)….

….Maulana Mohammad Yusuf, the second Amir (head) of Tablighi Jamaat and the successor of Mohammad Ilyas, describes Dawat-e-Islam as an end in itself. Defining the meanings of Dawat, he says: ‘…the manner in which Prophet Mohammad lived his life and worked for the deen of Allah is tabligh’. 

It does not, however, mean that this simple and uncomplicated notion of Dawat-e-Islam is entirely purposeless. Yusuf reminds us: ‘Roman and Persian empires were like the webs of spider at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet worked on the commitment building of Muslims and prepared pure believers. Because of the share presence of these pure believers, Allah cleaned the webs of Rome and Persia with his azab (punishment). This is eventually going to happen with superpowers of our time: Russia and USA.

Also read: Tablighi Jamaat congregation and how religion has been the ‘super spreader’ of coronavirus

Deen (religion), in this framework of Dawat, is juxtaposed with duniya (world). It is argued that Deen is an expression of faith and commitment in Allah, which can only be completed by absorbing the message of the Prophet. Muslims need to consolidate Deen if they want to get success in this life and the life after death.

Thus, Muslims should not endeavor for establishing Islamic dominance (in direct political terms) in this world. Instead, they should act (Amal) to consolidate Deen through Dawat-e-Islam: inviting others to Islam. Yusuf claims: 

‘…the purpose of Tabligh is not to disseminate any particular form of knowledge; instead, the aim is to breathe life into the very idea of Deen that the Prophet brought in and made it actable for the prosperity of Muslims. If this very idea triumphs as a part and parcel of everyday life, the Almighty would shower his kindness on us’.  

To understand the nature of this ‘Dawat for Deen’, one has to unpack the Tablighi Jammat’s famous six principles: 

  • Kalima (profession of faith) 
  • Salat (five times prayers or namaz) 
  • Ilm-o-Ziikr (knowledge and remembrance of God) 
  • Ikram -i Muslim (respect of every Muslim) 
  • Ikhlas-i niyyat (sincerity of intention) 
  • Tafrigh-i waqt (sparing time). 

The first three principles focus on the universally accepted norms of Islamic religiosity. One has to have a faith in Kalima; one must offer salat five times a day; and, one must recite the Qur´an (and for that matter any other religious text). 

However, the last three principles are quite innovative, which underlines the argument Yusuf makes. For instance, the principle of Ikram-i Muslim calls upon Muslims (and particularly those who are involved in Jamaat’s work) to show respect to all forms of Islamic religious practices and avoid those actions, which may lead to religious arguments and confrontations.

Also read: What is Tablighi Jamaat? Organiser of Delhi event behind spike in India’s Covid-19 count

The principle of ikhala-e-niyyat is about individual’s intention to participate in the activities of Jamaat. If the intention is sincere, it is argued, Allah would help the person to translate intentions into action. The last principle, Tafrigh-i waqt (sparing time), is an extension of purity of intention principle, which tells us how to put words and intentions into action. 

What is really striking in this schema is the focus on Amal (actions). Jamaat makes a persuasive argument to abandon the given meaning of Islam as an individual-centric spiritual experience. Instead, it offers a systematic plan of action to get involved collectively in the world affairs for preparing Muslims for hereafter. This unequivocal appeal for religious transformation is an appropriate example of ‘propagation of religion’ in strictly Indian legal-constitutional sense. In fact, this form of Dawat-e-Islam moves away from all possible kinds of social and/or political interventions and goes for the protection of Iman of those who have already recognized themselves as Muslims!  

This excerpt from Siyasi Muslims: A Story of Political Islam(s) in India by Hilal Ahmed has been published with permission from Penguin Random House India.

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  1. Isn’t the Tablig e jamaat involved in proselytizing or conversions. Do the people involved have any modern education. Aren’t thousands of extremely brainwashed men with message to spread their religion a danger to development of modern society based on science and spirituality

  2. Tableeghi jamaat is total nonsense. They should instead focus on getting scientific education, and that’s the only way Muslims and for that matter India will truly progress.

  3. These guys are like the frog in the pond.. thinks that is the world.. this is how it all evolved.. most of us know what at stake with your actions. In short the tabliki guys have just violated all the rules n humane feelings for their own falsified norms. And spread the virus where it is less

  4. They should be away from politics but they also should not respect local authorities orders.right? Please tell our understanding that Islam wants whole world to be Islamic either by killing non believers or by converting them

  5. Ohhhh Yeahhh…..I was waiting for these Print fellas to come,defend,justify the anti-national acts or at least mellow down the intensity in Nizamuddin 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣…..And these guys didn’t disappoint me

  6. TJ has subverted common indian muslim to act against the traditional Sufism of islam and Ganga jamuni tahjeeb…

  7. Why waste our time on these nonsense Jamat who dont understand our constitution and law. Just ban them. Also islamic radical foreigners must not be given tourist Visa in our land. They can go to arabic desert to preach Iskam.

  8. Also, print to bring out what Islam talk about ‘Kafirs’ and how Islam followers shoud treat non believers.

  9. TJ or whatever it is, they can harm our country. And they have harmed.
    Have not they?
    Better keep an eye on them in future

  10. Islam is a far more persistent and far more dangerous virus than Corona .That opportunistic shepherd must not have known that his time pass book will become a pain for the world

  11. Then never Repent.. they will never feel of even apologizing for the mishap done by them.. they are not concerned about the misery and agony spread by them…. Just want to justify bull shit.

    Islamic history is like that .. they never built any empires .. they simply looted..

  12. Ok, “Ikram -i Muslim (respect of every Muslim) ” – you lost my interest and respect there. Selective in scope, linking respect to particular faith and definitely not reformist. TJ is a PJ or poor joke.

  13. The main and the best thing in this work of is that there is no Chairman no Secretary and no Treasurer. Its self struggle of achievement of Life after death. No Donations accepted at all.

  14. The main & the best thing in this work of is that there is no Chairman, no Secretary & no Treasurer. Its self struggle of achievement of Life after death. No Donations accepted.

  15. The Print has time n selection of article.marvellous service to their cause. Somebody wrote kudos to Print in one comment. Haan kudo but Qutub Minar ke upar se kudo Print,so that it is immediate death to such propaganda machine.

  16. It looks to me now that their sole purpose is to spread corona across India? Please see the conduct of most of these guys in quarantine. They are spitting all over including on the medical staff. We really do not require any organisation like this in India.

  17. Look at the 6 principles and do you see anywhere “respect life” or “respect humans” …No , it says “respect of every muslim”. Doesnt that say enough of what they want!!! Such fanatical and cult based organizations that only divide humans and say “my way ” or the “high way” should never be eulogized. If as muslims say Islam means peace and treats all humans equally, why dont they showcase organizations that emphasize that and not these fanatical, cult organizations that will read the quran on the basis of kafirs and muslims and probably ask for jihad against kafirs.

  18. My comments are only that if Tablighi jamaat is so religious, so pure, then they should be so truthful should abide by law of land and not Mohammad.
    Law of the land I mean, respect all religions, follow visa rules, the rules of the place they visit.
    Many of Tablighi Jamaat leader/ People come on illegal pretext visitors visa and without any permission visiting whole India without permission to spread religion.
    Here very purpose is defeated.
    Illegality comes to fore.
    Should they not be punishable under law? Then why #JavedAkhtar advocating the wrong cause. @javedakhtar

    • Respect for Muslims is one of the key principles, what about their respect for other communities. They are spreading the virus and violating the laws of the land. I want people like Hilali Ahmed to come out openly against this conduct of the Tablighi Jamaat.

  19. Why can’t all see the futility of practicing age old religious rituals which are so irrelevant today.

  20. But Prophet pbuh was head of the Islamic State till his last breath, where tabligh jamaat deviates from Islam. Further it is near to sufism than the true Islam itself. Also structuraly it is not as shown by Prophet pbuh.

  21. Don’t worry print. We kafirs absolutely believe that Allah is the only god. Just don’t impose jizya and Sharia law upon world domination. Desert nonsense..

  22. They say they will not discuss politics. But they say all non believers has to die in Rome and Persia. And they say there will be severe punishment to America and Russia. Only certain section of people believe these words.

  23. Wrong use of words can lead to misunderstandings among the masses and will misguide the whole community. Right words are to be used to communicate and to make people understand what TJ basically is for.

  24. This excerpt in the form of write up is the most authentic interpretation of actual scheme of things as far as Tablighi jamaat is concerned .If anyone have any doubts , spend some times with these people irrespective of who you are , then decide for yourself because some people have started their negative campaigns to demonise this self effacing organisation .Also kudos to the print for sharing this article.

  25. “Tablighi Jamaat tells its followers not to pursue political dominance” – and the kaffirs are supposed to naively fall for this bait.

    • This noble work is on since 100 years, not a bit of change according to current situations. Puritanical. Nobody can find a single fault regarding adherence to rule of law of land, regarding this organization

  26. TJ is a collosal waste of resources and is extremely harmful to Muslims.
    Instead of using their funds for education, health and poverty alleviation they are pursuing a dead end that just produces medieval minded externally pious but highly ignorant and bigoted narrow minded men.
    TJ has spread like poison ivy and has eroded the syncretic Sufi foundation on which Indian Islam was built.

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