A RESPONSE TO SHAYKH AL-ALBANI REGARDING JAMAH DAWAH AND TABLEEGH


WWW.AHMADTRINI.BLOGSPOT.COM

A RESPONSE TO SHAYKH AL-ALBANI REGARDING JAMAH DAWAH AND TABLEEGH

Inviting to Islam

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakathuh,

Question

Dear respected brothers & ulama,

I would be very much grateful if you could kindly advise me on this issue below subject. I would also highly appreciate if you could kindly refute the response of the sheikh.

Awaiting your kind feedback at your earliest please!!!!

Jazakkumullahu Khairan

Shaykh al-Albaanee’s advice to the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh

(English translation of a lecture given by the Shaykh)

All praise is for Allaah, and prayers and salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)”

Question: Where does the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh go wrong? What is the remedy for their situation?

Response: The remedy is Knowledge, as we have always advised them. Instead of going out for this “KHUROOJ”, which has no basis in the Sunnah, whereas they make it a Sunnah to be followed. Rather they should sit in the masaajid and learn the hadeeth and fiqh and the manner of reading the Qur.aan correctly as it was sent down – [since many of them who speak, and this is a wicked practice which they have established for the people (in that) they encourage them to speak -] and then (they) are not able to correctly read the aayah, not to mention the ahaadeeth of the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) – [since he explains the aayah in a way that causes him to fall under the saying that occurs in the knowledge of the Sciences of hadeeth (‘Ilm Usoolil-hadeeth): “That the student must learn the “Arabic language so that when he reads a hadeeth he does not introduce mistakes into it, but reads it as the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), said it”] – and if not then he falls under the saying of the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam),

He who reports me that which I did not say, then let him take his place in the Fire”

Even when the Book is in front of him and he reads from it – [then he even cannot read it properly even though the Book is fully vowel pointed] – but even so those whom we hear in many of the masaajid cannot read the hadeeth of the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), properly, – not to mention the being able to explain them correctly, and not to mention explaining the rulings contained therein – whilst those sitting and listening are in dire need of this fiqh taken from the Sunnah.

Therefore the cure for those people is for them to return to the circles of knowledge in the masaajid and find a scholar who has knowledge of the different readings (Qiraa’aat), knowledge of Tajweed, knowledge of fiqh, knowledge of hadeeth and knowledge of Tafseer. – so that they can learn. Then, after that if any of them becomes able to call the people – then he has to call the people. However, they call themselves, “Jamaa’ah ad-Da’wah” and the “da’wah” is the call to Islaam, ‘the group of spreading the religion’, but this religion of Islaam has to be understood by the caller so that he may able to spread it correctly and properly – and if not then ((the one who does not have something cannot give it)) and this is a well known truth.

Therefore we advise them, since in many of them we find sincerity of purpose, and that they are active in da’wah, however, what was said of old of them was true, as follows: “Sa’d brought them in – leading them: That is not how you bring in camels, O Sa’d!)): ((That is not how you give da’wah to Islaam O Jamaa’ah)) da’wah to Islaam requires scholars who are able – especially if they go out from their lands to the lands of Kufr and misguidance, such as Europe and America – as over there problems and doubts come to them which you would not even think about in the Muslim lands – so where will they find the answer to them – he who does not have something cannot give it.

I believe that they – Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh, if they really do wish to spread the religion of Islaam – then it is not enough that they are students, rather they must be scholars and mujtahids – taking Islaamic rulings from the Book and the Sunnah.

Why? Because they go to a land where the habits, customs, usages, and problems are different to ours – so where will they get the answers from? They have no answer – rather one of them may mistakenly think that he has some knowledge – and therefore give Fatwa’s – just as the Companions gave Fatwas to the injured man and killed him – they gave Fatwa without knowledge and so erred and led into error, just as the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), said in the hadeeth recorded by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim,

verily Allaah does not take away the knowledge by removing it from the hearts of the scholars, but He takes the knowledge away by taking away the scholars – until there does not remain any scholars, so the people take ignorant ones as their leaders – and they are asked and give judgment without knowledge.”

This is exactly what is happening these days – that many people give fatwas without knowledge and therefore go astray and lead others astray – therefore for those who wish to give da’wah – it is not enough that they are students, rather they must be scholars – deriving rulings from the Book and Sunnah – and if not, then they are not able to convey the message of Islaam, particularly in those foreign lands.

I end this talk with a point noted by a famous scholar of Andalus – Ibn Rushd al-Maalikee – he gave an example for the mujtahid scholar and the muqallid scholar – a very good example – saying, “The example of the mujtahid and the muqallid is the example of the person who sells leather socks and the one who makes them. So a man comes to the seller of leather socks and asks him for a particular size [and maybe he wants an unusual size, small but wide] and he doesn’t find this size amongst his stock – so he has to go to the maker of the leather socks and say I want a leather sock of such and such a size – and he makes it. This is the example of the mujtahid and the other one, the muqallid (blind follower).”

So where will they find answers required in that land? Therefore we advise them strongly – since they have sincerity and feeling for Islaam, and desire to spread it amongst the people – to seek knowledge. There is no other way than that; after that, perhaps, Allaah will grant them that knowledge and open the door of true da’wah to them, and if not, then, the one who does not possess something cannot simply give it to others.

Our way, is that “the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)”, and this is the text agreed upon by all Jamaa’ahs amongst Muslims throughout the world. No one says,

The best of guidance is the guidance of Abu Haneefah, or Maalik, or ash-Shaafi’ee, or Ahmad”,

and yet, all of them hold that they are people of knowledge and excellence and that their purpose is to follow the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), and his way.

Hence, all Muslims, irrespective of group or sect, agree upon this basic principle that “the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)”. Despite this agreement there is still some difference with regard to how that is put into practice and in making this Prophetic truth a fact upon the face of this earth. It is here that they differ, and we have just discussed about what is knowledge, which is “what is commanded by Allaah and His Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)”.

There is also no disagreement about this fact. However, in practice today you hardly ever hear a scholar answer a question by saying, “Allaah Ta’aala says….

Or “The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said…”. Instead they say “so and so says…”, and that is NOT knowledge. So what is important for the Muslims today is that they come together upon the principles – and these are agreed amongst them – and stick to them and not leave them on one side and we say, “The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)”.

Then we also see, after that, that one person prays in a certain manner and another in a different way and another and so on…, and likewise in wudoo., fasting, Hajj etc. etc. Why? What is the reason? The only reason is that they have NOT followed the simple basic principle of

the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)”

Why is this so? Because making this principle a reality in our religious life requires knowledge of what Allaah and His Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), says. In particular what is authentically reported from the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and keeping away from that which is NOT authentic from him (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) – so where is this way, its method and application today?

Then we return to the question and say, ((All of the Jamaa’ahs amongst the Muslims say (( the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam))), but the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh and others – we do not particularise them alone since the problem is general – has their ‘aqeedah become one – and they have been in existence for many years.

So has the ‘aqeedah of its members become a single ‘aqeedah? Has their ‘ibaadah (worship) become one? Etc. In my opinion the answer is “NO”, since you will find amongst them, the Hanafee, the Shaafi’ee, the Maalikee, and the Hanbalee, just as you would find outside the Jamaa’ah, and so on in this way there is no difference between them and the other Jamaa’ahs. Likewise within Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh you will find people who lean towards the Book and the Sunnah as we have just explained.

However, you do not find amongst them scholars who guide these (people) to the Book and the Sunnah. Instead, they rely upon any scholar who will explain to them what is in the Book and the Sunnah since they believe that it is the Qur.aan and the Sunnah that are to be acted upon. As for the great majority of them, they are not like that.

The reason is that not all of them have that belief which would unite them if they possessed it.

Therefore, you see them do many things at variance with the Sunnah. Eg; (this thing) which they alone do and have particulate themselves with, from amongst all of the various different Jamaa’ahs.

This is what they call “khurooj” –going out in the way of Allaah – meaning going out with the Jamaa’ah to various towns, cities, lands and even non-Muslim countries. So we always remind them that going out in the way of Allaah is a good thing since the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said “He who takes a path seeking knowledge. Allaah makes it easy for him a path to Paradise”. However, if they believe, along with us, that the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), then (we ask), “had he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his noble companions used to go out in tens in that way to give da’wah of Islaam?”((INTERRUPTION)) And the people in the time of the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) were in greater need of knowledge since they were surrounded by the unbelievers.

So he, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), would send a knowledgeable one and not send ten or twenty along with him who did not know anything. Rather they would learn from the people of knowledge in their own lands.

So I am sure you all know that he, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), sent Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu), alone, Abu Mousa (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu) alone, and likewise ‘Alee (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu), Abu ‘Ubaydah (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu) and Dihyah (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu) etc. etc. all singly. We do not find at any time in his blessed life that he, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), sent along with a scholar, people who were not scholars – to . What was in but Shirk and Kufr, and consider, there was need in the time of the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).

Therefore we say that the foundation of da’wah is Knowledge – Knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah – and I would draw your attention to the fact that despite being around many years they still do not have a single unifying ‘aqeedah nor a single unifying worship, nor commonality in their prayers. So what is it you will convey to the people while you have not yet conveyed it to your own selves? Begin with your own selves first, then those around you. What will the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh convey if they themselves have not still agreed in ‘aqeedah? As far as I know, Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh does not give any importance to the affairs of ‘aqeedah.

Indeed, many of them state openly that, “we do not go into the affairs of ‘aqeedah since they cause differences amongst the Muslims”, nor do they take care to correct their worship and Prayers and make that in accordance with the Sunnah. So he who does not possess something cannot give it to another.

They call to Islaam. What is Islaam? Prayer!, Fasting!, Zakaah! Etc. If a questioner comes and asks, “How did the Messenger of Allaah, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), perform Salaah?” to one of their callers (Da’ee), not just one of their common followers, then he cannot answer. Why? Because from the beginning, from their first principles, they are NOT taught to, first of all, make sure that they are upon following the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), of Allaah. Either he will be restricted to a particular madhhab or following a particular Soofee order – about which some Soofee’s speak openly and say,

The number of ways to Allaah are like the number of created beings”.

So, perhaps, this Shaykh belongs to one of those Soofee orders about which the scholars are agreed that nothing of them ever existed in the first three generations after the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), whose excellence was testified to and Allaah Himself says:

{Verily, this is My Way, leading Straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) Path},

[Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 153].

And so if the head of the callers who established the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh; he himself follows a particular madhhab, blindly – Hanafee or Shafi’ee or any other; And he himself follows one of these Soofee orders – then what is this Islaam that they call to? Prayer only? We often hear and know that many people who had not used to pray have started to pray – we do not deny that. We know many extreme Soofee’s in all the lands of Islaam, and particularly Syria, where they have lived for many years – Shaykhs of the Soofee’s who devour the people’s wealth and live upon the hunger of their followers – and yet people who were formerly drunkards become their followers and begin to pray.

But is that what is wanted? That a person becomes like the example mentioned by the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), “The example of the scholar who does NOT act on his Knowledge is that of a lamp which gives light to the people and burns itself away.” That is not what is wanted. What is wanted is that the Muslim gives da’wah having a certain Knowledge of his religion – and where does he get that knowledge from? As we have said: Either he himself becomes a scholar by studying the Book and the Sunnah or he takes the Book and the Sunnah from one who is a scholar of that. We do not find that amongst the followers of Jamaa’at – Ut-Tableegh – and for all these years – and likewise for the Ikhwanul Muslimeen – and they have not come together in their thinking – so within the Ikhwan you find those who adhere to the way of the Pious Predecessors, the Soofee, the follower of a madhhab, and in some lands even the Shee’ah – we know that from their long history – what Islaam is it that they call to?

And know after mentioning their shortcomings – I advise them – that instead of going out for this “Khurooj” which was, firstly, not found in the time of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), and secondly, that it is organized in a way that has no basis in Islaam – three days, four days etc. – Instead of that “Khurooj”, which did not exist in the first and best period of Islaam, sit in the masaajid and study the Book of Allaah, either by yourselves if you are from the former group and if not, then, by asking the people of Knowledge if you do not know.

And we often hear them begin their lesson with the saying: “Our success lies in following the Sunnah”. Fine, but if you ask, “What is the Sunnah in the Prayer that you have just performed?”. He doesn’t know. The Imaam sits after the prayer, opens “Riyaadh as-Saaliheen” – and what a good book it is – he reads two or three ahaadeeth and does not explain them or make their meaning clear – reading only the text. Then the people go away not knowing anything. Why? Because the Shaykh didn’t explain. Why? Because he doesn’t have something, hence he cannot give it.

So, instead of wasting time reading ahaadeeth which they do not understand – let one or two of them out of the thousands seek knowledge – tafseer, hadeeth, language etc. Then, let them call the people to Islaam upon clear guidance. The Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh in this form, what do they call to? To Islaam, fine. Then what is the ‘aqeedah that a Muslim has to have? Is it the Ash’aree ‘aqeedah, the Maatureedee ‘aqeedah or the ‘aqeedah of Ahlul hadeeth? Each is upon that which he found his father, mother, grandfather – or from Al-Azhar or the latest Islaamic University etc. Otherwise his mind is completely empty, neither having this nor that – what is the reason?

Firstly, it is not part of their system that they teach their Jamaa’ah the ‘aqeedah.

Secondly, it is not part of their program to teach the people what is Sunnah and what is Bid’ah – and the Arab Muslim poet of old said: “I learnt what was bad not for its own sake but to avoid it: and he who does not know bad from good falls into it.

And this poetic wisdom is taken from the hadeeth of Hudhayfah Ibn al-Yamaanee (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu) who said about himself: “The people used to ask Allaah’s Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), about the good. And I used to ask about the bad fearing it would come to me…”

And as the poet said: “Sa’d brought in [the camels], leading them: O Sa’d – that is not how you bring camels in.”

If you call to Islaam – you have to know what it is, beginning with Eemaan and perhaps the brothers will recall the hadeeth: “That a man came to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) with very white clothes and black hair… [the hadeeth of Jibreel concerning Islaam, Eemaan and Ihsaan…]…”

Eemaan in Allaah – I have never heard any of our brothers explain the word “Eemaan in Allaah” – of which it is possible to write volumes about, and it is sufficient for us that Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote a whole book called “Kitaabul-Eemaan” – and the muhaddithoon (scholars of hadeeth) of old wrote such books such as Ibn Abee Shaybah and Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim as-Sallaam – all of them writing books on Eemaan.

What is “Eemaan in Allaah? The Muslims believe in Allaah, the Christians believe in Allaah, the Jews believe in Allaah, everyone but the atheists believe in Allaah. But each one’s belief in Allaah is different from the other. So what is that Eemaan (in Allaah) which is the first condition of Eemaan? This topic is never studied. This Eemaan contains the belief in the Oneness of Allaah’s self; it contains the Oneness of Allaah’s worship – that He alone is worshipped; it contains Allaah’s Uniqueness in his Attributes.

Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh do not speak about these at all – so then, what O Brother is this Islaam that you call people to? And where are you with regard to his (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) sayings:

((Pray as you see me praying)) and ((Take your rites of Hajj from me for I do not know – perhaps I will not meet you after this year)).

Then, our advice is that some – not all thousands or millions of them – but tens or thousands of them should obtain knowledge of the religion who then can guide them to the following of Allaah’s Book and the ahaadeeth of Allaah’s messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).

As for the going out – then no one should go out except for the scholar – as shown in the guidance of Allaah’s Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). As for spreading the religion – then each person passes on what he knows – but that is not to be in ordered form that people from Amman leave their families and children and go to Europe and . Let them remain at home and learn Allaah’s religion as did the Companions of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). We again repeat, :The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).”

Where are those who best understand this rule? Without a doubt they were the Companions of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), then those who came after them, then those who came even after them. Fourteen centuries have passed and whatever we might say about changing times or methods etc. – we are now in the 1400’s and never in these 1400 years did a group of scholars go out in hundreds in this way, traveling through the lands to give da’wah. Why did they not do that? Therefore the scholars say, “And every good is in the following of those who came before, and every evil lies in the innovations of the latter people.”

No one will argue about giving da’wah since Allaah Ta’aala says:

{Let there arise out of you a group of people…},

[Soorah Aal-‘Imraan, Aayah 104]

but the problem lies in the method of da’wah and the way it is given, and what is introduced into that which had not been used to be in the time of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), and that one having knowledge goes out – why does he go out? To learn! Brother, stay in your homes, the masjid is next door, sit there and learn from the scholars.

< INTERRUPTION > from someone in the audience asking what is wrong with going out to the masaajid.

O beloved Brother, may Allaah be Pleased with you – this is NOT the point of discussion – do not enter us into issues which are not related to where the problem lies…, I say there is no problem – but the ones nearer to you have more right, your family, your neighbors etc. then to whom will you call? Have you taught your family the correct ‘aqeedah? And taught them how the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), used to pray?

Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh do NOT learn or teach how the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), used to pray and make Hajj etc. So as a member of Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh have you taught that which is obligatory to your family whom you live with? They are the closest of people to you. So you leave them alone and go to another town and say to me “what is wrong?” – I say there is nothing wrong, but start with yourselves, then those closest to you.

Do not leave your land – going here and there – he who does not have something cannot give it.

We in ash-Shaam , have an example which they mention – they say: “That there was a Kurdish man, zealous for Islaam, but knowing very little about it – he met a Jew on the road one day and said to him ((become a Muslim or I will kill you)), so he replied;

((I will become a Muslim – what do I say?)) He said: ((By Allaah, I don’t know!))”

What benefit is this type of enthusiasm – he doesn’t even know what to say to the Jew about Islaam. So we say, – that before this enthusiasm – sit and learn what Islaam is – then spread it amongst the people in the best way. And this is enough of a mention of the short-comings of Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh. And we do not wish to go further into the details since that requires research of their history – and what is correct and what is not – but that which is very clear. Is that this “Khurooj” in groups who hardly know anything about Islaam?

<INTERRUPTION: This accusation you make…, that you say that they don’t pray in the way the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)>

Brother, it is not an accusation – It is something we see.

<Continuation of INTERRUPTION>

Then as I have said to you – if we do find someone amongst Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh praying according to the Sunnah, then this Sunnah has not come from them but from outside. So, in this case you are like the person mentioned in the Quran:

{And one of her household saw (this) and bore witness, (thus)…},

[Soorah Yoosuf, Aayah 26].

Al-Hamdu-Lillaah, and you pray according to the book, Sifatus-Salaatin-Nabee (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), – why don’t you pray according to a book produced by Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh? Because they haven’t produced any such book. Then – we return to what is most important – to ‘aqeedah – so do you say that we accuse them of not giving importance to ‘aqeedah? Well, they themselves clearly state that – they do not call to ‘aqeedah, nor to the Book and the Sunnah – everyone remains upon his madhhab…

I say, as long as the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh want to spread Islaam and have this enthusiasm – then the Sunnah must come from them – not have to be taken from other Jamaa’aha. I know them from and from sitting with them, and I know them here….. so I am not ignorant of them, so that you say that I accuse them. Rather you accuse us of accusing them – but I speak based on knowledge…

So, in brief, with regard to the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh – we are thankful for their enthusiasm but not for the way in which they show it. This enthusiasm has to have knowledge attached to it – and knowledge as has preceded is “what Allaah and His Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), say”. This hadeeth is authentic. Is there any scholar amongst them who is able to say that this hadeeth is weak so that he can be upon clear guidance in his religion? They do not have such a one to this day. Why? Because their way is at variance with the correct way:

{Verily, this is My Way, leading Straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths},

[Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 153].

Translated by maaz qureshi

www.ahmadtrini.blogspot.com

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

A brief introduction to Tabligh Jama’ah and their objectives

Tabligh literally means‘to convey’.Contextually, it refers to conveying the message of Islam. This is the sunnah of all the prophets. The most important rule of tabligh is hikmah. Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran:

ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة

Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel.

(Verse: 16:125)

Whosoever does tabligh must adopt hikmah. It is only then, that people will understand and accept.

The system conducted by the Tabligh Jama’ah was initiated by Moulana Ilyas Saheb (Rahimahullah).

He observed that people were too engrossed in their worldly activities and had forgotten the objective for which they had been sent to this world. He realized that they had to free some time from their worldly engagements, to sit and ponder about Allah Ta’ala and their purpose for being sent to this world. Therefore, he started calling people to the masjid, and reminded them about Allah Ta’ala and His greatness. Initially people rebuked him, they discouraged him and used to say that they had no time for all of this; but as time went by, they realized the truth behind it and the need for it, and started joining him in calling others towards Allah Ta’ala. Thereafter, when more people started joining this work, a few guidelines had to be set, to make sure that the work was done in a proper manner. Different time periods of 3 days, 40 days, etc.were set, so that people knew for how long they had to be away, and could make the necessary arrangements for that period.

Their objective is that each and every Muslim adopts the Islamic way in all aspects of life. They do not advice anyone to leave all their daily activities and join this work, but they encourage people to take out some time from their daily engagements so that the rest of the time could be spent in accordance to the teachings of Islam. Spending time in the path of Allah is not the objective of the work, but rather it acts as a motivation to practice on all other aspects of Deen.

Proofrom Quraand Hadith

It is incorrect to say that the work of tabligh ‘has no basis in sunnah’ or that ‘it was not found in the time of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’. There are numerous verses of the Quran and the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that support the practice of tabligh. Hereunder are a few of them:

From the Holy Quran:

1.

ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة

Invite (people) to the way of your lord with wisdom and good counsel.

(Verse: 16:125)

2.

ولتكن منكم أمة يدعون إلى الخير ويأمرون بالمعروف

وينهون عن المنكر

And there has to be a group of people from among you who call towards good and prevent from evil.

(Verse: 3:104)

3.

ومن أحسن قولا ممن دعا إلى الله وعمل صالحا وقال إنني من المسلمين

And who is better in utterance than the one who called people towards Allah, and acts righteously and says, “I am one of those who submit themselves (to Allah Ta’ala).

(Verse: 41:33)

From the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

4.

فقال أبو سعيد أما هذا فقد قضى ما عليه سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان

Hazrat Abu Sa’eed (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that he heard Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, “Whosoever witnesses a forbidden act being committed, he should prevent it by the use of his hands; if he is unable to do so, then he should prevent it with his tongue; if he is unable to do so, he should at least consider it a vice in his heart; and this is a very low level of Iman”.

(Sahih Muslim Vol.2 Pg.211/2 – Darul Ma’rifah)

5.

عن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال مثل القائم على حدود الله والواقع فيها كمثل قوم استهموا على سفينة فأصاب بعضهم أعلاها وبعضهم أسفلها فكان الذين في أسفلها إذا استقوا من الماء مروا على من فوقهم فقالوا لو أنا خرقنا في نصيبنا خرقا ولم نؤذ من فوقنا فإن يتركوهم وما أرادوا هلكوا جميعا وإن أخذوا على أيديهم نجوا ونجوا جميعا

It has been reported on the authority of Nu’man bin Bashir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “There are people who do not transgress the limits (laws) of Allah Ta’ala, and there are others who do so. They are like two groups who boarded a ship; one of them settled on the upper deck, and the other on the lower deck of the ship. When the people of the lower deck needed water, they said, “Why should we cause trouble to the people of the upper deck when we can have plenty of water by making a hole in our deck”. Now, if the people of the upper deck do not prevent this group from such foolishness, all of them will perish; but if they stop them, they will be saved”.

(Sahih Al Bukhari Vol.3 Pg.152 – Darul fikr)

The Shaykh then disagrees with the method of da’wa that is carried out by the Tabligh Jama’t. He says that it was not found in the time of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

We also agree that the manner in which da’wa is coordinated by the Tabligh Jama’ah (e.g. specifying the time period of 40 days, stipulating time for ta’lim and gusht, etc.) is not proven through sunnnah, but it is not necessary that the method of each and every ruling of Shari’a is stipulated through sunnah. There are some commandments in Shari’a in which the method is not stipulated. For example, it is a commandment of Shari’a to acquire knowledge,but the manner in which the Madrasas are established today, is not proven through Quran and Hadith. Up until the recent past, the scholars used to teach in the masjids of their respective towns and villages. The students had to go to different scholars to learn the different sciences. No arrangements of food or boarding were made.

However, the zeal for knowledge had decreased as time went by, and the scholars felt it necessary to establish the system of Darul Ulooms as is established today. Nobody regards such a system to be bid’ah.

Similarly, Shari’a has commanded us to do the work of tabligh. This work used to be done on an individual basis. The learned people used to preach people and prevent them from all vices. As time went on, vice started prevailing, and people had stopped doing the work on an individual basis; therefore, a collective effort had to take place, and rules had to be set up for the work to carry on in order.

Importance of seeking knowledge

We accept the fact that it is important to seek knowledge, and certain aspects of Deen are such that it is compulsory for each and every Muslim to know them. There are millions of Muslims in the world. It is not practically possible that all these Muslims join Darul Ulooms and madrasas or (as mentioned by the Shaykh) sit in the masjid and acquire knowledge, as is the custom in , etc. All the Muslims in the world will not be prepared to do this, nor can the Darul Ulooms and madrasas accommodate such a big body of students.

Therefore, a different mechanism had to be adopted.

It was observed that only the minority that were in Darul Ulooms and madrasas were acquiring knowledge, and the vast majority was too engrossed in worldly activities, resulting in the ignorance of even the basic principles of Deen. Therefore, a method was engineered where the Muslims were requested to take out some time from their daily engagements and come to the masjid. Here they were reminded about Allah Ta’ala and how ignorant they were of the teachings of Islam. This led them to spending more time in the path of Allah and eventually they were educated with the basic teachings of Islam. It is apparent today that anyone who spends at least 40 days in the path of Allah is acquainted with the basic rulings of salah, wudu, etc. and also learns to recite those surahs of the Quran that are read frequently in salah. Moreover, the work of Tabligh has created awareness for the lack of knowledge in Muslims in the past few years, resulting in more students joining madrasas and the opening up of more Darul Ulooms and madrasas.

Therefore, we concur with the Shaykh’s advice on educating the Muslim masses with the teachings of Islam; but it wouldn’t have been practical to expect all the Muslims to disengage themselves from their worldly activities and be engrossed in acquiring knowledge. Rather, a practical method had to be adopted, which the Tabligh Jama’ah succeeded in accomplishing. However, we do not deny the fact many of the brothers fail to adhere to the set of rules given to them by the seniors of Tabligh Jama’ah, and do not attain the full benefit they would have otherwise attained.

Thposition of knowledge in Tabligh Jamaah

Tabligh Jam’ah does not discourage people from acquiring knowedge, but rather it acts as an encouragement for people to go seek knowledge. The teachings of Tabligh Jama’ah are based on “six points”, the third point of which is “’ilm (knowledge) and zikr (remembrance of Allah Ta’ala)”. When the brothers who go out in the path of Allah, the virtues of knowledge are read to them and they are encouraged to go to the scholars of Deen to acquire knowledge of the rulings of Islam. The students and teachers of schools and madrasas are discouraged to disrupt their studies for the work of da’wah, but they are inspired to give their free time for this work. There are extremists that give preference to da’wa over knowledge, but this is totally against the teachings of the seniors of Tabligh Jama’ah.

Propagating without knowledge

It is true that one should not preach what one does not know. However, not having knowledge in one field does not mean that one cannot propagate at all. There is no one present on the face of the earth who can say that he has mastered all fields, or even one field for that matter. Knowledge is so vast that no creation can encompass it. Therefore, we cannot say that one should wait till he has perfected his knowledge in order to propagate it. It is enough for a person to know one aspect of Deen to propagate that aspect to another person. We also understand from the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that he ordered the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) to propagate whatever they heard from Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), even if it was one sentence.

عن عبد الله بن عمرو أن النبى – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال « بلغوا عنى ولو آية … » .

It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin Amr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single verse or sentence (from the Quran or the Sunnah …”.

(Sahih Al Bukhari Vol.4 Pg.175 – Darul fikr)

Similarly, the brothers who go out in the path of Allah discuss the “six points” with those who have spent more time than them. After they are well acquainted with the “six points”, they are allowed to give talks in the mosque. They are advised to speak only within the “six points” and not speak anything besides that. In this way, they propagate only what they know and not what they do not know. Only the qualified scholars are allowed to elaborate on issues other than the “six points”. This is the reason why most of the brothers that take part in the work of tableegh do not answer questions posed on Aqeedah and rules of Islamic jurisprudence.

Anyone who poses such questions is asked to consult an ‘Alim for an answer.

It has also been the concern of the seniors of the work of tabligh that many of the jama’ahs go out in the path of Allah without a single ‘Alim in the whole jama’ah. They are trying to rectify this situation by inviting more scholars to do this work. However, they make sure that there are at

least one or two ‘Alims in every Jama’ah that is sent to another country.

The incident of the companions giving fatwa to the injured man does not prove the permissibility of propagating one’s knowledge. It only proves that one should not comment on a matter that one has no knowledge of. This does not stop him from propagating what he knows.

Misquoting the Ahadith of Nabi(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)

It is a great sin to falsely attribute anything to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said:

ومن كذب على متعمدا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار

Whoever tells a lie against me intentionally, then surely let him occupy his seat in the (hell) fire.

(Sahih Al Bukhari Vol.4 Pg.175 – Darul fikr)

It is a sad fact that scholars and the general masses are all involved in this malpractice of misquoting the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Incidents and sayings are taken from books and other talks, and attributed to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) without trying to figure out if they are authentic or fabricated. This malpractice is not found only amongst those brothers who are involved in Tabligh Jama’ah, but is a common practice of many of the speakers who want to spice up their talks with interesting stories.

The seniors of Tabligh Jama’ah discourage the others from quoting such narrations, but there are many who do not adhere to this advice. However, it will not be advisable for one to abandon the work of tabligh because of these speakers, but rather join the work and correct this malpractice.

It is because of the fear of misquoting the narrations of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that the brothers of Tabligh Jama’ah attribute the narrations to their seniors and say that ‘so and so said it’. In this way they are saved from attributing those narrations to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) of which they have no knowledge.

The ones nearer to you have more right

We accept the fact that the ones nearer to you have more right, and you should propagate to them before you start propagating to others. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy quran:

وأمر أهلك بالصلاة واصطبر عليها

Bid your family to perform Salāh, and adhere to it yourself.

(Verse: 20:132)

However, this does not mean that one has to wait till everyone in his family and locality has come totally upon Islam before he could propagate to others. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not wait for the whole of Makkah Mukarramah to accept Islam before he went to Taif. All madrasas do not wait till everyone in that town or village becomes an ‘Alim before they accept students from other towns or countries. Similarly, the brothers involved in tabligh go out in the path of Allah, but they are also doing this work in their locality when they are not out in the path of Allah.

Moreover, this objection needs to be justified only if we assume that the brothers go out in the path of Allah to rectify the others, whereas, their objective of going out in the path of Allah is to rectify themselves. We have mentioned above that spending time in the path of Allah is not the objective of the work, but rather it acts as a motivation to practice on all other aspects of Deen. The objective is to be involved in masjidwar a’mal after they return home. Masjidwar a’mal includes doing gusht (going door to door) in the locality and reading ‘the book of virtues of good deeds’ at home.

Ref: Taken mainly from Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.4 Pgs.228-243 (Jami’a Farooqiyah)

Taqleed and following a Mazhab

Shaykh Albani is known for not following a mazhab. He believed in deriving the rulings directly from Quran and Hadith. This is the reason why he objects to those who follow a mazhab. A full clarification of the importance of taqleed and the harms of not following a mazhab requires a detailed article. However, we will try to explain the basic points as briefly as possible.

Obedience, in its true sense, belongs to Almighty Allah alone. This is the logical requirement of the doctrine of Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allah). Even the obedience of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) (about which the Shaykh repeatedly mentions that the best of guidance is the guidance is the guidance of Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)) has been prescribed for us because he is the messenger of Allah Ta’ala and conveys to us the divine commandments; we are ordered to obey and follow him only because Allah’s pleasure has been epitomized in his sayings and acts. Therefore, we are required to follow the Holy Quran, being the direct commandment of Allah, and the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), being the indirect form of revelation.

However, the interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah is not an easy job. It requires an intensive and extensive study of both the sacred sources of Shari’a, which cannot be undertaken by every layman. If it is made obligatory on each and every Muslim to consult the Holy Quran and Sunnah in each and every problem rising before him, it will burden him with a responsibility which is almost impossible for him to discharge. The inference of the rules of Shari’a from the Quran and Sunnah requires a thorough knowledge of the Arabic language and the knowledge of many other sciences, which a layman usually does not posses.

The only solution to this problem is that a group of persons should equip themselves with the required knowledge of Shari’a, and the others should ask them about the injunctions of Shari’a in their daily affairs. This is exactly what the Holy Quran has ordained for the Muslims in the following words:

فلولا نفر من كل فرقة منهم طائفة ليتفقهوا في الدين ولينذروا قومهم إذا رجعوا إليهم لعلهم يحذرون

So, a section from each group of them should go forth, so that they may acquire the knowledge and the perception in the matters of religion, and so that they may warn their people, when they return to them, that they may be watchful.

(Verse: 9:121)

This verse of the Holy Quran indicates that a group of Muslims should devote itself for acquiring the knowledge of Shari’a, and the others should consult them in the matters of Shari’a.

This is exactly what the term “Taqleed” means. A person, who has no ability to understand the Holy Quran and Sunnah, consults a Muslim jurist, often termed as Imam, and acts according to his interpretation of Shari’a. He never deems him worthy of obedience, but he seeks his guidance for knowing the requirements of Shari’a, because he has no direct access to the Holy Quran and Sunnah, or does not have adequate knowledge for deducing the rules of Shari’a. This behaviour is called taqleed of that jurist or Imam.

The qualified Muslim jurists have devoted their lives for the study of the Holy Quran and Sunnah and have collected the rules of Shari’a, according to their respective interpretation of Shari’a, in an almost codified form. This collection of the Shari’a rules, according to the interpretation of a particular jurist, is called the mazhab of that jurist.

Thus the mazhab of an Imam is not something parallel to Shari’a, or something alien to it. In fact, it is a particular interpretation of Shari’a and a collection of the major rules, inferred by the Holy Quran and Sunnah by some authentic jurists, and arranged subject wise for the convenience of the followers of the Shari’a.

Therefore, the one who follows a particular mazhab actually follows the Holy Quran and Sunnahaccording to the interpretation of a particular authentic jurist, whom he believes to be the most trustworthy and the most knowledgeable in matters of Shari’a.

As for the difference of the mazahib, it has emerged through the different possible interpretations of the rules mentioned in, or inferred from, the holy Quran and Sunnah.

In order to understand this point properly, it will be pertinent to know that the rules mentioned in the Holy Quran and Sunnah are of two different types.

Some rules are mentioned in these holy sources in such clear and unambiguous expressions that they permit only one interpretation, and no other interpretation is possible thereof, such as the obligation ofZakat,Fasting and Hajj,the prohibition of pork,wine, etc. With regards to this set of rules, no difference of opinion has ever taken place. All the schools of jurists are unanimous at their interpretation, hence there is no room for ijtihad or taqleed in these matters, and because every layman can easily understand them from the Holy Quran and Sunnah, no intervention of a jurist or imam is called for. But there are some rules of Shari’a, derived from the Holy Quran and Sunnah where either of the following different situations may arise:

The expressions used in the holy sources may permit more than one interpretation. For example, while mentioning the period of ‘iddah (waiting period) for the divorced women, the Holy Quran has used the following expression:

والمطلقات يتربصن بأنفسهن ثلاثة قروء

And the divorced women shall wait for three periods of Quroo

The word quroo used in this verse has two meanings lexically. It covers both, the period of menstruation and the period of purity (i.e. tuhr).Both of them are possible in the verse and each one of them has different legal consequences. The question that requires juristic effort is which of the two meanings are intended here. While answering this question, the juristic opinions may naturally differ and have actually differed. Imam Shafi’ (Rahimahullah) interprets the word Qur as the period of tuhr (purity), while Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahimhullah) interprets it as the period of menstruation. Both of them have a number of arguments in support of their respective views, and no on interpretation can be rejected outright. It is in this way that the differences among certain mazahib have emerged.

Sometimes there appears some sort of contradiction between two traditions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and a jurist has to reconcile them or prefer one of them over the other. In this case also, the viewpoints of the jurists may differ from each other.

For example, there are two sets of traditions found in the books of hadith, attributing different behaviours to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while going for ruku’ in prayer. The first set of ahadith mentions that he used to raise his hands before bowing down for ruku’,while the other tradition mentions that he did not raise his hands except in the beginning of the SALAH.

The Muslim jurists, while accepting that both methods are correct, have expressed different views about the question which of the two methods is more advisable. This is another cause of difference between various mazahib.

There are many problems and issues which have not been mentioned in the Holy Quran or Sunnah in specific or express terms. The solutions to such problems are sought either through analogy or through some expressions found in the holy sources which have an indirect bearing on the subject. Here again the jurists may have different approaches while they infer the required solution from the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Such are the basic causes of difference between the mazahib. This difference is in no way a defect in Shari’a; rather, it is a source of dynamism and flexibility.

A Muslim jurist who has all the necessary qualifications for ijthihad is supposed, in the aforesaid situations, to exert the best of his efforts to discover the actual intention of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. If he does this to the best of his ability and with all his sincerity, his obligation towards Allah is discharged and nobody can blame him for violating the Shari’a, even though his view seems to be weaker when compared to the other ones.

Therefore, the mazhab of a Muslim jurist is nothing but a credible interpretation of the Shari’a. Another competent jurist may disagree with this interpretation, but he can never accuse him of the violation of Shari’a. Similarly, no one can blame the followers of that particular mazhab for following the imam of the mazhab instead of obeying Allah and His messenger; because, they are following the mazhab as a credible interpretation of Shari’a, and not as a law making authority.

The next question which may arise here is what a layman should do with regards to this different mazahib, and which one of them should be followed. Answer to this question is simple. All of these mazahib, being sincere and competent efforts to discover the true intention of Shari’a, are equally true. A layman should follow the mazhab of any one of the recognized mains, whom he believes to be more knowledgeable and more pious. Although the Muslim jurists who have undertaken the exercise of ijtihad are many in number, yet the mazahib of the four Imams are more

comprehensive, well arranged and well preserved.

The Muslim Ummah as a whole has taken them as the most reliable interpretations of Shari’a. The rest of the mazahib are either not comprehensive or have not been preserved in a reliable form. This is the reason why majority of the Ummah follows any of the four mazahib. If a layman adopts any one of the schools, in the matter of interpretation of Shari’a, his obligation of following the Shari’a is discharged.

Ref of taqleed query: Contemporary Fatawa – Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb Pg.317 (Idara-e-Islamiyat)

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. Abu Yahya,

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

Fatwa #16097from South Africa

Date: Thursday, January 24th 2008

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: