THE INTRODUCTION OF THE TABLEEGHI JAMAAT AND ITS FOUNDER
By Maulana Arshadul Qadri
It is very necessary to know the mind of the founder of the association (Jamaat), for finding the real motives and definite objectives of its activities, because according to practical results, the adherence of the Jamaat to the thoughts and ideas of its founder is so natural that it can never be disputed.
Their Sheikhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad of Deoband, personally accepted this fact in a letter addressed to the Amir of Jamaat Islami (Hind). The yardstick that he has proposed for the Jamaat-e-Islami, shall be used to judge "Tableeghi Jamaat" also.
The words of the said person are: "When a movement is associated with a certain person, then he will naturally be the Central figure to be concentrated on and the effect of that person’s beliefs and behaviour will certainly influence the members." (Maktoobate Sheiku/ Islam, Book 2, pp/227)
Bear this point in mind and then read the details of the origin of this movement and also about the founder of the Tableeghi Jamaat.
It must remain clear that all the details have been extracted from the literature of Tableeghi Jamaat/ Deobandis.
THE STORY OF A DREAM
The Central leader of Tableeghi Jamaat, Maulvi Manzoor Nomani in his book called "Malfoozate Maulana Ilyas", writes: "Once he said that dream is the 46th part of Prophethood (He refers to Maulana Ilyas). Some people achieve such progress via a dream that it cannot be attained from prayer and penances, because in the dreams direct knowledge is revealed, which is a part of apostlehood then why will there be no progress?" (Malfoozate Maulana Ilyas, pp/51)
Uptil now the discussion was an introduction to make the mind of followers even, now listen to the primary objective. "Again he said that nowadays, I am receiving the knowledge of realities, so try your utmost that I may get maximum sleep."(Malfoozate Maulana Ilyas, pp/51)
At this point the statement of the Editor of Malfoozat shall not be devoid of interest. He writes: "On account of dryness my sleep was diminishing, then on the advice of the doctor and Hakim I started massaging my scalp with oil which increased the duration of my sleep."(Malfooz, pp/.51)
The Editor of "Malfoozat" writes: "Maulana Ilyas said that the method of this preaching was also manifested to me during a dream."(Malfoozat, pp /51)
You will realise that this statement of Maulana Ilyas has brought to light all the hidden facts.
The first thing disclosed is that the founder of Tableeghi Jamaat is Maulana Ilyas, the other secret which was brought to light is that the preachers of Tableeghi Jamaat want the common people generally to accept the point that the present method of Tableeg is the method of the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), and the Messengers of Allah. This is 100 percent wrong, totally false and a shameful deception. Because if the present method of preaching adopted by the Tableeghi Jamaat had been the method of Messengers and Companions, it would have been proved from the Holy Quran and Hadith (Prophet’s sayings). "The method revealed in a dream", means that it is the work of human invention. In other words, Tableeghi Jamaat is the result of Moulana Ilyas’s dream!
Only that person could base any religious work on a dream, who abandons the guidance of Quran and Hadith.
Maulana Ilyas himself, inspite of this "revealing dream", has connected himself with the present method of preaching. This signifies clearly that he himself had the faith in this revelation through a dream, as Maulvi Manzoor Nomani quotes him in this book, "Malfoozat": "Once (Maulana Ilyas) said, Hazrat Maulana Thanvi accomplished a great task, therefore I desire that his knowledge should beconveyed and my own method of preaching may be introduced, in this manner his teachings will be popular among people."(Malfoozat, pp/57)
This clearly means that the present method of Tableeg has been formulated by Maulana Ilyas. The leaders and the Ulema of the Tableeghi Jamaat repeatedly say in their speeches and writings that the present method of Tableeghi Jamaat has been invented by Maulana Ilyas, he is also the founder of this Jamaat. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is an invention of the 14th Century (A.H.). In other words, it did not exist in the days of the Prophet or the Sahabas. It is an addition in Islam. So it is a Bidah and obviously all Tableeghis are Bidatees!
THE CAUSE OF BLOODSHED
It is quite clear that the present method of Tableghi Jamaat is not the method of the Messengers of Allah or the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and that it has been invented by Maulana Ilyas, I now wish to discuss certain principles and expect the readers of this book to make up their minds.
This is a historical fact that after the student bids farewell to formal Madressa education there are only four sources left to obtain religious knowledge, in India and other Muslim Countries. Religious Madaris for the special section, and Mehfil-e-Milad for the common people, religious sermons in Mosques and religious Shrines. (Khanqas of the Aulia)
The "Mehfil-e-Milad" (the meetings for describing the life of the Holy Prophet - Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as an institution has served the great cause of Islam as a Source of education for Muslims, in cities as well as in villages and they have incorporated the brain with religion on a broad scale and nobody can deny this fact.
But this is the greatest tragedy of our age that before the introduction of press and publication, literature and newly created movements, the institution of Mehfil-e-Milad which had fulfilled the requirements of teaching Islam, for the last past centuries and had also established a history of exemplary devotion to the Messenger of Islam, was suddenly labelled by the Maulvies of the Tableeghi Jamaat as "unlawful". For reference please see the Fatawa (religious verdict) of Maulvi Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, the Spiritual Guide of Maulana Ilyas, the founder of Tableeghi Jamaat. Someone enquired: "Is it permissible to have Meelad without the Qiyam (standing) and restricting it to correct and authentic traditions?" He replied: "To hold Majlis Milad in any manner is unlawful."(Fatawa Rashidia, Vol. 2, pp/83)
So far as the preaching and propagation of Islam is concerned, Allah is a witness that it had always been the objective of Mehfil-e-Milad. And even today wherever a gathering assembles in the name of Mehfil-e-Milad, Allah knows that the Muslims are invited towards piety and good deeds only and they are never introduced to sin or corruption. But I cannot understand this mental bankruptcy that as to why the method of preaching in vogue since 14 hundred years is called openly as unlawful, but the method of preaching invented in the 14th century has been declared as the most important work!
THE INTRODUCTION OF MAULANA ILYAS
Another central leader of Tableeghi Jamaat, Maulana Abul Hasan Nadvi, has written a detailed biography of Maulana Ilyas entitled "Maulana Ilyas and his Religious Invitation. "(Maulana Ilyas Aur Unki Deeni Daawat) The following introductory passages have been taken from this very book. He writes of a place describing his life during early childhood: "Ummi Bi (the maternal grandmother of Maulana Ilyas) was very kind to Maulana. She used to say, ‘Akhtar I get the smell of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) from your body.’ Sometimes patting his back lovingly, she would say: ‘Why is it that I find the images of the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) moving along with you.’"(Deeni Dawat, pp/42)
One can gauge from this that if the Spirits of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) use to accompany him during childhood, then how much greater was his youth! Images of Sahaba can accompany Maulana Ilyas everywhere, but the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is confined to his grave only?
MOVING FORWARD TOWARDS THE OFFICE OF PROPHETHOOD
It cannot be said conclusively that the office of Prophethood is his last target, but there is a distinct approach towards this office. Therefore, after this Maulvi Abul Hasan Nadvi has quoted that incident of Maulana Ilyas, which is connected with the Revelation from Allah.
"Maulana Ilyas used to say that when I indulged in the remembrance of Allah (Zikr), I used to feel a burden on my mind. I related this to Hazrat Gangohi, who was alarmed to hear it and said: ‘When Molvi Qasim Nanotwi made the same complaint to Haji Sahib, Haji Sahib (his Spiritual leader) replied that Allah shall enable him to accomplish some service to Islam.’" (Deeni Dawat, pp/45)
I do not understand why a writer of Maulana Abul Hasan Nadvi’s fame has bypassed the quotation of the actual incident. This was not the reply of Haji Sahib that "Allah shall take some work from you," but the actual incident is that when Maulvi Qasim Nanotwi had complained to Haji Sahib: "I am entangled with troubles whenever I sit down with a Rosary. I feel so much heaviness in my mind as if someone has placed stones on me weighing hundreds of pounds. I become speechless and my heart also sort of closes." (Sawaneh Qasmi, Book 1, pp/258, Darul Uloom Deoband)
On this Haji Sahib said, addressing him, "These are benedictions of apostlehood on your heart and that is that ‘heaviness’ which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) felt at the time of Divine Revelation. Allah wishes to extract that work from you which was taken from the Messengers." (Sawaneh Qasmi, Book 1, pp/256)
Now in the light of these details, according to the writing of Maulana Abul Hasan Nadvi, we learn that a similar incident was repeated with Maulana Ilyas meaning thereby that on his heart also the benedictions of apostlehood happened and he also felt (Allah Forbid!) the heaviness of Divine Revelation as was experienced by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
Upto this point there was a silent stride towards the office of Prophethood, and now there is a claim of appearance like the Messengers of Allah. Maulana Ilyas claimed that the commentary and explanation of the Quranic verse: "You are the best of people, evolved for mankind, enjoining good and forbidding evil." has been explained to him VIA a dream in these terms: The author of Malfoozatê Ilyas writes about his claim in his book as follows: "He said that this was revealed to him in a dream that he had been designated to people like the Prophets of Allah." (Malfoozat. pp/51)
La Ilaha Illalah (There is no God except Allah). Look at this blasphemy. Allah Himself has revealed the verse quoted above and He has interpreted its comments. The only difference is that this verse was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), the Holy Prophet, but the verse and its commentary was revealed to Maulana Ilyas. Hence, if the verse and its interpretation have been revealed by Allah, who shall be the revolting servant of Allah that he may believe one and disbelieve the other?
Are you observing, how a stride towards the office of apostlehood has been taken, that even if a man wants to deny it, he may remain over-whelmed with the grandeur and awfulness of the manner of the statement. Approximately for fourteen hundred years this verse has been recited in the Islamic World, everybody has understood that this verse has been revealed in favour of Ummaté Muhammadi, that you are the best Ummah, this is your responsibility that you should call people towards good and restrain them from adopting evil, but after fourteen centuries this fact has come to light for the first time today, that, Allah forbid, this verse has been revealed for Maulana Ilyas and its interpretation is that Maulana Ilyas has appeared like a Messenger of Allah for the sake of humanity!
May Allah protect us, for when a man has become tyrannical he performs sensational nerve-shaking, provocative deeds. It is said that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani attempted a similar joke with a verse of the Holy Quran: "In the revelation of the said verse of the Quran, Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, means myself (Allah forbid!). (meaning Mirza Qadiani)."(Akhbarul Fazal Qadian, 15 July 1925)
Think carefully, in order to revolt against the proven Tenets of Islam it was no less a crime for Maulana Ilyas to claim to be similar to Prophets, using the Quranic verses to back up his argument. To crown it all he claims that Allah has revealed it to him.
On one side there is a claim of the office of apostlehood, and on the other side the concocted interpretation of the verse, thirdly, false accusation against Allah. Just consider how many sacred things were killed in cold blood with just one blow.
Let us see what effect these revelations had on Maulana Ilyas’s followers, and in this case I shall point out two incidents only.
Maulana Abul Hasan Nadvi has written in his book, "Deeni Dawat" that once the news of the death of Maulana Ilyas was wrongly circulated in Delhi, and on this rumour a large crowd gathered.
He writes that to deny this report the necessity of a speech was felt on this occasion. Now read the incident after that from his own pen: "Moulana Manzoor Nomani gave an effective speech according to the occasion on the subject of ‘Wa Ma Muhammad-un-Illa Rasul . . ."(Deeni Dawat pp/181)
And then this very verse was recited on that day on which Maulana Ilyas actually died.
Hence Ali Mian writes that when his coffin was placed in the open field on that occasion: "It was instructed by Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Zakaria and Maulana Mohammad Yusuf that people should be assembled in the ground and they should be addressed: ‘And what can be more effective condolence than the topic of Wa Ma Muhammadun Illa Rasul.’" (Deeni Dawat, pp/186)
The readers must bear in mind that this verse was recited by Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radiallahu Anhu) on the departure of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) from this world and he assured the Companions in the light of this verse that Huzoor (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had passed away. The translation of this verse is: "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and there were many Messengers before him."
After the clarification of the meaning of this verse and also the time and place where it was utilised, now it is a matter to consider as to why, on the death of Maulana Ilyas, this verse was recited again and again, when there are numerous verses on the topic of death in the Holy Quran.
This explains clearly that the status of Maulana Ilyas, in the eyes of his followers, was not less than that of a Prophet, that is why on his death the verse quoted above was recited which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Companions of the Prophet recited it at the time when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) departed from this world.
In the long period of fourteen centuries, millions of dignitaries of the Ummah and enlightened people of Allah have passed away from this mortal world, but nowhere it is proved that this verse had been interpreted for the death of a greater personality. Therefore, in the light of the above-said incidents it is clear that because of an indirect claim of revelation by Maulana Ilyas, people of the Tableeghi Jamaat were so much influenced, that in their eyes the status of Maulana Ilyas was equal to the status of the Messenger of Allah.
THE ENCOURAGEMENTS IN FINDING FAULTS WITH PROPHETS
You may not be aware that sometimes people exhibit their supremacy by finding faults with others. May I inform the followers of Maulana Ilyas that Maulana gave full stimulus to this art also.
Therefore, comparing the missionary workers with the Messengers in a circular letter Maulana Ilyas writes, addressing the workers: "If Allah does not desire to take any work, then even if the Messengers may endeavour, a particle will not move, and if the Almighty wants, He may execute that work from even a feeble man like you and which may not be done by the Messengers also."(Makateebe Ilyas, pp/1O 7/108)
Let me say that the object of this insolent statement, in reference to the preaching of the Prophets, concedes that Prophets could not convince and convert more than a few persons. In comparison to that, today’s missionary workers may prove themselves superior and with haughtiness and pride think and say that the work which the Messengers could not do is being performed by them!
This disease alone is not enough for the destruction of the Tableeghi Jamaat. And listen to this, the Spirit of moving forward an Ummati (Follower), in comparison to the Messengers, is not accidental that it may be deemed as a way-wardness of the pen, but indeed these people have always been moving on this track, as the Sheikhul Islam of Maulana Ilyas, Maulana Husain Ahmad Deobandi says: "The Apostles do not possess supremacy due to deeds, because so far as deeds are concerned some Ummatis (followers) surpass the Messengers." ("Madina" Bijnor, 1 July 1958, pp/3, Column 3)
And a similar view is held by the leader of this group, Moulana Qasim Nanotwi, which he has expressed in his book called "Tahzeerun Naas": "If Prophets hold supremacy or distinction from their followers (Ummat), then it will be their knowledge only, so far as deeds are concerned, in that, often the followers surpass them explicitly and sometimes they become equivalent."(pp /5)
In other words, Prophets are superior in knowledge only. In practice quite often the followers become in par, in fact even surpass them.
Now search for yourself that from Maulana Ilyas to Maulana Husain Ahmad and Maulana Qasim Nanotwi, how can you rescue all of them by saying that it was a slip of the pen and that it is not their unanimous belief. The style of thinking and writing are of the same school of thought of the three ‘religious leaders’, and this indicates that the criticism of the Messengers of Allah is a planned and well-considered step forward by these gentlemen.
THE EXPERTISE OF DEOBANDIS IN THE ART OF INSULTING THE PROPHETS
Do not be astonished by finding that these gentlemen are experts in the art of critising the Messengers of Allah. When these gentlemen want to criticise the Prophets, then instead of attacking their greatness directly, firstly these people create an imaginative environment of comparison between Messengers and Allah, and then putting the Messenger against Allah they say anything they like without danger, as Maulana Ilyas has adopted this very method in his letter while making criticism of Prophets. And then observe the cleverness of their pen that whenever anyone questions them for their criticism of the Apostles, they promptly redress that we have only explained the facet of the greatness, All Powerfulness and Mightiness of Allah. Where have we criticised the Prophets? eg. Maulvi Ismail Dehlvi, the leader of this art, writes, exhibiting the grandeur of Allah in his book "Taqwiatul Iman": "This is the Power of that Lord, that within the twinkling of an eye, if He wants, He may create scores of Prophets, friends, genii, Angels, similar to Gabriel (Alayhis Salaam) and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)." (Taqwiatul Iman, pp/31)
Only an infidel could deny the grandeur and greatness of Allah, but the method of expression, which has been adopted for this purpose "belongs to them"! (Without comparing the Prophets against Allah’s greatness, couldn’t they find any other manner of expressing the Might of Allah?)
I would say, by ignoring the manner of expression and by pretending to praise Allah, the respect and honour of any person may be easily jeered at, indeed a voluminous Hamde Bari (Hyms of Allah) may be prepared on this subject.
For example, Allah is all Powerful to change any of his bond-servant into the shape of a swine and make him the fuel of Hell. And if in this expression one takes the name of Maulana Ilyas, and expresses the Power of Allah, then all the followers of Maulana Ilyas will cry out in pain. Or copying the tone of the author of Taqwiatul Iman, if anyone expresses the grandeur of Allah in this manner that "this is the grandeur of that Emperor that within a moment by the order of ‘kun’, if He desires He would change all the Tableeghi Maulvis into black-faced monkeys", then inspite of this being 100 percent truth, will this method of expression hurt the feelings of Tableeghi Jamaat or not?
It must remain explicit that I have not said these things intentionally, but by these illustrations I want to make them feel that to inflict insult to the Spirit and devotion of other people is equally painful.
At the close of this Chapter, I am once again repeating this statement of the Sheikhul Islam of Tableeghi Jamaat, Maulana Hussain Ahmad, that when any Movement is related to its founder then that person will be the central figure and the effect of that person’s beliefs and demeanour shall definitely influence the members of that movement.
In the previous pages the relationship of the Tableeghi Jamaat with Maulana Ilyas has been established beyond doubt, and this reality has also come to light as to who he was, what he wanted and how, while preaching and inviting people to Islam, he tried to surpass the Messengers and also how he encouraged the spirit of critising the Messengers amongst his devotees. After these explanations it is no more difficult to estimate the mental pattern of the Tableeghi Jamaat, I cannot understand how a true Muslim can breathe easily in such a depressing atmosphere.
However, our work was to raise the curtain from the face of realities, which we have done. Now the judgement lies with the readers to choose their environment in order to strengthen their faith. By entering into the closet of kajal (black ointment) they cannot save the white screen of their hearts from being tarnished!
Published by World Islamic Mission, Durban, South Africa, 1987