Jihad's Stealthy Legions
By Gerald Internet Anthropologist Think Tank
Tableeghi Ijtema concludesPublished: October 13, 2008
Every fall, over a million almost identically dressed, bearded Muslim men from around the world descend on the small Pakistani town of Raiwind for a three-day celebration of faith. Similar gatherings take place annually outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Bhopal, India. These pilgrims are no ordinary Muslims, though; they belong to a movement called Tablighi Jamaat ("Proselytizing Group"). They are trained missionaries who have dedicated much of their lives to spreading Islam across the globe. The largest group of religious proselytizers of any faith, they are part of the reason for the explosive growth of Islamic religious fervor and conversion.
Despite its size, worldwide presence, and tremendous importance, Tablighi Jamaat remains largely unknown outside the Muslim community, even to many scholars of Islam. This is no coincidence. Tablighi Jamaat officials work to remain outside of both media and governmental notice. Tablighi Jamaat neither has formal organizational structure nor does it publish details about the scope of its activities, its membership, or its finances. By eschewing open discussion of politics and portraying itself only as a pietistic movement, Tablighi Jamaat works to project a non-threatening image. Because of the movement's secrecy, scholars often have no choice but to rely on explanations from Tablighi Jamaat acolytes.
Tablighi Jamaat ("Conveying Group") (Urdu: تبلیغی جماعت), (Arabic: جماعة التبليغ , also Tabligh) is a Muslim missionary and revival movement.Tabligi Jama'at follows Deobandi interpretation of islam.Their activities are not limited to the Deobandi community.
Leaders of Tablighi Jamaat claim that the movement is strictly non-political in nature, with the main aim of the participants being to work at the grass roots level and reaching out to all Muslims of the world for spiritual development.
The second largest gathering of Muslims after the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) is known as Bishwa Ijtema, a non political gathering of Muslims from all over the world hosted by the leaders of "International Tabligh Jama'at". It takes place in Tongi which is on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The 3rd largest gathering of Muslims after the Hajj is in Rai wind,(Punjab Pakistan). And also many other rignol gatherings in all over the world.
There are many celebrated personalities associated with this movement:
These include the former Presidents of Pakistan, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar and Farooq Leghari (Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari), and former President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain who was also associated with this movement. Major General Ziaur Rahman, former President and Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army, was a strong supporter and member of Tablighi Jamaat, and popularized it in Bangladesh.
Lieutenant General (R) Javed Nasir of the Pakistan Army and former head of Inter-Services Intelligence along with former. Many well-recognized writers and scholars, such as Dr. Nadir Ali Khan (famous Indian writer) and others are deeply related with it.
Many well known and great personalities also include Moulana Tariq Jameel, Moulana Yunus Palanpuri and so many more who know and are very much familiar with the basic Islamic Laws.
Among Pakistani cricket professionals, Shahid Afridi, Saqlain Mushtaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed; and the former Pakistani cricketers Saeed Anwar, Saleem Malik are active members. It is also widely believed that Pakistani middle order batsman Mohammad Yousuf embraced Islam with the help of the Tablighi Jamaat. Others include South African batsmanHashim Amla.
This movement also includes eminent directors and producers including Naeem Butt.
Former renowned singer and pop star Junaid Jamshed has close links with Jamaat, and his departure from professional singing career is attributed as the result of his inclination towards this movement.
Several business men, industrialists, millionaires are actively serving in the movement.
Tabligh in Arabic means "to convey (the message)" and Tablighi Jamaat strives to revive this duty which they consider as one of the primary duties of a Muslim. They encourage people to follow Islamic principles and the life of Muhammad through his teachings, going out for months or years in the same fashion as the Sahaba (companions of Muhammad).
When an individual goes out in a Jamaat, he tries to bring 6 qualities into his life. These six qualities are:
|Firm belief in the Kalimah||"An article of faith in which the tabligh accepts that there is no god but Allah and the Prophet Muhammad is His messenger. and that Allah can do each and every thing without the help of the creation, and the creation cannot do anything without the help of Allah. The only way to succeed in this world and the next (life after death) is to walk on the path shown by Prophet Muhammad."|
|Concentration and Devotion inSalah||"Five daily prayers that are essential to spiritual elevation, piety, and a life free from the ills of the material world. To build a connection with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'alaand to gain from his unlimited treasures"|
|Ilm and Dhikr||"The thirst for knowledge and remembrance of Allah conducted in sessions in which every individual contributes whatever knowledge which one can regarding performing prayers, reciting the Quran and reading Hadith and to gain the remembrance of Allah in every action make Dhikr by reciting 3 Tasbihaat, Third Kalimah, Durood andIstighfaar."|
|Ikram-i-Muslim||"The treatment of fellow humans with honor and deference, to love the youngsters and respect the elders and have respect for the scholars of Islam"|
|Ikhlas-i-Niyyat||"Reforming one’s life in supplication to Allah by performing every (good) human action for the sake of Allah and toward the goal of self-transformation"|
|Dawat-o-Tabligh||"The sparing of time to live a life based on faith and learning its virtues, following in the footsteps of the Prophet, and taking His message door-to-door for the sake of faith. Since Rasoolullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam was the last and final prophet, it is our duty to now carry on this work of the prophets, i.e. call others towards good and prevent evil"|
The Tablighi Jamaat also sets guidelines for local masjids (mosques) to increase the level of worship and local Muslim involvement in the masjid. These guidelines include having the local Tablighi workers implement these steps: two weekly jawlas/visits to Muslims (one visit to Muslims surrounding the local masjid and another to the Muslims of a nearby masjid); two daily ta`leems/reading of pious books (one ta`leem in the masjid and another in the worker's home); going out in the path of Allah three days a month, forty days a year, and four months once in a lifetime; a daily mashura/council to discuss how to increase Tablighi activity in the area; and spending at least two and a half hours in the masjid a day.
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