Friday, 9 November 2007

The Origins Of The Effort of Tabligh, Its Purpose & Other Important Issues

A Brief History Of As-Shaikh Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA – The Revivalist of Tabligh

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA was born in 1885. His childhood was spent in his maternal grandfather's home in Kandhla, and with his father at Nizamuddin. In India those days, the Kandhla family was the cradle of piety. The ladies used to recite the Qur'an themselves in the Sunnah Nafl prayers as well listen to its Tarawih and other Nafl prayers. standing behind the male relatives The month of Ramadhan, in particular, was the springtime for the Qur'an. It was read for long hours, almost in every home.

Like all other children in the family, Maulana Ilyas began his education in the maktab (basic religious school), and, according to the family tradition, learnt the Qur'an by heart. The learning of the Qur'an was so common in the family. that in the one-and-a-half row of worshippers in the family mosque, there was not a single non Hafiz except the Muazzin.

From his childhood, there was present in Maulana Muhammad Ilyas a touch of the religious passion and fervent feeling of the blessed Companions RA of Nabi Muhammad SAW. One of his teachers remarked, "when I see Muhammad Ilyas, I am reminded of the Holy Companions RA. Eagerness and enthusiasm for Faith were ingrained in his nature. Even in his early years, sometimes, he did things which were much above the common level of the children.

In 1908, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas went to Deoband where he studied Sahih Tirmidhi and Sahih Bukhari. Deoband is the main and most prestigious seat of learning for traditional Sunni Islam in India. In those days too, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were all part of one country.

Ardor and eagerness were deeply rooted in him. Together with zikr, spiritual exercises and exertions, Nawafil and Ibadat, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas was, also, infused with the spirit of Jihad. Throughout his life, he was never without it. He concentrated wholly on his studies, and on Zikr, and other forms of worship.

In 1910, a large number of men, including most of the senior teachers of the Madrasah of Mazahirul Uluum, Saharanpur (another prestigious madrasah that produce pious scholars) - left for Hajj. It necessitated the recruitment of new teachers for the Madarasah, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas being one of them. He was given the secondary books to teach. On the return of the senior teachers from Hajj, all the new entrants were relieved of their duties, but the services of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas were retained.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas once went to Delhi to look after his sick brother. It was there that his brother died and the burial took place at Nizamuddin, near Delhi. After the burial, people urged upon Maulana Ilyas to take up residence at Nizamuddin in order to fill the void caused by the death of his father and brother, as both of them were Ulama who used to teach people in the area.

The resources of the Madrasah were so meager that, some times, they had to starve, but. Maulana Ilyas bore it all with a cheerful heart. Occasionally, he would say plainly, that there was nothing to eat. Whoever wanted to stay' might stay and whoever wanted to go might go and make his arrangement elsewhere. The moral and spiritual training the students were receiving, however, was such that none of them. was willing to leave. Often, they would live on wild fruits. The scholars themselves brought wood from the forest to prepare bread.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, exclusively, kept himself occupied with prayers and other spiritual exertions. He offered the five daily prayers in congregation, and was very particular about Sunnah, even to its minutest details.

Maulana Ilyas would perform Wudhu and offered two Rakaats of solat before commencing the lesson of the Ahadith. He did not talk to anyone, while teaching Ahadith. Maulana Ilyas took keen interest in his pupils and personally taught all the subjects, elementary as well as advanced. Sometimes, he had as many as eighty students directly under his instruction.

A small mosque, a shed, a living apartment, a small settlement, and a few Mewati and non-Mewati students that as all that formed the world of the mosque and the Madrasah.

The area to the south of Delhi is called Mewat. Its people and race are called Mewatis. In history, Mewatis were very notorious during the early days of the Muslim Kingdom of Delhi. Aided by the long range of thick forests that extended up to Delhi, they used to raid it frequently and had become such a terror that the gates of the capital were shut at sunset.

Owing to the negligence of the Muslims religious teachers, the moral arid religious condition of the Mewatis had sunk so low that there was little to distinguish between their beliefs and practices and wholesale apostasy. Even non-Muslim historians have commented at length on their estrangement with Islam, as the following extract will show:

"All the Mewatis (Mewatis) are, now, Muslims, but only in name. Their village deities are the same as those of the Hindu landlords, and they celebrate several Hindu festivals. Holi is a season of special rejoicing among the Mewatis and they observe it like their own festivals, such as, Moharrum, 'Id and Shab-i-Barat. The same is the case with Janam Ashtami, Dussehra and Diwali, The Mewatis engage the services of the Brahmins to fix the dates of marriages. They have Hindu names, with the exception of the word 'Ram', and their last name, often, is 'Singh', though not as frequently as 'Khan'. Like Ahirs and Gujars, the Mewatis, too, observe Amawas as a holiday on which they abstain from work…."

"…..Mewatis are, largely, ignorant of their faith, i. e., Islam. Very few of them know the Kalimah,' and fewer still observe Solat regularly. About the hours and rules of Solat, their ignorance is complete. This is the state of the Mewatis of Alwar. In the British territory of Gurgaon, the position is a little better because of the Madrasahs. In some parts of Alwar, also, where the mosques have been built, the religious duties are observed to some extent. A few of them know the Kalimah and offer up Solat and an attachment for the Madrasahs, also, is found among them. As we have seen earlier, the initial ceremonies of marriage are performed by the Brahmins, but the real ceremony (of nikah) is performed by the Qazi. Men wear dhoti and loin-cloth. The pajamas (jubah / kurta) are not worn at all. Their dress, thus, is wholly Hinduised. Even ornaments of gold are worn by men."

Contact with the Mewatis was established during the lifetime of Maulana Ilyas's father. It was not a chance occurrence, but an act of destiny that Maulana Muhammad Ismail came to live in Nizamuddin which was the gateway of Mewat, and much before the arrival of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, seeds of loyalty and devotion of his. family had been sown on its soil.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas felt that the only Way to the religious reform and correction of the Mewatis was promotion of religious knowledge and familiarization with the rules and principles of the Shari'ah.

His late father, and his brother, had adopted the same method. They used to keep the Mewati children with them and educate them in their Madrasah, and, then, send them back to Mewat to carry on the work of reform and guidance, and what little religious awareness was found there was owing to the efforts of these pioneers.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas went a step ahead and decided to establish Maktabs and Madrasahs in Mewat itself so that the influence of Faith could spread to a wider area and the pace of change was accelerated.

Maulana Ilyas knew what was, commonly, meant by inviting a spiritual mentor or his successor to their place by his disciples and admirers, and he was not willing to go to Mewat only to fulfill the formalities of attending the dinner given in his honour, delivering a few sermons and giving good counsel. He wanted to make sure before undertaking the trip, that some real advance would be made, as a result of his visit, towards bringing the Mewatis closer to Islam and improving their moral condition, low, during those days- the setting up of Maktabs and Madrasahs in Mewat appeared to him to be the most effective step in that direction. He had, thus, made it clear that he would accept the invitation only on the condition that they promised to establish Maktabs in their territory.

For the Mewatis, however, this was difficult. They considered the establishment of Maktabs was next to impossible for the simple reason that none of them would be sending his children to him because they will be depriving themselves of their children's contribution to the family income as daily wage-earners.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, accordingly, demanded the fulfillment of the promise. After great persuasion, the beginning was made and the first Maktab was established.

Maulana Ilyas used to tell the Mawatis:

"Give me the pupils, I will provide the money."

The Mewatis who were, mainly, farmers, could not easily reconcile themselves to the position that their children applied themselves to reading and writing and stopped working in the fields or looking after the cattles. It took a lot of tact and perseverance to bring them round to it.

Ten Maktabs were opened during that visit. Once the ice was broken, the progress was easy. Sometimes, several Maktabs were opened in a day till, within a few years, hundreds of such schools were functioning in Mewat.

Maulana Ilyas had not undertaken the service of Faith as a "national cause", the burden of providing the funds for which fell wholly upon the nation or the community, but as a personal affair and felt no hesitation in spending all he had on it. He believed that a person should perform a religious task as his own and expend his time and money freely in its way.

Once a person presented a purse to him with the request that he used it, exclusively, for his own needs.

Maulana Ilyas replied:

"If we do not regard Allah's work our own, how can we claim to be His bondmen ?"

With a sigh, he added:

"Alas! We are not true appreciators of the Noble Prophet (SAW). We do not know his (SAW) true worth."

This was Maulana Ilyas's rule of life. First of all, he spent from his own pocket on the religious endeavour he had launched in Mewat, and, then, alone, would accept help from others.

Due to Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA's sincerity and hard work the work of Tabligh began to spread and Jamaats started to visit all parts of the sub-continent within his life time.

As-Shaikh Maulana Syed Suleiman Nadwi RA remarks:

"Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA with his simplicity and dedication to the correct principles of Da'wah (invitation) quietly turned the Mewatis into sincere and pious Muslims over a twenty five years and made them the envy of even the Muslims belonging to traditional religious families."

His hard work bore fruit in his life and he raised thousands of dedicated Muslims who continued on the path of Da'wah even after his passing away. Finally the humble, physically weak and thin Maulana passed away in 1324 Hijrah leaving behind not one or two but thousands to take up his cause and continue on the path of reformation.

The Purpose of the Effort of Tabligh - Its Aims & Objectives

The vision of Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas RA is to revive the pure Deen of Allah Ta'ala. For this, he had laid down certain principles (Usuls) which are based on the Qur'an and Ahadith. In order to achieve this, he constantly reminded the people about the responsibility of Amar bil Ma'ruf and Nahi Anil Munkar.

The actual problem today is that many of us today have misinterpreted the real meaning of Nahi Anil Munkar. Nahi Anil Munkar does not refer to being hard, rough, power, strength, weapons and the likes thereof. A simple example will show us exactly what is Nahi Anil Munkar. A villager during the time of Nabi SAW entered Masjid Nabawi and began urinating in one corner of the masjid. Sahabahs RA immediately wanted to take hard action but were prevented by Nabi SAW. Nabi SAW let the villager relieve himself comfortably and thereafter called him aside and with love, compassion and kindness made him understand that this is the house of Allah which is clean and pure, etc.

So here – Look at the level of the evil that this villager had caused. Urinating in front of Nabi SAW inside Masjid Nabawi. Yet, look at how Nabi SAW carried out the duty of Nahi Anil Munkar.

This is exactly what was the desire of Maulana Ilyas RA. In doing Amar Bil Ma'ruf as done by the brothers involved in the Effort of Tabligh, they encourage us to spend time in the path of Allah Ta'ala, so that once we are in a pure environment, the Masjid, we will automatically realise the importance of making an effort for Deen and understand the harms of leading a life full of disobedience.

Allah Ta'ala states that one reason for this Ummah being titled as the best of Ummah, is the practice of commanding good and preventing evil.

Nabi SAW states:

"Whosoever from among you witnesses evil, he should change it with his hands. And if he is unable to do so then he should change it with his tongue. And if he is unable to do so with his tongue, then he should at least consider it to be wrong. And this is the weakest stage of Imaan." (Mishkat)

Saiyidina Nu'man bin Bashir RA says that Rasulullah SAW gave an example of people sailing on a boat having an upper deck and a lower deck. The people from the lower deck require water and request water from the people of the upper deck. The people from the upper deck refuse water so the people from the lower deck decide to make a hole on the floor of the ship and get water from the sea.

With regards to the above - Rasulullah SAW said:

"If the people from the upper deck don't stop the people at the bottom from making a hole, the ship will sink and all the people travelling will drown." (Mishkat: Volume 2: Page 436)

Similarly, if people do not prohibit evil and sin in the society, the entire society - innocent and evil - will equally suffer.

Abu Hurairah RA states that Rasulullah SAW said:

"Command good and prohibit evil or else Allah will send such a punishment that will destroy everyone." (Ibid)

The above quotations of the Qur'an and Ahadith of Rasulullah SAW are clear that commanding good and prohibiting evil is an emphasised injunction of Allah and His Rasul (SAW). Every person must carry out this injunction. All the Prophets AS followed the footsteps of their respective Prophets and after the demise of their Prophet, they carried out the same mission. The Sahabahs of Rasulullah RA spent their entire lives in commanding good and prohibiting evil. Since there is no Prophet to come, every Ummati of Rasulullah SAW is the deputy of the Prophet and he has to carry on the mission of the Prophet. The people involved in the Effort of Tabligh for example - sacrifice their time, wealth and comforts to undergo difficulty and hardships to go in the path of Allah - to carry out this Sunnah of the Prophets AS - commanding good and prohibiting evil.

As far as the Tabligh Jamaat is concerned, the Ulama are in view that they are acting upon this injunction of Allah Ta'ala and are fulfilling this obligation of Shari'ah. the Jamaat advocates strict adherence to the Sunnah and confines itself within the ambit of the Shari'ah. The purpose of any individual taking part in the Noble work of Tabligh is firstly to reform oneself and dutifully save mankind from the Fire of Hell.

It is imperative to learn Deen and pass on whatever one knows. Also, it is the responsibility of every believer to enjoin good and forbid evil. Taking part in the activities of the Tabligh Jamaat is an excellent way towards achieving this and has proven beneficial around the world. Although it is not necessary to go out for 3,10 40 days etc. if one is committed, it is never detrimental to do so. One may still involve oneself in the community based and local activities of the Jamaat.

The emphasis in Da'wah and Tabligh is to revive Deen in a person's life. To remind a person of his purpose of life, to be obedient to Allah and conscientise him of death, life after death and accountability in the court of Allah. This is what is meant by basic Shari'ah.

If the above mentioned aspects are in a Muslim's life, that will create an urge in him to learn Deen, to be a Hafiz or an Aalim. His faith will be strong enough for him to sacrifice a few years to go to an educational institute to study Deen in depth and work towards implementing that in one's community and environment.

Of course – It is not expected of a person spending a few months in Tabligh to be discussing the Laws of Shari'ah. That is the work of Ulama. The Tablighi brothers bridge between Ulama and common people. Alhamdulillah, in many parts of the world, there are many Ulama who are the products of the effort of Da'wah and Tabligh. They or their parents have been conscientised on Deen and that led them to go abroad and spent 8/10 years away from home. Now they are leading Ulama in their communities doing invaluable work of establishing and spreading the Deen of Allah.

Traditional Methods vs. Modern Methods e.g. Media etc

In principle, there is no harm in using the media for Da'wah purposes provided the rules of the Shari'ah are not contravened. The current modus operandi of the Tablighi Jamaat is in fact closer to the Sunnah and experience has shown it to be more effective.

Does Tabligh Oppose Jihad ?

The Ulama have admonished people who say that Tablighi brothers are not keen on Jihad. Why are the Tablighi brothers singled out for not engaging in Jihad? Is every one else engaged in Jihad? Or just talking about Jihad?

The people in Tabligh are engaged in a noble work. That is appreciated by those who have benefited from the efforts and sacrifices in the Tablighi Jamaat. Thousands of Muslims around the globe have realised their purpose of being created in the world. They have understood what is obedience to Allah and reformed their lives. They began performing their five daily Solat. That impacted in all spheres of their life. Their personal and family life became a paradise in this world. When Allah consciousness enters into a life of a person, that person's focus moves away from this temporary abode to success in the hereafter.

If Muslims change their way of life and adhere to the Shari'ah, and the Sunnah of SAW, the non-Muslims and their governments will be impressed. We have become targets because we do not practice true Islam. The people around the Sahabahs RA and the Pious Predecessors observed the way of life their lives and were impressed. That attracted people to Islam.

Before discussing the issue of Jihad, it is important to focus on strengthening one's faith, Imaan and practice. That is being well achieved through the noble work of Da'wah and Tabligh. Get involved and see the spirituality in that effort. It is the easiest and most effective recipe to peace and happiness. This is the advice of Ulama.

What Is The Difference Between Tablighi Jamaat and Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah?

Tabligh means to convey. Jemaah means a group. Collectively, it means a group of people who convey. Contextually, it refers to people who conveys the message of Islam to non-Muslims and also remind Muslims of their duties. This was the effort of all the Prophet of Allah AS, including Rasulullah SAW and his Sahabahs RA who are referred to as Ahlus Sunnah (those that adhere to the Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW) Wal Jamaah (and those who adhere to the group of the Prophet i.e. the Sahabahs - RA).

Those that engage in Tabligh are all adherents of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah.

It is indeed fascinating and educational to see how all adherent respective muqalids of the Hanafi school, Maliki school, Shafi'i school and Hanbali school can all pray in one Saff, in one congregation – and then sit together to discuss and then take action on how the spiritual condition of the Ummat can be revived.

How About Spreading Islam to Non-Muslims? Isn't That More Important?

Tabligh work is a high and noble work. This word is handed by responsible Ulama. The people in the work of Tabligh are emphasised to remain within their guidance and advice.

It is even the experience of the Ulama, that those who remain within the confines of their advices are saved from so many evils and unfortunate situation. Most certainly, there might be a wisdom in not giving Da'wah to new Muslims.

Of course – The Qur'an is a guide for all mankind, Muslims as well as non-Muslims. The message of Islam should be preached to all.

That was also the Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW, the efforts of the Tablighi Jamaat is not confined to Muslims. There are innumerable Muslim reverts who were influenced into Islam through the efforts of the Tablighi Jamaat.

A Japanese friend of mine named Tomaki Saito embraced Islam circa year 2000 and changed his name to Abdul Haq Saito. He spent time with the Ulama and the Tablighi Jamaat. Though I started as being slightly more advanced than him with regards to religious knowledge, he is now perhaps millions of light years ahead of me. He is now the Shura of Muslims in Japan. With many grand Ulama supporting his cause for Islam.

As Muslims, we are responsible for making Da'wah to both, Muslims and Non-Muslims. If we look at the history of our Prophet SAW, he called unto both, Muslims as well as non-Muslims. But obviously preference will be given to those persons who are more interested in Deen, as is also indicated in the Qur'an in Surah 80 Verse 1.

More deeply the incident as mentioned in the books of Tafsir is, once Nabi SAW was busy with the chieftains giving invitation towards Deen and answering their queries, then suddenly a blind Sahabat, Abdullah bin Makhtum RA approached and queried something from Rasulullah SAW. Due to his absorption with the chieftains, Nabi SAW expressed dislike for which Allah Ta'ala revealed the above referred verse.

Also, in Fathul Qadir, it is mentioned that Saiyidina Umar RA sent Abdullah bin Ma'sud to Kufah with a Jamaat (which was a Muslim stronghold) and sent, Mu'qal bin Yassaar, Abdullah bin Maghaffal and Imraan bin Haseen to Basrah, and Ubaadah bin Saamit and Abu Darda to Syria. And all these were sent to Muslims as stated in Izaalatul Khifaa.

Which Jama'ah Is Correct? This Jamaat Is Doing It This Way... That Jamaat Is Doing It That Way... Which One Is Correct? Shouldn't We All Be Doing Things Alike?

Shari'ah had not mandated a particular format for Da'wah work. Religious education, Tabligh, Jihad, etc. are different ways of discharging this collective responsibility and they are all important in their own right. The popular format chosen for a given function is an administrative matter. For example, today – our traditional religious institutes of preparing future Ulama offer instruction for ten months a year, six days a week, six hours a day. They also have exams at predetermined intervals. This arrangement has been found useful through experience, but it was not used at the time of Nabi SAW and one cannot find any evidence supporting it in the books of Hadith.

However, since this arrangement is not considered mandated by the Shari'ah, but it is only an administrative matter, therefore, it cannot be considered a Bid'ah. The format adopted by the Tablighi Jamaat is also of this nature and does not need evidence in its favour as long as it is not considered as mandated by the Shari'ah. Sama juga – wearing long khaki-type pants is not Bid'ah just because the Prophet SAW used something else to cover lower aurat. However, for our understanding, it is sufficient to note that all Prophets AS, including Nabi SAW, had gone out to invite the people to the greatness of Allah. In this day and age, to protect ourselves, we need close monitorance from the Ulama so that we do not digress and loose the plot, in our aims and ambitions to revive Islam. The Jemaah Tabligh for example, are led by Ulama.

Is Tabligh Compulsory?

There are two aspects of Tabligh. One is to convey the Deen of Allah. That is the responsibility of every Muslim. He has to convey the Deen of Allah to the best of his ability, to his family, friends, Muslim and non-Muslims.

The second aspect of Tabligh is going out in a group of people for a specific number of days, three days, forty days, four months, etc. According to Shari'ah, there is no instruction or prohibition either to do Tabligh in this way. Such a procedure of Tabligh is Mubah (permissible) if one does not regard it as compulsory and does not do anything un-Islamic in this procedure.

It must be pointed out that this method is tried and tested. It is effective and became a means of guidance for many people from all around the world. The procedure should be viewed in light of any other procedural aspects which have been tried, tested and proven effective. It gains the attention and support of people.

What Are The Views Of The Tablighi Jamaat Of Other Efforts & Vice Versa?

To understand the stance of the Tablighi Jamaat, one has to understand that if a person or group concentrates on one field of activity, it does not mean that they are opposed to all other fields. While this may be a straightforward principle of life, only mischief-makers would like to overlook this fact to propagate their malevolent precepts.

The Tablighi Jamaat has focused its efforts on reviving the conviction on Imaan, and bringing the basic A'maal (deeds) into one's life. Other activities are left to other Ulama to carry out. Jihad, Social Welfare, Ta' lim (education), politics, Da'wah (inviting non-Muslims to Islam) etc. are being undertaken by other Ulama. The Tablighi Jamaat does not oppose such efforts, but concentrates it's energies in its sphere of activity. Can such non-involvement be construed to mean opposition?

The Tablighi Jamaat is no secret organisation. It has no offices or office bearers. All its activities are wide open for the entire world to analyse. The test of the pudding is in the eating. The Majlis of Ulama challenge any person who has been poisoned by this notion to spend just three days with any Tablighi Jamaat group to ascertain for himself if the Tablighi Jamaat is something dodgy. It will then be clear that all mischief makers have a hidden agenda.

The Ulama have provided a simple acid test to appraise the worth of speculations; and are confident that this will expose anyone misled or intentionally wishes to mislead others. This is sufficient for the seeker of truth. And may peace be on those striving to acquire guidance.

Why Are There So Many Efforts To Revive Deen?

Allah Ta'ala created every person with different temperaments and capabilities. Some are inclined towards learning and teaching while others are inclined to helping the poor and orphans. The different faculties of Deen may be likened to many different rivers leading to the same sea. The sea that all the different faculties of Deen lead to is Almighty Allah Ta'ala.

Therefore, all the different faculties of Deen, be it Tabligh, learning or teaching, legit Sufism, etc. All have one goal and object. That is to gain the Ridhuan (pleasure) of Allah. Whatever capabilities Allah has placed within us, for whichever field of Deen, we should give our fullest in that field of Deen.

The important thing is to get our initial bearings and principles correct. To have connection and alliance with pious Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah. If we do not have consistent connections with Ulama, we will drift away. Na'udzubillah.

Imagine a small boat being tugged by a large ship. If the rope pulling the boat breaks free, how can we expect the boat to carry its passengers to their required destinations.

Nevertheless also – effort has to be made to protect the pristine quality of Islam from its inside. That is why we cannot ignore fraudulent movements and efforts "within" Islam. As this will destroy Islam. To gauge how much effort, or width, or depth on how we should operate – we need help from the Ulama. Traditional Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah. To simply put a blanket over all differences and say unite is an over-simplification of solution. That blanket will make it easier for destructive movements to find its prey under the blanket. We must understand this.

Isn't It Obligatory to Establish the Khilafah?

Indeed, all the four glorious Imams of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, as well as other Classical Ulama say that it is Fardh to make effort to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate; and yes, in the time of Nabi SAW and the Sahabah RA, when Islam was in its initial stages in Makkah, Nabi SAW propagated Islam to the people. Thereafter, the stage was to teach the people about Islam and have them fully aware about Islam.

Today, we are at such a stage where the people are unaware of Islam. We have many different schools of thought. Hence, there is a greater need to educate the people and forward ourselves to establish a Khilafah. If the people are not educated, our traditional Ulama will have great opposition to the Khilafah. We want to bring the people to Islam and not have people fighting in Islam.

Islam is not against politics but it forms an integral part of Islam. The Ulama are not against politics. It is just that they don't wish to meddle in today's 'dirty' politics. They are employing a more positive approach in spreading the Deen of Allah. Sure, we need to work towards the establishment of a proper Islamic state but we do also need proper leaders and proper followers i.e. good Muslims.

At the outset, the Ulama of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah wish to advise that establishing a Khilafah will not solve any problem, rather increase the differences. Nevertheless, establishment of Khilafah in present day context is difficult. Due to the political set up globally and the Muslims getting pushed from pillar to post, the Khilafah will not solve the problem of easing the differences.

The problems of the Muslims shall only be solved if we adopt the method that was adopted of Nabi SAW and the Sahabahs RA. That is the method of Imaan and good actions (Amal-Salih).

Imam Malik RA said:

"The latter part of this Ummat shall not attain success till it adopts the way of the first part of this Ummah, i.e. Nabi SAW and Sahabahs RA."

Allah Ta'ala says:

"Allah has promised those who bring faith and do righteous deeds that he will make them Khalifahs on earth and He will strengthen them their religion which Allah chose for them."

The prescription for Khilafah is abundantly clear in this verse. Strength in Imaan and good deeds. Muslims throughout the world should strengthen their faith in Allah and perform righteous deeds that will be a means of attracting people to Islam. Muslims have lost great empires due to weakness in faith and laxity in righteous deeds.

Any effort to establish running an Islamic country without the above two referred fundamentals is baseless and an exercise in futility. That is also evident from the position of the many so-called "Islamic" countries who have hopelessly failed in their responsibilities of promoting Islam from their positions of strength.

Principles in Handling Criticism – Of Those Involved In Da'wah & Tabligh

The Ulama have advised to continue the noble work of Da'wah and Tabligh with persistency and patience. That was the salient feature of the Prophets AS. They too experienced difficulties and derogative remarks but were patient and continued with the work for the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala. It is useful to engage our time in something constructive that will yield benefit rather than being concerned of the criticism and responding to that. This is why we see much of the brothers involved in Tabligh are not conflictive in nature. Only when things require crucial correcting will they intervene. Otherwise – there is a lot of work to be done.

If I Want To Spend Time In Tabligh, How Do I Arrange Things With My Family Who Are Against This Noble Effort?

Whilst understanding the importance of the commands of Allah Ta'ala, it is also of equal importance to make our family understand the same. The problems that many of us are facing is only due to one reason - i.e. the importance of Deen is not in the hearts of those in our family.

In making effort in our family, we must first of all understand that respect of our parents and elders in the family is of utmost importance.

One simple solution which will, InshaAllah, remove all the problems that we face include - to establish Ta'lim at home i.e. reading from the book of Hadith which encourages the performance of good deeds. This will need a bit of courage of course, especially when there is lack of Deeni environment at home.

Thus, everyday, at some suitable time maybe for ten to fifteen minutes, we may sit with the Kitab e.g. 'Riyadhus Salihin', ''Fadhaail-e-Aamaal' etc, read it in a medium tone, not too loud, but read to ourself. Do not ask or command anyone to participate. Continue to do so until the hearts of our family members will soon soften and they will, InshaAllah, one day participate which will in turn make them Deeni conscious. Together with this, be kind to them, greet them and gradually win them over. Du'a is the key to everything. After every Solat, all the time we should make Du'a for them.

A Final Note

Let us all be reminded – there are two important things:

The first is – Deen.

To learn, practice and preach true Deen, we must associate ourselves and sit with pious scholars of the Alus Sunnah Wal Jamaah

The second is – the Effort of Deen.

That is the effort to revive the spiritual state of all Muslims in the Ummah.

To learn, practice and preach Deen, we must associate ourselves and get involved in an effort which are both approved and steered by the Ulama.

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