Tableegh and the Rights of the Family

QUESTION

According to the Shariah, what are the rights of a wife, and what are the obligations of her husband. A man lives in a Jamaat Khaanah.  He divorced his wife, but refuses to support the minor children. He joins the Tabligh Jamaat, goes on their excursions, but neglects his children. This particular man does give his children a blue cent but travels around and enjoys his holidays with the Tabligh Jamaat. As far as I am concerned, the jamaat with whom he moves around is cursed. Don’t these people advise their members about the rights of wives and children? What benefit is tabligh to others when they don’t do tabligh to their own members?

Is tabligh restricted to Salaat and using the Miswaak?  I am not saying that these acts of ibaadah are unimportant. But, it appears that the tabligh people know nothing about Islam other than speaking a lot of  ‘yaqeen’, etc. But practically they are very neglectful of the laws of the Shariat. Is it proper for a man to go in tabigh, but not support his children? 

ANSWER AND ADVICE IN GENERAL

Unfortunately, there is much ignorance prevailing in all strata of Muslim life. The Tabligh Jamaat people, the Darul Uloom people, the Jamiatul Ulama people, and the Khaanqah people of this age have lost the Straight Path of the Deen. They emphasize their specific sphere of activity while ignoring the larger picture of the Shariat. 

If a man does not have sufficient funds to support his family, then it is haraam for him to use the small amount he has for travelling with the Tabligh Jamaat. He has to remain at home, work and support his family. He may participate in the local Jamaat programmes which do not require money. 

The injustices which Tabligh Jamaat men render to their wives and children have become a universal problem. They have become one-tracked in their thinking. They appear to be incapable of understanding that the Shariah does not deal with only Salaat and Saum. Every department of life is subject to the ahkaam (laws) of the Shariah. 

A man’s first and most important Tabligh is to his family.  But almost all of them neglect their families and pretend to be great muballigheen travelling around and adopting a holier than thou attitude when they address gatherings. They not only forget, but deliberately plug their ears when the following naseehat of Allah Ta’ala is mentioned:

 “O People of Imaan! Save yourselves and your families (wives and children) from the Fire whose fuel is men and stones.”

Generally, we have seen that there is no barkat in the lives of  those Tablighis who  commit injustices to their families. While they will speak loudly and much about ‘yaqeen’, there is not  a semblance of yaqeen in their own lives. 

Another evil which we have observed in many members of the Jamaat, is their reckless disregard  when it comes to paying debts. They plead poverty and  have no money to pay debts, but they have money to travel around. People in debt should not  go on Tablighi journeys as long as they have not settled their debts. They should work, pay their debts, support their families, and then if they have surplus funds, sufficient for the journey and  for their families during their absence, will it be permissible to participate in a tabligh journey. 

Furthermore, if they have no  trustworthy mahram male to  take care of their families  during their absence, then it  will not be permissible  to go on a tabligh jamaat journey.  Allah Ta’ala has endowed  the Mu’min with sound Aql. If he does not employ his intelligence correctly within the bounds of the Shariah, his Aql will then not only atrophy, but his thinking will retrogress and his whole outlook in life will become corrupt regardless of how long he participates in Tabligh Jamaat activities. 

This  applies not only to the Tabligh Jamaat people. It also applies to the Khaanqah people of today. We are aware of so-called khalifahs, whose financial dealings are absolutely corrupt and putrid. Their dealings with   people and their families are rotten to the core. They are scoundrels who rob and fraud in the name of the Deen, yet they  proudly call themselves Ulama, Shaikhs and  Khalifahs. In this age, one has to be exceptionally careful before getting hooked to a ‘khalifah’. These people  dupe, mislead and  rob  their mureeds, and all of this thuggery in the name of the Deen! 

The type of naseehat we offer  annoys and offends people, i.e. such people who believe that they are Deeni personnel, e.g. Tablighis, people of the Khaanqas and people of the Darul Ulooms. The reason for their annoyance is takabbur (pride), lack of Taqwa and worldly desires being prominent in their hearts. If a man has genuine Taqwa, even if it is in small measure, he will never take offense when his errors and sins are pointed out to him. He will reflect, appreciate the naseehat and strive to improve his Deeni, moral and spiritual life. May Allah Ta’ala guide  us all, and may He save us from the evil lurking in our nafs and from the snares and ploys of shaitaan.

26 Zil Hajj 1436 (10 October 2015)

[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]

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