[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]
A book, titled: TABLEEGHI JAMAAT, is presently  being circulated in South Africa. The book, the author of which is one Mr Arshadul Qaderi, has been published by one of the Bid`ati groups operating in South Africa. This book, packed with falsehood, half-truths, deceptive reasoning and the personal conclusions of its writer, is designed to bring the Tablighi Jamaat into disrepute so as to discourage Muslims for joining the Movement which aims to reestablish and revive the lost and forgotten Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
In his desperate attempt to decry and malign the Tablighi Jamaaat, the author has presented numerous fanciful notions of his own. He seeks to draw a veil of secrecy around the Tablighi Jamaat and then he endeavours to build a case against the Jamaat on the basis of probabilities fabricated to conform to the opinions and pernicious motives of the Ahl-e-Bid`ah – the group which has sold its soul to grave-worship and other acts of shrik and Bid`ah. The pure and simple Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) militates against the plethora of dark acts of Bid`ah innovated by the sect of Bid`ah.
Since the true Sunnah is the death-knell of Bid`ah and grave-worship, the Tablighi Jamaat operating among the masses with its programme of simple Sunnah is considered a dangerous foe by the votaries of Bid`ah. And, since Muslims from all walks of life have abandoned the evil part of the grave-worshippers and have turned into the direction of the Sunnah, the leaders of the deviated sect of Bid`ah are discerning the writing on the wall.
The strategy of publicizing half-truths and statements cited out of context interpreted to suit the Bid`ati notions has become the favorite ploy adopted by the grave-worshippers in their desperate bid to bring a halt to the noble Deeni activities of the Tablighi Jamaat.
In his book, Mr Arshadul Qaderi refers to three incidents which he wishes the public to buy. The incidents revolve around three of his personal encounters or supposed encounters with members of the Tablighi Jamaat. In the presentation of his tales regarding his encounters with the Tablighi Jamaat he seeks to create a sinister image of the Jamaat. It is indeed very peculiar that of the millions of Muslims, the world over, who have seen the light of Hidaayah by participation in Tablighi Jamaat activities, Mr Arshadul Qaderi has failed to obtain the support of a single one.
If the allegation of deception against the Tablighi Jamaat be true as Mr Arshad wishes us to accept, how is it that he has been unable to find a single witness to corroborate his claims? Why is it that of the millions of Muslims who had and are joining the Tablighi Jamaat, Mr Arshadul Qaderi happens to be the only one in this wide world who has detected by personal experience the undercurrent of a sinister and a massive plot of kufr and nifaaq in the Tablighi Jamaat? Surely a movement will ultimately, by hook or crook, propagate its aims and objects among its members.
A movement which fails to give practical expression to its aims and objects and instead schools its members in teachings and conceptions which are contrary to its pledged aims and goal, will cease to operate or will be transformed into another movement of a different mould by virtue of its abandonment of its aims and objects. If the Tablighi Jamaat does infact subscribe to the evil beliefs of kufr attributed to it by Arshadul Qaderi and the grave- worshippers, then surely, innumerable persons (many former followers of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah) would have acquired such beliefs.
But, not a single participant among the millions will support Arshadul Qaderi in his allegations. Surely, if the writer’s claims about the Tablighi Jamaat contained any grain of truth, people joining the Jamaat would have detected the corruption of beliefs being supposedly propagated at Nizamuddin and Raiwind. It is beyond reasonable imagination to accept that the Tablighi Jamaat elders have successfully concealed their `true’ beliefs from millions of laymen for several decades now. If indeed, they had managed to accomplish this inconceivable feat of concealment, then of what purpose was their labour and effort? What was their gain when they had failed to convert the millions to their conception of Islam? Of what benefit is a recruit to a movement when the recruit – in fact each and every recruit in the case of the Jamaat — upon having qualified subscribes to doctrines and beliefs which are in conflict with the beliefs of his tutors and negatory of the aims and objects of the movement which he had joined?
The masses will never obtain the pictures of the Jamaat, which Arshadul Qaderi has attempted to create in the book of confusion and falsehood. People who have joined the Jamaat and people who are joining the Jamaat are and will be practical and live witnesses to the truth of the Tablighi Jamaat. Those who join the Tablighi Jamaat and live with it for a while will bear testimony to the falsehood published by the sect of grave-worshippers about the Jamaat.
An example of the false meanings and fanciful notions attributed to the Tablighi Jamaat activities by Mr Qaderi is his idea of the Jamaat`s programme of teaching the Kalimah. He very ignorantly concludes that the motive of teaching the Kalimah is the belief that all muslims are ‘polytheists’ and kaafirs. Hence, calling for the renewal of Imaan. This, according to Mr Qaderi is the motive for the Tablighi Jamaat`s insistence on teaching the Kalimah. But, such reasoning is downright stupid and baseless. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Renew Imaan with Laa-ilaha illallah”
Teaching the Kalimah in not confined to teaching only verbal recital. Along with the verbal recitation of the Kalimah are the practical demands of Kalimah. The Kalimah does not cease to operate with verbal affirmation. The practical consequence of the verbal expression of the Kalimah is the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Salaat, Tahaarah and the variety of Deeni acts, beliefs and practices are all branches of the Kalimah. The Kalimah is the pivot of Deen. Everything hinges on it. It thus constitutes the starting point and the basis of an Islamic Movement.
There is nothing sinister in the Ta’leem of the Kalimah which is a vital activity of the Tablighi Jamaat. It is evil and wicked to introduce sinister connotations into this pure activity of the Tablighi Jamaat. Those who have been fortunate to join the Tablighi Jamaat will know the absurdity of the claim that the Kalimah- reading and teachings of the Jamaat are motivated by an ulterior motive.
The following statement appears on page 2 of the book:
“The illiterate and uninformed Muslims, eager to repent from their sins, are being promised green gardens from the Tablighi Jamaat. They are told if they adopt the Jamaat`s ways their status will be raised above the statues of the Muslim public”
What constrains the “illiterate and uninformed Muslims” to seek the umbrella of the Tablighi Jamaat for professing their repentance? Why are they not eager to offer their repentance in the camp of the Ahl-e-Bid`ah? What is it that induces former members of the Bid`ati sect to enter the Tablighi Jamaat for the purpose of repenting and to gain the rewards of “green gardens”, a consequence of their repentance?
The Qabar-pujaari sect offers a variety of worldly attractions to people in the form of foods, sweetmeats, music, singing , merrymaking, festivals, ect., while on the contrary, the Tablighi Jamaat offers only Kalimah and Salaat. But, we see people who were groveling in Bid`ah, turning their backs on such evil and joining the ranks of the Tablighi Jamaat to become imbued with Kalimah and Salaat. Why is the Bid`ati group unable to hold onto its followers and keep them firmly tied to the acts of Bid`ah with all their slogans, colour and merry-making?
The answer is simple. The truth of the Sunnah is glaring and Haqq will always surface. What are the Jamaat`s ways in the foregoing statement? Ask any one of the millions, the world over, and the answer forthcoming will be: the Kalimah, Salaat and the Sunnah. No one knows anything else since nothing else other than the Sunnah is taught by the Jamaat.
While Qaderi is unable to locate a single witness to corroborate his wild allegations regarding his “experience” about the Jamaat, there are millions all over the world who testify to the truth of the Tablighi Jamaat. Multitudes of Muslims can stand up and claim with emphasis that they know nothing of the vile allegations made by the bid`atis regarding the Tablighi Jamaat. They can vouch that the things Qaderi states regarding the Jamaat are nothing but pure slander.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) informed the Ummah of “green gardens” of Jannat for those who recite the Kalimah and Salaat. This was the promise made by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and this is the self-same ‘promise’ about which the Tablighi Jamaat speaks. People are told that if they uphold the institution of salaat, the Gardens of Jannah are in store for them. This is the truth.
But, Muslims have no hope of aspiring for the lofty rewards of Jannat while remaining in the camp of people given to acts of grave-worship. The claim that members of the Tablighi Jamaat regards themselves as superior to other Muslims is blatantly false. Ask anyone of the multitudes who have participated in the Jamaat if they had at any time been taught to hold others in contempt.
In view of Mr Qaderi`s inability to produce facts and proof to substantiate his claims of kufr against the Tablighi Jamaat, he desperately attempts in his book to align the Tablighi Jamaat and the Ulama of Deoband with the Wahhaabi group of Najd. He is at great pains to forge out a basis for linking the Tablighi Jamaat to the Wahhaabi sect of Arabia. But, he fails miserably in his attempt to make falsehood appear as truth.
The entire claim of the Tablighi Jamaat and the Ulama of Deoband being Wahhaabi`s is reared on supposition-baseless supposition. A supposed “striking similarity between the activities of Sheikh Najdi and Moulana llyas” forms the basis of Qaderi`s case. Assuming that there does exist the supposed “similarity”, such a supposition cannot be tendered as grounds for claiming that the Tablighi Jamaat and the Ulama of Deoband belongs to the school of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhaab.
The main “similarity” which is bothering the Ahl-e-bid’ah is the aversion for shirk and grave-worship. If the Ulama of Deoband and the Tablighi Jamaat happen to be the foes of grave-worship and shirk, they cannot be labeled as Wahhaabis merely because the Wahhaabis also happen to loathe acts of shirk and grave-worship. Aversion for grave-worship is an attitude which is spawned by true Tauheed. However, Mr Qaderi who had laid claim to ‘fair-play’ is unable to indicate even a single incident in which the Ulama of Deoband had at anytime supported the extreme measures adopted by the Wahhaabis in their onslaught against the cult of grave-worship and tomb-worship. The allegation of Wahhaabi`ism against the Tablighi Jamaat is the claim of those bereft of truth and deficient in Islamic Tauheed. A people enslaved to tomb-worship cannot have any respect for the truth.
The attitude of Mr Qaderi and his ilk has always been to proclaim Muslims as `kaafir` on the slightest pretext. People of Sunnah who point out the evil of bid`ah customs are conveniently branded as `Wahhaabis` by the votaries of grave-worship. Perhaps this “striking similarity” between the Wahhaabis and the Qabr Pujaaris, viz., their mutual proclamations of kufr, render the latter (the Qabr Pujaaris) Wahhaabis!
This brief rebuttal of the book of Mr Qaderi will, Insha`Allah serve as a mere introduction for more thorough and detail refutations which we are certain will be prepared by the Ulama to show up the falsehood traded by Mr Qaderi in his book on Tablighi Jamaat. It has been said that proof of the pudding is in the eating. Therefore, the best and the surest way of discovering the truth and the worth of Mr Qaderi`s claim and allegation is to join the Tablighi Jamaat. Join the Jamaat, participate in its simple and straightforward programme of Ibaadat. Sit in its gatherings; go to Basti Nizaamuddin and Raiwind; keep your eyes and mind open to detect any sinister proceeding and activities; endeavour to discover the “kufr” and “false beliefs” allegedly propagated by the Tablighi Jamaat.
Ascertain the facts in this simple and true way. Then only will you know what the Tablighi Jamaat actually stands for. Even if the intention is not sincere, just join the Jamaat with the motive of unearthing its hidden `kufr` and its `Wahhaabi` base. You will return with a clear picture of the truth. You will then know which group is travelling along the path of falsehood and evil, and which group is travelling along the path of Haqq.
8 FEBRUARY 1988
[Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]