• The Tablighi Jamaat is a Jamaat of Haqq which propagates the true teachings of Islam. As such, we advise and encourage people to join the Jamaat and participate in its activities.
• Many Muslims throughout the world write to us about the Tablighi Jamaat. People who are not associated with any particular group, but who sincerely wish for self-reformation and Deeni guidance wish to know whether they should join the Tablighi Jamaat or the Jamaat-e-Islaami. Our advice invariably is for them to link up with the Tablighi Jamaat since we believe the Jamaat-e-Islaami of Maududi to be a deviated sect which has strayed from the Path of the Sunnah.
• Join the Jamaat with the sole intention of islaah (self-reformation) and acquiring Deeni Ta’leem (instruction) in the basics of the Deen such as the Sunnat way of Wudhu, Salaat, etc. Do not enter the Jamaat with the understanding that you will be reforming others. Shaitaan will then deceive you. You will become swollen with pride, arrogance and a holier than thou attitude. Instead of acquiring self- reformation, you will then perpetually dwell in self-deception. If Allah Ta’ala wishes to extract service from any person, He will draw that person into the service of the Ummah. But, you the one who joins the Jamaat, do not enter with any fancy ideas. Consider yourself a spiritually diseased person entering a spiritual hospital.
• If you contemplate going with the Jamaat for a few days or weeks, then make adequate arrangements at home. Never simply abandon the family on a misconceived understanding that Allah Ta’ala will take care of them. This ignorant attitude is not permissible because Allah Ta’ala has imposed the obligation of caring for the family on the head of the home. It is haraam for a man to strand his family on the mistaken belief that he is rendering service in the Path of Allah. Service in the Path of Allah does not advocate abandonment of obligations and casting others into difficulty.
• When leaving home for any period, be it short or long, ensure, that there is a reliable mahram male to see to the needs of the family. It is haraam for a man to leave his wife and children in the care of a ghair mahram male who will have free access to his wife and daughters. Many people who join the Jamaat are guilty of this notorious and grave kabeerah sin.
• It is haraam to leave the wife in charge of the shop while you are out in Tabligh. Your participation in the Tablighi Jamaat is meritorious, but your wife’s standing in the shop is haraam. It is haraam to commit a haraam act for the sake of a meritorious act.
• Do not regard with scorn those who do not join the Tablighi Jamaat and those who do not sit in your bayaan. No one is under any Shar’i compulsion to sit in your talks or in your Kitaab-reading even though it is highly meritorious. When you feel affronted by those who do not sit in your bayaan or in Kitaab-reading, then understand that you have become arrogant and that you have adopted a holier than thou attitude and that shaitaan is manipulating you. When such an attitude develops in you, immediately arrest your nafs and caution it.
• Adopt absolute humility. Think of yourself as a spiritually diseased person. Be concerned with your own islaah (reformation). When you, the layman, has been appointed to give a talk, then do not stand with chest puffed out and arms folded as if you are some ocean of knowledge with ignoramuses seated at your feet. Ignorant workers adopt such an arrogant attitude sometimes. When you have to speak in a bayaan then understand that you are the most insignificant entity or speck in Allah’s creation. Convince yourself that you are most unworthy of standing and speaking to a group of people and that you are doing so only because of instructions from your elders and superiors.
• Neither make stupid and un-Islamic statements, nor entertain stupid thoughts such as: Those outside the Tablighi Jamaat are doomed. The methods of Tabligh of the Tablighi Jamaat are the only valid methods for this time. The Madaaris and the, Khaanqahs, have outlived their utility. Tablighi Jamaat methods are more beneficial than of those Ulama not associated with the Tablighi Jamaat, etc., etc. Such thoughts are evil whisperings of shaitaan who is ever diligent in his scheme of deflecting the people of Haqq.
• If your wife and daughters are Purdah Nasheen (i.e. they observe Purdah; they remain at home; they do not wander around), then do not permit them to participate in Tablighi Jamaat activities.
Join the Jamaat by all means and participate in its Deeni programmes. But, observe the limits of the Shariah. Transgression of the limits will deflect the people of Haqq from the Straight Path of the Sunnah. It is against shaitaani inroads which the Elders of the Jamaat should be ever diligent. It is a fatal blunder to misinterpret the advice and admonition of sincere of friends.
Islaah-e-Baatin or spiritual purification of the self is the most neglected department in the lives of Muslims. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Muslims does not even recognize or know of this Fardh requirement of Islam. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“Verily, he who has purified it (the nafs), has attained the lasting success. And, he who has contaminated it (ruined it with evil) has destroyed it.”
Without spiritual purification, Muslims cannever hope for progress in any field of life, be it mundane or spiritual. While the kuffaar will progress in worldly matters on the basis of their effort in this direction, Muslims will not achieve similar progress despite their efforts as long as they have not acquired spiritual progress.
WOMEN‘S TABLIGH JAMAAT
The arguments presented to justify the present-day women’s tablighi jamaat activities are all baseless.
(1) The statement of Imaam Sha’bi (rahmatullah alayh) has absolutely no relevance to women’s khurooj minal buyoot and to the women’s tabligh methodology in vogue in this era. Imaam Sha’bi (rahmatullah alayh) simply confirms what non-Tablighi Ulama say regarding the Shariah’s order of Tabligh. It is a known fact that the current members of the Tablighi Jamaa’t confine Tabligh to their specific methodology, hence we hear baseless statements from them such as ‘salvation is in only the Jamaa’t’, their particular methodology is ‘fardh-e-ain’, etc. There is much ghulu‘ in their ranks since they confine Tabligh to their particular methodology. It is in refutation of this narrow-minded attitude that Imaam Sha’bi’s statement should be viewed.
We do not confine Tabligh to any particular method or concept as the Tabligh Jamaa’t brothers do. Imaam Sha’bi’s view is thus supportive of the view of the non-Tablighi Ulama who pursue their own particular methods of serving the Deen.
(2) The argument of Bid’ah and the statement produced from Al-I‘tisaam do not lend any support whatsoever for women’s mass tabligh and for khuroojun nisaa‘. It is stated with great clarity in the passage cited that “protection of the Shariah is Waajib”. The very first violation committed by women in jamaa’t is khurooj minal buyoot. The woman’s role is inside the house, not outside. She has her husband, her children and her home to tend to. Allah Ta’ala created her specifically for the domestic role, not for the public role, not for a role to be played outside the home, hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Woman is aurah. When she emerges, shaitaan lies in ambush for her.”
Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) has explained in his Risaalah, Haqeqat-e-Purdah that the first degree of Hijaab is qaraar fil buyout. When women emerge, they are in violation of Hijaab. Hijaab should not be restricted to the cloak, especially the deceptive cloaks and burqahs of this age.
Furthermore, in these days when women travel, they have to intermingle with kuffaar, fussaaq and fujjaar at regular intervals during the journey – at the airports, at the immigration, at the customs, in the taxis, buses, in the streets, etc. They are subjected to body searches at airports, and now their entire satr will be portrayed on screens at airports. It is only a man bereft of the slightest vestige of hayaa and honour who can tolerate that his wife’s entire body, including her satr-e-ghaleez should be scanned and revealed by the kuffaar on the pretext of checking for explosives. In such circumstances it is haraam for a woman to travel for even Hajj and Umrah. If she has to expose her satr to the kuffaar examiners at airports, then the fardhiyat of Hajj is waived for her. To a far far greater degree will it be HARAAM for her to go on a journey for participation in tabligh which is not the role which Allah Ta’ala has created for her.
It is an example of talbees-e-iblees to believe that women’s khurooj minal buyout for tabligh is a ‘bid’ah hasanah. On the contrary it is a bid’ah sayyiah/bid’ah dhalaalah which shaitaan has adorned and presented in the guise of an ‘ibaadat’. During the noblest and holiest of ages, the Sahaabah unanimously banned the holiest of women, including the Azwaaj-e-Mutahharaat from the Musjid for even the Fardh Salaat which they used to perform in the Musjid during the lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Experience has proven that women who join the Tabligh Jamaa’t become very free and disobedient to their husbands just as these so-called new breed of ‘aalimahs’ are grossly insolent and their knowledge about home affairs is about nil. Their legs appear to be thoroughly greased. They think nothing of leaving the house, getting in the car and driving off to their Tabligh programmes while they neglect their husbands, children and home duties. Many people complain in this regard. In fact, they leave the home in flagrant violation of their husband’s wishes and prohibition. They feel that their participation in tabligh entitles them to be insolent and disobedient to their husbands.
Under guise of tabligh they have become makshufaat. ‘Masturaat‘ is a misnomer. When a woman leaves the sacred precincts of her home she becomes makshuf. She does not remain mastoor regardless of her modern-day cloak.
(3) The high degree of modesty of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) only serves to confirm the prohibition of women’s khurooj. Her emergence was dictated by absolute necessity and by her understanding of the fadhilat of Hajj. She had specifically asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regarding Jihaad for ladies. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then told her that the Jihaad of women is Hajj. This negates a mass movement role outside the home for women. The Jamaat brothers always cite Jihaad narrations for the fadhielat of their specific form of Tabligh. It will therefore be logical to cite the Hadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) negates Jihaad for women.
So negation of Jihaad will also mean negation of Tableegh for them. By Tabligh here is meant such Tabligh which requires mass emergence from the home. Since Hajj is an individual’s act, mass tabligh by women cannot be based on it. Hadhrat Aisha’s emergence for Hajj does not justify present-day mass women’s tabligh. She was an individual who had emerged for a valid reason. In this mass emergence from the homes, these women are vying with the women’s lib. movement, albeit on another level.
Also Hajj is an ibaadat of the individual. It is not a mass movement which requires women to emerge from their homes, neglect their families and travel long distances, becoming involved in several haraam acts along the journey, especially when they have to travel on planes in the suhbat of the fussaaq, kuffaar and fujjaar. Just imagine the shamelessness of your wife standing in a queue in the plane at the toilet with men standing in front of her and behind her. We have witnessed such scenes with our own eyes. Male hosts in the plane speak with her and offer refreshments. There is no way in which ikhtilaat with fussaaq and kuffaar males can be avoided today when a woman travels, especially on planes. Their husbands lack honour and haya, hence they justify the pillage and plunder of the hayaa and purdah of their wives. And, all this in the name of the Deen!
(4) It is an insult to intelligence to cite Hadhrat Aisha’s episode which took place during the Battle of the Camel. That was an extraordinary occurrence in which she had erred. Besides the error, her khurooj in her opinion was for a momentous purpose. It was an issue of life and death of thousands of Sahaabah. It was an issue of Sahaabah spilling the blood of Sahaabah. Her mission may not be cited as justification for the mass women’s tabligh movement. There is simply no affinity here. The analogy is baseless.
(5) The couple of incidents of women going out individually for some purpose are all isolated episodes. It was not a mass movement. It was not the norm. These were exceptions to the general rule. The statement, ‘in the path of Allah with her mahram‘, is used deceptively to create the impression that she went out for tabligh. ‘Path of Allah’ in the context of the khurooj of an extremely limited number of women, and that too not on an organized basis, was in Jihaad. But our Tablighi brothers are fond of using the terms, fisabeelillaah to apply to their specific method of Tabligh. While their tabligh is also in ‘the Path of Allah’, every Hadith of ‘fisabeelillaah’ which they present refers to Jihaad, not to tabligh.
(6) The Qur’aanic aayat of qarn fil buyout applies to all women, not only to the Azwaaj-e-Mutahharaat. In fact this is conceded by the one who argues in favour of women’s khurooj. Thus, his citation of this aayat is futile. This aayat smacks in the face of women’s khurooj while the ban on them attending the Musjid promulgated by the Sahaabah prohibits their khurooj for ibaadat despite allowing their khurooj on an individual basis for visiting relatives and for other mundane needs. But for ibaadat which entails group emergence as for Jamaat Salaat, their khurooj was forbidden. The permissibility for khurooj for worldly reasons is most significant. While the Shariah permits women’s khurooj for visiting relatives and for attending to some other worldly activities such as doing their own buying when they have no one else to do it for them, their khurooj for Salaat is prohibited.
It may not be argued that since women are permitted to visit their relatives, it will also be permissible for them to attend the Musjid. Such an argument will be deception and talbees-e-iblees because the Shariah itself permits the one khurooj and prohibits the other khurooj. Thus when a woman is allowed to set out to search for her lost child or brother, it is not a basis for starting a mass movement and for inviting women to emerge from their homes on a mass scale and undertaking journeys, committing a series of sins in the process.
(7) Qaari Tayyib’s statement does not assist the case of women’s khurooj. Let us assume that there is no evil in abandonment of purdah as there was no fear of evil among the Azwaaj-e-Mutahharaat and the Sahaabiyyah in the noblest age of Islam. The absence of evil never abrogates the Mansoos hukm of purdah. The brother has totally misinterpreted Qaari Tayyib’s statement because he has not understood its purport. It is commonsense and common cause that the Ahkaam have valid reasons. The Ahkaam have not been commanded for the sake of futility. When the Shariah has prohibited female emergence, then it is Waajib to believe that there is fitnah in their khurooj even if it is a society of pious ladies. Especially in this immoral age with so much danger, evil and immorality prevailing at every stage of the journey, the fitnah is magnified and intense. Merely citing Qaari Tayyib’s statement does not assist the argument for women’s tabligh.
(8) No one has ever argued that it is not permissible for women to leave the home precincts for necessity. But it is essential to understand what is ‘necessity’ in Shar’i terms. The Shariah has explained when it is permissible for a woman to leave the home. Never did the Shariah include mass women’s movements, even for Jihaad or for tabligh among the necessities which legalize mass khurooj from the homes and undertaking journeys which bring about a series of Shar’i violations and sins – sins as mentioned above.
Explaining the method for the Deeni Ta’leem of women, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The safest (and best) method for females is the self-same method which has come down from time immemorial. A few girls should gather in a place of their relatives and study there….” Hadhrat has explained this old and safe system in Beheshti Zewer. The age-old method which has been in vogue in the Ummah since the inception of Islam is the best, the safest and the only way for the ta’leem of females. Their necessary Deeni education should be imparted quietly, imperceptibly and without ostentation. There should be no mass movement to catch the eye. No public announcements about ‘masturaat’ jamaats and the venue of their bayaans. No public image given to them. They are aurah. Violation of the concept of aurah is fraught with grave fitnah.
When the Shariah states that the reason for the prohibition of their khurooj is ‘fitnah’, then it is a dangerous error to overstep this prohibition. The consequence of their khurooj will most certainly be fitnah.
(9) The defender of the mass women’s movement says: “Salaah can be read at home while this effort cannot be done at home.” This is another example of talbees-e-iblees. In the very first place, the woman is not required by Islam to leave her home for an ‘effort’ which the Shariah does not impose on her. Then the evil is complicated and compounded by her emergence to engage in an ‘effort’ which is not part of her role and in the process of pursuing this ‘effort’ she is compelled to undertake journies in which she has to commit haraam acts. This ‘effort’ outside the home environs for women opens a wide avenue of fitnah. Her place is the home, not outside.
(10) The defender is misconstruing Mufti Kifaayatullah’s argument on the basis of the words, ‘gatherings of males’ which appears in his statement. He should read and reflect on the whole article. But he extracts one statement from the article and misconstrues it in an abortive bid to confer permissibility for the mass women’s movement. He has committed a great injustice to Hadhrat Mufti Kifaayatullah (rahmatullah alayh) by citing a small piece from his kitaab on this question. He cites the piece out of context to produce a conclusion which is in total conflict of the fatwa of Mufti Kifaayatullah.
Anyone interested in the truth should read Mufti Kifaayatullah’s whole fatwa on this question. We have also translated it into English and have published it in book form. The title of the booklet is: The Prohibition of Women Attending Gatherings And Public Lectures. In a nutshell, Mufti Kifaayatullah’s fatwa reads as follows:
“It is Jaaiz for men to attend such talks, not women because since it is not permissible for women to attend the Musjid for Salaat then all the more it is not permissible for them to attend a lecture, be it a good talk. The Fuqaha have explicitly ruled on this matter.”
“Hence, from the aforegoing, this much is established that the husband holds the right to prevent his wife from attending lecture gatherings, since it is not permissible for a woman to attend lecture gatherings, etc. in the first place, and it is his obligatory duty to prevent her from impermissible and undesirable acts.”
Mufti Kifaayatullah (rahmatullah alayh) basis his entire fatwa of the prohibition of women participating in public lectures on the basis of the Shariah’s prohibition of them attending the Musjid and on the explicit rulings of the Fuqaha.
The fitnah of female emergence from the home is real. This fitnah is not negated by the accompaniment of mahram males. On the contrary the fitnah of this particular women’s jamaat is magnified. It has already snowballed into a kind of mass women’s lib. movement. Women are increasingly losing their haya by projecting themselves in public. It is a role which is in diametric conflict with the divine role cast for them by Allah Ta’ala – the home role.
(11) The defender of the mass women’s movement, unashamedly says: “In the time of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) the fitnah of women in the Masjid was realized as is written under the Tafseer of aayat 14 surah Hijr, whilst it is evident that despite the fitnah in the society there has been no incident unbecoming in the work of the masturaat.”
In this averment he contends that while the illustrious Sahaabiyyah who included the Azwaaj-e-Mutahharaat and other ladies of exceptional Taqwa, had initiated ‘fitnah’, in that golden age of Islam, there is no such fitnah prevailing today in relation to the mass movement of women’s tabligh jamaat. He should hang his head in shame for having assigned the women of this age a higher pedestal of taqwa than even the Azwaaj-e-Mutahharaat and the Sahaabiyyah in general.
There are many untoward episodes which take place at women’s gatherings. Eating the dead flesh of other Muslims, i.e. gheebat, is a favourite past-time even with the tablighi ladies. The masses of these women are no paragons of virtue. Besides this, the fact remains that the fourteen century prohibition on female’s emergence from the home cannot be abrogated by all the nonsensical arguments which the votaries of women’s tabligh jamaat present to justify the mass women’s movement.
(12) We are not in agreement with those Ulama who permit women’s tabligh movement, especially groups undertaking journies. Whilst unostentatious, quiet gatherings locally are tolerable, the journies are not permissible. When the Sahaabah had banned even an act which was permissible during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), there should be no difficulty in understanding our aversion for a mass women’s movement even in Deeni guise. When females are projected in a role which Allah Ta’ala has not created for them, the ultimate result will be fitnah.
(13) It serves no purpose to cite Mufti Mahmood (rahmatullah alayh). We do not agree with his views on this issue just as the other party will not agree with the views of Hadhrat Maulana Masihullah (rahmatullah alayh) on this issue. The way to view an issue is to present Shar’i dalaa-il. Mufti Mahmood Sahib has not presented Shar’i dalaa-il in his fatwa for the permissibility of women undertaking journeys for the sake of tabligh. He has only given his personal views without Shar’i dalaa-il.
Furthermore, while we respect and honour Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood (rahmatullah alayh), we do not follow him. Our views are based on Shar’i dalaa-il, not personal opinion which seeks to overshadow the Shariah. We do not cite our Shaikh, Hadhrat Maulana Masihullah (rahmatullah alayh) as our daleel. The Shariah is explicit and emphatic in its prohibition of female’s khurooj. Those who are encouraging this women’s mass movement are extremely short-sighted.