By Pervez Bari
Bhopal: About 12000 Muslims registered their names to voluntarily venture out around the globe leaving the comforts of their hearth and home to cajole their co-religionists to lead an upright life as shown by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) of Islam.
The names were registered during the three-day “Aalami Tableeghi Ijtima” (World Preachers’ Congregation) wherein the people volunteered themselves to travel to remote places to spread the message of Allah Almighty. Over half a million people participated in the customary mass “Dua” (Akheri Munajat – the last supplications) on Monday afternoon last, the third day, after which the Ijtima concluded here.
According to organizers in all 650 "Jama’ats" (Groups of people) stepped out from here in all directions for various period of time varying from three “Chille” (4 months or 120 days) to one “Chilla” (40 days). In all 150 “Jama’ats” volunteered to go in the path of Allah (S) for three “Chille” while the rest 500 “Jama’ats” for one “Chilla”. About a dozen “Jama’ats” from Madhya Pradesh, which includes six from Bhopal, will go beyond the Indian sea shores to persuade their Muslim brothers to give up a life focused on materialism only but follow the tenets of Islam in letter and spirit to inculcate values of spiritualism. Thus, become a role model for others at large to follow suite in order to establish a peaceful society as ordained by the Creator of one and all.
Besides the "Jama’ats" from all over India, in all 380 Muslims, mostly in the form “Jama’ats” and some individually, descended here from more than two-and-a-half dozen countries to participate in the “Aalami Tableeghi Ijtima”. They came from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Canada, America, France, England, Poland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, Turkey, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippine, Australia and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the thronging of devotees to the "Ijtima" (congregation) new site, about 15 kms away on the northern outskirts of the town at Ghasipura in Eintkhedi village from the historical Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal, surpassed all previous records. Over half a million people are estimated to have joined the "Dua", this year, turning the site into a sea of humanity. Most of the people were seen sobbing and crying during the concluding prayers, seeking Almighty Allah’s forgiveness for their ignorance towards the eternal life and over indulgence in the trifles of this temporary world. People took part in "Dua" from nearby homes, on the roof tops of houses and buildings, sitting on roadsides, shops and on trees also.
Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Sa'ad Kandhalvi, the grandson of “Tableeghi Jama’at” founder Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, from the headquarters at Hazrat Nizamuddin in New Delhi, conducted the "Dua" in a mix of Arabic, Urdu and Hindi which lasted about 25 minutes. In the prayers divine blessings for peace, progress and unity of Muslim Ummah and mankind at large were sought. He prayed to Allah Almighty to bless the entire world with His final message so that the entire mankind could succeed in the eternal life.
Earlier, before the "Dua" Maulana Sa'ad, who is advisory committee member of the "Tableeghi Jama’at", in his religious discourse urged Muslims to lead an upright life in this world so that they could be rewarded in the life Hereafter. He stressed them to become messenger of peace so that humanity at large could benefit from them. He highlighted the importance of Namaz and emphasized the need to acquire Islamic teachings.
Maulana Sa'ad called upon Muslims to purge themselves of mundane pursuits and devote more time to ameliorate their infinite life in the world hereafter by total submission to Allah Almighty. He urged the people to first purge themselves of the sins and then reach out to more and more people to convey the message of Allah Almighty, which is obligatory upon the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He advocated the people to inculcate among themselves a strong belief that all praise and powers is for Allah Almighty without Whose will nobody could succeed, be humble to fellow human beings, be kind to all particularly with the relatives and neighbours and lead a simple life following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). In this way their lives would become successful, he said.
On the second day separate special religious discourses were held during the conclave for “Khawas” (elites), students, Ulema (clerics) and handicapped (Deaf & Dumb) where the participants were asked to follow the Islamic religious tenets in letter and spirit apart from spreading the message of universal brotherhood.
Apart from Maulana Muhammad Sa'ad, other Ulema who addressed the congregation during the three days included: Maulana Ahmad Laat, Maulana Shaukat, Maulana Sharafat, Maulana Mushtaq, Maulana Misbah etc.
The West Central Railway, (WCR), earned a revenue of over Rs. 6.5 lakhs from the return tickets purchased by the Jama’ats and others who participated in the Ijtima. The WCR attached 29 bogies in different trains passing through Bhopal for benefit of Jama’atis.
Meanwhile, Mr. Syed Ateeq-ul-Islam, the spokesman of the Ijtima Organising Committee, has thanked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his ministerial colleague Mr. Jayant Mallaiya, all the agencies including M.P. Govt., PHE, BMC, MPSRTC, Railways, MP Police, District Collector and his administration, Traffic Police, Zila Panchayat and villagers around Ghasipura & Eintkhedi and others for extending their services in making the arrangements and making the Ijtima successful.
Mr. Ateeq had a special praise for the well-known philanthropist of the city Mr. Sikandar Hafiz Khan who apart from providing various facilities during the Ijtima has donated 37.2 acres of his ancestors land for the huge annual gathering which is being held since 2002 on this piece of land wherein the main “Pandal” is erected housing tens of thousands of people.
It may be mentioned here that “Tableeghi Jama’at” is a transnational religious movement which was founded in 1926 by Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, a religious scholar of the orthodox Deoband, in India in the erstwhile Mewat province which is now part of Haryana. The movement primarily aims at Islamic spiritual reformation and awakening to the world Muslims by working at the grass roots level, reaching out to Muslims across all social and economic spectra to bring them closer to the practices of Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH).
“Tableeghi Jama’at” came forth as an offshoot of the Deobandi movement. Its inception is believed to be a response to Hindu revivalist movements, which were considered a threat to vulnerable and non-practicing Muslims. “Tableeghi Jama’at” gradually expanded from local to national to a transnational movement and now has followers in over 150 countries.
It may be recalled here that Maulana Ilyas learned the situation. His initial effort was to establish a network of mosque-based religious schools to educate Mewati Muslim about correct Islamic beliefs and practices. But he became disillusioned with the reality that these institutions were producing religious functionaries but not preachers. Following this, he quit his teaching position at Madrasah Mazhar-ul-Uloom in Saharanpur and moved to Basti Nizamuddin in the old quarters of Delhi to begin his missionary work. “Tableeghi” movement was formally launched in 1926 from this place.
Maulana Ilyas devoted to what he described as “the mission of the prophets”. His message was simple: “Aye Musalmano Musalman Bano”. The method adopted by him was equally simple. It was to organize units of at least ten persons and send them to various villages. These units (Jama’at), would visit a village, invite the local Muslim to assemble in the mosque and present their message in the form of six demands: 1. Every Muslim must be able to recite Shahadah correctly in Arabic; 2. A Muslim must learn how to say the Salat correctly; 3. To learn the basic teaching of Islam and to do Zikr; 4. To respect the fellow Muslims; 5. To inculcate honesty and sincerity of purpose in such endeavors and 6. To spend some times and travel from place to place spreading the words of Allah.
Maulana Ilyas later added another rule asking members to abstain from wasting time in idle talk and from sinful deeds.
The movement met with spectacular success in a relatively short period. Thousands of Muslims joined Maulana Ilyas to propagate the message of Islam throughout Mewat. There were signs of Islamic religious revival everywhere in the area. Jama’at workers are rigid in following the orthodox and observing the Shariah. They stayed away from politics and political controversies. Instead of publishing books, they go door to door and invite people to join their work.
[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at email@example.com]