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Two Conceptions of Da'wá in India : Jam?'at-i Isl?m? and Tabl?gh? Jam?'at / Deux conceptions de la da'wá en Inde : la jam?'at-i Isl?m? et le tabl?gh? jam?'at - article ; n°1 ; vol.87, pg 115-133

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21 pages
Archives des sciences sociales des religions - Année 1994 - Volume 87 - Numéro 1 - Pages 115-133
El presente trabajo intenta comprender le da'wa (Invitación al Islam, Misión islámica) que sustenta los programas y las actividades del Tabl?gh? Jam?'at y el Jam?'at-i Islam?. Se trata de un análisis de las ideas fundamentales, instrucciones y estatutos de ambos movimientos en el piano normativo. Estos movimientos se focalizan, sobre todo, en Sud-Asia y en la India. El Jam?'at-i Islam? propone directamente el cambio de las estructuras sociales, en otras palabras, el establecimiento de un estado islámico. Por el contrario, en el caso del Tabl?gh? Jam?'at los muslim deben ser convencidos a través de una práctica regular e intensiva de oraciones rituales y de una prâctica fiel de los « cinco pilares del Islam ». Sin embargo, teniendo en cuenta las condi-ciones de la minoría musulmana en India, el Jam?'a i Islam? ha modificado sus programas para dar prioridad a la continuación de los diálogos pacificos, los sermones y las actividades de publicación.
The present paper looks at the understanding of da'wa (invitation to Islam, Islamic mission) that underlies the programmes and activities of the Tabl?gh? Jam?'at and of the Jam?'at-i Islam?. It confines itself to an analysis of the relevant ideas, instructions and programmatic statements of both movements on the normative level. It, furthermore, focusses on South Asia - and for the time since the Partition of 1947 - on the Republic of India. The Jam?'at-i Islam? aims directly at changing to socio-political structures of society, in other words, at establishing an Islamic state. In the Tabl?gh? Jam?'at, in contrast, Muslim individuals have to be brought back by persuasion to the regular and intensive practice of ritual prayer and the faithful practice of the 'five pillars of Islam'. However, in the context of Muslim minority status in India, even the Jam?'at-i Islam? has modified its attitude and programme towards giving priority to the pursuit of irenic dialogue, preaching and publication activities.
L'article scrute la signification de la notion da'wa (invitation à l'islam, mission islamique) qui sous-tend les programmes et les activités du Tabl?gh? Jam?'at et ceux du Jam?'at-i Islam?.. Il s'en tient à l'analyse des idées les plus pertinentes, des instructions et des lignes programmatiques émises au niveau normatif au sein de l'un et l'autre mouvements. L'analyse est centrée sur l'Asie du Sud - depuis la partition de 1947 - et la République indienne. Le Jam?'at-i Islam? vise au changement des structures socio-politiques de la société, c'est-à-dire à l'établissement d'un Etat islamique, tandis que pour le Tabl?gh? Jam?'at , le musulman doit être amené, par les voies de la persuasion, à une pratique régulière et intense de la prière rituelle et à l'observance fidèle des cinq piliers de l'islam. Pourtant, compte tenu du statut minoritaire de l'islam dans le contexte indien, le Jam?'at-i Islam? a dû modifier son attitude et son programme en accordant la priorité à la poursuite d'un dialogue serein, à la prédication et au travail éditorial.
19 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.
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Christian W. Troll
Two Conceptions of Da'wá in India : Jamā'at-i Islāmī and
Tablīghī Jamā'at / Deux conceptions de la da'wá en Inde : la
jamā'at-i Islāmī et le tablīghī jamā'at
In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N. 87, 1994. pp. 115-133.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Troll Christian W. Two Conceptions of Da'wá in India : Jamā'at-i Islāmī and Tablīghī Jamā'at / Deux conceptions de la da'wá en
Inde : la jamā'at-i Islāmī et le tablīghī jamā'at. In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N. 87, 1994. pp. 115-133.
doi : 10.3406/assr.1994.1458
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/assr_0335-5985_1994_num_87_1_1458Abstract
The present paper looks at the understanding of da'wa (invitation to Islam, Islamic mission) that
underlies the programmes and activities of the Tablīghī Jamā'at and of the Jamā'at-i Islamī. It confines
itself to an analysis of the relevant ideas, instructions and programmatic statements of both movements
on the normative level. It, furthermore, focusses on South Asia - and for the time since the Partition of
1947 - on the Republic of India. The Jamā'at-i Islamī aims directly at changing to socio-political
structures of society, in other words, at establishing an Islamic state. In the Tablīghī Jamā'at, in contrast,
Muslim individuals have to be brought back by persuasion to the regular and intensive practice of ritual
prayer and the faithful practice of the 'five pillars of Islam'. However, in the context of Muslim minority
status in India, even the Jamā'at-i Islamī has modified its attitude and programme towards giving
priority to the pursuit of irenic dialogue, preaching and publication activities.
Résumé
L'article scrute la signification de la notion da'wa (invitation à l'islam, mission islamique) qui sous-tend
les programmes et les activités du Tablīghī Jamā'at et ceux du Jamā'at-i Islamī.. Il s'en tient à l'analyse
des idées les plus pertinentes, des instructions et des lignes programmatiques émises au niveau
normatif au sein de l'un et l'autre mouvements. L'analyse est centrée sur l'Asie du Sud - depuis la
partition de 1947 - et la République indienne. Le Jamā'at-i Islamī vise au changement des structures
socio-politiques de la société, c'est-à-dire à l'établissement d'un Etat islamique, tandis que pour le
Tablīghī Jamā'at , le musulman doit être amené, par les voies de la persuasion, à une pratique régulière
et intense de la prière rituelle et à l'observance fidèle des "cinq piliers de l'islam". Pourtant, compte tenu
du statut minoritaire de l'islam dans le contexte indien, le Jamā'at-i Islamī a dû modifier son attitude et
son programme en accordant la priorité à la poursuite d'un dialogue serein, à la prédication et au travail
éditorial.
Resumen
El presente trabajo intenta comprender le da'wa (Invitación al Islam, Misión islámica) que sustenta los
programas y las actividades del Tablīghī Jamā'at y el Jamā'at-i Islamī. Se trata de un análisis de las
ideas fundamentales, instrucciones y estatutos de ambos movimientos en el piano normativo. Estos
movimientos se focalizan, sobre todo, en Sud-Asia y en la India. El Jamā'at-i Islamī propone
directamente el cambio de las estructuras sociales, en otras palabras, el establecimiento de un estado
islámico. Por el contrario, en el caso del Tablīghī Jamā'at los muslim deben ser convencidos a través
de una práctica regular e intensiva de oraciones rituales y de una prâctica fiel de los « cinco pilares del
Islam ». Sin embargo, teniendo en cuenta las condi-ciones de la minoría musulmana en India, el
Jamā'a i Islamī ha modificado sus programas para dar prioridad a la continuación de los diálogos
pacificos, los sermones y las actividades de publicación.Arch de Sc soc des Rel. 1994 87 juillet-septembre 115-133
Christian TROLL
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF DA WA IN INDIA
JAMA AT-I ISL AND TABL GH JAMAJAT
Preliminary observations da wa mission and proselytism
Websters New Collegiate Dictionary defines the term proselytism as to
make proselytes to recruit members especially by the offer of special in
ducements In Urdu or in Arabic for that matter there does not exist an
exact equivalent of this term Related yet much more comprehensive in mean
ing is the Arabic term wa wat in Urdu which signifies literally call
invitation demand and immediately will remind the Muslim of the anic
passage
Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and godly exhortation
and argue with them in the best manner possible Surely your Lord knows best
him who has strayed from His path and He also knows best who are the right-
guided. al-Nahl 16 125
God is the subject of wa His call has to be obeyed His messenger
to be followed Each messenger practised wa by conveying wa
The content of the wa never changed it is islâm self-surrender the only
true religion din in the sight of God Imran 19 Thus it was
too to repeat the the invitation to Islam faith
fully and definitively and to establish the umma as the effective bearer of
wa in all times to come
After the death of Muhammad the understanding and practice of wa
evolved The umma was conscious of being sent to call to but soon
it proved to be more opportune to call the opposing party immediately to
political submission and the payment of tribute One could especially when
dealing with ahi al-kitâb people of the Book) refer to At-Tawba 9:29
Those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day even though they
were given the scriptures and who do not hold as unlawful that which Allah and
His Messenger have declared to be unlawful and who do not follow the true
religion- fight against clatilu them until they pay tribute with willing hand
and are in state of subjection.
Non-Muslim opponents were offered choice of one of three alterna
tives Acceptance of Islam Submission and payment of tribute Decid-
115 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
ing battle At the end of process of formative development the institution
of wa had become an integral element of the body of the It formed
part of the classical doctrine of jihad Hock 1990 pp 12 13f.
How then did Islam expand actually in history In earliest times military
conquest preceded conversion at least as far as the heartlands of Islam are
concerned The military campaigns of the first Islamic century aimed primarily
at the expansion of the Muslim Arab empire and the dominance of the umma
rather than at directly increasing the number of Muslim believers What even
tually brought about so many conversions was not or at least not primarily
the missionary engagement of Muslims individually or as groups It was
rather within the context of the newly created and rapidly expanding domain
of Islam- the genesis of an Islamic milieu with all its social religious and
political institutions It was this milieu that furthered process of what can
be termed social and this finally led to the gradual slow erosion
of the non-Muslim religious communities
Islam spread beyond the Islamic heartlands e.g into South and Southeast
Asia and into equatorial Africa normally by way of peaceful witness and
preaching through intermarriage and not least through the liberation of pris
oners of war who accepted the offer of being freed from the state of slavery
by conversion to Islam An outstanding missionary role was played by holy
men and women Often they were adepts of Sufi order and not rarely they
acted as religious guides and experts helping merchants and seafarers The
role of the Sufi orders in projecting Islam effectively to new regions and
populations can hardly be overestimated However their activity hardly ever
was described in terms of wa an indication of the fact that it was not
perceived as such Hock 1990 15)
Organized mission work comparable to that of the Christian mission
movement of modern Europe and North America in Islam developed only
from the very end of the nineteenth century onwards first mainly in South
Asia Here wa was reinterpreted if not changed under the influence of
and in response to the lively activities of the various Christian missionary
orders and mission societies to whom Muslims were eventually exposed in
all parts of the world mostly under the aegis of colonial rule)
The transformation of wa has been threefold
wa was rendered dynamic today it comprises beyond mere pro
clamation tablîgh missionary engagement of varied kinds and includes the
witness to Islam by way of organized works of
wa was spiritualized Freed from its functionalization as juridi
cal and juridico-political institution it now assumes as call and admoni
the character of testimony to the faith
wa was institutionalized in new way as an important element
of organized Islamic internationalism it came to assume the character of ecu
menical and reforming engagement within the umma and of interreligious
opening towards the world outside the umma without thereby losing its
essential trait of being invitation to Islam cf Hock 1989 pp 19)
In the present article we shall look at the understanding of wa that
underlies the programmes and activities of the Tablïghî at and the
at-i Islami We restrict ourselves to an analysis of the relevant ideas
instructions and programmatic statements of both movements on the normative
116 WA
level Furthermore we focus on South Asia and -for the time since the Par
tition of 1947- on the Republic of India
What are the objectives and the methods projected and promoted by these
two movements and their leaders of thought It will emerge from our inquiry
that there exist noteworthy differences between the two movements as to their
vision method strategy and target groups of wa
The Tablïghï at or Faith Movement
The first of the two movements examined here is the Tablïghï at
or Faith Movement founded by Maulana Muhammad Ilyas 1885-1944 Its
ideals and activities during the past decades have marked the life of countless
Muslims in South Asia and from the onwards far beyond The dis
tinctive nature of the Tablïghï at emerges clearly from the story of the
life of its founder cf Haq 1972 pp 77-99)
2.7 Muhammad Ilyas and the genesis of the Movement
Maulana Ilyas 1885-1944) the founder of the Tablighi at was the
descendant of highly respected and deeply religious family of divines and
Sufis from the so-called Doab area in the Western United Provinces U.P)
India After training and teaching in Mazahirul Ulûm Saharanpur U.P and
in Darul Ulûm Deoband U.P and living close to such eminent spiritual
teachers and leaders as Khalïl Ahmad Sahâranpûn 1927) Mahmûdul Hasan
1851-1920 and Ashraf All Th nawï 1863-1943) Ilyas settled in the Ban-
glewall Masjid near the famous shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi From
there Maulana Ilyas father Maulana Muhammad Il 1917 had already
for quite some time established special ties of spiritual allegiance with the
Meos or Mewatis) the inhabitants of Mewat large rural area to the South
west of Delhi
The Meos had become Muslims many centuries ago but only to some
extent Maulana Ilyas decided to develop the work of his father and with his
own resources he established good number of maktab-s elementary religious
schools in the area However the results achieved by this and other edu
cational and social activities did not satisfy him Many parents were reluctant
to send their children regularly to the maktab-s and besides the adult popu
lation was left unchanged During his second pilgrimage to Mecca and five-
months stay there and in Medina Ilyas received the basic inspiration to start
among the Meos tablîgh preaching movement in order to revive and
strengthen the faith belief and practice of the people there
Thus on his return to Nizamuddin in 1925 Ilyas started tablîgh tours into
Mewat that is he himself and few followers went there to propagate the
fundamental tenets of Islam especially the kalima profession of the Islamic
faith tawhïd and risaia and namaz Urdu-Persian for salât the prescribed
ritual prayer)
There were about that time other tablîgh movements active in India For
instance the Tablïghï Mission of Khwaja Hasan Nizamî 1878-1955 which
117 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
worked effectively among non-Muslims particularly the untouchables But
viewed in historical perspective none of these equals the Tabllghl at
of Muhammad Ilyas as to originality of method and large-scale impact
After Maulana Ilyas third hajj in 1932 the movement received new
impetus Ilyas himself undertook two grand tours of Mewat with large body
of companions At least hundred persons remained with him throughout the
tours and at some places the number was much larger During these tours
at-s preaching groups were formed from ordinary Mewâtî villagers
and villages were allotted to them for doing the rounds and preaching the
Word of
Ilyas now made it point to send at-s of MewatI villagers to the
venerable centres of religious learning in western U.P Dist Saharanpur and
Mu zaff amagar and to let them spend some time there whilst preaching the
kalima and namaz to the common people living in the vicinity of these centres
Would these groups of peasant preachers be accepted in these of
long-standing Islamic tradition and learning Would their ignorance simplic
ity of language and coarseness of manners be treated with indulgence or with
scorn In any case Ilyas envisaged in this encounter mutual benefit the
group of little-trained rustic Meo villagers would listen to the conversations
of the madrasa-s would observe the behaviour of the people there and in
that manner would learn about Islam by the direct method and in natural
way The ulama and religious-minded people in turn would get in touch with
the poverty and the religious ignorance of the Mewatis Thus at least some
of them in turn might be moved to tour Mewat and bring its people fully
into the fold of Islam
At about that time Ilyas wrote in letter to the famous Sheikhul Hadith
Maulana Muhammad Zakariya of Saharanpur 1982 who became staunch
supporter of the Movement
have long been of the view that unless educated persons called at the doors
of the common people and went from town to town and village to village like
ordinary men the Movement would not be successful because learned and forceful
discourses of the ulama could not have the same effect on the masses as their
physical participation This as you will be aware is evident also from the lives
of our precursors. Nadwi 1979 52
In the mid-thirties the Faith Movement spread widely in Mewat and be
came very popular At an important meeting in Chitaura for instance in the
district of Ferozepore
sixteen preaching parties at-s were organized each with an âmir
and an amirul ümara leader of leaders who was to be in charge of four amîr-s
These parties undertook the tour of the entire territory of Mewat with the arrange
ment that four of them were to tour the hilly areas four the villages situated
between the main road and the hills four the villages between the roads leading
from Howdal and Alwar to Delhi and the lying between the Jamuna
river and the road leading from Delhi to Howdal At each halting place someone
came from Nizamuddin the centre in Delhi to collect the news and address the
meeting All sixteen parties were merged into four which came to Jama Masjid
Delhi by different routes. Nadwi 1979 38
Maulana Ilyas by the way had maps prepared of all the tahsîl-s small
administrative units of Mewat and the district of Gurgaon
118 WA
New and most demanding was Maulana Ilyâs call to every committed
believer to leave his home and give up his avocation for period of time
in order to rehearse the faith on the pattern as he saw it of the life of
the Companions of the Prophet ahaba The small groups of believers on
the move began to effect Mewat markedly
Anyone who saw the tablîgh parties of Mewat travelling on foot with
blanket thrown on their shoulder the sipara-s booklets containing one thirtieth
of the Quranic text tucked under their arms and parched grain or bread in
corner of the mantle their tongues engaged in dhikr prayer of remembrance of
God) their eyes showing the signs of nightly vigil and the mark of sajela pros
tration with touching of the ground with the forehead on their foreheads would
have been reminded of the martyred Companions of una cf Encyclopae
dia of Islam 2nd ed. 1232 who were killed while going on the mission
of teaching the Quran and imparting knowledge of the commandments of the
on the orders of the holy Prophet. Nadwi 1979 pp 39-40
The revival of the faith showed itself palpably in thousands of mosques
that were built maktab-s and madrasa-s established and the employment of
trained an reciters and ulama Nadwi describes the Islamicization of
traditional Mewati life brought about by the activities of the Tablîghl at
thus
dislike for Hinduized garments was created and people began to dress
themselves according to the specifications of the Bracelets got removed
from the arms and rings from the ears of men Beards were grown freely and
without compulsion Polytheistic ceremonies that had become part of marriage
began to be discarded Usury lost its hold drinking almost came to an end and
crimes became less frequent Religious indifference and innovations and lewd and
profane habits and customs started to whither away in the new climate of faith
and piety. Nadwi 1979 40
After the fourth and last hajj in 1938 Ilyâs extended the movement
successfully to the merchant class of Delhi The main objective here again
was to get the Muslims out of their static and irreligious environment and to
enable them to breathe at least for few weeks every year an entirely differ
ent air away from the affairs and interests of everyday life
The overwhelming majority of the ulama from the madrasa-s showed
indifference to Ilyas efforts and even opposition In the and early
most of them were politically preoccupied Those were the years of
political agitation preceding Independence and Partition They dismissed ta-
blïgh activity on Ilyas lines as superficial in its effects and to some extent
disdained the rustic simple Mewati preachers Muhammad Ilyas personally
tended to shun publicity Being absorbed in the world of mystical reality and
owing to the originality of his spiritual insights he was not rarely confused
in his speech in addition to his habit of stuttering Yet in spite of this his
movement went on growing considerably
After the death of Muhammad Ilyas in 1944 the leadership of the move
ment was taken up by his son Yûsuf who died at Lahore in 1965 Since then
Maulana âmul Hasan who had been close to Yûsuf since childhood days
has been the amir of the Movement Under the amirship of Yûsuf the move
ment expanded to all parts of India and Pakistan and beyond to countries
like Saudi Arabia Iraq Syria Jordan Turkey England and other parts of
Western Europe the United States and Japan It was during Maulana
time that conventions began to be held regularly in various parts of the Sub-
119 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
continent Maulana Yûsuf also made it point to address non-Muslims and
from his time onwards at-s are moving out over the whole world on
foot by bus by train or air plane or any other suitable means cf Hasani
1978 pp 682-684)
2.2 The aims objectives and the rationale of the Movement
Probably the most authentic summary of Muhammad Ilyas overall vision
and of his aims is his Call to Muslims message by the late Maulana
Muhammad Ilyas to an All-India Conference Ulama and the Muslim Politi
cal Leaders held at Delhi in April 1944 the year of his Death
Mawiana Ilyas sees the Muslims as being different and distinct from other
people in that success and failure rise and fall in their case depend wholly
on the complete adoption of Islam and strict obedience to Muhammad Al
Imran 139 Success can be achieved by individual and by collective
efforts For individual success adherence to each and every command of God
is essential cf Ilyas 1944 For collective success certain means have
to be adopted These are
The inculcation Missionary Spirit This duty has been the com
mon aim of life of all Prophets When the line of the Prophets ended with
Muhammad the Muslims as community were charged with the responsibility
of carrying out this task after the Prophet Yûsuf 12 108 In the words of
the Hadith If God causes you to lead single person onto the right path
it is better for you than to possess the world with what it contains Ilyas
1944 It is the lack of missionary spirit which has plunged the Muslims
today into slumber of unconsiousness and forgetfulness
The acquisition and transmission of knowledge The exhortation of
the an Messenger Convey to others that which has been revealed
unto you from your ida 67 applies to every member of
the umma as fard ayn individually-binding duty The knowledge spoken
of here is about what Muhammad brought for the guidance and enlightenment
of mankind Ilyas 1944 8)
Enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong This task cf Al Imran
110 At-Tawba 71 has been entrusted to the whole Muslim community
as its mission But since it is according to Hadith the substance of îmân
faith) it is the essential duty of every believer Ilyas here paraphrases
famous Hadith concerning faith thus
If anyone sees wrong being done he must set it right with his hand if
that be not possible then with his tongue and if that also cannot be done then
he must at least abhor it from the core of his heart and that is the poorest faith
îman) Ilyas 1944 10)
Ilyas would like to start inculcating abhorrence of what is wrong from
the heart for when person does not even have the steadfastness to abhor
the wrong from his heart what faith worth the name can he claim to
possess? Ilyas 1944 10 Ilyas also insists that controversial and disputed
matters be utterly avoided in the activities of the Movement
Mutual co-operation and well-wishing Help ye one another unto
righteousness and pious duty... ida 5:2 Al-Hujurât 49 10 This
120 WA
objective cannot be achieved unless the Muslims are first tied together with
ties of mutual love and brotherhood Muslim furthermore should consider
it his sacred duty to protect the honour of another Muslim All attempts are
to be made collectively in order to achieve success for the community as
whole
At this point Maulana Ilyâs distinguishes between two different tech
niques for such action viz. First acquire power then prevail upon the
people by dint of force to live up to these points First strive among
the people with heart and soul and then employ the consequent favours of
Gracious and Merciful God seeking His further pleasure
Quoting Al-Baqara 256 There is no compulsion in religion The right
distinction has been made distinct from Ilyas discards option be
cause the prophets and the messengers of Allah have always worked through
persuasion have delivered discourses and humbly sought to inspire the people
with their message. And he further insists
To do religious duty under compulsion cannot be an act of worship and
devotion It will in fact be an act of subservience to men in power All the prophets
of Allah therefore preferred the latter method Moses Peace be upon him was
adopted by Pharaoh and his queen and was brought up in the palace as prince
He could very easily get into power as all circumstances were in his favour and
then force the people into the acceptance of the right religion But this did
not happen On the other hand he was made to say goodbye to all the prospects
of coming into power and was charged with mission while he was in
state of utter helplessness and privation and then he was sent to face the opposi
tion from the most formidable power of his time This has always been
way for action and in it there can be no change Thou wilt not find for of any substitute nor wilt thou find for way of action aught
of power to change Al-Fatir 35 43 Ilyâs 1944 pp 12-13)
2.3 The programme and its execution
Together with these directives God himself Ilyas insists has provided
programme It is derived from the excellent ways and methods of the Prophet
Through it we get glimpse of the life led by the Prophets and the Com
panions ahaba It includes all the principles essential for collective and
individual success The secret to success above all else is however deep
communion with the Creator Ilyas 1944 13 Ilyas and his Movement
lay the greatest stress upon heartfelt devotion to God Every Muslim has in
the depth of his heart at least trace of îmân But it usually is over-powered
by other elements If we succeed in rekindling this latent îmân in the heart
the light of Islam will shine forth automatically
The programme is based on six points and one precautionary measure
namely to leave what is futile tark mâ lä nî)
Kalima profession of faith tawhïd and risàia
Sälät i.e namaz in Persian and Urdu prescribed prayer
llm-o-dhikr knowledge and remembrance of God
Ikräm-i Muslim respect of every Muslim
Ikhlâs-i niyyat sincerity of intention
Tafrîgh-i waqt sparing time
121 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
The two first of these six points are the fundamental tenets of Islam
while the remaining four are not They can be called the auxiliary means
The Tablîghî at therefore does not say that all these six points are the
basic tenets of Islam It insists that the first two basic tenets exercised with
the support of the other four points bring about overall change in
life and help him in the faithful discharge of his religious duties
As to kalima Ilyas urges that it should be recited so often that its spirit
permeates all our being our soul is filled with the burden of its music and
all our actions are performed with the total submission of our will to Allah...
Ilyas 1944 13 The regular and punctual performance of the prescribed
canonical prayer salat tests whether we are prepared to put into action the
pledge we made in the kalima
Ilm is an inducement to acquire the knowledge of commandments
and how to carry them out As to dhikr one writer of the Movement explains
We are surrounded by evil forces that are trying to make us deviate from the
right path To save ourselves from their grip we must remember Allah in every
possible way The more we remember Allah the more benefited are we Hence
in addition to all the obligatory prayers we every member of the movement
must be particular about dhikr at least through aurud third kalima and istighfar
Durud Oh Allah Magnify Muhammad and his posterity and followers as Thou
hast magnified Abraham and his posterity and followers verily Thou art the
Praiseworthy the Majestic Third kalima Glory be to God Praise be to God
and there is no god save Him and Allah is Most Great And there is no power
or virtue but in God the High the Great Istighfar beg the forgiveness of God
save whom there is no God The Living the Eternal unto Him do turn penitent
These prayers are to be recited every day each one hundred times preferably
both in the morning and in the evening Ansari 1967 27)
Ikrâm-i Muslim is to train ourselves for the real Islamic code of social
conduct Ikhlas-i niyyat is to make the believer prefer the Hereafter and the
Divine Approbation to the luxuries of this passing world Ikhlas
Ilyas explains can rightly be called the life and soul of the entire moral edifice
of Islam. If the action lacks sincerity however dignified or pious it may be
it will not fetch any reward from Allah Ansari 1967 35)
The programme is executed by making Muslims move about far and wide
for seeking and imparting the essential religious knowledge and for the sake
of the spreading of and adhering to the sacred injunctions of Islam The
own practice thus will be linked with the call to practice The tech
nique is that which was adopted by the Prophet himself and by his Compan
ions
The Tablîghî at asks Muslims irrespective of their educational or
economic background to come together and spare their time for travelling in
groups from house to house street to street village to village town to town
exhorting the people to live their lives according to the principles mentioned
They are to spend these days in living collectively in the spirit of Muslim
brotherhood in an atmosphere of harmony and love Their sole occupation
will Ilyas explains the acquiring and imparting of Islamic knowledge
inviting the attention of people towards Islamic practices spreading the
message of Allah hymning His Glory and Sanctity and offering prayers and
supplication at every step Ilyas 1944 16 cf Troll 1984 passim)
122

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